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Bats use blood to reshape tongue for feeding

Great bit of research showing the amazing adaptation of bat tongues to nectar feeding.   Harper, C., Swartz, S., & Brainerd, E. (2013). Specialized bat tongue is a hemodynamic nectar mop Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1222726110  

Equal pay for equal primates

See what happens when a Capuchin monkey receives unequal pay: The article in Nature (2004): Monkeys reject unequal pay Sarah F. Brosnan & Frans B. M. de Waal

Psychedelic Monday: Sploosh!

Music: Ozric Tentacles. Featuring marine life. Mix by Bonci. Highlights: 0:33 Dolphin chasing ring bubble 2:02 Humpback(?) tailfin 2:58 Whale shark swimming with dolphins 3:44 & 4:07 Humpback baleen-syncing 4:11 Manta Ray 5:58 Human and dolphin kiss

Warm blooded turtles?

If you entered this post to comment the error in the title, then I have one word for you. Gotcha! Yes, “warm blooded” animals are not, really, warm blooded. After all, a lizard in the baking sun has a core temperature higher than most mammals, but it is still called “cold blooded”.  So-called cold blooded […]

Carnival of Evolution #29

Yes, it’s that time when we all get together in front of the screen to watch another beautiful game played by that fantastic team contributing to the Carnival of Evolution. This time hosted on the lovely green pitch of Byte Size Biology. So get your popcorn, sunflower-seeds, crisps or any other culturally-appropriate sports-watching food and…… […]

Goat breath causes aphids to drop to the ground

Some headlines just write themselves… It has been known for some time that an approaching large herbivore causes aphids to abandon ship …err plant. Makes sense since, after all, there’s not much of a point in staying on the particular bit of shrubbery that will be consumed, lock, stalk and barrel by a ravenous forager. […]

Baby Sloths

These are just ridiculously cute, I had to put them in. The sloth counterpart of Marilyn Manson appears at the end. A few interesting facts about sloths (edited from Wikipedia): Look at your forearm. Your hair grows towards your hand. In most mammals hair grows towards their extremities. In sloths, hair grows in the opposite […]

Stayin’ Alive

It’s been a while since I posted, mainly due to a convergence of conferences, work and grant writing. Not that the grant writing crunch is over yet, but I have to take a break, and prove I am still alive. Not only am I still alive, but apparently the Horton Plains slender Loris is still […]

Well, color me surprised

Nature is colorful. And the family of pigments that is mostly responsible for these colors are carotenoids. Carotenoids  make the apples and tomatoes red, the lemons and grapefruit yellow, the pumpkins oranges and, yes carrots, (from which their name is derived), orange. Carotenoids also make flamingos and salmon pink, and color the puffin’s bill orange. […]

Five octopus vids

The coconut using octopus has been making the news lately, as the first evidence of tool use by these animals. A good opportunity to post some vids of these cool creatures: UPDATE: the “first tool use” has been somewhat oversold. Thanks to Zen Faulkes for calling my attention to this. They are resourceful: Camouflage skills: […]

Byte Size Hedgehog

I don’t know whether to categorize this guy under microbiology or zoology. He’s so small!