Cinematica Animalia: The Ecology of a Movie Monster

As I’ve written on here before, scientific communication can be a tricky business. Finding novel ways to communicate research, or scientific ideas to the public is a process that takes creativity and focus. So with that in mind, along with fellow Ecology for the Masses author Adam Hasik and friend and veterinarian Dave, I’ve started the cinema/ecology/physiology themed podcast Cinematica Animalia.

As raging movie fans, we’ve always enjoyed a good monster movie. And we’ve always smirked at the scientific fallacies some of said monsters seem to suffer from. I mean, how would a giant ape be able to exist on an isolated island? How can a tree walk? And whilst we realise that these are movies, and thus a modicum of the fantastical is required, we thought it would be fun to put some of these creatures under a microscope, and think about how they might work (or not work) in a real-world setting.

Every fortnight we take a new movie monster and discuss their history in movies, followed by an in-depth look at their physiology and ecology. We try our hardest to make these creatures work, but it’s not always easy, so there are some VAST concessions made.

So if you enjoy movies, and would like to learn a little something about ecology through them, or if you love ecology and would like to see it used in a fun context, you can find us at the link below. I’ve posted some of our most recent podcasts below with the ecological themes we cover attached.

Subject: The Ents (The Lord of the Rings)

Themes covered: Reproductive ecology, parasitism

Subject: The Quiets (A Quiet Place)

Themes covered: Trophic cascades, invasive ecology, intraspecific competition

You can also find us on iTunes at Cinematica Animalia. If you enjoy the podcast, please leave a review, it’s a huge help!

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