*To gain a greater appreciation for this post, be sure to read the previous “Evolutionary Mash-ups” posts about giraffe necks, dragonfly wings, and chameleon tongues. I take the best adaptations natural selections has to offer and combine them into one animal. At the end of this post I will combine all four “Evolutionary Mash-ups” animals […]Read More Evolutionary Mash-up: Australian Box Jellyfish
I am a poet and I didn’t even know it! That’s a random list… but believe it or not, they do all have something in common. They are all made of the structural protein known as keratin! A lot of living things; especially mammals like lions, tigers, and bears (Oh my! Wizard of Oz reference); […]Read More Facial hair, lamb’s wool, fish scales… Elk’s horns, bird feathers, and lizard tails
The elegant grasshopper is appropriately named for its breath-taking coloration. This is one of my prized insects in my collection from South Africa. Its bold coloring is to warn predators that it is toxic and will harm them if eaten. Funny how we humans also use red and yellow color patterns for “caution” or “warning” […]Read More Science Snapshot: The Elegant Grasshopper
As a junior high science teacher, I teach a wide variety of scientific subjects. This year, we have already covered plants, animals, and rocks. When we learned about plants and their unique ability to perform photosynthesis (a process that converts Carbon Dioxide and water into food for the plant using sunlight as its energy source), […]Read More Rock + Plant + Animal = Coral?
There is nothing more frustrating than playing a game of Uno without getting a single wild card in your hand, or playing against someone that seems to get all the wild cards. In fact, if you are a strategic gamer like me, wild cards can be the key to victory. You can only play so […]Read More Stem Cells: The Wild Cards of the Cellular World
My wife’s breakfast of choice includes cold cereal and a banana. But unlike most mornings, my wife put on her “green tinted glasses” this particular morning and began to question her routine breakfast spread. Instead of seeing her average, mundane breakfast, she saw questions that needed answering. Why are bananas so readily available to […]Read More The Banana is a Clone?!
Putting up the Christmas tree every year can be a hassle, but it truly would not be Christmas in my home without one. Humanity has used fir trees (or similar conifers) as part of their celebration of Christmas for thousands of years. So even though there are few things in this world as frustrating as […]Read More The Christmas Tree
Last week, in commemoration of the harsh cold winter season, I wrote about an organism that could not only survive incredible temperature extremes but could also keep on ticking after nuclear warfare, unfathomable amounts of UV radiation, and even a zombie apocalypse. Endospore forming bacteria would win almost all survivalist battles. However, today I want […]Read More This Planet’s Ultimate Survivalist: The Water Bear!
As Christmas approaches, the weather around here changes dramatically. I have to give myself an extra 10 minutes in the morning just so I can scrape my car windshield and possibly traverse through adverse winter conditions. As I step outside into the bitter cold every morning, I wonder how long I could actually survive in […]Read More Best way to survive the end of the world… Endospores of course!
As you lay petrified in bed the night of Halloween after watching a scary movie, you begin to wonder if you will ever be able to sleep again. Your mind races as it plays back scary image after scary image from the festive film. Once you are finally able to drift into an unsettled sleep, […]Read More Halloween Special: Parasites and Parasitoids