Science Medley: Now with More Luna Moths
Thanks to the era of furloughs and budget cuts, a lot of my blogging lately on research, academia, and education has been, shall we say, cranky. As an antidote, today I offer some eye candy and learning opportunities on a tour of the science blogosphere featuring bloggers' interactions with or observations of animals of all kinds.
First up: A photo retrospective of Dr. Brazen Hussy's ongoing bird research, as posted at What the hell is wrong with you? You can browse her blog's archives from the spring to see a host of birds she's studying, but some of my favorites (aside from the bird in her blog's banner) include the angry woodpecker (with a brief commentary on humane practices in field ornithology), cranky cowbird, deceptively cute but still angry, angry hummingbird, and tiny adorable ball of anger.
There's a ton of interesting information about bugs, and especially about bees, at Bug Squad, but I really enjoyed this photo of native and nonnative bees sharing a sunflower, in part because I saw the same thing just the other day in my backyard. Quick--how many known species of bees are there worldwide? (20,000!)
Also from Bug Squad: walking leaf insects! Definitely click through for those photos.
Moving from insects to charismatic megafauna: Anne-Marie Hodge writes about how moose and bears in Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park treat roadways in very different ways. Did you know that pregnant moose "tend to shift their activity closer to roads before giving birth, in order to avoid predation by grizzly bears"? No? Go read Hodge's blog entry to learn more about large mammals and roads.
Also on human-animal interaction: Candace Calloway Whiting writes about orcas and ecotourism for the Center for Whale Research. She asks:
How much of our fascination with orcas is too much? How many boats, how much underwater noise can they take? At what point, given the dwindling salmon supply, are the whales either going to leave this area permanently or gradually succumb to the environmental stressors and just die off?
We do know that they are endangered locally, and their survival depends upon our ability to figure it out and set sustainable guidelines…compromises between our desire to watch them as they live their lives as wild, free, and peaceful animals and their ability to cope with us. And in these rotten economic times, we do have to take into serious consideration the businesses and individuals that rely upon the income generated by whale watching tourism. But the whales may not be able to endure it much longer.
What animals and science blog posts have you enjoyed lately? Please share in the comments!
Leslie Madsen-Brooks develops learning experiences for K-12, university, and museum clients. She blogs at The Clutter Museum, Museum Blogging, and is the founder of Eager Mondays, a consultancy providing unconventional professional development.