Life Science

Nature’s camouflage

Could you imagine artificial skin capable of quickly changing colors to communicate or hide? Scientists have been testing ways to mimic the skin of cephalopods like squid, octopuses and cuttlefish, which have a remarkable ability to change skin color and sometimes even texture to mimic their surroundings. Cephalopods have networks of chromatophores, which are cells within…

Behold, the newly rediscovered Malatgan River caecilian. When my ankle acts up, I begin to think that maybe these critters were smarter than I am in jettisoning all those messy, complicated limbs.

You can stop emailing me now. Everyone on the planet has seen Opisthoteuthis adorabilis, fallen in love, and demanded that I feature it in a Friday Cephalopod. OK!

The seal of enigma!

I am excited to present this guest blog from Bridget Martinez, graduate student from the University of California, Merced. She has been studying elephant seals in the laboratory of Dr. Rudy Ortiz. She had presented her research at the 2015 Experimental Biology conference in Boston, MA which was mentioned in a prior blog . Here…

Just one more example of how much humans and chimpanzees have in common. Check out this podcast describing wild chimpanzees seen drinking fermented tree sap as well as the video below. Supplement video uploaded by the study’s authors (Hockings et al., Royal Society Open Science, 2015) on Youtube. Sources: Scientific American KJ Hockings, N Bryson-Morrison,…

Good news, everyone! The US Fish and Wildlife Service has decided that captive chimpanzees deserve the same protection as wild chimpanzees. We’ve been living for years with a peculiar split decision that says it is illegal to experiment on some chimps, the ones still living in the wild, but other chimps, those that live in…

If you have not already had a chance to see it, the T. Rex Autopsy airing on the National Geographic channel is a must-see! They literally created a model of T. Rex based on available evidence about T. Rex and other dinosaurs as well as evidence from modern birds and then performed an “autopsy”. The conclusion: T.…

Friday Cephalopod: Senescence

The giant cuttlefish fades and dies after mating. Somehow they maintain a little dignity in dying.

This new movie, Jurassic World, is stirring up a fascinating love/hate reaction from paleontologists. We all love to imagine dinosaurs resurrected, and the movies give us an image of what they’d be like, so everyone is happy to see that…and it also inspires new enthusiasm for fossils, so it helps lead to better support for…

What Does it Mean To Teach ID?

Lee McIntyre has a good article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is discussing the wholesale assault on truth in our culture: To see how we treat the concept of truth these days, one might think we just don’t care anymore. Politicians pronounce that global warming is a hoax. An alarming number of middle-class…