Links to share

Just had to share this article about wildebeests…How Noisy Males Control the Gnu’s Cycle

Scary article about Candida auris infections…a fungal infection that is resistant to known medications and is very difficult to contain…and can be deadly: The Strange and Curious Case of the Deadly Superbug Yeast

Ants that live inside acorns and what they can teach us about climate change: What City Ants Can Teach Us About Species Evolution And Climate Change

An oldie but a goodie, John Vaillant’s “The Tiger” is one of my favourite novels: <a href="https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php“>The True Story Of A Man-Eating Tiger’s ‘Vengeance’

Another plant that parasitizes fungi for once, haha! After the fungal infections that have been plaguing my experimental plants this summer, this feels like justice: Thismia kinabaluensis (Thismiaceae) • A New Species from Mt. Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo

This is wild! A snail has a special organ for bacteria and no longer needs to consume food…it just survives on the energy released by the bacteria: This Snail Goes Through Metamorphosis. Then It Never Has to Eat Again.

This is well worth sharing: Guide to Graduate School Grief

I just…have no words for this (or I have a few words but I try to keep those sorts of words off my blog): A scientific society disseminated sexual harassment [updated]

NB: A lot of the archived issues have since been taken down, but I can say that you could click on one at random and see photos like the one featured on the blog post I linked to.

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Bumblebee high fives

I know I’ve been slacking on my blog lately, but I’ve been working 10-14 hours a day, seven days a week, nonstop for more than two months…and I’m tired. Why did I think it was a good idea to double my field sites?

Anyway, to make up for it, here are some photos of bumblebees giving me high fives.
Bumblebee High Fives
Common carder high five
Bumblebee High Fives
White-tailed bumblebee high five

(Technically, this is how the bumblebee says “Please go away and leave me alone.” but I’m going to interpret it as a high five cause I need that.)

Links to share

A really neat discovery on how stick insects disperse…much like seeds, their eggs are digested by the birds that consume the adults and are pooped out elsewhere: Insects that look like sticks, behave like fruit, and move like seeds

If you’re into the super hero stuff, here’s an article about the real life super powers of wasps (not as lame as it sounds): Five Real Life Wasp Superpowers Not in Ant-Man and the Wasp

And more arthropod super powers…spiders can use electricity to fly! Spiders Can Fly Hundreds of Miles Using Electricity

Beyond bees…implications of widespread neonic use: Why it’s time to curb widespread use of neonicotinoid pesticides

I think the title is a bit misleading here…the point of the studies was that towns are *less bad* for bees than agricultural areas where lots of pesticides are sprayed, not that they are ideal bee habitat. Nonetheless, I agree with the take away point that all of us can make space where we live (no matter how big or small) to help support pollinators by planting flowers! Bumblebees thrive in towns more than countryside

The animal of the week is the Arabian sand boa…please admire (not my photos, sources included in links)


An Irish damsel

One of my field sites is near a small pond so I get to enjoy these lovely little damselflies, which you know I love. These look just like our bluets (and indeed might be in the same genus)! I think they are the Variable Damselfly (Coenagrion pulchellum ), but they could also be the Common Blue Damselfly. (Comment if you know for sure)

Common Blue Damselfly
Variable? Damselfly
With a snack!
Variable? Damselfly
A female? Looks green
Common Blue Damselfly
Common Blue Damselfly

Links to share

Field work (plus lab/office/greenhouse work) is kicking my butt right now, so here are some links to other websites haha

Hippos are not my favourite animal…I worked in a zoo and hippos were by far the most disgusting animal to clean up after (although cotton-top tamarins smell horrible for some reason). You see hippos like to spin their tail and spray their feces all over the walls and ceiling. Plus, they make their own sticky sunscreen and leave everything greasy. I’m allowing my confirmation bias to allow this to give me another reason not to like hippos: Hippos Poop So Much That Sometimes All the Fish Die

This is toooooooooooo hilarious…the noble lynx, ladies and gentlemen:

I love this post by Scientist Sees Squirrel on our own confirmation biases and the irrational things we all do. Goodness knows I have my own irrational behaviours, even though I know logically they don’t make sense. We all do: Vaccinations, global warming, and the fork in the canning jar

More drawings to help identify common spring bees (Europe/UK). How to identify spring bees

How do desert bees survive a drought? In the high Chilean deserts it only rains once every TEN years! And when it rains there are flowers, and magically, also bees: Desert Bees Have a Secret: How to Survive a Decade of Drought

Unintended consequences of saving a species OR in other words, how dramatically reducing population size leads to a serious genetic bottleneck. Evidence of why genetic diversity is essential for the survival of a species…in other other words, they did not doom it by saving it, they doomed it when they nearly eradicated it in the first place: In Saving A Species, You Might Accidentally Doom It

Another article on insect decline: Where have all our insects gone?

A helpful article on mentoring…specifically for academia, but I think it could apply to essentially any field: An elephant in the room: how we set ourselves up to be bad at mentoring

Keeping things whole, by Mark Strand

You ever read a poem and think “yes, yes this!” Well, this poem just seems perfect right now…we’ve had unusually dry weather and I have twice as many field sites as last year, and my greenhouse experiment needs watering every day, and I’m cycling 150 miles a week and working 10-14 hours a day seven days a week, and a taxi driver blocked my path and got out of his car and got in my face and threatened to kill me because I accidentally touched the side of his car with my hand and he used a lot of bad language I will not repeat here but I gazed at him calmly and let him scream at me and…I’m keeping moving and keeping things whole.

Keeping Things Whole

In a field

I am the absence

of field.

This is

always the case.

Wherever I am

I am what is missing.

When I walk

I part the air

and always

the air moves in

to fill the spaces

where my body’s been.

We all have reasons

for moving.

I move

to keep things whole.

– MARK STRAND