Category Archives:

ecology

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 […]

The Global Extinction Crisis – species area relationships, habitat loss, and population dynamics

Conservation, ecology, Natural Science, ScienceMay 23, 2011

We are in the midst of a global extinction crisis. Biodiversity is in decline as species after species disappear. Some estimates predict that up to 50% of species will be committed to extinction by 2050. Other estimates claim the current rate of extinction may be 10,000 times the background rate. Many ecologists and conservationists have declared the current […]

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