Caterpillars Count Animals Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Caterpillars Count

From big to small, we all count. Even caterpillars.  Caterpillars are important Caterpillars are familiar to us. When a butterfly flutters past you, you know that it was once a caterpillar. Now it’s time to count the caterpillars and arthropods (creatures, like insects, with segmented bodies) that you see to help scientists understand how their populations are changing. You can get started today with the Caterpillars Count! project. Even though this project doesn’t just focus on caterpillars, who can resist a good alliteration?  In 2015, Dr. Allen Hurlbert of North…

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Animals Citizen Science Connected Blog 

Manatee Chat: Uncovering Manatee Secrets

It has long been believed that the manatee is a solitary animal with a very simple communication system that primarily serves one purpose: to keep mom and a calf in contact. However, in recent years, these assumptions have been questioned, based on new research indicating that manatees may not be that solitary after all and that their communication system might be more complex than we previously realized.  Manatees clearly cannot compete with other marine mammals in terms of vocal complexity—such as dolphins, for example—yet we still know surprisingly little about…

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Animals Citizen Science Citizen Science Connected Blog Ecology 

Citizen Science in Nebraska is Bigger Than You Think

by Megan Ray Nichols (@nicholsrmegan) In Nebraska, scientists working for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission are increasingly relying on casual researchers and citizen scientists to better understand three creatures in particular: spotted skunks, salamanders, and regal fritillary butterflies. Why? The populations of these species have either declined or are in jeopardy, and scientists want to get a current population count. Let’s take a closer look at these three Nebraskan citizen science projects and what researchers hope to learn from data collected by citizen scientists. Nebraska is a big state.…

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Animals Biology 

Seahorses Give a Whole New Meaning to “Dad Bod”

By Ive Velikova (@ScienceWithIve) Seahorses give a whole new meaning to the term “dad bod.” You see, they are one of the only animals species in which the males get pregnant and give birth. [tweetthis]Mr. Mom of the sea—how seahorse dads’ pregnancy gives “dad bods” a whole new meaning.[/tweetthis] Let’s start with the basics. In biology, members of the species that produce sperm are generally classified as “male,” and members of the species that produce eggs are classified as “female.” Eggs are larger and more energetically costly to produce than…

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Animals Biology Health 

How Does Tissue Regenerate?

By Noeline Subramaniam (@spicy_scientist) Regeneration often sounds like science fiction—Wolverine’s healing superpowers probably spring to mind. But you don’t have to be a mutant to be able to regenerate. In fact, humans have the ability to regenerate in utero until the beginning of the third trimester. With the exception of our liver and digit tips, we largely lose this capacity as adults—but why? Let’s turn to the animal kingdom for answers. [tweetthis]Why do some animals have regenerative abilities, while humans do not? @spicy_scientist[/tweetthis] Is regeneration lost through evolution? Before we…

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Animals Biology 

How Spiders Weave the Perfect Web

By Shayna Keyles (@shaynakeyles). Are you afraid of spiders? I don’t blame you. The spider “embodies the Terrible Mother’s gruesome mysteries of death and dissolution . . . . [I]mages of her terrors are reinforced by the spider’s killing or paralyzing its victims with venom from hollow fangs, and the female’s habitual devouring of the typically smaller male after mating” (Ronnberg, 2010). [tweetthis]#Spooky! #spiderwebs aren’t all the same. Silk-spinners tailor webs to hunt food and hide from predators.[/tweetthis] Despite their reputation as killers and creeps, spiders are often more friendly…

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Animals Biology Health Videos 

Will You Still Eat Raw Fish After Watching This Video?

Sushi, sashimi, and poke are delicious. Why? It’s because they’re all made of raw fish! But, have you ever noticed that warning about raw or undercooked seafood at the bottom of restaurant menus? Have you ever wondered why it’s there? It’s there because fish carry a ton of parasites. And if the fish aren’t prepared correctly, then those parasites can make it into your body. This fishy intersection with the wild world of parasites can teach us a lot about how these moochers help keep ecosystems healthy, and why we…

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Animals Biology Genetics Videos 

Science with Sophie: Dogs

Do dogs really exist? Okay, we know dogs really exist. But how do you know if something really exists if you can’t see it? On this episode of Science with Sophie, Sophie explores why it’s so important to do your own research, as well as how genetic traits as passed down. And as a bonus, you’ll learn all about the history of dogs, complete with at least five different canine cameos. Do the science experiment with Sophie To do the science experiment, you’ll need these things: something to write on something…

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Fortune Favors Bold Lizards Animals Environment 

Fortune Favors Bold Lizards

By Kate Stone It has been said that the brave don’t live as long, but the timid don’t live at all, so this one is for the brave. Bold lizards, regardless of size or sex, have the most success finding mates. Ecologists have found a valuable life lesson to be learned from lizards: a bold personality—not body size or sex—correlates with the mating success of yellow-spotted monitor lizards roaming the remote Oombulgurri floodplains of tropical Western Australia. But boldness has a cost: bold individuals expose themselves to a much higher…

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Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head Animals Paleontology 

Another Early Toothed Bird Raises Its Head

By Kate Stone @GotScienceOrg Sometimes what you seek is right under your nose. Using fossils found in the 1870s, paleontologists have pieced together the skull of a toothed bird that represents a pivotal moment in the transition from dinosaurs to modern birds. “Right under our noses this whole time was an amazing, transitional bird.” Ichthyornis dispar is a key member of the evolutionary lineage that leads from dinosaurian species to today’s birds. It lived nearly 100 million years ago in North America and looked like a toothy seabird—like a gull…

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