biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow selection detection

Selection Detection

The fittest survive, but what does that mean?

Even now there are still people who do not fully understand the tenet of the survival of the fittest and believe it has something to do with winners and losers of a combat and physical strength. However, that even the smallest individual could be the fittest individual perhaps under conditions of a food shortage or an availability of shelters best suitable for small individuals and that an individual which is weak, but smarter than others could become the “fittest” through the process of selection is something that needs to be emphasized. To explain natural selection, zoologists often use the example of the white and dark specimens of the peppered moth Biston betularia in England: the originally rather rare dark variety became increasingly more common as industrial pollution increased and the whitish tree trunks of birch trees turned grey with soot. When pollution levels subsided and the environment became cleaner again, it was the lighter coloured variety that gained the upper hand once more.

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biology zoology blog bee insects honey

Bee Prospectors

Bee Prospectors can be paid for their services in sugar water

Not only was I good as a child in distinguishing (by taste) different kinds of tea, like Ceylon broken orange pekoe, Assam orange pekoe or Darjeeling flowery orange pekoe (well, my grandfather was a tea merchant), I also had a good tongue for different kinds of honey – and I still have my favourites. Actually for hundreds or even thousands of years (the bee is said to have been mentioned in the Bible at least 40 times) the medicinal qualities of honey have been appreciated by humans around the world and many a folk remedy incorporates this sticky insect product. —>—>

biology zoology blog goldfish environment

The worst Environment on Earth

Is the goldfish bowl the worst environment on Earth?

People have frequently asked me: “You have travelled all over the world and seen so much – which is the worst place for an animal to live?” What can I reply? A fish won’t last long on dry land; an earthworm would be very unhappy in the desert; a penguin would hate the tropical jungle, and a hummingbird might answer “Scotland”. Seriously, if you are adapted to a place or an environment, you’ll find that place to your liking; if not, you’ll curse it. —>—>