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A Very Special edition of Sunday Spinelessness

Wow, it’s been a long time since I wrote something here. Let’s see if I can remember how this goes: I find a weird-looking bug and take some photos. Then I enthuse about that bug for a few paragraphs, hoping some broader point will emerge from all my geekery.. All right then, here’s a neat creature I found recently in the Wellington Botanic Garderns....

Sequencing the tuatara genome

Things have been quite around here for a while. Largely for the typical boring reasons, the pressure to get work done and on to journals that might publish it leaving little spare time. On top of that the non-science time I’ve had lately has taken up by what I think will be a  very important piece of science communication: a blog documenting The Tuatara...

Sunday Spinelessness – Mostly True Facts about land snails

The ailing laptop on which I write these posts has developed a new symptom – a non-deterministic keyboard. So, I hope you’ll excuse me if I just paste a link and get on with something less annoying than trying to write a post via a cellphone. It’s a pretty good link too. Ze Frank‘s “True Facts” series of zoological oddities has finally got to the best creatures on...

Darwin and New Zealand

February the 12th is the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s birth. Across the world people will be marking the day by remembering Darwin the discoverer of evolution by natural selection, Darwin the cautious husband, Darwin the barnacle boffin and maybe even Darwin the geologist who explained the origin of coral atolls. I might be the only person who takes...

Sunday Spinelessness – Cannibalism in the garden

The most common jumping spider in our garden, Trite auricoma, with the remains of it most recent meal… a smaller T. auricoma: Cannibalism,  animals eating members of their own species, is a pretty common and widespread behavior. Species in almost every phylum have been shown to occasionally (or frequently) eat members of their own species. Even herbivores like monarch...

Elsewhere

A couple of links that might be of interest for readers of The Atavism: I’ve  been really remiss in linking to interview I did with Veronika Meduna for Radio NZ’s Our Changing World. The bugs Veronika and I visited will all be familiar to readers here  The online Evolutionary  Biology Journal Club is getting back together for “Season 2”. If you don’t...

Sunday Spinelessness – Native bees again

Last year, at about this time, I wrote a little about our native bees. Though I’m glad to have done my little bit to promote the existence of these all too anonymous members of our natural heritage  I’ve always felt a little embarrassed by the photos in that post. As I admitted at the time the photos are staged. Photographing our twitchy little bees...

Cats aren’t evil, but they are a problem

  It seems Gareth Morgan has declared a war on cats. It will, I’m sure, come as a great surprise to you that Morgan’s description of cats as ruthless and sadistic killers that we must eventually purge from the land  has met some opposition. Invoking outrage is pretty good way to get free advertising in New Zealand, and if you measure the campaign’s...

Sunday Spinelessness – 5 down…. quite a few to go

I got some good news this week – a paper I’m an author on was accepted for publication pending some minor revisions. That’s great because career advacement in academia rests largely on what we publish, and this is a good paper that I’ll be happy to add to my CV. It’s also quite happy about his particular paper being (almost) accepted because it’s about...

Sunday Spineless – On the Wing

Just a photo today, but a pretty awesome one I reckon. An inbound bumble bee from my parents’ garden in the Wairarapa: (~50 out of focus shots from same session not shown!) The post Sunday Spineless – On the Wing appeared first on Sciblogs.

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