In Phoenix, we are are fortunate to have 2 of the largest city parks in the world. To visit these parks is not what most think of as visiting a city park – they are extensive native desert landscapes, criss-crossed with trails and visited by hundreds of people every day. The wildlife in these parks is intact, and for many, where iconic desert animals like the coyote and rattlesnake are first met. For those who visit the parks on a regular basis, the occasional rattlesnake sighting is unavoidable. Leer más.
Pigs are a relatively recent phenomenon in North America. Many were brought over from Europe as people from that part of the world colonized this continent. Many more pigs have escaped from farms and hunting preserves in the past few hundred years. Today, hogs can be found virtually everywhere across the United States. Once in the wild, animals that escaped from farms rapidly become feral and nearly unrecognizable from the barnyard creatures we know and love. Hog populations can quickly form and grow as pigs reproduce and take advantage of their surroundings. Leer más.
Reproductive modes in frogs vary greatly, as do the ways in which they deposit their eggs. The túngara frog, Physalaemus pustulosus (=Engystomops), which is the main focus in my lab constructs a “foam” nest–an adaptive character which I’ve become interested in exploring. Foamy substances are produced by some insects, tunicates, fish and, perhaps most famously, frogs. Leer más.
It became obvious to me that some frogs had truly “taken to the trees” during my PhD research in the rainforests of northeastern Australia. Radio-tracking frogs, I found most frogs more or less where you’d expect- in the river, on the forest floor, or on vegetation not too far off the ground. Green-eyed tree frogs (Litoria serrata), however, amazed me by spending weeks hanging out in the rainforest canopy- about 20 m off the ground. Leer más.
Inference of colour patterning in extinct dinosaurs has been based on the relationship between the morphology of melanin-containing organelles (melanosomes) and colour in extant bird feathers. When this relationship evolved relative to the origin of feathers and other novel integumentary structures, such as hair and filamentous body covering in extinct archosaurs, has not been evaluated. Here we sample melanosomes from the integument of 181 extant amniote taxa and 13 lizard, turtle, dinosaur and pterosaur fossils from the Upper-Jurassic and Lower-Cretaceous of China. Leer más.