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  • The Passionate Wait

    The Passionate Wait

    In the second part of the passion flower series events before the opening of the flowers are outlined. Drought conditions in summer of 2011 made extrafloral nectaries of the plant a very busy place. The water budget of the plants is strongest early in the morning. Flowers do not open until the middle of the day. At first, passion flower is generous to the ants in the morning providing ample volume of nectar. On the other hand, pollinators remain hungry. […]

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  • Ants – Nature’s Secret Power (2006)

    Ants – Nature’s Secret Power (2006)

    Ants, bees and wasps make up only 3 percent of animal diversity yet they may constitute up to 50 percent of the total animal biomass in land habitats. Bert Hölldobler is a leading entomologist (scientist who studies insects). He collaborated with ant biologist E.O. Wilson and developed the field of Sociobiology. The documentary does an excellent job introducing us observations coming from both natural and laboratory setting. First observation comes from the European red wood ants (Formica polyctena). These ants […]

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  • Daytime Hunting of Barred Owl (Strix varia)

    Daytime Hunting of Barred Owl (Strix varia)

    On April 16th 2011, a barred owl glided over my head while I was filming something else along the Orange Trail of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, GA. Hunting during daytime indicates that this individual has extra mouths to feed. You can hear the altruistic alarm calls of other nervous birds and rodents. The high pitched alarm call (of a chipmunk?) is particularly audible immediately before each move of the owl. I deliberately kept the scenes long […]

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  • Acid Attack

    Acid Attack

    Wildflowers can build a community of allies for defence. Ants defend extrafloral nectaries (nectar produced in organs other than flowers) of a passion flower vine against herbivores. This is an example of plant-animal interaction evolved to solve at least three biological problems. [1] Extrafloral nectaries seen in this video resemble butterfly eggs.  Butterflies avoid laying their eggs on host plants if they see other eggs. This is particularly true for two species of butterflies Gulf fritillary (Agraulis vanillae) and Variegated […]

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