Saturday, April 28, 2012

Non-comprehensive list of links on wildlife biology and ecology--

This list will be sporatically updated over time. Enjoy.


Blog articles on ecology and science as a career:


Blog posts from wildlife biologists in the field doing what wildlife biologists do:


Other posts related to wildlife biology and ecology:


Yale ecology lectures:

1. The nature of evolution: selection, inheritance, and history

2. Basic transmission genetics

3. Adaptive evolution: natural selection

4. Neutral evolution: genetic drift

5. How selection changes the genetic composition of populations

6. The origin and maintenance of genetic variation

7. The importance of development in evolution

8. The expression of variation: reaction norms

9. The evolution of sex

10. Genomic conflict

11. Life history evolution

12. Sex allocation

13. Sexual selection

14. Species and speciation

15. Phylogeny and systematics

16. Comparative methods: trees, maps, and traits

17. Key events in evolution

18. Major events in the geological theatre

19. The fossil record and life's history

20. Coevolution

21. Evolutionary medicine

22. The impact of evolutionary thought on the social sciences

23. The logic of science

24. Climate and the distribution of life on Earth

25. Interactions with the physical environment

26. Population growth: density effects

27. Interspecific competition

28. Ecological communities

29. Island biogeography and invasive species

30. Energy and matter in ecosystems

31. Why so many species? The factors affecting biodiversity

32. Economic decisions for the foraging individual

33. Evolutionary game theory: fighting and contests

34. Mating systems and parental care

35. Alternative breeding strategies

36. Selfishness and altruism


Other talks on wildlife biology and/or conservation:

E.O. Wilson on saving life on Earth

Corneille Ewango is a hero of the Congo forest

Alan Rabinowitz: Saving big cats

John Kasaona: how poachers became caretakers


Wildlife documentaries:

In search of the jaguar:

Lost land of the tiger:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Unusual deaths amongst the Felidae--

Few organisms are as often associated with grace, grandeur, and grit as those belonging to the Felidae. And, so much as they can be said to hold those traits in life, so too may they may hold them in death. However, being wild animals that are frequently exposed to a wide variety of often unpredictable conditions, they may be met with a demise that is somewhat unbecoming of their notoriously feral reputation. 

Two such instances were reported by Frank Nicholls in the Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society in the early 1950s.

Imagine, if you will, that you are in the jungles of India. The temperature is sweltering, and the humidity is complimentarily oppressive. You yawn and stretch, taking a break from the seemingly never-ending trail that you have been following, and see a woman walking towards a stone well. Pleased to have some degree of human company, you saunter towards her, but you quickly pause when you hear the sharp snap of a twig.  Looking for the source of the unexpected sound, your eyes are drawn to a nearby cluster of vegetation, and are met with the face of the most iconic organism in all of India. 

The tiger lunges forward with such speed and ferocity that you are rendered speechless. It seems to close the gap between the woman and itself in an instant, and leaps into the air towards her. By some great stroke of luck, the woman bends down to retrieve some much-needed water from the well. And, to the tiger's misfortune (and your own astonishment), you see the tiger plunge into the well and out of sight.


The next day, while wandering a nearby labor camp, you hear a great commotion, as though though a lion were caught in a blender mid-roar. You run towards the unnerving cacophony, and see a leopard lying on its side, with a pile of blood pooled immediately in front of him. 

As you lower yourself for a closer look, you gasp in astonishment. Inside the leopard's mouth, as still as the leopard itself, you see the back half of a domestic cat. As well as you can surmise, the leopard had attempted to predate upon the fierce creature, and had been killed by it while it was struggling for survival inside its gaping maw.