Gut check: What does our social circle tell us about our environment?

If we have learned anything from the events of the past few years, it is that life can be highly unpredictable. Animals (including people) must integrate lots of – often conflicting – information when deciding how to respond to a chaotic environment. This is a subject that Dr. Jamie Cornelius, a biologist at Oregon State […]

Flex it! Twist it! Roll it! Complex tongue movements during chewing in macaques

By Mateo Rull Garza When people eat and drink, their tongues are busy doing all kinds of wild things, but the exact way tongues move was a complete mystery until 1954. This was when Abd-el-Malek sketched various tongue postures he observed inside the mouth of individuals missing their front teeth. Sixty-eight years later, cutting-edge, three-dimensional, […]

In honor of Women’s History Month, meet some inspiring SICB women!

In honor of Women’s History Month, meet some inspiring SICB women we’ve profiled over the past few years, and learn about their work! Dr. Anusha Shankar – profiled by ICB blogger Etti Cooper Hummingbirds are familiar fauna throughout the Americas; as charismatic and elegant as they are tiny, they often stop for a meal at […]

In Memoriam: Walter Bock

Walter J. Bock (20 Nov. 1933—27 Jan. 2022) was a prominent and well-known presence at American, European, and international conferences in ornithology and evolutionary biology and an appreciated and respected colleague and mentor to established and aspiring ornithologists. At the time of his death, Walter Bock was a Professor emeritus in the Dept. of Biological […]

What’s flappening with moth flight?

by Peishu Li Flying is hard. It takes master control over the production, maintenance and redirection of forces, as well as a keen sense of the surrounding environment. Yet the physical challenges of flying have not stopped animals from taking to the skies. If anything, animals have evolved a myriad of flying behaviors to suit […]

Research and design: how biologists draw inspiration from nature’s complexities

Written by Andrew Saintsing Nature is full of awe-inspiring things, like a butterfly’s scaly wings diffracting light to produce brilliant color. For comparative physiologist Dr. Jon Harrison, wonder at the natural world sparked a lifelong passion in the rules of biological scaling. “I’ve always loved the stories about giraffes and their huge hearts and all […]

Leatherback Sea Turtles Struggle to Find the Ocean on Moonless Nights

Written by Sam Zlotnik Edited by James Murray For a sea turtle hatchling, getting to the ocean is critical. This behavior, called seafinding, is hardwired in all sea turtle species. Newly hatched turtles must find the ocean without getting eaten by predators or wandering off-course. And according to Dr. Mike Salmon, a biology professor at […]

Houdinis of the sea: Ink-credible independent origins of defensive inking in sea hares, cuttlefish, and pygmy sperm whales

Sea hares, cuttlefishes, and pygmy sperm whales are masterful escape artists. To escape predation, they produce clouds of dark colored inks containing cocktails of sticky and biochemically unpleasant substances, a behavior called “defensive inking”. As their escape acts overwhelm the sensory systems of potential predators, the Houdinis of the sea swim to safety. How do […]

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