Monthly Archives: May 2009


To Twin, or Not to Twin?

Posted 31 May 2009 by Anne-Marie Hodge

A few weeks ago, we discussed how ecological factors influence offspring sex-ratio in elephant seal populations. Mammals (among other vertebrates) can optimize their reproductive investment by producing either males or females under difference circumstances, but there is another aspect to managing investment also: how many? Superficially, it seems that, of course, producing more babies is more advantageous. The more youngsters produced, the bigger chance of parental genes being sustained in the population. But, wait, offspring are expensive. So if more... Read more

Coastal Conservation Conundrum

Posted 22 May 2009 by Anne-Marie Hodge

In a perfect world, conservation would simply be a matter of identifying species at risk, passing policies to prevent harm to the organisms and their habitats, and watching their numbers rebound accordingly. Unfortunately (and in case you haven’t noticed…), ours is anything but a perfect world. The political and social squabbles about conservation are a topic that can/have/will be batted around endlessly, but nature itself presents complications as well, as a recent case in Maine illustrates. Apparently Great cormorants (Phalacrocorax... Read more

No, It Doesn’t Taste Like Watermelon

Posted 18 May 2009 by Anne-Marie Hodge

At some point or another, we have all probably been cautioned against consuming tainted (ahem, yellow) snow. It may be pretty, but it’s not tasty. Apparently, though, snow can take on other unexpected hues as well. In some snowy mountain regions, there have been reports of people sampling bites from patches of neon pink snow that they happen upon during hikes. These spots are commonly referred to as “watermelon snow.” Apparently, it does not taste like watermelon, and has nasty... Read more

“Extreme Mammals” Exhibition

Posted 16 May 2009 by Anne-Marie Hodge

For those of you in the New York area, the American Museum of Natural History currently is hosting a very exciting new exhibit this year: Extreme Mammals. The exhibit opens today and will be running until January 3, 2010, so plenty of time to plan a trip! The website has some teasers to offer, including features on different forms of locomotion, unique feeding/display adaptations, and even an overview of extinctions and conservation issues. You can read a review of the... Read more