Biology

Category archives for Biology

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…

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.

Swedes Confused About Slugs

All multicellular land species of life in Scandinavia are invasive: the area was covered by kilometres of ice until yesterday, geologically speaking. But some species are more recent invaders than others. Where I live, we currently have three species of large-bodied snail or slug: the Black slug (Arion ater, Sw. svart skogssnigel), the Burgundy snail…

Inside the Cephalopod Mask

My New Neighbours, the Beavers

When I was a kid, beavers were kind of exotic animals that lived in distant parts, like bears or wolverines. Over the past decade or two though, they’ve multiplied here in Nacka municipality, much as the wild boar population has exploded in this part of Sweden. Still, the beavers haven’t really reached my part of…

Signs of Spring

Last Wednesday I saw the first snowdrop. Last Saturday I heard the first blackbird evensong. Magpies are making these soft chirping noises that spell “let’s get it on”. This morning it was above 5 Celsius in the shade, and I skipped my long-johns for the first time this year. And when I went out the…

Monday Miscellany

On Sunday 14 November at 1400 hrs I’m giving a talk on the aristocracy of the 1st millennium AD at the Town Museum of Norrköping, Holmbrogränd. On Monday 15 November I’m speaking at a seminar in Gothenburg about social media and scientific and political communication. My talk will be some time between 1300 and 1600…

Dorrik Stow’s Vanished Ocean

In his fine new book Vanished Ocean, geologist Dorrik Stow uses the biography of one of our planet’s vanished oceans to teach the reader a wide range of veeery long-term perspectives on geological history. The ocean that geologists call the Tethys came into being when the Pangaea supercontinent coalesced in the Late Permian, 260 million…