Poo pump: whales as ecosystem engineers
Jul03

Poo pump: whales as ecosystem engineers

The brown cloud bursts forth among the pod of sperm whales, dispersing a wealth of nitrogen and iron into the surface waters over the deep ocean. The whale-borne windfall is eagerly received by phytoplankton, the microorganisms at the foundation of the ocean food chain, which quickly capitalize on the surge of fuel. Poop packs a powerful energetic punch. And an adult sperm whale packs a lot of poo. Enough to dump 50 metric tons of...

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Tadpoles bulk up to meet the alien invaders
Jun30

Tadpoles bulk up to meet the alien invaders

What happens when an invasive, carapaced, and clawed, alien predator arrives in your pond? Do you change your daily habits to avoid drawing dangerous attention? Bulk up to make yourself a tougher target? If you an Iberian water frog, you do both.

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Smithsonian’s National Zoo closes invertebrate exhibit
Jun20

Smithsonian’s National Zoo closes invertebrate exhibit

The US National Zoo stunned butterfly, cuttlefish, coral, and giant clam fans when it announced Monday, June 16, that the zoo’s Invertebrate Exhibit would close within the week.

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Let’s try to get eaten!
Jun16

Let’s try to get eaten!

Whelp, they look like they’re having fun.
Masaaki Yuasa has some thoughts to share about what makes learning fun, even when it has a gross, bitter taste, in season 6, episode 7 of the animated series Adventure Time.

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Butcher, baker, brewer-fish
Jun10

Butcher, baker, brewer-fish

We asked science café aspirants for creativity and Simon Brandl brought it with his analogy of division of labor in a coral reef community, where butcher-sharks course among the brewers, bakers, and aristocrats of the reef. Brandl shares the 2014 ESA Science Café Prize with co-winner Madhusudan Katti. He is a PhD candidate at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and School of Marine and Tropical Biology, at James Cook...

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