Posts

August 27, 2014

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5:32 PM | Secrets of the Flamboyant Cuttlefish’s Display
The flamboyant cuttlefish lives up to its name with its complex passing cloud display, in which bands of color travel across its body. New research characterizes details of this display and suggests how the cuttlefish might accomplish it. Read about it in my latest Zoologic post, Secrets of the Flamboyant Cuttlefish’s Display .

August 26, 2014

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10:32 AM | Statistics workshop
A quick note here to say that I shall be helping my PhD supervisor, Luc Bussière, teach a week-long workshop entitled ‘Advancing in R’ at the SCENE field station (on the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond) in December. The course is aimed at biologists who have a basic to moderate knowledge of using R […]
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12:46 AM | Dog Food Logic: The Science of Canine Nutrition
A few days ago I told Jim that we needed to cut down on Tootsie’s food because she was getting pudgy. Easy and obvious, right? Dog getting fat, feed less food. Less obvious, but equally important, is that if we cut back too much on her food she might not get the level of nutrients, […]

August 25, 2014

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1:32 PM | Birdbooker Report 334-5
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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1:28 PM | Can the FPIES Moms Save the Miso Children?
Look who's helping children with misophoniaread more

August 23, 2014

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9:39 AM | True facts about anglerfish
SUMMARY: To the female anglerfish, the human male is a very loud, annoying and unnecessarily complicated pair of gonads. Antennarius commerson (Latreille), 111 mm SL, UW 20983. Photograph: D. B. Grobecker [doi:10.1186/1471-2148-10-58] Caturday has arrived once again, so it is time to watch some animals doing stuff! Today's caturday animal is the anglerfish, an ancient taxonomic order of bony fishes that arose sometime between 100 and 130 million years ago. (In contrast, humans are mere […]

August 22, 2014

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1:00 PM | Fluffy Friday – Frankenstein MD
Did you know that the first science fiction story was written by a woman? I wrote my advanced higher English thesis on ‘monsters’ and The Modern Prometheus was one of the texts I chose. So imagine my excitement when the team … Continue reading →

August 20, 2014

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11:01 PM | Do You Believe in Dog? A New Ball Game
Hello Do You Believe in Dog(ers)!(source)After two years of mostly pen-pal style blogging, we're excited to share our new direction!When we first decided to create Do You Believe in Dog?, we committed to blogging back and forth about canine science for two years. We were able to celebrate achieving that goal at the recent 4th Canine Science Forum in Lincoln, UK and also reflect on the future of Do You Believe in Dog?The DYBID blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds have become vibrant places to […]

Dijk E.M.V. (2011). Portraying real science in science communication, Science Education, 95 (6) 1086-1100. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sce.20458

Fischhoff B. & Scheufele D. (2013). The science of science communication, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110 (Supplement 3) 14033-14039. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1213273110

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6:35 PM | FoodInc – The Documentary Problem
I have mentioned a few times that I am a big fan of film, but that doesn’t always extend to documentaries. Why is this? Well I have an instinctive distrust of documentaries – I would not consider them a good … Continue reading →

August 19, 2014

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10:07 AM | The amazing world of flyingfish by Steve Howell – review
SUMMARY: Written by a professional pelagic birding tour guide and photographer, this book presents a popular account of what is known about the enigmatic flyingfishes, and it’s illustrated with an abundance of breathtaking full-colour photographs. After browsing through shelves and shelves of field guides in a typical nature bookshop, you might suspect there’s a field guide for absolutely every group of anything you can find on the planet -- birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, […]

August 18, 2014

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8:48 PM | Summer Fun, from Frogs to Sheepdogs
It’s a light post today, in celebration of the waning days of summer and a bucket of writing to do for speeches (both on “People, Dogs & Trauma,”one a Keynote at ADI Trainer’s Conference in Denver, the other a Keynote at APDT in Hartford, CT), revising a chapter with Aubrey Fine in the Handbook on […]

August 16, 2014

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4:46 PM | The Calgary Model
In North America we do not have a problem with pet overpopulation, stray animals, nuisance or vicious animals – we have a problem with responsible pet ownership. Virtually every animal that ends up in a shelter or on the street…

August 15, 2014

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2:57 PM | The Brain’s Bouncer: The Blood-Brain Barrier
The brain is the only organ known to have its own security system, a network of blood vessels that allows the entry of essential nutrients while blocking other substances. Unfortunately, this barrier is so effective that it often prevents life-saving drugs from being able to repair the injured or diseased brain. New studies are guiding researchers toward creative ways to open this barrier and “trick” it into allowing medicines to enter. Read my latest Research & Discoveries […]

August 13, 2014

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1:22 PM | New Experimental Podcast: How Pandas Became Vegetarians
As members of the bear family, giant pandas have the digestive systems of carnivores. And yet they dine almost exclusively on bamboo plants – they’re carnivores who’ve chosen to be vegetarians. A new study shows how pandas survive on a diet for which they don’t seem to be particularly well adapted. Listen to my podcast here: Pandas: How Carnivorous Bears Became Vegetarians .

August 11, 2014

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10:26 PM | Sunflowers Make Me Smile
Today’s blog isn’t quite what was planned, because Willie scared us by developing a mass on his foreleg that looked exactly like the sarcoma tumor his uncle Luke had at a similar age. Willie’s mass developed quickly over the weekend, looked like a copy of Luke’s tumor and is on the same part of his […]
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5:31 PM | Weekly Weinersmith Episode 53: Melanie Martin on breastfeeding
In (belated) honor of World Breastfeeding Week, we interviewed Melanie Martin (a PhD student at the University of California Santa Barbara) about […]
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5:08 PM | Birdbooker Report 333
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]

August 10, 2014

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9:00 AM | Canine Science Forum 2014 - we come full circle!
Aw - it's Us @ CSF2014! Thanks Tamás Faragó :)Dear Julie,while you've been off enjoying the fjords of Norway and I've been recovering from six legs of long haul flying with a three year old as hand luggage, I thought I'd put up a quick post to recap the wonderful week in Lincoln, UK that was the (Feline and) Canine Science Forum 2014.Such a fun, stimulating, inspiring week comprising the Feline Science day (Monday), public lecture by James Serpell (rhymes with […]

Hecht J. (2014). Tribute to Tinbergen: Public Engagement in Ethology, Ethology, 120 (3) 207-214. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/eth.12199

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August 08, 2014

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8:38 PM | Beepcast, July 2014
This month over 1000 scientists flocked to New York’s Hunter College to attend the meeting of the International Society for Behavioural Ecology or ISBE. In the coming months I will be featuring interviews from researchers who attended the meeting, and this month, my first interviewee is Tom White from Macquarie university in Australia, who told me about spider he studies that is very good at attracting bees and flies. I also find out about a secret communication channel in horses, and in […]
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11:26 AM | One out of every six dolphins in The Bahamas has been bitten by a shark
According to a recent study, one out of every six dolphins that live off of the island of Bimini in The Bahamas is sporting some kind of scar from a failed shark predation attempt. Scientists were able to recognize the scars on these Atlantic spotted dolphins as shark bites due to their telltale crescent shape. [&hellip

August 07, 2014

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3:52 AM | Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: The Big One
I’ve been setting up my blacklight in my yard every night for three and a half weeks now and check on it periodically throughout the evening.  It’s been an interesting experience and I’ve learned a lot of new things about insect behaviors that I didn’t know before by watching the things that come to my […]
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12:02 AM | My interview on The Pseudoscientists Podcast
Jack Scanlan interviewed me for the latest episode of The Pseudoscientists Podcast! I was really excited to do this podcast. […]

August 06, 2014

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2:05 PM | Q&A with Jennifer Verdolin, Author of Wild Connection
Jennifer L. Verdolin, PhD, studies animal behavior, particularly the courtship and mating systems of animals. In her book Wild Connection: What Animal Courtship and Mating Tell Us About Human Relationships, Verdolin takes inspiration from the rest of the animal kingdom and applies it to human romantic relationships. I recently spoke with Jennifer about what she learned from looking at human relationships through the lens of animal behavior. Read the interview here: Q&A with Jennifer […]

August 05, 2014

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9:49 PM | This hero octopus mom sits on her eggs for four and a half YEARS!
Even the clingiest helicopter parents ain’t got nothin’ on Graneledone boreopacifica, a deep-sea octopus that spends four and a half years sitting atop her eggs. Without a break. Or a meal. Until she literally drops dead. Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute were able to observe a [&hellip
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9:04 AM | World Animal Protection in Asia: Key Drivers
Berocca and cake? I must be at a conference! I’m honoured this week to have been invited to the annual key drivers in Animal Welfare for Asia conference, organised by World Animal Protection. (Formerly known as wspa). We’re half way … Continue reading →

August 04, 2014

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6:56 PM | Consciousness in Dogs
Ray Coppinger loves to start controversies, and he did a great job of it at the SPARCS Conference in June. He began his talk by stating that dogs are have no consciousness, and are merely “acting out motor patterns”. It’s always hard to know what Ray believes and what he is saying to generate a […]
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5:03 PM | Birdbooker Report 332
SUMMARY: Books, books, beautiful books! This is a list of biology, ecology, environment, natural history and animal books that are (or will soon be) available to occupy your bookshelves and your thoughts. “Words in leather and wood”. Bookshelves in the “Long Room” at the old Trinity College Library in Dublin. Image: Nic McPhee from Morris, MN, USA. 2007. (Creative Commons.) Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them!... Read […]
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2:00 PM | Meet the Pallas’ Cat
They’re the stars of YouTube videos and internet memes . The Pallas’ cat (Otocolobus manul) is a small wildcat known for its unusual, and adorable, look: a flattened and rounded face, stocky build, and super fluffiness make it appear stout and plush. But they’re more than just pretty faces. Find out more at my latest Zoologic Post: The Creature Feature: 10 Fun Facts About the Pallas’ Cat .

August 02, 2014

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10:57 PM | This hero octopus mom sits on her eggs for four and a half YEARS
Even the clingiest helicopter parents ain’t got nothin’ on Graneledone boreopacifica, a deep-sea octopus that spends four and a half years sitting atop her eggs. Without a break. Or a meal. Until she literally drops dead. Using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute were able to observe a [&hellip

August 01, 2014

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3:34 PM | The owl who liked sitting on Caesar by Martin Windrow – review
SUMMARY: a gentle and moving memoir by a man who shared his seventh-floor London flat with an unlikely companion; a tawny owl. Unless you are Harry Potter, you probably don't live with an owl in your house. But writer Martin Windrow lived with his "one true owl" long before Harry met Hedwig, as we discover in the charming book, The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar [Bantam Press, 2014; Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US]. Written by a British historian and... Read more
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