From the Community: Giant monitor lizard, seafloor scavengers and fruit fly aerodynamics

Climate change prompts migratory birds to stay home, Simpsons’ writer talks conservation and the U.K. announces newest and largest MPA. Here’s what is happening in ecology from the second week in April. Fruit flies in flight: Scientists analyze the locomotion of fruit flies and determine the key to their quick turnaround is simply a 9 degree wing-tilt difference (see above). Read more at “High-Speed Video Shows How Flies Change...

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So you want to be a conservationist? Think of the community

This post contributed by Lina Oliveros, a native Colombian and administrative assistant/governance at the Ecological Society of America.   When we consider all the conservation challenges facing our world and society, we know that communicating effectively to the community is not only helpful but necessary. However, many inspiring projects in various conservation areas have failed to succeed—not because the scientific background was...

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The phrenologist’s guide to ecological competence

Since Darwin, scientists have been theorizing as to why there is variation in brain size between species and individuals. Does a larger brain, in say humans, indicate advanced cognitive abilities and complex language processing? Or is a smaller brain, such as the Olive-backed thrush’s, adapted to weigh less to accommodate lengthy flights?   In psychology, the field of phrenology has generally been dissolved, and with it, the idea that...

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Blue whales picking up where they left off?

New movement patterns may be a sign of good news for blue whales. Blue whales have begun moving around the ocean in ways that strongly resemble their historical patterns before the advent of the whaling trade. A century ago, about 300,000 blue whales existed. But in the early 1900s, humans hunted and killed 99.9 percent of them. The population decimation made them disappear from northern waters. A new paper published online in the...

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