Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Caught in My Web: Food vs. Sex, Recording Vibrations, Genital Distractions, Singing Dogs and Extreme Vision

Image by Luc Viatour at Wikimedia
This week will be the first of a new feature: Caught in My Web, a collection of recent articles, blog posts, videos and more that shed light on interesting aspects of animal physiology and behavior.

      1. There is often a tradeoff between food and sex. The Schneider Lab talks about the physiology of at what point a male will leave a meal to search for sex in Should I Stay or Should I Go? on the blog Sexandfoodand. To make things more interesting, the critters discussed are the nematode worms, C. elegans, and males are not seeking sex with females, but rather with hermaphrodites. And as a bonus, this article includes the best Harlem Shake video of all time!

      2. If you liked my article, Interrupting Insects, on how male treehoppers use vibrations to court females, you’ll love this first-hand account of what it is like to do this kind of research! In his blog Missouri Historian, Micah Fletcher, Micah recounts his experience studying these critters in Eavesdropping on a Silent Symphony.

      3. In ScienceNow, Helen Fields tells us how hawk moths giggle their genitals to prevent bats from catching and eating them in ScienceShot: Vibrating Genitals may Ward off Predators. A word of caution: If you are being chased by a hungry predator, try this at your own risk!

      4. In Expedition to Find the New Guinea Singing Dog: The Rarest Dog in the World in Running Ponies at Scientific American Blogs, Becky Crew interviews James ‘Mac’ McIntyre, a field zoologist planning an expedition to find and study the world’s most elusive dog species.

      5. And just for fun, here’s a video on extreme animal vision by Steve Rotfield Productions.


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