Recent Videos

  • Archerfish Hunting Using Water Jet – Black Lagoon – Smithsonian Institution (2015)

    Archerfish Hunting Using Water Jet – Black Lagoon – Smithsonian Institution (2015)

    The Archerfish posseses one of the most complex feeding behavior among fishes. Complex feeding behaviors involving proto-tool use are common among marine fishes. Scientists have noticed such behavior in many wrasses, in black spotted tuskfish, (Choerodon schoenleinii) from the Great Barrier Reef; in yellowhead wrasses (Halichoeres garnoti) off the coast of Florida; and in a sixbar wrasse (Thalassoma hardwicke) in an aquarium setting. For instance, wrasses crunch sea urchins against corals and use anvils to smash food into more gulpable […]

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  • Fish Tool Use Documented in the Wild – (2016)

    Fish Tool Use Documented in the Wild – (2016)

    The news that a black spotted tuskfish, Choerodon schoenleinii, (Valenciennes, 1839) was observed using a tool made the hearts of ethologists race. Here you can see a few recorded examples of the behavior from different locations and species belonging to the same genus within the wrasse family. As the story goes the behavior was first observed by Scott Gardner in Australia. On November 12th 2006, Mr. Gardner did an 18-m dive in the Keppel region of the southern Great Barrier […]

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  • Ecology from the Air – Greg Asner (2009) TED Talk

    Ecology from the Air – Greg Asner (2009) TED Talk

    Being able to measure interaction of the living and the non-living at large continental-scales is eye opening. That’s what successful scientist Greg Asner does with the Carnegie Airborne Observatory (CAO). NASA’s Landsat earth observation satellites have been feeding us invaluable global-scale data for more than 40 years. The new satellite Landsat 8 began transmitting near-realtime information. Thanks to these earth observation satellites we can instantly know scale of natural or human-made impacts on ecosystems. Deforestation for oil palm plantations in […]

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  • Hotel Heliconia – Phil Savoie (2001)

    Hotel Heliconia – Phil Savoie (2001)

    Filmed on location by Philip Savoie and his filming crew at La Selva Biological Field Station in Costa Rica, this documentary provides a great crossection of life weaved around the Heliconia (Heliconiaceae) plant. Plants provide an effective template to convey many interrelated natural history observations. However they rarely become center of attention in wildlife documentaries (but see Plants R Cool 2!). Unlike documentaries jumping from one continent to the other following a global theme, Hotel Heliconia follows a very detailed […]

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  • X Inactivation and Epigenetics – Etsuko Uno & Drew Berry / WEHI (2012)

    X Inactivation and Epigenetics – Etsuko Uno & Drew Berry / WEHI (2012)

    Why all calico cats are female? In all mammals sex is genetically determined by X and Y chromosomes. In Humans females carry two X chromosomes (XX). Males carry both X and Y chromosomes (XY). The mammalian Y chromosome has began to evolve from the X chromosome at about 170 million years ago. For some strange genetic recombinational quirk that happened in the ancestor of all mammals Y chromosomes lost their ability to exchange information with X. Currently, more than 95% […]

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  • Brown Bears during Salmon Run in Katmai National Park – Live from Alaska

    Brown Bears during Salmon Run in Katmai National Park – Live from Alaska

    [Video streams have no sound and will be off air when it’s night time in Alaska] (Ursus arctos) are Caniform (dog-like) mammals. Except the polar bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) who is strictly a carnivore all other brown bears (Grizzly, Kodiak and Siberian brown bear) are omnivores and biologically are the same species. This means they can interbreed when species barriers gets lifted. As Arctic sea ice disappears polar bear habitat shrinks and thus they are forced to move southern latitudes […]

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  • Kon-Tiki Expedition – A Test of a Hypothesis for Human Gene Flow (1950)

    Kon-Tiki Expedition – A Test of a Hypothesis for Human Gene Flow (1950)

    Kon-Tiki was a legendary expedition that was carried out in 1947 by Norvegian anthropologist Thor Heyerdahl. The expedition tested a hypothesis whether Pacific Islands could have been colonized from Americas and thus wanted to demonstrate that waterways were not barriers but means of transportation and gene flow for human populations. Peopling of the Pacific is a fascinating story. The Polynesians were without question the greatest open ocean voyagers in the human history. They built double-hulled canoes and traveled over the […]

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  • Animations of Unseeable Biology – Drew Berry – TED Talk (2011)

    Animations of Unseeable Biology – Drew Berry – TED Talk (2011)

    Drew Berry introduces us to the fascinating world of molecules. Since the invention of X-ray crystallography our depth of understanding the molecular nature of things have skyrocketed. Year 2012 marked the centennial of the discovery of X-ray chrystallography by the Australian physicist William Lawrence Bragg who shared the Nobel Prize with his father in 1915. The technique was so powerful that since its discovery, it generated 28 Nobel Prizes including the discovery of DNA. the famous X-ray chrystallographical image #51 […]

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  • Anole Lizard Aggression – Neil Losin (2011)

    Anole Lizard Aggression – Neil Losin (2011)

    We humans rarely have punch ups with each other to decide who will mate. However, an anole lizards life is frequently interrupted by brawls. Neil Losin is an evolutionary biologist from UCLA who studies aggressive behavior among anole lizards. Anole lizards not only have punch ups among each other (intraspecific aggression) but they also have such interactions with other species (interspecific aggression). This is when things get even more interesting. In less than 10 minutes this documentary outlines the research […]

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  • UConn BioBlitz 2015

    UConn BioBlitz 2015

    On July 24th – 25th 2015, 49 experts collaborated with >150 citizen scientists to identify 1180 species in a 24-hour marathon of biodiversity survey (see a meta analysis at the bottom of this post). The UConn BioBlitz 2015 had many workshops that continued day and night including Bat activity monitoring, Blacklight/Mercury lamp curtain survey for nocturnal insects, setting camera traps for mammal activity, owl prowl, science expose, ants exploring space as well as tours of Collections Facility and the UConn […]

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  • Bowerbird’s Grand Performance – Life Story – BBC

    Bowerbird’s Grand Performance – Life Story – BBC

    With its retina punishing feather colors this is a spectacular solo mating dance performed by a male bowerbird advertising his male qualities. The independent dilation and contraction of the pupils is a striking part of the choreography at the beginning of the performance. In Humans male brains perceive dilated eyes as a signal for sexual readiness of females. Seeing the exaggerated form here should make us curious about our “inner reptile” since birds and mammals have evolved from independent reptilian […]

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  • Learning to Live on the Moon – PBS

    Learning to Live on the Moon – PBS

    Energy flows, nutrients cycle. This is how we can define working principles of an ecosystem in a nutshell. Our planet has a very complex land-air-water interaction and we are only beginning to understand the behavior of these systems by simplifying them in enclosed systems such as Landscape Evolution Laboratory (LEO). Due to its proximity, the Moon appears to be the most convenient celestial body to colonize. The Moon is so close that it can even occasionally get shielded by the […]

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  • Understanding Our Moon – NASA/SVS

    Understanding Our Moon – NASA/SVS

    The Moon has been a very influential body on life on Earth. Some argue that having a satellite like the Moon is a prerequisite for life in other planets. The Moon has a stabilizing effect on rotation axis of our planet. Without it, the axis would wobble more erratically making ice ages and inter-glacial warming periods more extreme and sudden. Understanding our Moon will help understand evolutionary history of our planet. After all, both bodies have started forming from the […]

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  • City Farms – KQED/QUEST (2013)

    City Farms – KQED/QUEST (2013)

    On the forefront of Good Food Revolution Will Allen of Milwaukee demonstrates a working Urban Farm. He defines his effort as establishing oasis in a “food desert”. The program prepared by QUEST gives a brief biographical sketch and highlights from the project. Following a significant career in basketball, Allen decided to go back to farming. In 2008 he was granted a prestigious MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant for his influential contributions to the urban agricultural practices. “The Great Migration transformed the […]

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  • Decoding the Chemical Language of Nature – Jing-Ke Weng | TEDxBeaconStreet (2015)

    Decoding the Chemical Language of Nature – Jing-Ke Weng | TEDxBeaconStreet (2015)

    Chemical diversity in nature is bewildering. Repertoire of chemicals in plants is especially rich. A great majority (almost all) of the single-compound drugs have been discovered in plants: salicylic acid (Aspirin), artemisinin (anti-malarial), thebaine (analgesic derived from opium) are just a quick few to spell out. All these chemicals are products of specialized secondary metabolic pathways in plants. Chemical compounds forming specialized metabolites protect plants against various abiotic stresses and mediate an array of interspecies interactions, ranging from seduction of […]

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