Adult female Daphnia magna, with developing young in the brood pouch on her back. We have just dialed the cuteness to 11. Photo by Hajime Watanabe, Creative Commons Public Library of Science.
When you read a story, you may occasionally wonder what the reporter went through to get it. About a month ago I arose at 5 a.m. to accompany two wildlife biologists and three fisheries volunteers into the high country of Colorado in order to report a story that came out in High Country News this past week.Over the course of a 12-hour day, we covered about 10 miles, climbed several thousand feet, slogged through bogs in which I sank to my calves, swatted clouds of mosquitoes, and were drenched by rain in order to get to the high ponds and puddles where boreal toads breed.
Cyst, trophozoite ("amoeba"), and flagellate forms of the protist Naegleria fowleri. Photos by CDC. In the press this week were reports (see here and here and here) that the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri has killed three people this summer, as it does in a typical year.
Mealybugs and their myrmecoid herders. Photo by Ron Hemberger, courtesy J. McCutcheon. Used with permission. If it goes around on six legs, it doesn't get much dowdier than the mealybug 1 .
Woolly mammoth, resplendent. Model from the Royal BC Museum, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Creative Commons Tracy O. Click image for link. As I write, the Snowmass Water and Sanitation Department District is busy digging, damming, and filling the Ziegler Reservoir on top of one of the world's only known high-altitude Ice Age fossil sites -- and "without question" the world's finest mastodon site, according to Denver Museum of Nature and Science VP Kirk Johnson -- near Snowmass Village, CO, a ski resort.Fortunately for us, the DMNS had 70 days spread over two seasons to get in, dig like hell, and get out.
Author's note: This essay was originally posted on April 19, 2011, at Artful Amoeba 1.0 honoring the work of the late Thomas Eisner, a world-renowned chemical ecologist.
A few weeks ago local lichen expert Ann Henson and I scouted out lichens on the flanks of Gray's Peak in central Colorado. Since my last post was on the awesome power of lichens, I thought I'd share a few photos of some of our amazing locals.Our very first lichen was probably the most spectacular: Thamnolia vermicularis , the whiteworm lichen.
And in this corner . . . the challenger, Lobaria pulmonaria. Given the common name "lungwort" thanks to its lung-like appearance, medieval herbalists invoked the Doctrine of Signatures to deduce it must be good for treating lung complaints.
One of our fascinating subjects for CotS #63.5 -- a By-the-Wind Sailor, Velella velella. Creative Commons Notafly. Click image for license and original.
Microbial hand grenades? Mutant pumpkin seeds? Actually, it's far, far stranger than that. Scanning electron microscopy of myxospores of a Myxidium sp.
STAFFBehind the scenes at Scientific AmericanRead
Anecdotes from the Archive
Anthropology in Practice
Exploring the human condition.Read
Insights into intelligence, creativity, and the mindRead
Everything you always wanted to know about raising science-literate kidsRead
Critical views of science in the newsRead
Dark Star Diaries
Explore the science behind the dog in your bedRead
News and research about endangered species from around the worldRead
Frontiers for Young Minds
Science by and for kids ages 8-15Read
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific AmericanRead
Illusions, Delusions, and Everyday DeceptionsRead
Discussion and news about planets, exoplanets, and astrobiologyRead
MIND Guest Blog
Commentary invited by editors of Scientific American MindRead
Not bad science
New discoveries in animal behavior and cognitionRead
STAFFOpinion, arguments & analyses from the editors of Scientific AmericanRead
More than wires - exploring the connections between energy, environment, and our livesRead
Roots of Unity
Mathematics: learning it, doing it, celebrating it.Read
Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.Read
STAFFIllustrating science since 1845Read
STAFFA science blog, sans blagueRead
Amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals - living and extinctRead
The Artful Amoeba
A Blog About the Weird Wonderfulness of Life on EarthRead
Exploring and celebrating diversity in science.Read