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Posts Tagged "nature"

Bering in Mind

Think Crying Is Cathartic? Not Always

Psychologists take a closer look at the folk wisdom that “it’s good to get it out of your system”

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Brainwaves

Why Life Does Not Really Exist

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I have been fascinated with living things since childhood. Growing up in northern California, I spent a lot of time playing outdoors among plants and animals. Some of my friends and I would sneak up on bees as they pollinated flowers and trap them in Ziploc bags so we could get a close look at [...]

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Budding Scientist

Flying Spiders: Watch a Scene From “Charlotte’s Web” in Your Backyard

“Charlotte’s Web,” the E.B. White childhood classic, ends with Wilbur the pig eagerly waiting for Charlotte’s baby spiders to emerge from their egg sac. When they finally crawl out, they do something that seems pretty amazing to anyone not familiar with how spiders travel long distances: they fly away. Here’s the passage from the last [...]

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But Seriously...

Insect Paparazzi: Eye of the Dragon

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I rarely get to shoot dragonflies as they hungrily patrol their airspace, never stopping to rest. But sometimes they alight and, when they do, I’m there, camera in hand. This one is a Blue Dasher, scientific name Pachydiplax longipennis.  And, no, that species name, longipennis, actually means “long wings.” Sorry. I’ve noticed, when disturbed by my [...]

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Compound Eye

Wasps Are Our Friends: Part I

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I’ve had about enough of people unfairly picking on wasps, so I’m fighting back with a series of photographs showing the bright side of these fascinating insects. Comperia merceti is only a couple millimeters long, but it has an outsized effect on cockroaches. Young wasps of this species develop inside cockroaches’ hardened egg cases, consuming the [...]

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Compound Eye

An interview with Bug Dreams’ Rick Lieder

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In an age where insect photographers seem engaged in an arms race to produce the sharpest, most detailed, and most magnified images, Rick Lieder of Bug Dreams stands against the crowd as a uniquely impressionistic artist. His masterful use of natural light and composition makes his work instantly recognizable, and I’ve been dying to talk [...]

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Culturing Science

Urban ecology doesn’t have enough humans in it

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When you read the word “nature,” what do you think of? Maybe you imagine a dark wood with sunlight reaching a mottled floor of foliage, thrushes singing and chipmunks hopping. Maybe you peer through grassy dunes at sanderlings running back and forth in the surf , occasionally halting to frantically peck at the sand. Or [...]

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Extinction Countdown

Deadly forest fire leads to resurrection of endangered tree

In 2009 six weeks of wildfires in Victoria, Australia, killed 173 people and injured hundreds more, but the fires may have also led to the resurrection of a rare tree that was previously on a path to extinction. Only about 670 Buxton silver gum trees (Eucalyptus crenulata) were left in the wild before the devastating [...]

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Guest Blog

The Outdoors as a “World of Wonder” for Children

How a local program is changing the way families experience nature. Ten families hiked into Davidson College Ecological Preserve on a bright Saturday morning to get a glimpse of the kudzu-eating goats, usually off-limits to the public. The outing was part of an environmental education program, World of Wonder (WOW!), a partnership of the Davidson [...]

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Observations

Controversial Bird-Flu Research Published: How Worried Should We Be?

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A highly controversial research paper on bird flu was released today by the journal Nature. It shows that a particularly troublesome strain of avian influenza, designated H5N1, which has been worrying public health officials for more than a decade, has the potential to become a human pandemic. In other words, H5N1 bird flu, which so [...]

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Observations

Being Happy: Social and Natural Factors Are More Important Than Money (Especially in Costa Rica)

It’s easy to find an online test that will purportedly tell you how happy you are. But how happy are the people of an entire nation? And which nation’s people are happiest? That’s hard to measure. So for decades world organizations like the United Nations that concern themselves with improving people’s well-being have used a [...]

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Plugged In

A New World on the Outside of a Raleigh Museum

In Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has been building its Nature Research Center, a brand new extension to the museum focusing not just on science but on how science is done. It’s all awesome, and it opens today, April 20. You could talk all day about it — and, full disclosure, as [...]

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Plugged In

The Wind and the Water

In Plugged In’s never-ending efforts to get you to use the latest technology to connect you to your world in a nontechnological way, I have recently run across two fabulous online undertakings focused on connecting you physically to your physical world. The first is this unbelievably lovely website called Wind Map, showing you a moving, realtime [...]

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PsiVid

Amazing Animation Meets Mouse Genetics

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How does a mouse build a burrow, and do genes help control this behavior? This was a question asked by members of the Hoekstra lab at Harvard. Research results from Dr. Hopi Hoekstra’s lab, based on the 2013 Nature paper, Discrete genetic modules are responsible for complex burrow evolution in Peromyscus mice, has been released [...]

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PsiVid

Monkeys! Synthesizers! Nature and Tech Together!

If you gave an infinite number of (or six) monkeys (and related, which I think means mammals) an infinite (also six) number of synthesizers, will they eventually produce Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, or ACDC’s Back in Black or, well, anything? Someone thought they’d give it a go as an advertisement for Voltfestivalen — The place [...]

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PsiVid

Male anthropologist, paleontologist, or anthropologist needed to co-host TV show!

Before everyone gets their feathers ruffled that this casting call is looking for a male, just know he is to be a co-host to a female. Now that that is clear….. SEEKING CO-HOST FOR MAJOR CABLE NETWORK Major Cable Network dedicated to Nature, Science and Exploration, is currently casting a Co-Host for new project examining [...]

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PsiVid

A Biologist’s Mother’s Day Song

Biologist's Mother's Day Song

Happy Mother’s Day! A molecular biology ditty for mom by Adam Cole, who has a pretty fun science video channel. You know I love this one! “Slightly more than half of me is thanks to you!!” From his description below the video come his lyrics and a quote by the wonderful Robert Sapolsky. Lyrics: To [...]

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PsiVid

The Sloths are Coming! Behind the Scenes of a New Program on Animal Planet

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This is the time of year many of us instinctively turn toward heart-warming movies and TV shows. If you are one of those people, I have the perfect nature show for you. Airing December 17th at 8pm on Animal Planet, it is a sweet, warm, and humorous story about an unusual place: the Avarios Sloth [...]

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Symbiartic

Science on a Sphere & Falling in Love Again

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This week, the only dedicated science illustration conference in the country is taking place in Boulder, CO. The Guild of Natural Science Illustrators’ annual gathering is in full swing and there are fascinating developments to convey. First off, on Monday the keynote speakers addressed two sides of the same question: how can we engage more [...]

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Symbiartic

ScienceArt Exhibits Heat Up This Summer

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Take a break from the heat this summer to step into some cool galleries exhibiting scienceart. If the exhibits keep pouring in at this rate, I’ll have to split up this post by region. There are five scienceart exhibits in New York alone! But for those of you who are not in the NY-region, don’t [...]

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Symbiartic

The ScienceArt Exhibit Roundup for Spring

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This is the dish on the latest exhibits combining science and art around the country. This time the prize for the most bumpin’ scienceArt scene goes to the Northeast, amirite? Lucky you if you live there: EXHIBITS: NORTHEAST REGION JESSICA DRENK: An Allegory of Algorithms and Aesthetics April 12 – May 12, 2014 Adah Rose [...]

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Symbiartic

Reconstructing an Ancient Fin and Watching it Paddle to Fame

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Friends and colleagues who know that I illustrated Neil Shubin’s first book, Your Inner Fish, have been asking if I was involved in the three-part PBS series hosted by Shubin that will air next week on April 9th. The short answer is no. But I’m proud to say that I made this very model of [...]

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Symbiartic

What Artists Know About Light That Physicists Are Missing

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Whether you learned that light was a particle or a wave in high school physics, you likely inferred that only physicists could ultimately weigh in on the subject. Technically true, I suppose, but there are a number of artists demonstrating quite deftly that light is a medium, too. Artist Darren Pearson is one such person. [...]

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Symbiartic

How Fossil Fish Make Front-Page News

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Perhaps you’ve heard about Entelognathus primordialis this week. Wait, the scientific name doesn’t ring a bell on its own? What if I refer to it as the 419-million-year old placoderm fish that surprised everyone with its beautifully preserved, surprisingly modern-looking jaw? Entelognathus primordialis shakes our family tree at its roots; it unseats cartilaginous fish as [...]

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Symbiartic

Are You A Mammal? Standardized Test

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Hannah Bonner is an illustrator who is creating an empire of informative, entertaining kids’ books about paleontology. They remind me of The Magic School Bus series by Joanna Cole: real science conveyed with a wacky sense of humor. Take, for example, Bonner’s “Are You A Mammal?” standardized test. It opens with the following instructions: Instructions: [...]

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Symbiartic

Fish, Fungus and Flea Beetles

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The Southern Ontario Nature & Science Illustrators’ (SONSI) exhibit is on right now in Toronto. I used to be webmaster-blogger for this amazing group – and I would be hard-pressed to find a more professional, fun, and above all talented group of illustrators anywhere. These are the people you want illustrating your ebooks on biodiversity [...]

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Symbiartic

Shoot To Kill or Aim To Embarrass?

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As I’ve pointed out before on Symbiartic, before the modern naturalist movement, nature lovers would shoot and kill the objects of their fancy to get a better look. Audubon himself would take dead specimens and pin them into life-like poses before drawing them and turning them into the prints that are so treasured today. But [...]

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Symbiartic

What Did You Miss?

Last month, we posted a wide variety of science-art here at Symbiartic. We thought it’d be nice to post an overview in case you missed or wanted to revisit any. Enjoy!

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