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CategoryLife Science

Invertebrate of the Week #17 – Stygiomedusa gigantea

A total of 114 times in 110 years. That’s how many times researchers have observed the elusive Stygiomedusa gigantea, a giant deep sea jelly with a bell 1.4 meters wide and broad … Continue Reading Invertebrate of the Week #17 – Stygiomedusa gigantea

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Guido Mocafico’s Blaschka glass biological model photographs

Generations before 3D printing was available to museums and institutions of higher learning, father and son glass-makers Leopold and Rudolf Blaschka were working tirelessly to produce thousands of glass models of invertebrate … Continue Reading Guido Mocafico’s Blaschka glass biological model photographs

Chip Clark’s Iconic National Museum of Natural History Photos Resurface

Chip Clark  joined the team at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History (SI NMNH) in 1973 as a staff photographer. In addition to capturing high speed images of flying … Continue Reading Chip Clark’s Iconic National Museum of Natural History Photos Resurface

Invertebrate of the Week #16 – Peltodoris atromaculata

This week we are highlighting the distinctive nudibranch Peltodoris atromaculata.  A southern European species, this spotted Discodorid sea slug can be found throughout the Mediterranean and select locations off the western coast … Continue Reading Invertebrate of the Week #16 – Peltodoris atromaculata

The Presence of Termites May Help Grasslands Resist Desertification.

Termites engineer their environments in ways that allow the area around their mounds to be buffered from climatic changes.That is the intriguing conclusion of a recent study published in the journal Science; providing … Continue Reading The Presence of Termites May Help Grasslands Resist Desertification.

What Gives Chrysina Beetles their Metallic Appearance?

This morning, I stumbled across this fantastic photograph from Thomas Shahan (@ThomasShahan) that was produced for the Oregon Department of Agriculture.  It shows the same Chrysina sp. beetle illuminated under different lighting conditions.The … Continue Reading What Gives Chrysina Beetles their Metallic Appearance?

Long-tailed Tit Birds – More than Adorable

Long-tailed tits are adorable…they just are…They are so adorable that they will easily distract from anything I attempt to write so let’s all take-in their fluffy cuteness before proceeding, shall we?Now, … Continue Reading Long-tailed Tit Birds – More than Adorable

Hidden in Plain Orange – How this harlequin bug’s orange coloration makes it both conspicuous and invisible

Aposematic coloration is the technical term for the coloration phenomenon found in such illustrious animals as poison dart frogs (Family: Dendrobatidae) and skunks.  The rationale is that the animal makes itself very conspicuous … Continue Reading Hidden in Plain Orange – How this harlequin bug’s orange coloration makes it both conspicuous and invisible

The Riverine Bull Sharks of Iran and Iraq: A Brief Modern History

Bull sharks probably aren’t the first animal that comes to mind when you think about river fauna in Iraq and Iran.  In fact, I would venture that many Westerners would … Continue Reading The Riverine Bull Sharks of Iran and Iraq: A Brief Modern History

The Sublime Waitomo ‘Glowworm Grotto’

Note: This post features a few photos with unknown authors.  If you are aware of who took these photographs, please let me know in the Comments section below so I … Continue Reading The Sublime Waitomo ‘Glowworm Grotto’

Invertebrate of the Week #8 – Golden Tortoise Beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata)

Today we are featuring the beautiful metallic beetle Charidotella sexpunctata, also known as the Golden tortoise beetle.  These North American beetles are small, measuring approximately 5 – 7 mm in length and are … Continue Reading Invertebrate of the Week #8 – Golden Tortoise Beetle (Charidotella sexpunctata)

Ongeim’l Tketau – Palau’s Jellyfish Lake

When I think of jellyfish (Phylum: Cnidaria), I typically think of the ocean and not a lake.  Then again, nature loves to shake things up from time and time and … Continue Reading Ongeim’l Tketau – Palau’s Jellyfish Lake

Urban Wildlife – London’s Red Foxes

When I visited London for the first time, I knew I would be in for many, many surprises but I hardly expected to see what I was seeing as I … Continue Reading Urban Wildlife – London’s Red Foxes

Ants and whistling-thorn trees are in a symbiotic relationship and “it’s complicated”

In most relationships, a “third wheel” could be a major problem but if you happen to be an ant or a Whistling-thorn tree, the stability of your symbiotic relationship may … Continue Reading Ants and whistling-thorn trees are in a symbiotic relationship and “it’s complicated”

Evarcha culicivora – The Spider With A Taste for Vertebrate Blood

It’s no mystery that spiders have a penchant for liquid food; that is how they eat after all.  But what about a spider with a particular affinity for the blood … Continue Reading Evarcha culicivora – The Spider With A Taste for Vertebrate Blood

Fruit, Females, and the Color Orange – Guppy Mate Preference in the Wild

Walk into almost any aquatic pet store and it’s likely that some of the first animals to catch your eye will be male guppies.  Domestic male guppies come in all … Continue Reading Fruit, Females, and the Color Orange – Guppy Mate Preference in the Wild

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