Sunday Sketch: Parrot Fish

As a kid, would you hide under your blanket to avoid monsters lurking in your closet? Well, many Chlorurus genera of parrotfish, such as the Bullethead Parrotfish (Chlorurus spilurus), not only hide from predators, but make the blanket that they hide under! They will find a nook in the coral reef in the evening and…

Field Frame Friday: Zany zebu

Zebu (Bos indicus or Bos taurus) are a species of domestic cattle that can be seen in many countries throughout Asia and Africa. They can be easily spotted by the fatty deposit atop their backs, and are popular due to their adaptability to hot and arid environments. These animals have many uses for humans including…

So, you want to go to grad school?

Are you interested in any form of animal behavior, conservation, ecology, and /or evolution? Do you think you want to apply to graduate school, but aren’t sure where to start?  The Ethogram has curated a list of resources, many specific to our field, full of advice on all steps of the process. Note: this is…

Creature Feature: San Joaquin Kit Fox

Although the San Joaquin Kit Fox (Vulpes macrotis mutica) can easily be mistaken for other canids such as the red or grey fox, they are their own unique species with an interesting history. Unlike coyotes or other foxes, these slender, miniature foxes are endemic to the San Joaquin Valley of Central California. As the smallest…

Sunday Sketch: Sea Squirts

Did you know that humans are related to sea squirts? Although you may not see the family resemblance, sea squirts (class Ascidians), are members of the phylum Chordata, which include all animals with a spinal cord (e.g. birds, fish, reptiles, and humans). However, unlike typical chordates, sea squirts only have their spinal cord and a…

Field Frame Friday: Early mornings

Jungle breakfasts are usually creative: most gibbon groups begin singing as the sun rise, so breakfast is always eaten in the dark and often accompanied with a beautiful chorus. Each morning, we did fixed acoustic surveys based off two observers in order to triangulate group locations and estimate gibbons densities within our field site.  Pictured next…

Field Notes: Trinidadian guppies

For the last five years, I have studied the effects of human-induced land change on species interactions and behavior in freshwater streams in the Northern Range Mountains of Trinidad. As I put the finishing touches on my dissertation, this my first summer in four years when I’m not in the Northern Range Mountains of Trinidad…

Sunday Sketch: Ape Tails

Did you know that an infant #chimpanzee has a white tail tuft until it is about 3 years old? Gorilla infants have this white patch on their rumps too! It is still unclear exactly why these great apes would need this derrière protective peace flag as infants, although evolutionary theory has suggested that it might…

Field Frame Friday: Elephant friends

Forest elephants (Loxodonta cyclotis) unlike their cousins to the east spend the majority of their time deep in the thick Central African rain forests. Once thought to be the same species, forest and savannah elephants have been distinguished as different species due to a host of morphological and genetic differences (Roca et al., 2001). This…

Field Fiasco: Unleash the Bees!

Some of the greatest discoveries of how honey bee colonies work have been made using observation hives: glass-walled hives that allow scientists to monitor the activities of the colony. Setting up my observation hives in early April marked the true start of my field season. Coming into lab to greet, stare at, and admire my…