Home » Evolution

  • A Day in the Life of an Elite Male Greater Sage-Grouse on the Lek – Marc Dantzker – Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2015)

    A Day in the Life of an Elite Male Greater Sage-Grouse on the Lek – Marc Dantzker – Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2015)

    Here’s another fascinating piece of natural history from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. In this series of short observations staff producer and biologist Marc Dantzker breaks down the mating behavior and social interaction of the Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) in five sections. Lekking or lek mating is a breeding behavior where males come together in a place and perform competitive displays to impress visiting females. While males do their “hello check me out” dances, females asses their qualities and choose […]

    Continue reading »

  • Geological History of the Continents/Paleomap Project –  Christopher Scotese (2015)

    Geological History of the Continents/Paleomap Project – Christopher Scotese (2015)

    Geology and biological evolution of life are inseparable. More than half of the minerals now incorporated into the upper crust of our planet were produced by living organisms. The movement of continental plates has played a fundamental role in the recycling of mineral resources by the biosphere. Scientists now predict that tectonic activity may have been one of the prerequisites for the origin of life. The acceptance of continental drift by the scientific community and how it affected Earth’s history […]

    Continue reading »

  • Great White Shark Pup off the Northern Aegean Coast of Turkey

    Great White Shark Pup off the Northern Aegean Coast of Turkey

    Be prepared to hear a fascinating piece of natural history about the Mediterranean great white sharks (Carcharodon carcharias). Story is fascinating for multiple reasons. First, great whites are one of the most charismatic, vulnerable, cryptic and misunderstood predator fish species. Second, the story takes place in a quite unexpected location. Altınoluk is a town on the northern Aegean coast of Turkey. It is located to the south of Troy on a legendary sea route known as the Argonaut route where […]

    Continue reading »

  •  
  • Western Ghats Program – CEPF/ATREE (2016)

    Western Ghats Program – CEPF/ATREE (2016)

    India’s Western Ghats is an ecologically unique biodiversity hotspot recognized by the United Nations as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Critical Ecosystems Partnership Fund (CEPF) in association with Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE) have been supporting projects by conservationists and researchers in the area. The exceptionally high level of biological diversity and endemism in this mountain chain represents some of the best representatives of non-equatorial tropical evergreen forests in the world. Natural history and evolution […]

    Continue reading »

  • Seed Dispersal by Dung Mimicry – Nature (2015)

    Seed Dispersal by Dung Mimicry – Nature (2015)

    Plant-animal interactions have not always evolved to become mutualistic win-win strategies like birds dispersing seeds of palms while feeding on the fruits. Plants can be rather deceptive. They can hijact sensory vulnerabilities of animals. Secondary metabolites such as nicotine, caffeine, codeine can be rather addictive. Plant chemicals can also be used as deterrent. A sub-Saharan desert plant taily weed (Ochradenus baccatus) detonates a mustard bomb in the mouths of seed predators who dare to chew and destroy its seeds. Plant […]

    Continue reading »

  • Domestication as a Signature of Human Nature / One Man and His Dog – BBC (1985)

    Domestication as a Signature of Human Nature / One Man and His Dog – BBC (1985)

    Johnny Wilson and his dogs earned their fame when they won BBC2’s One Man and His Dog competition. Here in this short clip we see a remarkable section from the program that highlights a signature of one of the hallmark characters in Human nature: Domestication. Domestication expanded Human abilities beyond the natural boundaries. Note that domestication in animals almost always starts with selection of “behavior”. Using this unintentional primary cue as a starting point Humans in different parts of the […]

    Continue reading »

  •  
  • Bacteria Evolution on a MEGA Petri Plate – Michael Baym – Harvard Medical School (2016)

    Bacteria Evolution on a MEGA Petri Plate – Michael Baym – Harvard Medical School (2016)

    The Microbial Evolution and Growth Arena plate (MEGA-plate) experiment designed by Harvard Medical School researcher Michael Baym and his coworkers is an absolutely fascinating demonstration of evolution in action. They were able to visualize with a stunning didacticity (is that a word?) how bacteria evolves resistance to the antibiotic trimethoprim surprisingly fast for the Human time scale. The experiment is reminiscent of a highly simplified 2-D version of a long-term evolution experiment by Richard Lenski of the Michigan State University. […]

    Continue reading »

  • Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Plants are Cool Too! (All Episodes)

    Welcome to the “Plants are Cool Too!” series supported by the Botanical Society of America (BSA) and hosted by Dr. Chris Martine. Here we will be posting all episodes of the series in reverse chronological order (last-in-first-out) but each program is designed to be viewed independently. Please stay tuned. Plants unfortunately get less attention from wildlife filmmakers. This is most probably due to a narration problem. When we see animals in a film we more or less can interpret what […]

    Continue reading »

  • Carolina Anole Lizard Changing Color

    Carolina Anole Lizard Changing Color

    You can watch the gradual color change in this Carolina anole (Anolis carolinensis) from green to brown over 4 mins.   Summer of 2011 was drier than usual in Athens, GA. Annual rainfall (37.11 inches) was lower than the 1981-2010 average (46.66 inches). The month of July was particularly hot. Average monthly temperature was 81.9 F (above 1895-2012 average of 80.0 F). Reptiles in such conditions have a rather fast metabolism and burn calories fast. This female lizard was a […]

    Continue reading »

  •  
  • Mating Displays of Peacock Spiders – Jürgen Otto (2011)

    Mating Displays of Peacock Spiders – Jürgen Otto (2011)

    Here you see a series of short observations recorded by Jürgen Otto documenting the mating dances of Australian peacock spiders (for full scientific names of the spiders please see a list at the bottom of this post). Peacock spiders are another astonishing example of variation of the same theme in nature: “males display, females choose”. Mating displays have always been an attractive topic. A biological explanation for such behavior is given in a short animated documentary by the Cornell University […]

    Continue reading »

  • Ants Defending Plants

    Ants Defending Plants

    Plant eaters are called herbivores and they pose a threat for plants. Understandably, nobody would like to get eaten. In order to prevent tissue loss and damage from herbivores plants have evolved defensive adaptations such as hard to digest tissues and poisonous chemicals. Some plants however, have evolved a different solution. Plants can use nectar as drivers of beneficial behaviors such as pollination and protection from herbivores. Nectar is an attractive fluid for many animals. It is a rich calorie […]

    Continue reading »

  • A Mating Aggregation of Bearded Fireworms – Lütfü Tanrıöver (2010)

    A Mating Aggregation of Bearded Fireworms – Lütfü Tanrıöver (2010)

    A mating aggregation of a Mediterranean polychete worm (Hermodice carunculata). External fertilization is one of the early ancestral ways to produce offspring. Here an underwater explorer based in Fethiye has recorded a spawning aggregation of the Mediterranean polychete worm (Hermodice carunculata). External fertilization is rather costly. Internal fertilization has evolved numerous times as a result of this. One of the most striking example is the Coelecanth with many specimen containing embryos. Egg production requires more resources compared to sperm. Females […]

    Continue reading »

  •  
  • Preserving Lonesome George – AMNH (2015)

    Preserving Lonesome George – AMNH (2015)

    Lonesome George was the last male individual of the Pinta Island tortoise. He sadly passed away in his corral at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Galápagos Islands on the morning of June 24 2012. He died from natural causes. Lonesome George became a worldwide icon of conservation. Efforts to breed him at the Galápagos National Park and Charles Darwin Research Station concluded with no success. Thus he became “a living dead” member of his species doomed for extinction. Lonesome […]

    Continue reading »

  • PETM – Unearthing Ancient Climate Change – Science Bulletins – AMNH

    PETM – Unearthing Ancient Climate Change – Science Bulletins – AMNH

    Scientists have a few hypotheses but no theory has yet emerged about a significant bio-geological event that happened fifty-five million years ago. What we know for sure was that there was a sudden, enormous influx of carbon that has dissolved in the ocean and atmosphere. As atmospheric CO2 content increased, the average global surface temperature rose 5°C to 9°C (9°F to 16°F). This global warming event is called the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) and lasted for 170,000 years. Events triggered […]

    Continue reading »

  • 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 […]

    Continue reading »

  •  
 
 
 
shared on wplocker.com