Tag Archives: marsupial

Platy-Party

Generally the platypus is considered a bit of an oddity. It’s an egg-laying mammal, has the bill of a duck, tail of a beaver, webbed feet, uses electrolocation, oh and its one of the few venomous mammals. Clearly the platypus was designed for the spotlight though – the UV spotlight that is.

It has recently been found that platypus fur glows a bluish-green colour under blacklight and is one of the few recorded cases of mammals exhibiting biofluorescence – alongside opossums and North American flying squirrels. Although it isn’t currently clear why a platypus is always ready for a night out at the disco (or if they can even perceive UV rays).

What other nocturnal animals may be hiding their own fluorescent secrets?

Tanya Strydom is a PhD student at the Université de Montréal, mostly focusing on how we can use machine learning and artificial intelligence in ecology. Current research interests include (but are not limited to) predicting ecological networks, the role species traits and scale in ecological networks, general computer (and maths) geekiness, and a (seemingly) ever growing list of side projects. Tweets (sometimes related to actual science) can be found @TanyaS_08.

Episode 8: The Gremlins/Mogwai

Image Credit: Gremlins, 1984

We kick down the kitchen door and go to bloody war with the Mogwai, from 1984’s Christmas classic Gremlins. Dave gives China tips for invasion, Sam says the word ‘tarsier’ too much and Adam can’t resist showing off how much Mandarin he doesn’t know.

5:52 – History of the Gremlins
18:02 – Movie Any Good?
21:40 – Physiology of a Mogwai
44:11 – Ecology of a Mogwai
1:02:32 – The Gremlins vs. Gollum

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The Culling of Kangaroos

Image Credit: Sam Perrin, CC BY-NC 2.0

Having recently spent some time out in country New South Wales, I thought I’d share a quick description of the sight that greets you when you get out past Deniliquin in southern New South Wales and start driving north. It’s arid land, but it’s might still be beautiful were it not for the dead kangaroos that litter roadsides. You might see fifty on the drive from Albury to Deniliquin, but that quickly turns into hundreds as you go even further inland towards the border with South Australia.

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