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  • Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Parasitoid Wasp (Labena grallator) Ovipositing

    Recorded at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, USA on July 18th 2017. Here you can see a parasitoid Ichneumon wasp (Labena grallator) searching for a prey living inside a dead branch. She uses her antennae to locate the prey and sets out to drill with her ovipositor straight into the wood. She does a few exploratory oviposition exercise before committing to a full injection. At multiple instances the wasp is chased away by ants. Indeed, in the last […]

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  • NASA TV live

    NASA TV live

    Ever since the successful landing of Mars rover Curiosity in August 6th of 2012, NASA TV broadcasts have experienced a big surge in viewers. Since then many other successful missions and interesting Earth-based as well as cosmic phenomena have been transmitted to curious masses of viewers all over the world. NASA TV has a rich body of programming including about analysis of significant global events such as the Chelyabinsk airburst event. There are regular broadcasts from the International Space Station. […]

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  • Hover Fly (Spilomyia longicornis) on Eupatorium altissimum (Asteraceae)

    Hover Fly (Spilomyia longicornis) on Eupatorium altissimum (Asteraceae)

    Hover Fly (Spilomyia longicornis) visiting Eupatorium altissimum (Asteraceae) filmed in Georgia State Botanical Gardens, Athens, GA, USA on September 16th, 2012. Submitted as a short observation. When we talk about pollination bees immediately occupy our imagination almost as a cerebral Pavlovian reflex. Flies are big component of the insect pollinators yet they rarely get peoples attention. The insect family Syrphidae (aka syrphid flies) has more than more than 6000 species categorized in 200 genera worldwide. They stand out with their […]

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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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  • 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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  • Open-air Processional Column Termites in Bukit Timah Nature Preserve, Singapore (2016)

    Open-air Processional Column Termites in Bukit Timah Nature Preserve, Singapore (2016)

    Social insects are a major force in land habitats. A mature leaf-cutter ant colony can consume leaf material equal to a weight of a cow every day. Termites are another insect group (related to cockroaches) evolved independently to achieve sociality. Their effects on ecosystems in terms of material and nutrient cycling can rival those of ants. Higher termites (family Termitidae) feed on a wide variety of plant-based material, including decaying wood, leaf litter, humus, fungi, lichens, dung, and grasses. Non-wood-feeding […]

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  • The Diatomist – Matthew Killip (2014)

    The Diatomist – Matthew Killip (2014)

    Klaus Kemp, is a self-taught master of the Victorian art of diatom arrangement. After his first exposure to the intricate patterns of algae by the German microscopist J.D. Möller (1844 – 1907) he was completely hooked. Diatoms are single celled algae. They are the most common form of phytoplanktons and form the base of the aquatic food chains. They represent the earliest plant lineage long before land plants evolved at about 700 million years ago. Their cell walls are made […]

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  • Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation | HHMI BioInteractive – Danny Schmidt (2017)

    Seed Dispersal and Habitat Fragmentation | HHMI BioInteractive – Danny Schmidt (2017)

    Forests are under intense pressure. In the tropical forests, between 50-90 % of the canopy trees depend on animals for seed dispersal. Even in temperate forests animals such as deer, moose, boar and even bears disperse seeds. Today due to hunting for bush meat many tropical forests are becoming depleted of their seed dispersers. Here in this HHMI documentary, the researchers Andres Link and Carolina Urbina Malo of Los Andes University in Colombia in Colombia track brown spider monkeys to […]

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  • Keeling’s Curve: The Story of CO2 – Science Bulletins – AMNH

    Keeling’s Curve: The Story of CO2 – Science Bulletins – AMNH

    Keeling’s Curve: The Story of CO2 was produced by Laura Allen for the Science Bulletins of the American Museum of Natural History. Science Bulletins is a production of the National Center for Science Literacy, Education, and Technology (NCSLET), part of the Department of Education at the American Museum of Natural History. Ice cores drilled from the glaciers, Greenland and the Antarctic have shown that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere is tightly linked to the average temperature of the Earth. […]

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  • The Cuckoo – Artur Homan (2013)

    The Cuckoo – Artur Homan (2013)

    In the James Bond movie Spectre there’s a reference to the cuckoo bird in two scenes. The evil villain Spectre leers: “I see you! Cuckoo!” when he detects Bond in the classic evil assembly room scene. In the other scene towards the end of the movie Spectre reveals why he considers Bond as a cuckoo. In order to understand the reference we must know the biology of the Common cuckoo bird (Cuculus canorus). The European common cuckoo is a well […]

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  • Cameras Reveal the Secret Lives of a Mountain Lion Family – Sharon Negri (2013)

    Cameras Reveal the Secret Lives of a Mountain Lion Family – Sharon Negri (2013)

    Mountain lions were once thought to be solitary animals. They are feared and hunted by humans. New footage captured by motion-triggered cameras in secluded areas deep in the Wyoming Wind River range shows a mountain lion family and the animals’ previously unknown social bonds. In this short documentary produced by WildFutures, we also learn about how hard it can be to be a mountain lion. They face an increasing loss of habitat, harsh winters, trophy hunters and even predators. Like […]

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  • Some Animals Are More Equal than Others: Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades  – HHMI (2016)

    Some Animals Are More Equal than Others: Keystone Species and Trophic Cascades – HHMI (2016)

    On a field trip with students to the Pacific Coast, ecologist Robert Paine discovered a thriving community of aquatic organisms at Mukkaw Bay, at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. The tide pools were full of green anemones, purple sea urchins, pink seaweed, bright red Pacific blood starfish, as well as sponges, limpets, and chitons. At the low tide rocky surfaces exposed bands of small acorn barnacles, and large, stalked goose barnacles, beds of black California mussels, and some very […]

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  • The Ecology of Fear – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    The Ecology of Fear – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    The return of wolves had a profound impact on vast wilderness areas in North America. Biologist Aaron Wirsing explores why wolves and other top predators are necessary for maintenance of diversity in ecosystems. Using a “deer-cam” Wirsing is quantifying some of the behavioral relationships between predator and prey. Wildlife cameras provide unprecedented opportunities to view social lives of many wild animals including mountain lions. The gray wolf is one of the world’s most adaptable and widely distributed mammals, ranging over […]

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  • A Wolf’s Place – Annie White (2013)

    A Wolf’s Place – Annie White (2013)

    Ecological theory predicts that by keeping herbivore populations under check predators can indirectly enhance growth of vegetation and can even alter local climate. The influential ecologist Robert Paine has demonstrated this phenomenon of keystone species on predatory starfishes and sea otters maintaining species diversity in coastal rocky communities in Washington. Directed and produced by Annie White, “A Wolf’s Place” tells the story of wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone national park in 1995. Wolves became locally extinct in much of the United […]

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  • Otters vs. Climate Change – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Otters vs. Climate Change – KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Presence and absence of keystone species in a biological community has significant effects. To cite a few examples: Tropical fig trees form abundant food resources for many animals in times of scarcity. Bluechub fish in Eastern North American rivers construct rock nests which form a critical spawning area for many other fish in the same habitat. Beaver activity slows down hydrology and enhances water retention capacity of the ecosystems. Increased water table invigorates vegetation. At the same time reduced sun […]

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