more biologists!


infodumping about the ocean


As a scientist who studies blacktip sharks, I feel like it is my duty to inform others about this common case of misidentification.

The first picture is of one of my sharks, and the second picture is another species within its genus for which my shark is mistaken. Many people do not know that the blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus) and blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) are two completely different species. First, the blacktip reef is found in the Indian and Pacific oceans, and they have limited ranges as they stay extremely close to their sites for many years. Conversely, the blacktip is worldwide along coastlines and migrates seasonally. As for visual differences, the black fin markings on the blacktip reef are much more prominant. The blacktips nearly always lack black tips on their anal fins, and their black markings fade significantly with age. Another notable distinction is coloring, as blacktips tend to have a gray/bronze coloring while blacktips are a paler, cream based color. A behavioral difference is that blacktips have been known to jump out of the water like a spinner shark (Carcharhinus brevipinna) in the presence of prey or when caught on a line (I have witnessed this first-hand when I caught my first juvenile). Genetically, the blacktip is actually thought to be most closely related to the blacknose (Carcharhinus acronotus) based on DNA studies. However, resolution of phylogenies for both species is far from happening.

There are two lesser known species (Australian blacktip and smoothtooth blacktip) that are not as easily distinguished. The Australian blacktip (Carcharhinus tilstoni) looks exactly like the blacktip and was only found to be a separate species due to genetic analysis and vertebral differences; it is found along the northern half of Australia’s coastline. The smoothtooth blacktip (Carcharhinus leiodon) looks like the blacktip reef shark and is exclusively found along the Arabian Peninsula coastline.

We need more students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) field they say. We need more students in the medical field. We need more doctors, more engineers, more computer scientists, more nurses, and more biologists.  But I beg to differ. We need more psychologists, more anthropologists, more dancers, singers, painters, and most importantly we need more writers… more poets.
—  on Nayyirah Waheed

And still some more of these. Marsh labrador tea/wild rosemary this time.

Small creatures that live in marshland area and make themselves look like plants to hide themselves from predators. There are several different races but at some point they were all originally same species.

In Which I Attempt to Analyze Journal 3 But End Up Gushing About Ford Instead

It’s late, and earlier tonight (or this morning), when it was slightly less late (or early), I decided that even though I’m super late to the Journal 3 train, I needed to get my thoughts down on paper. Those thoughts are apparently gooey and disorganized, because the real analysis stops after the first paragraph, I started to ramble about halfway through, and I’m not sure most of it makes sense. (Mostly because it’s late. Or early. Or whatever.)


Journal 3 is the best kind of supplementary material.

Keep reading

Socrates and Cupid: A Dialogue (Part Three)

Socrates: I will try my best. First, suppose we were to ask an evolutionary biologist, what is love? This is what I hypothesize: Taking great care to ensure his scientific rigidness is not misinterpreted as cynicism—a care that I myself will not take in summarizing his belief—the evolutionary biologist will tell us that love is a cosmic deception; that is to say, love once awoke in the minds of the earliest humans as but a small kindle in the heart, and has since grown as the generations come and go, for the sheer purpose of prolonging our species. Do you understand?

Cupid: No!

Socrates: Because I have not explained this biologist’s point of view sufficiently, of course, so I will give a more mindful attempt. The biologist has been trained in her studies to view all things through the lens of evolution, and, begrudgingly, love can be no exception for her. So, in the strictest terms of evolutionary biology, she thinks to herself, why does love exist? And the answer is immediately apparent. Look before you now, dear Cupid, at the scores of couples down below, playing with their children, guiding them to grow strong, as their parents have done for them, and the parents of the parents before them. One could even go so far as to say love tricks us into having babies. And so I ask you: How many of these couples, do you suppose, would go through this trouble were it not for the love they feel for their kids, and the love they feel for their partners, who through good and bad take upon this endless responsibility by their sides. 

Cupid: Tehe! Not many at all! I have made the experience joyous for them, because they love each other. 

Socrates: This is the point our biologist wishes to make, and I can find no fault with this point—it is scientific and it is unbiased and it accounts for a great deal of the evolutionary purposes of love. But now, o chubby floating baby, let’s say we leave our biologist to her studies, and we find another with whom we may engage in conversation.

Cupid: Oh, you’re making me tingly, Socrates. Don’t make me wait—who will we ask about love next?

Socrates: We will ask my protégé, Plato, whom I miss dearly. In his typical fashion, he will transfix us with a beautiful story, so that through metaphor we may encounter a deeper truth. Here is his story: Humans were once creatures with two heads, four arms, and four legs, but upon angering the heavens, Zeus summoned his lightening to slice us all in two parts, and thus love is the journey we take in finding our other halves, in becoming whole again. 

Cupid: Tehehe. His metaphor tickles!

Socrates: The man had many metaphors, all of which tickled as much or even moreso than the one I have just summarized. This is why I miss him so dearly. But, since we are still speaking on the subject of love, I will move forward to two more people to whom we can ask our question. First, we will approach a shy young girl, who blushes at the prospect of conversation, but nevertheless we shall push forth and have her explain to us why she has fallen in love with a boy. Perhaps this boy is her new romantic partner or perhaps the boy is just a celebrity whom she will never personally know, yet whom she will love from the confines of her own home. Either scenario is sufficient for the question we will pose to her: Why do you love this boy?

Cupid: Fuck you, Socrates, tehehe! She won’t know—she can’t possibly know that I shot her with my arrow. It’s magic! 

Socrates: You are right, and I will therefore rephrase. Instead, we will ask her of the affects she has experienced from her newfound love.

Cupid: That’s better!

Socrates: What say she? As she perks up from the chance to talk of her love and her cheeks begin to glow, with brimming excitement will she not go on about how her man has made her feel special, has brought her out of her shell, and has allowed her to find meaning, an escape from her loneliness?

Cupid: She will, and I’ll shoot her with a thousand more arrows!

Socrates: And thus, for her, love is the esoteric sensation that causes her to withdraw from her shell of isolation, to integrate with another human and learn from his experiences. Hence, for her, love is growth. Finally, suppose we were to ask an old, rich man, who has come to experience all of the luxuries and freedom of financial well-being, what purpose love has brought upon him now. He will say that his love for a woman whom he has recently met—an aspiring model with nineteen years of age—has suppressed his boredom and has brought upon him a resurgence of the passion he once felt as a child. With delight, he will marry the young bride, and once the girl has reached the boring age of twenty-two, he will gladly cede to her half of his fortune in order that they should depart one another in divorce, for he has found a new love, freshly nineteen, who has again rekindled his passion and who he shall now marry.

Cupid: Tehehe, that’s the California Sunrise at work! You know my strains very well! 

Socrates: But do you see what has happened, dear Cupid: We have asked several people the question of what is love, and each has provided us with a different, though equally suffice, response.

Cupid: And suppose we were to ask Socrates? Tehe.

(…To be continued…)

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Anti-SJW, Anti-feminism, Anti-cultural isolation. Pro fucking logic. Send me your hate, its the only thing that gets me up in the morning. I’m pretty much here solely to debate/prove people wrong. So if you think you can pull one over on me, think your sociology degree has taught you more about biology than biologists? Think you can prove god is real? Think you’ll be the first person to actually offend me? Give it your best shot. We can do it civilly, or start a flame war. I fuck with either one.

-Mod GAM.
  • Interviewer: So what makes you qualified for this position?
  • Me: Anti-SJW, Anti-feminism, Anti-cultural isolation. Pro fucking logic. Send me your hate, its the only thing that gets me up in the morning. I’m pretty much here solely to debate/prove people wrong. So if you think you can pull one over on me, think your sociology degree has taught you more about biology than biologists? Think you can prove god is real? Think you’ll be the first person to actually offend me? Give it your best shot. We can do it civilly, or start a flame war, I fuck with either one.