Location biases in ecological research on Australian terrestrial reptiles (2020) Piccolo et al., Scientific Reports, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-66719-x
Constant improvements in data integration technology have meant that its now possible to bring together large numbers of separate datasets into enormous datasets spanning many species and regions. This sounds great in practice – that means we can look at important trends at large scales with plenty of data, right?
The problem is that there are often biases within these data. Some areas are more accessible and will have higher densities of observations or studies. Some species are of less interest and may be more poorly covered. Today’s researchers wanted to take such a dataset and see if they could identify patterns in the biases present.
Image Credit: Ray Bilcliff, Pexels licence, Image Cropped
We get a lot of fun and strange search terms which lead people to Ecology for the Masses. So inspired by Captain Awkward’s segment ‘It Came From the Search Terms‘, let’s have a look at some of the weirder questions that led people to this site and see if we can provide some answers. Spelling mistakes have been corrected.
When one looks at birds like this puffin, it can be hard to reconcile its cute appearance with its place in the animal kingdom. The thing is, this adorable puffin has something in common with a rattlesnake, in that it’s a reptile (Image credit: Ray Hennessy, Unsplash licence, Image Cropped).
You read that correctly, birds are reptiles. Now, I can hear you saying “but we learned that they are a different group of organisms, and that reptiles are just those scaly animals that have cold blood?” While reptiles don’t have cold blood per se, some of them DO have feathers. And can fly. In this post I hope to convince you of the fact that the puffin pictured above, and all of its avian relatives, belong with the snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and turtles in the reptile group.