The squirrels of San Diego

 by Greg Mayer A trip to San Diego last month gave me the opportunity to check out the squirrel situation there. The native vegetation is coastal sage scrub and chapparal, with oaks and pines in higher and wetter areas, and desert to the south and west—very different from the deciduous woodlands of eastern North America […]

A squirrel treat

by Greg Mayer Pulling into the parking lot behind my office this morning, an eastern gray squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) sat in the middle of the road, blocking my way. This is an unusually bold posture for a squirrel– they are usually darting across roadways and parking lots: perhaps it knew it was Sunday, and wasn’t […]

Election day diversions

by Greg Mayer Here in the U.S. it’s election day, and Americans are going to the polls to vote (many have already cast ballots in early voting). To divert you while awaiting the results (we’re expecting them at 3:00 PM Chicago time), here are a couple of items. First, the following photo is of identical […]

Evolution 2016: Mammals

by Greg Mayer I spent June 17-22 in Austin, Texas, for Evolution 2016, the annual joint meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the American Society of Naturalists, and the Society of Systematic Biology, which is the premier annual gathering of evolutionary biologists from around the world. I hope to make a few […]

Squirrels of a different color

by Greg Mayer Squirrels are, of course, perennial favorites here at WEIT, being known as honorary cats. They also present a number of interesting phenomena of within and among population variation in easily observable traits like pelage color. Because these variations are often known even to casual observers, I often use squirrels as examples when […]

Squirrel Week is approaching!

More kibbles have fallen into my lap: Greg has a post on Squirrel Week, which begins in April, but he wants it posted now because there’s a squirrel photo contest whose deadline is isoon.  I should add that Greg’s daughter went to the Naval Academy in Annapolis Maryland, explaining his disquisition on Academy squirrels below. by Greg […]

Evolution 2014: Talks now online

by Greg Mayer When I posted about Daniel Matute giving the Dobzhansky Lecture at the evolution meetings, one of the commenters asked if his talk was recorded so it could be viewed online. At the time I didn’t know– I knew some talks were recorded, but I didn’t know which ones. Well, the recordings which […]

Evolution 2013– Natural History

by Greg Mayer Evolution 2013, the joint annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE), the Society of Systematic Biologists (SSB), and the American Society of Naturalists (ASN), was held in Snowbird, Utah, June 21-25, 2013. I stayed at the Alta Lodge, about a mile further up Little Cottonwood Canyon from Snowbird. […]

Happy Belated Squirrel Appreciation Day

by Greg Mayer Last Saturday (Jan. 21) was Squirrel Appreciation Day, and I sort of missed it. We’ve considered squirrels and their polymorphisms here at WEIT many times, so in belated celebration, here’s a nice squirrel. I didn’t miss it entirely, because Saturday was the day that one of my colleagues, who visited Costa Rica […]

SquirrelCam!

Well, the squirrels have now built a nest on my windowsill (I’m three floors up), so I’ll be able to watch them from only a foot or two away for as long as they’re there.  There are four of them (since they sleep in a heap, I count tails), and they seem to either be […]