Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Crazy Animal Photo of the Month

WTF, right?

I scanned this photo from a 1963 book called "The Fishes" from Time/Life's Nature Library series. Apparently the hoods on the fish block their lateral line, so they no longer swim away when someone sticks their hand in the tank. But I think it is more likely that their loss of reflex is due to excessive brainwashing by the Hooded Fish Cult.

I wanted to find a scientific paper to go with this image, but a web search of the supposed researcher "Dr. Theodore Walker" yielded few results related to this particular picture of the hooded fish cult.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dogs decoded

NOVA has got a fabulous new show on dogs, that happens to be playing right now, as I blog this. I love NOVA because they show the science process in action by filming experiments and interviewing scientists. The show covers bonding behavior between dogs and humans, dog intelligence, and the evolution of domestication. I happen to know a lot about dog behavior and evolution, and I can vouch that the show is actually quite accurate!

Check out NOVA's webpage on the show here and try to watch it on your local public broadcast station!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sexy stickleback

For biology nerds and J.T. fans:

That's right, it's a song about stickleback to the tune of "Sexy Back". UC Berkeley seems like a fun place.

Brook stickleback

PS In case you weren't aware, here is what a stickleback looks like. Sticklebacks are great organisms for the study of evolution because they have evolved different morphology (and behavior!) depending on their environment. For example, ocean stickleback are different than lake and river stickleback. Even in the same lake you can find two different forms of stickleback in the deep and shallow parts of the lake. By making hybrids and looking at their DNA, scientists have found genes that control different parts of stickleback development and morphology.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Comments now open....

Hey I just realized I may have previously missed out on a lot of comments, since I never changed blogspot's default commenting option of "registered users only".

It's open to anyone now, so go forth and comment!