Sunday Sketch: Wombat Poo

Did you know that wombats (Vombatus ursinus) have cube-shaped poop? No, this is not a result of a square sphincter, but a slow digestive process that takes up to 14 days! A wombat’s intestine has horizontal ridges which molds the fecal matter into a cube shape, and then as most nutrients and water are absorbed,…

Sunday Sketch: Orchid Bees

They may not be black and yellow but these neotropical orchid bees might be the smelliest stars of the bee world! The males of these iridescent bees collect perfumes  from the flowers they visit which they then display to females. The exact perfume blend is highly species specific–males shop around for just the right combination….

Sunday Sketch: Tool-Using Elephants

Did you know? It’s well known that elephants possess very complex nervous systems, similiar to those of higher thinking mammals such as whales, dolphins, and primates. But it’s not as well known that elephants are also tool users, altering tree branches and using them swat away pesky flies! Sketch and fact contributed by Victor Santiago…

Sunday Sketch: Phoresis

Did you know? Phoresis is the scientific word for the cutest type of symbiosis in which one animal rides another one like a horse! This “horse” race may be a slow one though with contestants like a moth riding a sloth and a beetle riding a shrew. Sketch and fact contributed by Amelia Munson Sources:…

Sunday Sketch: Badger’s Buddy

North America’s coyote and badger species are regularly found hunting together as a team. As they employ different hunting methods for driving out the same prey, one will dig up the quarry while the other gives chase- allowing them to capture three times as much food. Happy Year of the Dog! Sketch and fact contributed…

Sunday Sketch: Galentines Day

Still looking for the perfect date for Valentine’s Day? Maybe this is the year to take a leaf from the female Komodo dragon’s book. When there are no males around,  female Komodo dragons can still produce fertile eggs! When scientists first documented this they thought that they were storing sperm from previous interactions with males…

Sunday Sketch: Weather Bee

Did you know? In honor of groundhog day, here’s an animal that can really predict the weather! Sensing drops in barometric pressure, as well as other changes in the environment, a honeybee hive puts in extra work in before a rain. Sketch and fact contributed by Victor Santiago Source: Xujiang, He & Tian, Liu-Qing &…

Sunday Sketch: Armadillo Quadruplets

Did you know? The nine-banded armadillo nearly always gives birth to identical quadruplets! If she has a hard time telling them apart, don’t blame her: she has her hands full! Fact and sketch contributed by Amelia Munson Sources: Stockard, C. R. (1921). A probable explanation of polyembryony in the armadillo. The American Naturalist, 55(636), 62-68….

Sunday Sketch: Grandma Aphid

Did you know? In many aphid species, a female will regularly give birth to a live clone. These newborn clones already contain a developing daughter within them. Termed “telescopic generation”, this allows aphids to multiply very quickly with or without males. So, the next time you’re pulling out your hair over these little bugs, be…

Sunday Sketch: Tarantula Appetite

Did you know? Tarantulas can go up to two years between meals! When food sources are scarce, tarantulas are able to slow their metabolism to conserve energy until their next meal. Sketch and fact contributed by Allison Lau Source: Philip, B. N., & Shillington, C. (2010). The effect of prey availability on metabolism and activity…

Sunday Sketch: Hamster Party!

Did you know? Golden hamsters (Phodopus cambelli) can ingest nearly eight times the amount of alcohol than humans can- without showing signs of impairment. This high tolerance is due to a specialized metabolism, since their staple food source throughout the winter consists of seeds that undergo fermentation. Older Hamsters can even prefer food with a…

Sunday Sketch: Six White Boomers

Did you know? According to lore, in Australia, Santa Claus gives Dasher, Dancer and all the other reindeer a break in favor of “Six White Boomers” or kangaroos! And they probably serve him well–although not white, male red kangaroos can cover almost 30 feet in one hop! Sketch and fact contributed by Amelia Munson ***…