Ethogram Statement of Solidarity

We stand in solidarity with the Black members of our community whose paths within academia and society have been challenged by structural racism and oppression. We see and vehemently oppose the blatant acts of ongoing police brutality. More broadly, we condemn the systemic and structural racism that allows for the excessive use of force and the lack…

Sunday Sketch: Gentle Giants

Whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) are the largest fish on the planet and can grow up to 18 meters in length! Now if you’ve seen Jaws, you must be wondering: Can it eat me? If so, why haven’t I heard of these sharks before? Well, whale sharks are filter-feeders and feed on plankton (very small crustaceans and fish) so they hardly make the news. More…

Field Frame Friday: Crowded Colony Life

Common Murres (Uria aalge) live in some close quarters! These tightly packed colonies, called “loomeries,” allow for Common Murres to practice allopreening (grooming one another). In addition to reducing parasite loads, allopreening may also play an important social role. Mates groom mates and neighbors groom neighbors! [Photo and caption by Lindsey Broadus] Lewis, S. Roberts,…

Creature Feature: Sulphur-crested cockatoo

Since Snowball the sulphur-crested cockatoo went viral with his dance moves, plenty of cockatoos and other parrot species have been observed boogieing to their favorite jams. What makes these birds such good dancers? The leading hypothesis is that their innate vocal learning ability has equipped them with the special perceptual and cognitive tools that allow them to feel the rhythm and move to a beat.

Sunday Sketch: Aquatic Landscapers keep coral reefs tidy and thriving

Coral reefs & algae have a symbiotic relationship, where single-celled algae (called zoozanthellae) living inside corals provide energy to build the intricate calcium-carbonate structures that host an entire underwater ecosystem (for more on reef-building corals check out this Creature Feature). However, as with most things in life, too much of a good thing can turn bad; too…

Field Frame Friday: You know what they say about long tails..

Although all Paradise flycatcher (Terpsiphone mutata) females are red, males come in multiple colors, including red/blue, white/blue, and intermediate patterns as shown here. Males sport long tails almost the length of their body, which may help them gain mating advantages as they compete for females.  [Photo and caption by Meredith Lutz] Sinclair, I., & Langrand,…

Sunday Sketch: Shrimp Make Good Moms and Dads

Peppermint shrimp (Lysmata boggessi) are a common ornamental salt water aquarium invertebrate species beloved by many hobbyists for their bright candy cane stripes and lively behaviors. What most people don’t know is that these shrimp are considered protandric simultaneous hermaphrodites. When they first reach adulthood they have male reproductive organs, but as they get bigger they…

Field Frame Friday: Cat Call via Crab Claw?

“Hey there, wanna check out my burrow?” Fiddler crabs (genus: Uca) have sexual dimorphism, meaning that males and females have different characteristics aside from their sexual organs. This male thick-legged fiddler crab (Uca crassipes) has a claw that is much larger than the female (on the right) and can be used for communication, courtship, and…