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  • The Queen of Trees PBS (2006)

    The Queen of Trees PBS (2006)

    Queen of Trees is now viewable on the official YouTube Channel of Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble. Veteran wildlife filmmakers Victoria Stone and Mark Deeble once again put out a marvelous work by compiling observations on a community centered around a sycamore fig tree. The success of the documentary comes from their long-term observations in a particular filming spot in Kenya where they camped on location for more than two years. A thorough understanding of the landscape with it’s inhabitants […]

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  • Six Spotted Tiger Beetle Ovipositing

    Six Spotted Tiger Beetle Ovipositing

    A short observation of six-spotted tiger beetle ovipositing recorded on April 30th 2013 in Sandy Creek Park, Athens, GA. Since this is a long (more than 30 minutes) observation, the middle portion of the footage is sped up 3x for brevity. Due to abundant rainfall in spring (and summer) of 2013, Oconee river flooded its banks fairly often. This tiger beetle (Cicindela sexguttata) with rather faint spots on her abdomen was ovipositing in the softened trail soil. In my opinion […]

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  • Predator Avoidance Strategy of the European Click Beetle

    Predator Avoidance Strategy of the European Click Beetle

    Pascal Schneider from Mainz, central Germany recorded this interesting predator avoidance behavior on the night of May 23rd 2012. He heard a curious clicking sound coming from a corner of terrace next to his kitchen. He quickly realized that a Pholcid spider was attacking a beetle and didn’t hesitate to record the event. The beetle Athous haemorrhoidalis (Elateridae family) is species strictly found in europe. As in most insects, females are always larger than males. Larvae develop in soil and […]

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  • Is Picture Wing Fly a Predatory Jumping Spider Mimic?

    Is Picture Wing Fly a Predatory Jumping Spider Mimic?

    The video of this picture wing fly (Delphinia picta) was recorded on April 24th 2011 in Athens, GA. It has a curious wing pattern which resembles a jumping spider but is it really? Mimicry is a type of species interaction that evolves in response to prey, predators and parasites. Examples of mimicry is abundant in nature and provide compelling cases for natural selection. A classic example is Heliconius butterflies living in tropical America. Some Heliconius species show Batesian mimicry. Wing […]

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  • A Carolina Wren Family Attacked by a Chipmunk

    A Carolina Wren Family Attacked by a Chipmunk

    On April 21 2013, a family (4 juveniles 2 adults) of Carolina Wrens (Thryothorus ludovicianus) were hanging around a downed tree. The chicks were learning to forage while being actively fed by their parents. In the middle of all this a chipmunk approached which made both parents rather nervous. Then the chipmunk made a darting attack. The wren parents defended their chicks quite effectively. One parent dove on the chipmunk with a flying kick. It was so powerful that the […]

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  • Ant Tending Treehopper Larvae

    Ant Tending Treehopper Larvae

    May 23rd 2009 in Georgia State Botanical Garden in Athens, GA, USA. The ant (Formica palidefulva) is tending a number of treehopper (Entylia carinata) nymphs. If watched carefully, the honeydew secreted by the instars are visible at [00:22, 00:28, 00:37] seconds into the video. The mother treehopper is still sitting around the midrib of the thistle where she laid her eggs (dark necrotic patch around her). The story got published in the November 2009 issue of the Atlas Magazine under […]

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  • Live from a Sparrowhawk Nest in METU

    Live from a Sparrowhawk Nest in METU

    This is a live broadcast from a Eurasian sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus) nest in METU Erdemli Institute of Marine Sciences Campus. As birds of prey sparrowhawks an important role for imposing a trophic cascade in ecosystem functioning. Close to 98 percent of their diet consist of other birds. Now you probably may have appreciated the name better. A pair of sparrowhawk are breeding in METU Erdemli campus every year. The nestcam monitoring project aims to understand breeding habits of sparrowhawks better. […]

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  • A Yellow Throated Warbler Collecting Conifer Leaves for Nest Construction

    A Yellow Throated Warbler Collecting Conifer Leaves for Nest Construction

    In this short observation recorded on May 19th 2012 you can watch a a yellow throated warbler (Setophaga dominica) collecting conifer leaves for nest construction. The way it gathers needle leaves in its beak is quite interesting. Nest construction in birds is not all instinctive and has a consirable learning component. Urban birds can sometimes use rather unconventional materials in their nests. For instance urban birds in Mexico City use fibers of cigarette butts which contain poisonous compounds in making […]

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  • A Nest Building Hummingbird

    A Nest Building Hummingbird

    In this short but condensed observation you can watch a female Anna’s hummingbird (Calypte anna) construct her nest over 10 days between 18-28th January 2010 recorded in Victoria, British Colombia, Canada. She uses fluff feathers of other birds, spider webbings and cotton tissue around seeds of poplar trees as nest material. The size of the finished nest is typically about 5cm across x 4cm high. Unlike most other bird species in all hummingbirds nest construction and parental care is always […]

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  • Sponge Bob or Sponge “Poop”

    Sponge Bob or Sponge “Poop”

    It is ironic that biologically diverse habitats are usually rather poor in nutrients. Coral reefs are one of them. Crystal clear waters of the tropical seas is a “clear” indication of nutrient poor environment. Because nutrients in the water column are scarce microscopic plants and animals (planktons) that form the basis of food webs cannot maintain high numbers and the water column remains clear. Dissolved organic carbon is a nutrient that is inedible for most organisms living in a reef. […]

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  • Empire of the Desert Ants – BBC (2011)

    Empire of the Desert Ants – BBC (2011)

    BBC Wildlife Division’s Natural World series tells the natural history of the honeypot ant (Myrmecocystus mimicus) in the Arizona desert. This is the first footage to show honeypot ant queens co-operating in the wild. Filmmakers spent 150 days in the deserts of Arizona, US to capture the behavior of the ants. Filming the foundation of a new colony was a considerable challenge because the insects rarely ventured above ground. The team was fortunate enough to witness a mating swarm that […]

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  • An Illustrated Introduction to Natural Selection & Sexual Selection – Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2013)

    An Illustrated Introduction to Natural Selection & Sexual Selection – Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2013)

    Cornell Bird Lab produced a series of quite informative teaching materials to provide scientific explanation for how new species have evolved (and are evolving). Evolution is not only a struggle for existence, it is also an effort to pass on genes to next generation. Modern biology has described mechanisms of evolution with fine details and this video effectively tells how natural selection works with three cartoonified traits in an island setting at the first few minutes. In many animals females […]

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  • Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air – PBS (2010)

    Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air – PBS (2010)

    Hummingbirds. Today they are strictly found on American continent but there are hummingbird-like fossil specimens from Germany hinting that this group might have been more widespread in its evolutionary past. More than 8000 species of plants have evolved to get their pollination services from hummingbirds. In 2013 a 50 million year old fossil showed the earliest ancestor of hummingbirds. With a heart beating at 600 beats per minute hummingbirds are champions of survival. The PBS documentary explores a rich repertoire […]

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  • Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum) Flower Self-pollination

    Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum) Flower Self-pollination

    Dr. Rebecca Shirk has studied genetic diversity and adaptation in native and invasive populations of Carolina cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum) during her PhD project in Department of Plant Biology at the University of Georgia in Athens. Flowers of this genus has a quite diverse pollination strategy. Flowers come in a staggering diversity of forms. There are huge flowers; tiny flowers; flowers that never open; flowers with patterns that can’t be seen by the human eye; and extremely specialized flowers that are […]

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  • Sinister Cannibals or Nurturing Fathers?

    Sinister Cannibals or Nurturing Fathers?

    In majority of sexually reproducing species females are the choosy ones. Generally, females invest more in offspring during pregnancy and post-natal care. Males try many tricks (fighting with other males, making elaborate dances, providing nuptial gifts, carrying showy and difficult to maintain body ornaments etc.) to prevent being filtered out in female preferences. Parental investment is a determinant in choosiness. In this post we will take a look at a spectrum of male behavior in parental care. Pipefishes and mudskippers […]

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