An Introduction to the Tropical Marine Environment

My last post in my "Learn Something!" column, An Introduction to Neotropical Birds, pretty much wrapped up what my series on rainforest ecology had to say. Today I'll be beginning a new series on reef ecology, which is also very exciting and is something I'm very passionate about. The importance of coral reefs When we talk about … Continue reading An Introduction to the Tropical Marine Environment

Advertisements

An Introduction to Neotropical Birds

To continue my series on rainforest ecology, let's take a look at the birds that live in this fascinating area.   Evolution Neotropical birds were evolved from dinosaurs from possibly up to 125 million years ago, having both inherited reptile features and feathers. From there, different birds, for example the chaffinches and the bramblings, were separated, … Continue reading An Introduction to Neotropical Birds

The Classification and Taxonomy of Life (+Amphibians & Reptiles)

This is more interesting than it sounds, I swear! Okay, first for some definitions. Taxonomy is the science of naming organisms based on one set of criteria. Classification is the sorting of a variety of items into manageable groups. And systematics is the arrangement of groups based on status/taxon in this case. So it's likely … Continue reading The Classification and Taxonomy of Life (+Amphibians & Reptiles)

Adaptation & Evolution: The Basics, Plus Some

Charles Darwin is overrated as much as Alfred Russell Wallace is underrated. Wallace received little money for his endeavors, yet independently formulated a theory of the origin of species very similar to that of Darwin, who had resources and was well off in comparison. Their papers were jointly published, but guess who gets the recognition … Continue reading Adaptation & Evolution: The Basics, Plus Some

The Plastic Trait: Hermaphroditism Under the Sea

Now, let's be mature about this. The fundamental aim of fish is to reproduce as many offspring as possible during their lives. Scientists' observations of certain species of fish have led them to conclude that a single gene can code different expressions in different environments, which doesn't change the actual gene but changes the sex of … Continue reading The Plastic Trait: Hermaphroditism Under the Sea

The Four Strategies for Conservation

Ever wonder what the action of conserving actually entails? Here are the four main methods people do to conserve our environment. They are all pretty straightforward, but I think it's important to know the distinctions so that we can all be better educated citizens of the world. Preservation This means to keep part of the environment without change through national parks, fences, and other forms of protection.

Why Rainforests are Important, & How/Why We Measure Them

Biodiversity and Rainforest Structure Do yourself a favor today and learn something about the big wet green and blue ball that we call Planet Earth. What is biodiversity? Biodiversity is a type of nested hierarchy where there is genetic diversity within a species, species diversity within an ecosystem, and ecosystem diversity within a region. What … Continue reading Why Rainforests are Important, & How/Why We Measure Them

Crash Course: Field Methods for Sampling Natural Habitats

When you're a researcher working out in the field, the act of collecting data can be split into two places: on a sample site, and somewhere independent of a sample site. Some examples of working on a sample site include dung beetle traps, bird point counts, pitfall trapping, collecting plant specimens and habitat structure data, … Continue reading Crash Course: Field Methods for Sampling Natural Habitats

Strong Inverse Correlation Between Ecological Knowledge and Income Levels

Ecological knowledge is often lost in wealthier communities and countries, according to a study published by the University of Essex in 2007. Traditional Ecological Knowledge, or TEK, is lost when traditional communities become less reliant on local resources and begin adopting modern lifestyles, rendering TEK irrelevant. This loss of knowledge is important, because it can … Continue reading Strong Inverse Correlation Between Ecological Knowledge and Income Levels