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Wild Sex Matters

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.


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When it gets down it, in some biologists’ views anyways, it is all about sex. Well, at least for much of the plant and animal kingdoms. Every physiological adaption or morphological innovation comes about because it enabled some ancestors to survive, but becomes a trait of a species or a lineage because it gets passed on down the line of descendants. Hence, sex matters – although, everything else that keeps an individual alive longer to have sex, or have more sex, matters just as much as well!

My friend and colleague Dr. Carin Bondar has a new series out for EarthTouch TV, an internet environmental and science channel on Youtube and also on their own webpage: EarthTouch.tv. They have 21 series and it looks like how Discovery Channel and Animal Planet used to be when they just aired science and nature… but I digress. The best part is that they are made for the internet. Short, interesting, entertaining and to the point with only a short commercial in the beginning. Check out the first episode of Dr. Bondar’s Wild Sex series below and use your own judgement about appropriate age. It’s filled with double entendres but nothing obscene.

I think it’s an exciting way to present science. It’s fun, entertaining and filled with natural history. I think a teen and young adult audience would really like this series and has could have potential to reach audience segments that hard to reach for more traditional science communication on TV. The trick is to push is out there, but with EarthTouch as a YouTube “TV station” the viral potential is great. Sharing among social networks is super easy, you can embed on your blog or website (like I just did) and discuss or critique it, and the energy of the Carin and length of the program is suitable for our ever-evolving short attention spans.

These characteristics are what sets Wild Sex apart from the current crop or “me-cumentaries” – where the documentaries are about the presenter and their journey and less about the topic/animal/environment/issue. While the presentation and subject matter might remain mildly offensive to some nature documentary traditionalists and parents who might feel queasy whenever sex is mentioned around their children, those aren’t really the target audiences. I, for one, am looking forward to future episodes!

Kevin Zelnio About the Author: Kevin has a M.Sc. degree in biology from Penn State, a B.Sc. in Evolution and Ecology from University of California, Davis, and has worked at as a researcher at several major marine science institutions. His broad academic research interests have encompassed population genetics, biodiversity, community ecology, food webs and systematics of invertebrates at deep-sea chemosynthetic environments and elsewhere. Kevin has described several new species of anemones and shrimp. He is now a freelance writer, independent scientist and science communications consultant living near the Baltic coast of Sweden in a small, idyllic village.

Kevin is also the assistant editor and webmaster for Deep Sea News, where he contributes articles on marine science. His award-winning writing has been appeared in Seed Magazine, The Open Lab: Best Writing on Science Blogs (2007, 2009, 2010), Discovery Channel, ScienceBlogs, and Environmental Law Review among others. He spends most of his time enjoying the company of his wife and two kids, hiking, supporting local breweries, raising awareness for open access, playing guitar and songwriting. You can read up more about Kevin and listen to his music at his homepage, where you can also view his CV and Résumé, and follow him twitter and Google +.

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Follow on Twitter @kzelnio.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.



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Comments 3 Comments

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  1. 1. Wilmark 12:25 am 11/23/2012

    “prayingmanTITs”???

    Link to this
  2. 2. Kevin Zelnio in reply to Kevin Zelnio 1:26 am 11/23/2012

    Lol, well, I BELIEVE it’s praying mantiDs lol… Could be the canadian accent.

    Link to this
  3. 3. Carin 2:30 pm 11/25/2012

    Yes, Mantids. it must be my Canadian twang :)

    Link to this

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