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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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  • Kars Ardahan Documentary – Alkım Ün (2007)

    Kars Ardahan Documentary – Alkım Ün (2007)

    Director of the KarsArdahan documentary is an emerging Turkish documentarist Alkım Ün. In 2009 he received an award in Boston Turkish Film Festival with this production. Alkım Ün has a degree in biology education and has a particular talent in “reading the landscape” with the eyes of a biologist. Just before the project he had made lengthy observations on wildlife of the region. Kars – Ardahan Plateau is a biologically and geologically distinct region of Turkey. It sits between two […]

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  • Conserving Colombia’s Cotton-Top Tamarin – Federico Pardo (2011)

    Conserving Colombia’s Cotton-Top Tamarin – Federico Pardo (2011)

    About the size of a squirrel, the cotton-top tamarin (Saguinus oedipus) is a New World primate. It has a characteristic shock of white hair on it’s head. Males and females do not vary in size (not sexually dimorphic). The cotton-top tamarin was declared endangered in 1973 following the exportation of 20,000-40,000 tamarins to the United States for use in biomedical research. Cotton-top tamarins were found to spontaneously develop colorectal cancer and for this reason served as an ideal model for […]

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  • A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    A Deeper Creek – The Watchable Waters of Appalachia

    Ecofocus Film Festival of Athens GA featured a number of short documentaries including Hidden Rivers of Appalachia filmed on location in Conesauga River by Freshwaters Illustrated. Like birdwatching, riverwatching could be a great immersive activity and have the potential to become a citizen science project. A Deeper Creek shows us how this could be done. Similar to organizing a BioBlitz, snorkeling in a river can generate a lot of informative observations. Rivers have a rich body of natural history and […]

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  • The World’s Fastest Runner – Greg Wilson – National Geographic (2012)

    The World’s Fastest Runner – Greg Wilson – National Geographic (2012)

    A well-designed filming set up to capture the motions of running Cheetahs. Since late MIT professor Doc Edgarton’s time highspeed cameras have evolved wonderfully enabling technical capabilities for producing great slow motion films. In this production the filming crew used a Phantom Flex highspeed recording camera. The following talk by the director Greg Wilson gives us the behind-the-scenes view of the project. The entire set up was constructed on the running alley specially designed for exercising the Cheetahs of Cincinnati […]

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  • Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur – BBC (2016)

    Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur – BBC (2016)

    On February 19th 2016, a replica of the massive Titanosaurus dinosaur discovered in Argentinian Patagonia was unveiled at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. It is continuing to send strong waves of excitement to all natural history enthusiasts worldwide. Based on accurate dating of the volcanic ash surrounding the fossil we now know that the animal lived 100.6 million years ago during the Cretaceous. It belongs to the Sauropod group and yet is the largest ever found. […]

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  • Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus) Ovipositing

    Giant Ichneumon Wasp (Megarhyssa macrurus) Ovipositing

    Giant Ichneumon wasp (Megaryssa macrurus, Linneaus 1771) ovipositing. 10th of August 2013, Georgia State Botanical Garden, Athens, GA. 3:47 pm. This observation has been registered in iNaturalist.org with ID# 418639. Oviposition marks the beginning of the life cycle of all insects including parasitoid wasps. Females of Megarryhssa macrurus (Hymenoptera: Ichneumonidae) are specialized to lay their eggs in the burrows of wood eating Pigeon Tremex Horntail (Tremex columba) larvae between June and September. Only one egg is deposited per host larva […]

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  • Bald Eagle Cam – Live from Minnesota – Breeding Season 2016

    Bald Eagle Cam – Live from Minnesota – Breeding Season 2016

    The 2016 breeding season for a pair of iconic Bald Eagles in Minnesota has started. After pair bonding and nest repair (nestoration) eagles started incubating eggs again in! A pair of iconic Bald Eagles have been raising their chicks in Central Minnesota on a nest constructed at 75 feet altitude on a cottonwood tree. You can learn more about this nest from the FAQs page of the website hosting this nestcam. Last year on March 9th Mom got into labor […]

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  • Visitors of Jerusalem Thorn (Paliurus spina-christi)

    Visitors of Jerusalem Thorn (Paliurus spina-christi)

    The Jerusalem Thorn (Paliurus spina-christi) is a native evergreen bush of the Mediterranean basin belonging to the Buckthorn family (Rhamnaceae). As you might have already guessed from its scientific name, this is the plant depicted as a torture device (the crown of thorns) on prophet Jesus Christ’s head. The genus Paliurus is quite recognizable by its orbicular-winged fruit. The fossil record for the genus is widespread in the Northern Hemisphere and goes back to the middle Eocene epoch (~34 million […]

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  • Six Ways to Prepare a Coelacanth – Shelf Life – AMNH (2015)

    Six Ways to Prepare a Coelacanth – Shelf Life – AMNH (2015)

    The Coelecanth was thought to be extinct. Its presence as a living species was discovered in 1938 by Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer. It is an immensely important species for evolutionary biology, especially in understanding tetrapod evolution. The story of the discovery of Coelecanth has been covered by many high profile magazines. Since its discovery from fossil remains the Coelecanth has been considered as the closest example for what could be as our last fish ancestor. This means that, it may have been […]

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  • The Carnivorous Venus Flytrap Plants Can Count – Jennifer Böhm (2016)

    The Carnivorous Venus Flytrap Plants Can Count – Jennifer Böhm (2016)

    Researchers at the University of Würzburg, in Germany have shown for the first time that carnivorous Venus flytrap plants (Dionaea muscipula) have the ability to track time between two stimuli 20 seconds apart precisely. This time keeping ability is a remarkable evolutionary adaptation that minimizes false signals that may lead to unnecessary trap closure. Nature is full of random unexpected events and Venus flytrap survival depends on a reliable trigger mechanism for its trap closure. A sensitive trap closing due […]

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  • BioBlitz!

    BioBlitz!

    NEW! UConn BioBlitz June 3rd – 4th 2016 in Two Rivers Magnet School, Hartford CT. 2016 BioBlitz will possibly be the biggest ever organized thus far. You can have more information here. BioBlitz 2015 was a huge success held at UConn Campus on July 24th – 25th 2015. In May 2013, National Park Service/National Geographic organized a BioBlitz in Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve near New Orleans, Louisiana. The video above is based on experiences of young participants. […]

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