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  • A Jaguar and Her Cubs from Belize – Bart Harmsen (2016)

    A Jaguar and Her Cubs from Belize – Bart Harmsen (2016)

    In this short observation we see a rare sequence of footage recorded by the researchers working for the conservation program Jaguar Corridor Initiative. These particular observations were captured in Belize but the conservation program covers much of the jaguar range in 14 states including Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Venezuela. Jaguar is an elusive top predator of the neotropical forests. Observations of reproductive females and offspring numbers are very valuable in […]

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  • Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Great Moments in Science with Dr Karl – Karl Kruszelnicki – Royal Institution (2015)

    Dr. Karl Kruszelnicki is an Australian science communicator with an amazing talent for concatenating subjects with a free-associative style. Just watch his whirlwind lecture full of interesting and eccentric facts and learn…

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • The Life Cycle of a Mosquito – Prelinger Archives (1947)

    The Life Cycle of a Mosquito – Prelinger Archives (1947)

    The mosquito-transmitted disease malaria is killing around 600.000 people people every year world wide alone. The year 2010 was a record peak with 1.2 million deaths. Mosquitos transmit so many diseases that they are arguably the most dangerous animals on Earth. They even act as vectors in transmitting parasites including the Human bot fly. The mosquitoes are a family of small, midge-like flies: the Culicidae. Although a few species are harmless or even useful to humanity, most are a nuisance […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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