biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow my feral friends

My Feral Friends

What can I possibly mean by feral friends?

When we lived in Jamaica we observed exciting things through the window of our house: humming birds, lizards, banana thieves sneaking into our garden from the nearby gully, fireflies, cattle egrets and … feral dogs! The word “feral” has nothing to do with ‘ferocious’ or ‘feline’ (= cat-like), but describes any domesticated animals that has reverted back to a wild or semi-wild state. —>—>

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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 flying under water

Flying under Water

Swimming in Air

Anyone who has ever seen some video footage on how the marine snail known as the “Spanish Dancer” (Hexabranchus sanguineus) or such dorso-ventrally flattened fishes like skates and rays move under water (the manta ray, often even leaping into the air) or how penguins dart through the water in pursuit of little fish will agree: they fly under water.
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