biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow white albinism pigment

Herman Melville and his White Whale

White or pigmentless or both?

I was fascinated as a kid by Hermann Melville’s story about “Moby Dick”, the white sperm whale chased fanatically by Captain Ahab, but who eventually lost the struggle to kill the beast that had dominated his life and caused him never-ending sleepless nights. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow advancing backwards

Advancing Backward: Sounds Strange?

It is a strange way to move forward!

Rugby is a strange sport. I played it a few times but decided that it was more fun for me to watch it on TV. My sons, however, were members of a local rugby team and loved the sport. The basic rule of the game is that in order to move forward on the pitch, you throw the ball backward. The players themselves don’t have to move backwards though, but they can, of course, if they want to. Some animals cannot. —>—>

biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow bubbles, froths, and foams

Bubbles, Froths, and Foams

The spittlebug is but one example

For years I had been seeking an opportunity to test my idea that the foam spittlebug nymphs surround themselves with, serves these insects not just as a deterrent to predators or to avoid desiccation, but has an additional important function as well. And finally during a research stay at the Chinese Academy’s Institute of Zoology in Beijing I got my chance. —>—>