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  • Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn – Nathan Dappen & Neil Losin – HHMI (2015)

    Popped Secret: The Mysterious Origin of Corn – Nathan Dappen & Neil Losin – HHMI (2015)

    Domestication of plants and animals is a key transformation in recent Human evolutionary history leading to sedentary farming societies. Domestication of Maize particularly followed a different trajectory from the agricultural crops of the old world. This HHMI documentary tells how the ancestral wild grass called Teosinte was domesticated to evolve into Maize. In the old world, most domesticated grasses had a surprisingly similar “first step” that paved the way towards agriculture. In old world grasses including rice, wheat, barley and […]

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  • Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Catches Ants by Changing Slipperiness of Peristome – Ulrike Bauer (2015)

    Carnivorous Pitcher Plant Catches Ants by Changing Slipperiness of Peristome – Ulrike Bauer (2015)

    Biologists have shown that a pitcher plant has a remarkable adaptation for varying the slipperiness of the rim of its trap (the peristome). In Borneo, the pitcher plant (Nepenthes rafflesiana) traps sporadically large group of ants from the same species. In experiments where the trapping surfaces were kept continuously wet the plants no longer captured large groups of ants. When scout ants find a pitcher trap full of sweet nectar, they return to the colony and recruit many more ant […]

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  • Paper Wasp Shaves (?) Caterpillar – Ron Goor (2013)

    Paper Wasp Shaves (?) Caterpillar – Ron Goor (2013)

    The behavior of this paper wasp worker was recorded by Ron Goor in C & O Canal in Seneca Maryland, United States. At first glance it looks quite curious since it appears as if the wasp is shearing its prey like a sheep. However when viewed carefully the wasp is simply consuming the caterpillar most probably belonging to Virginian Tiger Moth (Spilosoma virginica) before flying back to its nest. While the worker wasp is literally taking “her cut” from the […]

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  • Evolution Game – North Star Games (2014)

    Evolution Game – North Star Games (2014)

    The concept of evolution is one of the central themes in Nature Documentaries. A review of games designed to teach evolution in Nature Magazine prompted a search for other endeavors. Among the three games reviewed Evolution was evaluated as by far the best. There has been quite a few attempts to introduce evolution in game format. One game called “Life as a Lizard” is adapted as a role play in classroom setting. Another game also explores major tenets of evolutionary […]

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  • The Central Dogma of Biology – Kazufumi Watanabe (2008)

    The Central Dogma of Biology – Kazufumi Watanabe (2008)

    Riken Omics Center from Japan presents a well-crafted animation that summarizes one of the most important subjects of biology since 1958. The central dogma is our first systematic approach in understanding nature of the information flow and manufacture of structures within a living cell. The viewer must be warned that the structures in this animation are artistic representations and in reality they look quite different from space ships. For example RNA Polymerase II is one of the most well-studied enzymes […]

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  • Long-term Behavioral Observations on Big Cats of Africa – Beverly and Dereck Joubert / TED Talk (2010)

    Long-term Behavioral Observations on Big Cats of Africa – Beverly and Dereck Joubert / TED Talk (2010)

    Short observations are relatively easy to capture and can be quite informative. On the other hand, long-term observations can be rather expensive and require dedication but enable recording of rare and unusual events. Beverly and Dereck Joubert are certainly one of the most successful long-term observers of our time. Events they capture on film are seemingly serendipitous. Such once in a life time events can only be recorded by being there on a long-term basis and require an almost unblinking […]

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  • Evolution Timeline (John Kyrk)

    Evolution Timeline (John Kyrk)

    [This video has no sound] Timelines are useful organizing tools to facilitate learning of highly detailed linked processes. The interactive timeline provides a gateway to understand one of the most progressive concepts in recent human history: Evolution. This screen capture video makes a quick introductory summary of cosmological, geological and biological evolution. Significant events since the very beginning of our universe are demonstrated in a chronological order. Evolutionary timeline by John Kyrk is a collaborative effort. Interactive website is constantly […]

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