Anchiornis in living color


Laser flourescence of the feathered dinosaur Anchiornis provides a picture of its life appearance in stunning detail http://ift.tt/2lTPfzX

via Laser flourescence of the feathered dinosaur Anchiornis provides a picture of its life appearance in stunning detail — Like For Real Dough

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Writing Manuscripts: The Alternative ‘Guide to Authors’


Post provided by EMMA SAYER “If the reviewer doesn’t get it, you haven’t explained it clearly enough!” This is one quote from my PhD supervisor that I haven’t forgotte…

Source: Writing Manuscripts: The Alternative ‘Guide to Authors’

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Why are ecological niches important?

This gallery contains 4 photos.


? An example of a niche model. ?Horseshoe Crab eggs require a convergence of environmental conditions in which to incubate (source: http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/pdf/10.2307/1541193). ? Last week, I talked about the decline in aerial insectivores, which includes bats, nighthawks, swifts and swallows.…

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Forum 2017


Saturday, February 4th – ODWC’s Lake Arcadia Conservation Education Building directions to location Register for 2017 Forum As last year, participation is open to anyone working on biod…

Source: Forum 2017

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Organizational skill? No, organizational planning.


Are you naturally organized?  No, me neither.

About 7 billion people on this planet right now could probably benefit from increased organization in their lives to manage short-term obligations and achieve long-term goals. The good news is that we don’t have to rely on inherent organizational talent to become better organized people. These days, there are tools at our disposal that can help any of us get there.

Auriel Fournier is a colleague wrapping up her PhD at the University of Arkansas. She’s really impressive, and I’m enjoying watching her make that transition from graduate student to renowned scholar in her field. She recently made available an essay that describes how she stays organized, with links to specific tools she uses and a description of how she uses them.  It’s great, and so is she.  Check it out!

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We’re gonna be okay


This is a blog devoted to appreciation and conservation of nature, respect and celebration of science and rational thought, and the occasional rant about how far we still can go in our love and care of fellow humans.

As you might imagine then, like millions of people all over the globe, I’m saddened to have handed over control of the world’s foremost economic and military power to a sociopathic, narcissistic, anti-intellectual baby-man and his army of sycophants hell-bent on the schadenfruede of people already marginalized by the powerful and the infantile.

Saddened is too soft. Sickened works a bit better.

Cruel. Stupid. Backwards. Corrupt. These are terms that describe that man and how I’ve thought about him for decades. He embodies the absolute worst of America, so in our infinite wisdom, we handed him the keys to America.

Many are terrified. Millions, that is.  We have a Putin puppet in the White House who’s displaying more fascist tendencies with each passing week.  And why not?  When you are mentally ill to the point that you think only you can fix what’s wrong with society; when you think that every man wants to be you and every woman (the hot ones, at least) want to be with you; when you think that you can act on every puerile fantasy of an adolescent boy and be chastised only by getting elected to the highest office in the land, you might start believing in your own nonsense.  Once you declare yourself the arbiter of truth and fiction and right and wrong, it’s probably fairly easy to start abusing your power to silence your critics, and to justify it because if those critics are against you, then they must be wrong.

So people are nervous, and vulnerable people are terrified.  This fool really could undo decades of real progress on human rights, environmental protection, etc. in a heartbeat.

But here’s the thing, and it gives me tremendous hope.

We’re gonna be okay.

We’re gonna be okay because this next generation will blow your mind with their commitment to equality and environment and their well-developed bullshit detectors. What we just did was inaugurate a common enemy for them whose rhetoric will expunge every ounce of apathy for politics that they would otherwise have developed. Folks think that Trump’s election was a revolution? We ain’t seen nothing yet.

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Birding and the Border Patrol – a Rio Grande encounter


Eight years ago, I had this illuminating encounter with a Border Patrol Agent in the Rio Grande Valley.

The Waterthrush Blog

While birding the Lower Rio Grande Valley a few weeks ago, we visited a number of out-of-the way places where illegal aliens routinely cross the border from Mexico into the United States.  It’s one thing to imagine how difficult that journey must be, but to go there and see the cactus and thorn scrub woodlands through which these people sprint in the dark on the hope of a better life somehow makes their desperation that much more palpable.  At the same time, you are struck by all the nefarious activities happening in the same place – the smuggling of drugs, guns, people.  We saw some houses in the area that looked to be completely surrounded by 8-10′ chain link fencing – folks just get sick and tired of desperate Mexicans running across their lawns in the middle of the night.

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