Tag Archives: invertebrate

Do you know more about ants than a second-grader?

Perhaps not as much as these second graders, who asked some great questions of the good folks over at Your Wild Life who visited their classroom recently:

Over the last couple years, we’ve worked with outstanding K-12 educators on a number of projects, including Belly Button Biodiversity and School of Ants. We enjoy collaborating with teachers on curriculum modules, and then actually visiting students in classrooms when we can. Last week, Lauren Nichols, De Anna Beasley, and Mack Pridgen of Tar Heel Ants joined me on a visit to to the bustling second-grade classroom at the Central Park School for Children in Durham, North Carolina.

Prior to our visit, these curious students submitted some hard-hitting, dare I say philosophical, questions about ants and their biology: “How did ants exist before we did?” and “What is a colony?” We had a blast answering the students’ questions and sharing live ant colonies with them. So much so that we made a little video so you could check out the second-grader-inspired ant Q & A for yourself — Enjoy!

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via Ant Questions Answered!

And here’s a bonus ant doing a kamikaze attack on a spider… FOR THE QUEEN??!!!

For the Queen!



The Ant and the Elderly – a parable for an aging society?

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What a lovely story of an evolved society finding ways to integrate its elderly members into productive roles to keep the larger social unit functioning. Division of labor stratified by age/mandible sharpness – surely even we can learn something from that!

Vampire Squid can turn “inside out” but is that enough to save it from us?

Although I cringe at this fantastic Vampire Squid being described as a “living fossil”—another oxymoron that won’t go away from the popular lexicon of misrepresentations when it comes to evolution—even by the estimable Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, this is an amazing video, and I like the rest of the narration. How little we know about the wonders lurking underneath the oceans! How much of it will we never discover because of what we are doing to the oceans?

The weird and wonderful beauty of the Spanish Shawl and other nude molluscs


… er… I mean, nude-gilled (but otherwise clothed in a shawl?!) molluscs, i.e., Nudibranchs. The above blurry image shows the closest I’ve ever come to one (to my knowledge), separated only by a glass wall in the Monterey Bay Aquarium a year ago. It was but a small splash of bright color among a mess of other critters in a corner of the rocky tidal shore area of the exhibits (if I remember correctly). It wasn’t even specifically identified on the info panel on its enclosure – I only discovered later what it was. And I remembered this image today when I saw this fantastic gallery of Nudibranch portraits at National Geographic. Go check them out. They just might brighten your day too!