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  • Leave It to Beavers – PBS (2014)

    Leave It to Beavers – PBS (2014)

    There are two species of beavers in the temperate zones of the world. North American (Castor canadensis) and Eurasian (Castor fiber) beavers were almost exterminated to extinction. These rodents are the largest after the tropical capybara that lives in wetlands of the South American tropics. Now bouncing back from extinction beaver populations are recovering under protection. Beavers are being recognized as keystone species by ecologists and conservation biologists. As habitat constructors and brilliant hydro-engineers, beavers can recharge water tables and […]

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  • Galapagos Finch Evolution – Dan Lewitt – HHMI (2013)

    Galapagos Finch Evolution – Dan Lewitt – HHMI (2013)

    The Galapagos is home to many iconic species. Each are unique on their own and form a case study in evolutionary biology. Darwin’s finches and mocking birds with their striking beak morphology provided the first clues to Darwin in formulating the mechanism of evolution by natural selection. The Galapagos was the origin of the Origin of the Species. Finches in the island of Daphne Major have been studied for more than 40 years by Princeton University scientists Peter and Rosemary […]

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  • Genesis: Final Point – Fernando Gonzalez-I. Sitges (2000)

    Genesis: Final Point – Fernando Gonzalez-I. Sitges (2000)

    Galapagos archipelago occupies a special place in our quest to understand nature. It sits right on the junction of the Pacific ocean current where warm and cold water shifts. The nutrient levels reaching the islands by cold Humboldt current show a drastic decline when warm surface waters engulf the archipelago. The Galapagos lies at the southeast trade winds. When the current shifts the rainfall pattern changes drastically. The

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  • Let Them Eat Flies! KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Let Them Eat Flies! KQED/QUEST (2014)

    Insects are a hugely successful group of organisms. Their evolution transformed life on land immensely especially influencing flowering plant evolution. Insects also play a large role as food sources. Here in this KQED documentary we see how a fly farm in Ohio rears a common insect, the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) to be used as food for fish farms. Some City farms have successfully been growing fish beneath the plants which helps recycling of nutrients reducing fertilizer use. Aquaponics […]

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  • Bald-faced Hornet Worker Collecting Nest Material

    Bald-faced Hornet Worker Collecting Nest Material

    A female bald-faced hornet worker (Dolichovespula maculata) was stripping the surface of a wooden fence post to collect nest building material. While stripping with mandibles the cellulosic material gets rolled up under her thorax. She strips a piece as long as her body and then climbs up again to strip another. Two consequtive strips must have been the optimal load size to carry into the nest. Leaf-cutter ants of the neotropics also use their bodies as yard sticks. The motivation […]

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