Category Archives: plants

Peregrinations: New Mexico, part I

Las Cruces, New Mexico is the home of New Mexico State University (NMSU), where two of my friends teach: evoutionary biologist Avis James (named by a mother who was an ornithologist), and ecologist Bill Boecklen. I’ve known Avis for a long time, since she was a postdoc at Chicago working on flies, and later became […]

Peregrinations: Berkeley

On Friday and Saturday I visited my old grad-school comrade Ivan (at Rockefeller University, where I started), a self-described “herpetophile, bibliophile and part time physician.” Ivan has a lovely home—nay, mansion—in the Berkeley hills, built in 1910 and with most of its original wood and fixtures (it’s four stories high). On the third story is the […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Robert Seidel sent two photographs along with biology anecdotes: Here two photos on the prowess of organisms: First, a buff-tailed bumblebee (Bombus terrestris) short-circuiting a honeysuckle (Lonicera caprifolium). Meant to be pollinated, so I read, by nocturnal moths, this flower is too long for this species’ sucker. So it gnaws the base, and “steals” […]

Peregrinations: Vermillion, South Dakota

After a roughly ten-hour drive from Chicago on Saturday, I arrived in Vermillion, South Dakota, where reader Hugh Britten, his wife Lynn (both biologists at the University of South Dakota) and their daughter Caitlin greeted me with excellent hospitality, including two cats, a d*g, and a lovely get-together with other faculty and great noms. Here’s the family; […]

How many species of tropical trees are there?

I’m not going to get into the long-debated issue of why the tropics are so much richer in species than the temperate zones (theories include physical disturbance, coevolutionary pressures, higher temperature that accelerates evolution, and so on). There is no consensus, but let me just present some data showing the huge difference, data collected in […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

First, reader Diana MacPherson goes all abstract on us with an artsy photo of a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale): Here is something completely different…I was trying out my Sony NEX-7 camera with an adapter (metabones) that allows me to use my Sigma (with a Canon mount) macro lens with it. I just wanted to see if I […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

As per the new policy, we’ll have a shorter selection of photographs on Saturday because Caturday Felids counts as photographs! But today we have three nice space photos from reader Tim Anderson in Oz. Click twice (with a break in between) to see the pictures enlarged, and by themselves: This is a nightscape showing part of […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Do send in your GOOD photos: I have a fairly comfortable backlog, but could always use more. I saw an adorable squirrel photograph on Pete Moulton’s Facebook page (one of the advantages of having Facebook!), and begged him for more squirrel photos. Here are the results, with bonus birds: Per your request, here are a […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

First, four pictures from Stephen Barnard, who has a huge backlog in the queue. These include a cryptic animal; can you spot it? The eaglets (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) are growing fast. A Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) attacking a Northern Harrier ( Circus cyaneus) that was robbing nests. American Avocets (Recurvirostra americana): Meadow Vole (Microtus pennsylvanicus) :-) : […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

Reader Donn Ingle from South Africa has sent photos before (see here), but here’s a new batch. Donn specializes in his local flora, and sends the following information: I live in Betty’s Bay on (not quite) the southern tip of Africa. I’ve been taking arty pics of my surrounds for a couple of years. I’m not trained […]

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