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Amazing Animation Meets Mouse Genetics

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


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This week’s video comes to us from Joanne Manaster‘s post over at PsiVid. According to Joanne:

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 in video form with charming animation and engaging narration.

Carin Bondar About the Author: Carin Bondar is a biologist, writer and film-maker with a PhD in population ecology from the University of British Columbia. Find Dr. Bondar online at www.carinbondar.com, on twitter @drbondar or on her facebook page: Dr. Carin Bondar – Biologist With a Twist. Follow on Twitter @drbondar.

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





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  1. 1. SJCrum 6:18 pm 05/8/2014

    As for this video, I cannot watch it because my wife is reading and she would get miffed if I cause too much noise. Besides that, she is a bit miffed with me today anyway. That’s another issue, and no, it wasn’t because I got puffed up at all. Actually, I was mostly completely innocent.
    Anyway, the topics in this article, are a little fun also.
    As far as the science involved, a mouse digs a tunnel because it is afraid, and needs to hide. As far as what causes it to do this, a mouse has a very small amount of the basic feelings and ability to think as humans have, and that being because their souls are made with the same three types that humans and all animals have. A mouse’s has a strong feeling about survival, and it therefore digs to hide. It also has a mouse-size amount of intelligence, and knows how to dig, etc.
    As for how it digs, it digs with its forepaws to get deeper into the hole, and as the dirt builds up under it, and slightly behind, it stops at intervals to go backward and clean the dirt out of the hole. It then goes back inside and digs some more, in repeating the process.
    As for an escape hole, they do that in order to deceive predators and to always have more air ventilation.
    And, yes, that is what the female mouse expert says is dead-on right, and then told me, somewhat, “Just type it.”

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  2. 2. Alexis Klatt 6:09 pm 05/9/2014

    Mindless evolution or intelligent Creation?

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  3. 3. Stormport 3:29 am 05/12/2014

    What? “Mindless evolution or intelligent Creation?” desuka!!
    “As for this video, I cannot watch it because my wife is reading and she would get miffed if I cause too much noise. Besides that, she is a bit miffed with me today anyway” desuka!!??

    I’ve been reading this mag since it was an actual resource to many college and high school instructors and was a respected reporter of deep science. And the above is the current audience? I think my subscription may slide this next time. Straying into these comments, all I can think is WHAT?

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