Category: Nature

Octopus Limbs

How do octopuses keep track of their 8 limbs? Researchers have discovered that secret behind an octopus’s dexterity comes from the radial symmetry of its legs. Check it out! | News from Science

Q&A Penguins

I’ve just been reading a fantastic book about penguins. Smithsonian Q&A Penguins by Lloyd Spencer Davis has everything I’ve been wondering about. It’s written in accessible language. It’s also fun to read. I’ve read a lot about marine mammals, and I was wishing there was a similar volume that included penguins. The best I could […]

Crittercam

National Geographic has a terrific device known as the Crittercam. The penguin on the left is wearing one. He’s not the only animal that has. It’s been worn by a variety of animals, including humpback whales and a bear cub. The idea for the Crittercam came to marine biologist and filmmaker Greg Marshall in 1986. […]

Jellyfish Propulsion

Coming soon – an interview with Brad Gemmell – a researcher who discovered the secret to the propulsive power of jellyfish!

Jellyfish Power!

This is the first post in a series on jellyfish. It explores the way jellyfish move through deep water. Sometimes it appears that jellyfish simply float and move with the water in the waves. Other times it seems that the wind blowing across the surface of the water is pushing the jellyfish along the surface.

David Gallo: Underwater Astonishments

TED Talks are talks about Ideas Worth Spreading. In this talk, David Gallo brings us along from the Deep Sea to the shallows. The Deep Sea has remarkable displays of bioluminescence. The shallows show animal camouflage that is truly remarkable.

Animal Adaptation: Camouflage

Let’s look at caterpillars as an example of camouflage. The objective of the caterpillars in our scenario is to make it to adulthood so that they can lay eggs. We have three types of caterpillars. One type has spots, another is multi-colored, and the third is a solid color. The only predator of these caterpillars is a species of bird that lives in the region for twelve months of the year. These birds aren’t picky, they’ll eat any caterpillar they can find.

Animal Adaptation: Mimicry

Take butterflies as an example. The objective of the butterflies in our scenario is to survive long enough to lay eggs. We have three types of butterflies. One type is bright blue with emerald green spots, another is multi-colored, and the third is a solid color. The only predator of these butterflies is a species of lizard that lives in the region for twelve months of the year. These lizards aren’t picky; they’ll eat any butterfly they can find.

Honey Bee Update

The honey bee population has been in decline for several years. Some say it is due to the varroa mite. Others claim it is the result of pesticides. Still others cite the cause as stress on the immune system due to overuse of the bees. The decline in population is not just a US phenomenon. […]

Surface Area of the Earth

Meanwhile, have some fun with this interactive graphic brought to you by charts bin!  

Summer in the United States. Winter in Australia.

If you have a birthday in August and you live in the United States, you have a summer birthday.  Did you know that if you have the same birthday but live in Australia, you have a winter birthday?  Yep.  It’s true. The summer months here are the winter months Down Under.  So the winter holidays […]

Why is Summer Hot?

Most people believe the summer is hot and the winter is cold because the Earth is closer to the sun in summer and farther away in winter. That’s just not true! The Earth is closest to the sun in January! If it’s a matter of how close we are to the sun then January should […]

Plastic Bottle Bird Feeders

If a summer nature journal sounds good to you but the terrarium is not your thing, how about a bird feeder made from a 2-liter soda bottle? You can recycle and help your feathered friends at the same time! Gather your materials – and an adult for the cutting part! – and you’re good to […]

Summer Nature Journals

A summer nature journal is the perfect way to sharpen your observation skills while keeping your writing sharp. The only thing you need is a journal and a project. How about micro terrarium? They’re easy to make and fun to observe. All you need is a small container, some small plants like clover from the […]

Snapping Turtle Science

>According to the CritterZone, the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) is the largest type of freshwater turtle in the United States. They have an upper shell that is not large enough for them to withdraw inside completely. They have large nails on all four feet and a “long, fleshy tail, with an alligator-like crest.” Their powerful […]