Life Lines

Archives for November, 2011

In a global effort to understand whale communication, researchers have created a website asking people from around the world to match songs recorded from pilot and killer whales. The songs were recorded using suction-cup sensors that not only record the tagged animal’s songs, but also those of neighboring whales. Other questions on the website include…

Species yet to be discovered

Good news for those interested in discovering new species. Researchers have used taxonomic data to estimate the total number of species in a taxonomic group. Using this information, they have determined that there are approximately 8.7 million species of eukaryotes around the world. Of those, about 2.2 million live in the ocean. These findings mean…

In our continuing coverage of just how neat these animals are, check out this video showing an octopus taking a stroll on the beach at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, California. Video: Octopus Walks on Land Here is another video of the super stealthy mimic octopus: Video: Super Stealth Octopus I just love…

From Dinosaur to Turkey Clip

For those unable to view the previous video explaining the evolution of turkeys from dinosaurs, or would rather see a synopsis, here is a short YouTube clip: Happy Thanksgiving!

The Evolution of Turkeys from Dinosaurs

Here is a neat special from National Geographic showing the evolution of turkeys from dinosaurs: Happy Thanksgiving everyone! -Dr. Dolittle

New species of walking sharks

A new species of walking epaulette sharks (Hemiscyillum freycineti) has been discovered off the coast of Indonesia. These sharks actually walk using their pectoral fins. Take time out for a dive alongside this shark and see some other amazing ocean wildlife in this diver’s video: Video Source: Conservation International. As if walking is not interesting…

Photo Credit: H. Jusseit Hans Jusseit, a tuna fisherman, has designed a shield to protect the bait on fish hooks (image above). These are not just any fish hooks. These hooks are for catching large fish, like tuna, using longlines like the one shown in the picture below. Image: OPRT-Organization for the Promotion of Responsible…

Kangaroo genome now sequenced

Photo: An adult tammar wallaby. (Andrew Pask/UConn Photo) The tammar wallaby is the first Australian marsupial to have its genome sequenced. Researchers were surprised to find out that many of the wallaby genes are similar to those found in humans. Because baby wallabies (aka: joey) develop in a pouch outside the mother’s body it is…

On the Trail of Physiology: Arizona

The last stop on our trail of physiology this Fall is Arizona. The Arizona Physiological Society held their annual meeting on the Medical Campus of the University of Arizona in Tucson on November 11-12. The meeting opened with a special session for future (and current) physiologists interested in careers outside of academia. With academic jobs…

Still finding new species

These are just a few of my favorite recent discoveries. A new species of “albino” trapdoor spiders has been discovered in Australia. The aptly named spiders build trapdoors hinged with silk leading into their burrows. When prey walk by, the spiders sense the vibrations and spring out for the attack. Photo Credit: Volker W. Framenau…