Life Science

I am thrilled to see Dr. Stan Lindstedt’s review article published in the April 2015 issue of American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology from his 2013 August Krogh lectureship at the annual Experimental Biology conference. My original blog from the lecture can be found here. Dr. Lindstedt and co-author Dr. Niisa Nishikawa (Northern…

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Sawing

Friday Cephalopod: Legal precedent

By carrying that coconut, octopuses of this sort made a change in their legal status necessary. The extent of octopus intelligence is debated, at least among vertebrates, but there is evidence of pretty complex behavior, including possible tool use. See, e.g., J.K. Finn, T. Tregenza, and M.D. Norman, “Defensive tool use in a coconut-carrying octopus,”…

Ever wonder how flies navigate?

Dr. Vivek Jayaraman and colleagues at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Janelia Research Campus discovered that the ellipsoid body located in the middle of a fly’s brain acts like a compass to help navigate flight even in darkness. By placing the flies into a small virtual reality arena and having the flies walk on a…

This town in Australia got some unusual precipitation: millions of spiders that proceeded to blanket the entire town with cobwebs.

The opah (Lampris guttatus), otherwise known as a moonfish, lives in the deep sea where warm blood can be advantageous. According to a quote from Nicholas Wegner (NOAA) posted in Live Science, “Increased temperature speeds up physiological processes within the bod. As a result, the muscles can contract faster, the temporal resolution of the eye is…

Friday Cephalopod: She’s showing

Many species of ants are known for being rather clean by disposing of their dead outside of the nest and placing other wastes, like bits of food, in refuse chambers. Dr. Tomer J. Czaczkes (University of Regensburg) was surprised therefore to see “dark patches” build up in plaster nests that housed black garden ants (Lasius niger).…

Sometimes science sees something change – there is more of something, or less, or more importantly, there is a change in the rate of some phenomenon or in its pattern of variability. But sometimes science looks out there in the world and observes something that was probably there all along (though there may be changes…

Friday Cephalopod: Emergence!