Sunday Sketch: Calves and Colostrum

Calves (baby cattle) receive passive immunity through the intake of colostrum (the first form of milk) provided by their mothers shortly after birth. This important transfer protects them from infection! Sketch and fact contributed by Rachael Coon Source: McGee, M., & Earley, B. (2019). Review: passive immunity in beef-suckler calves. Animal, 13(4), 810-825. doi: 10.1017/S1751731118003026

Creature Feature: Thresher Shark

If you’re a fish in the ocean, you need to watch out for the tail end of this top predator rather than their razor sharp teeth!

Sunday Sketch: Koala Fingerprints

Did you know that koalas have fingerprints that look practically indistinguishable from human prints? This means that there could be some unsolved cases in Australia with koala prints in the database! Fact and sketch contributed by Amelia Munson Source: Henneberg, M., Lambert, K. M., & Leigh, C. M. (1997). Fingerprint Homoplasy: Koalas and Humans. NaturalScience. Available at: http://naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01‐04/ns_hll.html….

Field Frame Friday: Alligator dances are better than middle school dances.

The American Alligator’s (Alligator mississippiensis) courtship involves nighttime “alligator dances” where the alligators will swim in pairs for hours before deciding whether or not to mate. Now that’s what I call a nice first date! [Photo by Grace Davis in Barro Colorado Island, Panama; Caption by Maggie Creamer] Reference Vliet, K. A. (1989). Social displays…

Animal Myths: LAND

Welcome back to our Animal Myth series, where we strive to debunk common animal misconceptions. In this post, we focus on animals that share our most familiar habitat: land. Note: If you haven’t already, check out the first Animal Myths post on creatures of the sky here! 1. Camels use their humps to store water While this “fact” isn’t entirely true, it…

Sunday Sketch: The Narwhal

Unlike mythical unicorns, the narwhal (Monodon monoceros) is real and most closely related to beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas)! However, that is not a horn on their head but a tooth that males (and some females) have. The functions of the narwhal tooth are still being researched, but it is suggested that it can be used…

Field Frame Friday: Snap a “s-whale-fie!”

In a field that is dominated with hydrophones and listening to vocalizations, it is always great when researchers can snap a picture of whale flukes. Many whale individuals, including this blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) can be identified by unique markings and shapes on their tail flukes. [Photo by Alycia Drwencke and caption by Karli Chudeau]…

Field Notes: Eavesdropping for Science

University of Hawaii at Manoa researcher Megan McElligott is eavesdropping on #spinner dolphins to determine where their natural resting sites are to help inform #conservation management. #bioacoustics #FieldNotes #marinebiology