Dr. Dolittle

What a great way to start the day

I came across this video on YouTube of what must be the most huggable kitty:

Monday was a great day for comparative physiology at EB! I saw several highly notable posters and seminars that I would like to share with you: Catherine Ivy, graduate student at McMaster University compared deer mice that were raised at high altitudes versus those raised at lower altitudes and found that the ancestry of the…

2015 Experimental Biology- Day 2

I was very impressed by the graduate and undergraduate students who presented their research at the Scholander poster competition sponsored by the Comparative and Evolutionary Physiology section of the American Physiological Society this afternoon. I am sure the winner of the competition will be very difficult to select. Some highlights included: Bridget Martinez, graduate student at the University of California…

2015 Experimental Biology Meeting

I am so excited about the Experimental Biology conference this year in Boston, MA! I have packed my bags, prepared my posters and am on my way to the airport. As usual there will be several seminars and poster sessions about various comparative physiology topics sponsored by the American Physiological Society that look really exciting. Can’t wait! To…

Blue bloods

A new study demonstrates that the blue oxygen carrying haemocyanin pigment in the blood of an Antarctic octopus (Pareledone charcoti) protect the animals from freezing temperatures. In fact, when compared to other octopus species from warmer climates, they have up to 40% more haemocyanin. Dr. Michael Oellermann, lead study author from Alfred-Wegener-Institute, provided the following quote…

Gecko water repellent

A new study published in the Journal of the Royal Society Interface from a team of researchers (University of the Sunshine Coast, James Cook University, University of Queensland, Australia, and the University of Oxford) described how geckos living in humid areas manage to stay dry. The researchers used a scanning electron microscope to take a…

Behind matchmaking at the zoo

I had no idea that matchmaking was this complex for zoo animals: World News Videos | US News Videos

  New research from the University of Lincoln, UK suggests that cats may prefer to find food using their eyes as opposed to their nose. The preference for vision vs. smell was tested in 6 cats placed in a maze that required cats to make decisions about which way to go based on either images or smells.…

I really never thought of spiders as being “pretty” until I came across these two new species of peacock spiders discovered in southeast Queensland, Australia by Madeline Girard (graduate student from the University of California, Berkeley, who is specializing in peacock spiders). Peacock spiders are not only beautiful, they also engage in elaborate dances during…

Penguins have poor taste

Researchers sequencing the five different taste receptors in penguins were surprised to discover that the animals do not have genes that encode for receptors that are specific for savory meaty flavors (like fish!), sweet or bitter tastes. Instead, the data suggest that penguins are only able to taste the saltiness or sourness of their foods…