Category Archives:

ecology

America’s lust for gigantic breasts leads to impotence: the population genetics of captive-reared turkeys

biology, Conservation, ecology, evolution, Natural Science, ScienceNovember 23, 2011

The noble turkey, a centerpiece of the American Thanksgiving supper. It looms large from its prominent position on the dining room table. The master of ceremonies – or, in my case, the guy who keeps slicing himself open with various sharp objects yet is inexplicably the one people call on when there’s knife-work needs doing […]

Salmon, aquaculture, and the spread of Infectious Salmon Anemia

ecology, fisheries, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceOctober 27, 2011

In 2008, a deadly virus decimated Chilean aquaculture facilities, causing $2 billion in damage and crippling an industry. This week, preliminary reports suggest that this same disease may have infected wild salmon in the north Pacific. The internet has been blowing up with news reports of Infectious Salmon Anemia (ISA) detected in wild salmon populations. Reports range […]

A slimehead by any other name should never be on your plate

biology, deep sea, ecology, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceOctober 26, 2011

Slimehead is not a word you would expect to find on the menu of a fancy restaurant. Like dolphin*, toothfish*, goosefish*, mudbug*, hog*, and gizzard fish*, slimeheads have undergone a bit re-branding over the last few decades to make their name as palatable as their fillets. Enter the Orange Roughy, a dull, uninspired name that […]

I *heart* cryptozoology

ecology, Natural Science, Ocean of Pseudoscience Week, ScienceOctober 6, 2011

Cryptozoology, the study of animals whose existence is unproven, lies just south of the boundary between science and pseudoscience. Unlike most psuedoscientific movements, which require adherents to suspend disbelief and ignore the realities of physics, chemistry, medicine, and, well, reality, the foundational principals of cryptozoology – that there are remnant populations of thought-to-be-extinct species and […]

In sexual selection and thermoregulation, bigger is better, at least for fiddler crabs

biology, ecology, evolution, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceSeptember 21, 2011

Imagine yourself a fiddler crab. For this exercise, imagine yourself a male fiddler crab. Are you with me? Great. Check out your right claw, it’s a sleek, slender machine, perfect for picking through the sand as you sift out bacteria and other microorganisms for food. It also makes a handy shovel for digging nice deep […]

Climbing Mount Chernobyl

Conservation, ecology, History of Science, marine science, Natural Science, ScienceAugust 30, 2011

In the last century, humans have made dramatic changes to both local and global ecosystems. Some of these changes have been subtle and remained unnoticed until very recently, while others were so visible and so destructive that their names are indelibly etched into our collective consciousness. Despite a legacy of desolation, many of these places, […]

Tagging Bull Sharks in the Neuse River

ecology, Life in the Lab, marine science, Natural Science, Science, sharksAugust 4, 2011

Meagan Dunphy-Daly is a graduate student at the Duke University Marine Lab studying the effectiveness of marine reserves in protecting apex predators. She also has ongoing research examining bullshark/dolphin interactions in the Neuse River, NC, where she recently caught an 8 foot bullshark. Well, it’s Shark Week and instead of heading up to the Neuse […]

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