Biology

Category archives for Biology

Reading a term paper by one of my Växjö students, I learned something surprising. Being a well-read and erudite sort, Dear Reader, you may not be surprised. You already know that Japanese women have been having very few babies each since the 1950s, and that thus there’s a growing shortage of strong young people to…

Bread and Microbes

I found some slightly mouldy bread in the cupboard, cut off the mould and made toast. And I thought about bread and microbes. For flavour, not as a raising agent, I make sour dough. My method is simple: I mix rye flour with water in a glass, cover it with cling film and put it…

My First Trilobite

I’ve been aware of fossils since my dino fanboy days in Greenwich Country Day School, and I used to collect them in a small way on family trips to Gotland. Back home, I would put fossils in malt vinegar and see bits of shell emerge from the limestone matrix. But I never found a trilobite.…

The Protectionworthiness of the Cuddly

Facebook is swamped with pictures of cats at shelters that face imminent euthanasia. Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund has an ad on the Tradera auction site that says “Soft, Orange and Homeless” and invites me to support orangutan shelters. There’s a reason that these campaigns don’t feature fish or lizards. And that reason is that…

Name That Moth

Early this morning this little guy found a really good crack in some wood where s/he could sleep during the day. Unfortunately the crack turned out to be the space between the gate to our yard and the door jamb, so all day the sleeper has been see-sawing to and fro as we have opened…

Nut Screecher, Eurasian Jay

Eurasian Jay, Garrulus glandarius, Sw. nötskrika, “nut screecher”. Photographed in Fisksätra 6 April 2012.

Birds Prophesying Spring

For the past two weeks I’ve been hearing more and more birdsong. The bullfinch is singing his characteristic snowmelt ditty, and the woodpecker is making territorial drumrolls. Some other species of small bird is having these noisy cocktail parties where they fill a tree and chatter for hours. But the winter is far from over…

Great Spotted Woodpecker At My Window

Baby Aardvark

Viper Eating A Shrew

Came across this viper on a bike path one evening in July. It got shy when we stood around admiring it, so it disengaged from the shrew and slithered off into the greenery. May have saved it from getting run over by a bike.