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  • A Biography of Edward O. Wilson – Lord of the Ants (2008)

    A Biography of Edward O. Wilson – Lord of the Ants (2008)

    Edward O. Wilson is one of the leading myrmecologists of our time. However, he is best known as a sociobiologist which in his words is “the extension of population biology and evolutionary theory to social organization”. Sociobiology didn’t gain major recognition as a concept until 1975. That year, the publication of his book, Sociobiology: The New Synthesis created a lot of rattle in public space. It quickly drew arrows from prominent scientists of their field including evolutionary biologists. In a […]

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  • Nesting Chestnut Mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii)

    Nesting Chestnut Mandibled Toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii)

    Filmed and edited by by Jean and Phil Slosberg in 2010 the captured footage reflects a slice of natural history of chestnut-mandibled toucans. Slosbergs were able to record the nest preparation, parental care and nest maintenance phases from their home in Costa Rica. They note that after a successful breeding season the pair tried to nest in the same tree again in 2011 but were not successful because meliponid stingless bees have taken over the cavity. They attempted to clean […]

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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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  • Nesting Nightjar in Camouflage

    Nesting Nightjar in Camouflage

    This is an excellent footage capturing the behavior of a ground nesting nightjar. These birds are night-flying aerial insectivores active during dusk and dawn. It is almost impossible to see them during the day because of their camouflage. Nightjars are also known as goatsuckers which has no biological basis. If an intruder comes dangerously close to the nest, adults perform a well-known “broken wing” display. It is an excellent visual distraction. The bird will easily disappear soon after the intruder is at a […]

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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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