Posts

July 27, 2014

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3:02 PM | Swarm Sunday: 7/20/14 – 7/26/14
We’re still moving along fairly slowly this year.  In the past week, I received reports from the following locations: USA: Bulterville, AK Los Angeles, CA Madison, CT (2 reports) Long Beach, NY Port Washington, WI Canada: Saskatoon, SK And here is the map: Red pins are static swarms, yellow pins are migratory. Click the map to enlarge! The few […]
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1:44 PM | Can we use anthropomorphic language in animal behaviour research?
A few months ago during the coffee break at an animal behaviour conference I was talking to a colleague about her research when she told me that to suggest that […]

July 26, 2014

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3:39 AM | Friday 5: Staying Up WAY Too Late This Week
It’s National Moth Week!  Woo!  I’ve been up late every night this week watching moths and have been averaging about 5 hours of sleep nightly, so I’m a wee bit tired this late in the week.  It’s been quite the adventure too!  I started the week with my big, public moth viewing event for the museum where […]

July 25, 2014

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3:12 PM | Weekly Weinersmith Episode 52: Deep sea ecology with Dr. Andrew David Thaler
A new episode of Weekly Weinersmith is up! This week we interviewed Dr. Andrew David Thaler about deep sea ecology […]
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11:34 AM | Fluffy Friday – Internet Roundup
Fluffy Fridays have fallen by the wayside a bit as I keep up with the MOOC. This week has been a really interesting experience and in some ways, a lot of the discussions I was expecting, haven’t happened in the … Continue reading →
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11:09 AM | The Kingdom of Rarities by Eric Dinerstein – review
Why are some species naturally rare whilst others are common? Do rare species make any difference in the larger scheme? These questions have puzzled biologists for centuries. Truth be told, even today, scientists have uncovered just a few pieces within this complex puzzle as we discover in Eric Dinerstein's The Kingdom of Rarities [Island Press, 2014; Amazon UK; Amazon US/kindle US]. In this engaging and informative narrative, the reader accompanies the World Wildlife Fund's chief scientist on […]

July 24, 2014

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3:04 AM | Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Not a Moth
National Moth Week is here, and I’ve spent more time than I’d care to admit watching and thinking about moths over the past five days.  Trust me: you’ll be inundated with my moth mania here soon!  Found this little guy on my front door a few nights ago though, and I had to share: That is […]

July 23, 2014

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6:32 PM | Salvador Dumbo
I’ve spoken before about how YouTube and the explosion of camera phones has given animal behaviour researchers a a way of quantifying behaviour that is rarely seen, or would once have been thought of as anecdotal. Well here’s a short … Continue reading →
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4:14 PM | Vaccine halves dengue cases
[Another version of this article was first published on SciDev.Net. Click here for link.]   A vaccine that can half the number of dengue cases will soon be available. A recent trial conducted in Southeast Asia shows that this dengue vaccine achieves a vaccine efficacy of 56.5%: the vaccine reduces an individual’s chance of getting […]

July 22, 2014

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3:16 PM | Bats Use Polarized Light to Set Their Internal Magnetic Compasses
Although bats are known for using echolocation to orient and navigate, they draw on a suite of senses to get around. A new study reveals another ability: bats use patterns of polarized light in the sky to navigate. Read about the experiment in my latest Zoologic post: Bats Use Polarized Light to Set Their Internal Compasses .
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6:30 AM | Mazes Basics #4: The Barnes Maze
Phew, you can stop holding your breath. The Barnes Maze is here! This maze is used to test similar aspects of learning and memory as the Morris water maze, but... The post Mazes Basics #4: The Barnes Maze appeared first on Maze Engineers.
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12:28 AM | Resource Guarding, Dog to Dog
Not long ago I re-posted a blog about Resource Guarding (RG), but focused treatment options on dogs who direct their threats toward people. Many of you asked about RG between dogs, and I promised I’d address that this summer. Here we go… There’s no doubt that RG between dogs is a bit trickier than when […]

July 21, 2014

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9:33 PM | Living in world without antibiotic drugs
The public lecture and panel discussion on anti-microbial resistance co-organized with the Biochemical Society, Society for General Microbiology, and Society of Biology sought to open debate about living in world without antibiotic drugs. The crux of the matter is that anti- microbial resistance is a continuous force that we must counteract. This is due to […]
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3:34 AM | Swarm Sunday: 7/6/14 – 7/19/14
I didn’t have a chance to post last week, so what you see here represents two weeks of data.  Swarm reports came from the following locations: USA: Scottsdale, AZ Butlerville, AK Chico, CA Flagler, CO Duluth, MN Brick, NJ Ocean City, NJ (2 reports) Williamstown, NJ Houston, TX Pflugerville, TX Rockwall, TX Mathews, VA Canada: Calgary, […]

July 20, 2014

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5:29 PM | Cooperative sperm, killer sperm and the competition for reproductive success
In the closing paragraph of on the origin of species Darwin famously said that nature was a war in which individuals struggle against each other and the environment for survival. […]

Moller, A. (1989). Ejaculate Quality, Testes Size and Sperm Production in Mammals, Functional Ecology, 3 (1) 91-96. DOI: 10.2307/2389679

Moore H, Dvoráková K, Jenkins N & Breed W (2002). Exceptional sperm cooperation in the wood mouse., Nature, 418 (6894) 174-7. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12110888

Pearcy M, Delescaille N, Lybaert P & Aron S (2014). Team swimming in ant spermatozoa., Biology letters, 10 (6) PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24919705

Byrne PG, Simmons LW & Roberts JD (2003). Sperm competition and the evolution of gamete morphology in frogs., Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society, 270 (1528) 2079-86. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14561298

Mackie JB & Walker MH (1974). A study of the conjugate sperm of the dytiscid water beetles Dytiscus marginalis and Colymbetes fuscus., Cell and tissue research, 148 (4) 505-19. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4836644

Bjork A, Dallai R & Pitnick S (2007). Adaptive modulation of sperm production rate in Drosophila bifurca, a species with giant sperm., Biology letters, 3 (5) 517-9. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17594959

Buckland-Nicks, J. (1998). Prosobranch parasperm: Sterile germ cells that promote paternity?, Micron, 29 (4) 267-280. DOI: 10.1016/S0968-4328(97)00064-4

Baker, R. & Bellis, M. (1989). Elaboration of the Kamikaze Sperm Hypothesis: a reply to Harcourt, Animal Behaviour, 37 865-867. DOI: 10.1016/0003-3472(89)90074-2

Moore, H., Martin, M. & Birkhead, T. (1999). No evidence for killer sperm or other selective interactions between human spermatozoa in ejaculates of different males in vitro, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 266 (1436) 2343-2350. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.1999.0929

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July 19, 2014

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4:31 AM | Friday 5: Light Sculptures and Other Fun Things
Well, I haven’t been able to keep up with the ol’ blog here very well this week, but I’m getting a post up today if it kills me!  It’s Friday (which is no longer the last day of my workweek, incidentally), so it’s time for me to share some cool insect related things from the […]

July 18, 2014

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4:09 PM | ICB special issue on parasite manipulation
The special issue of Integrative and Comparative Biology containing papers from the parasite manipulation symposium that Zen Faulkes and I organized is […]
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12:00 PM | Fluffy Friday – Personality and Trait Theory
Oh, hey, Crash Course have done a video about measuring personality   That’s kind of my thing.  Although the video talks more about trait theory and self than concepts behind how we measure it, which is what I’m interested in, … Continue reading →
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7:06 AM | Book Review: Visual Experience: Sensation, Cognition and Constancy
Mankind has always been interested in the way people perceive the world and this has become one of its main concerns reflected in the fact that early explanations for visual perception date back to ancient Greece. Studies of visual perception were pursued merely in the field of philosophy until the 20th century, when psychologists, and […]
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6:51 AM | Cross-cultural variation in men’s preference for sexual dimorphism in women’s faces
Both attractiveness judgements and mate preferences vary considerably cross-culturally. We investigated whether men’s preference for femininity in women’s faces varies between 28 countries with diverse health conditions by analysing responses of 1972 heterosexual participants. Although men in all countries preferred feminized over masculinized female faces, we found substantial differences between countries in the magnitude of […]

July 17, 2014

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2:09 PM | Mental health recovery
No summary available for this post.
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1:15 PM | How Do Barnacles Mate?
It’s hard enough to find a mate when you’re able to get up and move around. But just imagine the difficulties the poor barnacle faces, permanently glued to an underwater rock or hull. See how barnacles seek out and get with mates in my latest Zoologic post: How Do Barnacles Mate?
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12:26 AM | Nevada Celebrates Pollinator Week
The title of this article probably is an overstatement. Perhaps instead it should have been ‘a small subset of people in Reno, and possibly in Vegas (because everything you can think of exists... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 16, 2014

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8:19 PM | A Wolf Called Romeo
Just a quick note: I was lucky enough to get a pre-pub copy of a book titled A Wolf Called Romeo by Nick Jans and can’t recommend it highly enough. I  just heard that it is now officially out, and I suggest that you drop what you are doing and order it right now. It’s […]
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6:33 PM | I Lectured to 27000 Students This Week
Please do forgive the bragging in this post’s title. But I have. I have lectured to 27000 students this week. Our MOOC went live on Monday and people are still signing up, which is all kinds of mindblowing. From the … Continue reading →

July 15, 2014

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11:55 PM | Psychic Animals and Football-Playing Bees
Working in the field of animal behaviour means that around World Cup season it’s hard to avoid being sent links to so-called ‘psychic’ animals that predict the outcome of matches,... -- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

July 14, 2014

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7:12 PM | New Thoughts about Barking
Have you seen the stage play, Sylvia, in which a man brings a stray dog home from the park and adopts it?  The dog is always played by a woman, who often barks at appropriate (and inappropriate) moments . Except, as a person playing a dog, she doesn’t say BARRR RARRR or WOOF. She says […]

July 13, 2014

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2:58 PM | Birdbooker Report 328-9
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 […]

July 12, 2014

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8:31 PM | Hamsters, pizzas and playgrounds
SUMMARY: Dwarf hamsters are small but they have an outsized effect on one's life. Phodopus sungorus. Image: Ko1 (CC by SA 2.5). Once again, it's caturday, which means it's time for us to relax and recover from that most recent post-World Cup game hangover by watching animals doing fun stuff! This week's cute animal videos were inspired by a piece I wrote a little while ago, about a study of wheel-running behaviour in wild mice. Although that study focused on... Read more

July 11, 2014

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10:49 AM | Fluffy Friday – Peer Review Rings and MOOCs
You’ll have to forgive the lack of original content in this week’s Fluffy Friday (and lack of content entirely in last week’s). The MOOC launches on Monday at 11 AM and this week has been spent polishing the course and obsessing … Continue reading →
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