Category: science

Science online, robot chicken-roost edition

Science online, robot chicken-roost edition

Chicken
Photo by Karen Jackson.


Source: Wayback Feed

Science online, cat fancy edition

Science online, cat fancy edition

The white cat

What’s going on in there? Photo by Enrico .


Source: Wayback Feed

Science online, beards and shields edition

Science online, beards and shields edition

Beard

Is this man smiling because everyone else in the room is clean shaven? Photo by Mike Mozart.


Source: Wayback Feed

Science online, surprising consensus edition

Science online, surprising consensus edition

Grizzly Bear - Animal - Wildlife - Alaska

It was probably about as easy to find photos of bears as it is to find research papers about them. Photo by Barbara.


Source: Wayback Feed

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Is a sloth’s best friend its moth-fur?

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Is a sloth’s best friend its moth-fur?

Three Toed Sloth

Is it easier, being green? Photo by Bas Bloemsaat.

This week at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense! I’m discussing a new study that purports to demonstrate that three-toed sloths are in a nutritional mutualism with specialized moths, fueled by algae and poop:

Sloths’ coarse, shaggy fur accumulates its own little microcosm of living passengers. (If you move that slowly in a tropical forest canopy, you’re going to get some hop-ons.) Among these are an assortment of algae, and moths in the genus Cryptoses. It’s been known for a long time that Cryptoses moths lay their eggs in sloth dung, and that their larvae eat it.

To find out why it isn’t completely crazy to think that these poop-eating moths might be helpful to sloths, go read the whole thing.◼
Source: Wayback Feed

Science online, bird’s-eye view of peer review edition

Science online, bird’s-eye view of peer review edition

Miami Beach

Stormy weather ahead. Photo by Elido Turco – Gigi.


Source: Wayback Feed

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Brood parasites with benefits

Nothing in Biology Makes Sense: Brood parasites with benefits

Photo via Nothing in Biology Makes Sense.

Over at Nothing in Biology Makes Sense!, Amy Dapper discusses a new study of brood parasites, birds that lay their eggs in the nests of other bird species, letting those adoptive hosts take on the costs of raising the brood parasites’ chicks. This sounds like a bad deal for the host species, but in at least one case, it turns out that a brood parasite chick can be a boon to its adoptive nest-mates:

Canestrari et al. (2014) focused on the great spotted cuckoo (Clamator glandarius) and their host, carrion crows (Corvus corone corone). They studied the success rate of nests with and without brood parasitism and found that carrion crow nests that contained parasitic cuckoo nestlings were actually more likely to be successful (i.e. fledge at least one crow nestling). How could this be?

To learn why a carrion crow might want to raise a baby cuckoo, go read the whole thing.◼
Source: Wayback Feed

Science online, dilated pupils edition

Science online, dilated pupils edition

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pupils 2007 An apt pupil. Photo by thraxil.
  • So. Freaking. Cool. NASA successfully landed a car-sized, nuclear-powered, laser-equipped exploratory rover on Mars—for a fifth of the cost of the 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Meanwhile, in the life sciences. Thousands of ecologists converge on Portland, Oregon for the Ecological Society of America meeting. Check Dynamic Ecology and EEB & Flow for coverage.
  • What is the difference between wheelchair racing and cycling, when you think about it? The line between human athletic achievement and technological advancement is fuzzier than you might think.
  • Next: NOM announces that pupil dilation is a “lifestyle choice.” A new approach to testing sexual orientation measures pupil dilation. See also good discussion by Scicurious and Deborah Blum.
  • Yet another microbiome. Examining the bacteria living on the surface of plant roots might be as informative as examining the ones living inside plant roots.
  • Commitment to innovation? Apparently the fundamentalist textbooks for Christian schools are now opposed to set theory.
  • FACT: Wearing a bike helmet all day = 80% reduced risk of death by meteor. How to clearly explain risk, with an illustrative story.
  • Because we only think they think they’re people. Why it’s important to avoid anthropomorphizing when discussing the sexual habits of non-human animals.
  • Cool! Google Scholar will now identify new articles for you to read based on your own publication list.
  • That … sounds like a problem. Some of the world’s most important food-producing regions are living on non-renewable water.


Source: New feed

Science online, solve for x edition

Science online, solve for x edition

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Ocean Latte Save your Starbucks card, and have a cup of ocean instead. Photo by nicadlr.


Source: New feed