August 15, 2014

3:13 PM | Read Aloud
I should have known, but did not, that being read aloud to was a learned skill. It never occurred to me to think about it from my privileged place in the world of literacy. I was, for a time, though a teacher of writing, a fish who swam in words without thinking of the water.…
3:09 PM | Abused Elephants Forced to Perform in Canada Need Your Help!
Please ask Karnak Shriners to require that Tarzan Zerbini Circus stage its performances without elephants! Continue reading →
2:54 PM | Another Reason to Save Sea Otters: They’re Helping Fight Climate Change
The imperiled marine mammals preserve kelp forests, which absorb carbon from the atmosphere. Continue reading →
2:07 PM | New Books Party: books received this week | @GrrlScientist
What good is a weekend without a good book to read? Take a look at these books -- hot off the presses -- that you may enjoy!When I get new books, I like to share them with people. Unfortunately, since you all are so far away, I cannot host a book party in my crib where you can look over them, so Ill do the next best thing. Ill host a book party on my blog each Friday of the week when I either purchase books, they are given to me or when review copies arrive in the mail. In this New Books Party, […]
1:00 PM | What we’re reading: Selection for heterozygosity in threatened seals, testing Fst outlier tests, and …?
In the journals Forcada J and Hoffman JI. 2014. Climate change selects for heterozygosity in a declining fur seal population. Nature. 511:462–465. doi: 10.1038/nature13542. Variation in SAM [Southern Annular Mode of the Antarctic atmosphere] significantly affects most of the life … Continue reading →
12:30 PM | Photo of the Week – August 15, 2014
Wasps are closely related to bees and ants, and some can be difficult to distinguish from their cousins.  In this case, the long body makes me pretty sure this is a wasp (though body length is not always a good … Continue reading →
11:05 AM | Friday links
From Jeremy: The Festival of Bad Ad Hoc Hypotheses (BAHfest) is coming to Cambridge, MA and San Francisco this October. If you didn’t know, the festival is dedicated to “well-argued and thoroughly researched but completely incorrect evolutionary theory.” I love, … Continue reading →
8:10 AM | Food for thought: Cocoa farmers from Ivory Coast taste chocolate for the first time
In the past twenty years, the Ivory Coast has produced over 25 million tonnes of cocoa beans; far more than any other country. However, this video suggests that some cocoa farmers might never have seen the end product of the crop they spend their time cultivating. This has implications for the cocoa supply chain: if […]
5:00 AM | Finding the right words: A study of how and why we communicate our science with non-peers
Lesley Knoll and Peter Levi want to know how their fell […]
4:28 AM | Bumble Beer Science
I’ve always had a hard time taking bumblebees seriously. While wasps dance through the air, and honeybees zoom from one flowering bud to another, bumblebees seem to … well … bumble along. I think they look more like moldy strawberries who found themselves shocked at the capability of flight, rather than an insect which natural selection has carefully sculpted for million of years. However, looks can be deceiving. When I look at a bumblebee visiting a flower, I see a bee […]
3:07 AM | Protect Arctic Wildlife from Oil Drilling
Save polar bears, whales, and other Arctic animals from dangerous oil drilling in their habitat Continue reading →
2:58 AM | Scientists study ‘talking’ turtles in Brazilian Amazon
Turtles use several different kinds of vocal communication to coordinate their social behaviors, including one used by female turtles to call to their newly hatched offspring. Continue reading →
2:33 AM | The Fate of Grand Cayman’s Blue Iguanas
We learned that once thousands of blue iguanas had lived on the island, basking on the beaches and sleeping in the woods across. By 2002, the year before we came, hunting, habitat destruction, and introduced predators eroded the population down to less than 25 individuals. Continue reading →
12:28 AM | In India, vaccination, sterilization of stray dogs curbs rabies better than culls
When people encounter stray dogs in Jaipur, India, they […]

August 14, 2014

11:05 PM | The Price of an Elephant
Elephantopia's letter to store owners points out the tragic consequences of ivory sales. Continue reading →
10:51 PM | An Epic Move for Rhinos
Edna Molewa, South Africa Minister of Environmental Affairs, confirmed that some of the rhino will be sent to Botswana and Zambia, where there will be “intense protection zones. Continue reading →
9:06 PM | Recommended Reads #33
Editorial boards of ecological journals are far less likely to have people who principally work with insects, compared to other taxa. Simon Leather runs down the numbers for us. Here is a great site for students about the Anatomy of a Scientific Article. Looks like great reading for students in lower-division and starting upper-division coursework. “The…
8:03 PM | Fatal work injury that killed Erik Deighton, 23, was preventable, MIOSHA cites Colonial Plastics
Erik Deighton’s work-related death could have been prevented. That’s how I see Michigan OSHA's findings in the agency’s citations against his employer, Colonial Plastics.
6:18 PM | Why the NRDC’s Montana “Wolf Stamp” Must Be Stopped
We believe we must speak out against the NRDC’s wolf stamp, and here’s why. The best available science tells us that territorial, apex predators like wolves do not need to be managed. Continue reading →
5:53 PM | Oppose the Lawful Ivory Protection Act of 2014
The Obama Administration's announcement that it would ban ivory imports and sales in the U. S. was a big step on the way to protecting elephants. Now, six months later after 15,000 more elephants have been killed for their tusks, the ban is still not in place, Continue reading →
3:49 PM | Creature Feature VII: Dragonflies and Other Flies
Here is my next piece for Creature Feature, on the predatory behaviour of dragonflies and the importance of chance in determining the outcome of their hunting attempts.  I adore photographing dragonflies, but am lazy about identifying them. Here are some of … Continue reading →
2:49 PM | Before They Were Scientists: Eefjan Breukink
In planning a trip to the Netherlands for some secret missions for Your Wild Life, I reached out to area scientists to get a different perspective on middle school life. Motivated after reading about his involvement in a scientific debate, I contacted Dr. Eefjan Breukink at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Read on to learn about how this accomplished scientist decided he did not want to become a vet, has a fresh perspective on the meaning of “right” and “wrong” in […]
1:59 PM | CABI shares knowledge with African universities
Each year, top university representatives from across Africa gather at the RUFORUM conference to learn about new developments in education and exchange ideas for collaboration. This year’s event, held in Maputo, Mozambique, from 21 July – 25 July, was an opportunity for CABI to increase awareness of its knowledge and training resources, especially those made available […]
1:30 PM | Competition for ecological niches limits evolution of new species | @GrrlScientist
A recently published study finds that competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study finds that speciation rate slows or even stops as available ecological niches fill up. Why are there so many more species in some regions than in others? According to a recent study, competition for ecological niches limits the evolution of new species. Further, this study, which analysed the genetic and evolutionary relationships between all 461 species of Himalayan […]

Price T.D., Hooper D.M., Buchanan C.D., Johansson U.S., Tietze D.T., Alström P., Olsson U., Ghosh-Harihar M., Ishtiaq F. & Gupta S.K. & (2014). Niche filling slows the diversification of Himalayan songbirds, Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature13272

FJELDSÅ J. (2013). The global diversification of songbirds (Oscines) and the build-up of the Sino-Himalayan diversity hotspot, Chinese Birds, 4 (2) 132-143. DOI: 10.5122/cbirds.2013.0014

Richman A.D. & Price T. (1992). Evolution of ecological differences in the Old World leaf warblers, Nature, 355 817-821. DOI: 10.1038/355817a0

Kennedy J.D., Weir J.T., Hooper D.M., Tietze D.T., Martens J. & Price T.D. (2012). Ecological limits on diversification of the Himalayan core Corvoidea, Evolution, 66 (8) 2599-2613. DOI: 10.1111/j.1558-5646.2012.01618.x

Alström P., Hooper D.M., Liu Y., Olsson U., Mohan D., Gelang M., Hung L.M., Zhao J., Lei F. & Price T.D. & (2014). Discovery of a relict lineage and monotypic family of passerine birds, Biology Letters, 10 (3) DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.1067

Harmon L.J., Schulte J.A., Larson A. & Losos J.B. (2003). Tempo and Mode of Evolutionary Radiation in Iguanian Lizards, Science, 301 (5635) 961-964 . DOI: 10.1126/science.1084786

12:17 PM | Next Field Day – August 27, 2014
We put together a draft agenda for our next Platte River Prairies Field Day, which will take place on Wednesday August 27 at our site south of Wood River, Nebraska.  The agenda is a draft only because we may add … Continue reading →
3:48 AM | Right beneath our feet: amazing nature in our backyards (Reign of Fire II?).
Our normal environs tend not to excite our scientific interest on a daily basis. They can instead become so familiar as to become boring and mundane – or just effectively invisible. We are instead more likely to be captivated and amazed when we go somewhere new – the Arctic, the Galapagos, the Amazon, the Negev Desert. On these trips, we tend to get excited about all sorts of critters, no matter how small or common. When visiting new countries, I find myself eagerly taking pictures […]
12:25 AM | Wordless Wednesday August 13
Photo Credit: Scott Bessler Tagged: Ecology, Flowers, leaves, nature, Wordless Wednesdays
12:19 AM | An American postdoc in Europe
In January of this year my boyfriend, Andre, and I packed up our house in Fort Collins, CO, dropped our dog, Ginger, off with my mom and moved out of Colorado and the country. This marked the beginning of an … Continue reading →

August 13, 2014

9:56 PM | Talking urban flamingos and coral reef villages at the Davis Science Cafe #ESA2014
In cooperation with Jared Shaw, Ben Landis, the Davis S […]
9:27 PM | New Frontiers in Eco-Communication
Guest post by Clarisse Hart, Outreach and Education Man […]
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