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Is camouflage cryptic or a masquerade?

Is camouflage cryptic or a masquerade?

Posted Wed, 24 Feb 2016 09:25:34 GMT by Dave Armstrong

We have a record for being obsessed with camouflage in the sea or on land. The incredible lengths that species will go to (evolve) in order to resemble an object that is either dangerous or inedible. The name is mimicry (Batesian or otherwise) and the game here is masquerade.

Is camouflage cryptic or a masquerade?

Teaching is the Oldest Profession.

Teaching is the Oldest Profession.

Posted Tue, 09 Feb 2016 10:47:50 GMT by JW Dowey

How do we evaluate modern humans in their approach to high fidelity learning. We are barely adequate in evaluating teaching, so maybe it is about time we looked more closely at how children really learn. The so-called professionals, from areas that are barely concerned, have failed to agree for generations, even on defining true teaching, instruction, coaching or mentoring properly. That leaves the field wide open for novel or ingenuous suggestions about early (or even late) learning and the teaching that successfully provides it.

Teaching is the Oldest Profession.

Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits - nohare to be seen.

Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits - nohare to be seen.

Posted Wed, 27 Jan 2016 21:09:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

The distribution of animals and plants can be absolutely fascinating. While fossils may not interest everybody, the mammals that occupy our earth currently give us a wealth of information. This concerns climate and geological change, as their ancestors, and those who didn’t make it, show us the details of the climate changes that concern us very deeply at this moment in time.

Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits - nohare to be seen.

Stealth predator avoids predation by chemical crypsis.

Stealth predator avoids predation by chemical crypsis.

Posted Tue, 12 Jan 2016 12:36:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

You wouldn’t want to meet up with the common puff adder. This African species is not only visually camouflaged but your dog (or even a mongoose) would find it more or less invisible too.

Stealth predator avoids predation by chemical crypsis.

Army ants engineer living bridges!

Army ants engineer living bridges!

Posted Wed, 09 Dec 2015 12:26:26 GMT by Dave Armstrong

The ant reaches its peak of organisation in the feared army ant. These Panamanians, like several other species, dominate their tropical forests like a top predator, but there are millions of them, impossible to kill.

Army ants engineer living bridges!

Human migration vital in the Caucasus.

Human migration vital in the Caucasus.

Posted Mon, 30 Nov 2015 11:18:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Standing at the front step of Asia, the area north of the Black Sea has always seemed significant to recent explorer such as Greeks or Romans. Now we can stretch the imagination beyond ancient ideas to those genes that contributed to the most ancient migrations of the human species.

Human migration vital in the Caucasus.

Devil rays surviving in the Mediterranean.

Devil rays surviving in the Mediterranean.

Posted Wed, 25 Nov 2015 12:20:05 GMT by Dave Armstrong

How often do we get to see a great ray in its natural habitat, especially in Europe. Here, you could visit an Italian nature reserve and get to know animals that compare with the giant mantas (almost.)

Devil rays surviving in the Mediterranean.

Philippine eagle helped by Whitley Award

Philippine eagle helped by Whitley Award

Posted Fri, 01 May 2015 08:42:42 GMT by JW Dowey

Conservation is not only about the big animals. The plants, their consumers and the rest of an ecosystem may not catch headlines, but involving them and indigenous populations is crucial to our last ditch efforts to keep these organisms alive in their habitat.

Philippine eagle helped by Whitley Award

Gibbon families grow larger with bi-female groups.

Gibbon families grow larger with bi-female groups.

Posted Tue, 14 Apr 2015 08:06:05 GMT by Dave Armstrong

How do gibbons maintain their small family groups? Could they have slightly larger family groups and would this work in similar ways to those found in other primates? Fascinating questions especially given the threatened species of gibbon and the rapidly disappearing habitat of those magnificent forest canopies, 100m or more than 300 feet above the ground.

Gibbon families grow larger with bi-female groups.

The owl and the butterfly - and mimicry

The owl and the butterfly - and mimicry

Posted Wed, 08 Apr 2015 08:50:00 GMT by Paul Robinson

Mimicry is a true natural wonder, while many of us have looked at butterflies and wondered if their mimicry really works. We are not the predator, so we cannot envisage the exact moment of attack, when lives are lost or beaks are mistakenly directed at the wrong part of the prey. Any chance of escape is a lifeline!

The owl and the butterfly - and mimicry

April Fools, with the naughty bits explained!

April Fools, with the naughty bits explained!

Posted Thu, 02 Apr 2015 09:48:52 GMT by JW Dowey

Have you ever wondered if pineapples grow on trees? Well, apparently, spaghetti does, with the emphasis on "apparently."

April Fools, with the naughty bits explained!

The Ancient Romance of Samarqand.

The Ancient Romance of Samarqand.

Posted Sat, 28 Mar 2015 04:30:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

It is likely that more writers and scholars have written about Samarqand than any other ancient city. The place teems with ghosts of long-gone civilisers, - and decivilisers, Amirs and zealots, soldiers of both fortune and dedication, but I love it. Thanks, Mohi!

The Ancient Romance of Samarqand.

Will we release these reincarnated mammoths?

Will we release these reincarnated mammoths?

Posted Sun, 22 Mar 2015 17:54:49 GMT by Paul Robinson

Darwin would have called us armchair conservationists, but this is even worse. While he was an armchair theorist (compared to Wallace), we may begin to spend our time and money trying to correct past extinctions. Tinkering is unlikely to be an answer to the continuing loss of biodiversity from every single habitat on land and water. Conservation of what we have is going to be much more difficult than some fairly basic genetic engineering.

Will we release these reincarnated mammoths?

Navigating the Atlantic as a giant turtle.

Navigating the Atlantic as a giant turtle.

Posted Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:00:00 GMT by JW Dowey

When we have learned of the sensory abilities of marine creatures such as the superb world traveller, the leatherback, perhaps then we will be able to both use new linked technology and understand the oceans better.

Navigating the Atlantic as a giant turtle.

How mantis control their leaps.

How mantis control their leaps.

Posted Thu, 05 Mar 2015 20:05:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

How popular are these apparently so aggressive and pest-like praying mantids? They are great pest-controllers, have a huge variety of different species, from flower mantis to giant African “tigers of the cabbage patch;” they make marvellous, quite attentive pets and don’t bother your mother because they die after their short adult span. Now we learn something new about a familiar animal. Those leaps they made as nymphs are actually carefully plotted, either to escape from their cannibalistic siblings, or to jump on tiny flies. The wonder of super-mantis never stops.

How mantis control their leaps.

Great Lakes Puzzles (or Lessons) for Ecologists.

Great Lakes Puzzles (or Lessons) for Ecologists.

Posted Tue, 24 Feb 2015 20:16:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

The distant Titicaca, Scottish lochs, Russian Lake Baikal, and the wonderful Rift Valley lakes of Africa. Such productive waters but what prospects are there for any of these lakes to survive with even a modicum of their productivity or native fauna and flora, when we look at the Great Lakes?

Great Lakes Puzzles (or Lessons) for Ecologists.

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Climate Change drives early laying/hatching, but not only Temperature!

Posted Thu, 27 Apr 2017 07:16:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Bees succeed against the odds, even when solitary.

Posted Tue, 18 Apr 2017 08:16:55 GMT by JW. Dowey

Fascination in rocky pools and their invertebrate inhabitants

Posted Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:25:01 GMT by JW. Dowey

Army ants tolerate multiple evolutions of beetle mimics

Posted Wed, 15 Mar 2017 09:50:00 GMT by JW. Dowey

Auks transform Arctic ecosystems.

Posted Wed, 15 Feb 2017 10:20:00 GMT by JW. Dowey

Tiger, leopard and dhole share resources in India

Posted Wed, 08 Feb 2017 10:28:00 GMT by JW. Dowey

Intriguing leadership roles in orcas linked to evolution, even in humans

Posted Thu, 12 Jan 2017 09:40:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Social interaction in vervets/its relevance to humans.

Posted Wed, 23 Nov 2016 10:35:00 GMT by JW Dowey

Tremendous cognition in tool-making, etc., in a cockatoo.

Posted Wed, 16 Nov 2016 14:30:00 GMT by JW Dowey

Whale cultures rule in Galápagos.

Posted Wed, 19 Oct 2016 11:30:00 GMT by JW Dowey

Invasive Burmese Pythons vs. The Everglades

Posted Tue, 31 Jan 2012 14:19:00 GMT by Dave Collier

The pygmy right whale is finally found (and found unique!)

Posted Wed, 19 Dec 2012 13:45:46 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Bumblebees: Gone with the Wind? A Major Disappearance

Posted Sat, 05 Mar 2011 16:02:00 GMT by Hannah C. Sarco

Join in with National Wildlife Week

Posted Wed, 16 Mar 2011 21:00:00 GMT by Ruth Hendry

Barbary 'apes' out in the cold

Posted Wed, 26 Jun 2013 00:01:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Warmer seas bad news for threatened abalone and coastal economies

Posted Thu, 26 May 2011 13:00:00 GMT by Colin Ricketts

Muriqui Mothers - a stabilising influence

Posted Tue, 08 Nov 2011 14:25:00 GMT by Dave Collier

Four centuries of forestry

Posted Fri, 06 Sep 2013 12:04:55 GMT by JW Dowey

Diet in mammals is complex

Posted Wed, 09 Jul 2014 04:01:00 GMT by Dave Armstrong

Shark skin boosts swim speed and cuts drag

Posted Thu, 09 Feb 2012 14:22:00 GMT by Adrian Bishop