September 22, 2016

Observation of the Week, 9/22/16



This Madagascar jungleskimmer seen in Madagascar by @erlandreflingnielsen is our Observation of the Week!

Erland Nielsen is an engineer by trade, but does entomology in this spare time, “more or less 100 % of it,” he says. His main interest since 1998 has been the order Odonata, or the dragonflies and damselflies, although lately he says “my interest has spread to other kind of insects, especially flies (Diptera) and true bugs (Hemiptera).”

Erland saw the Madagascar jungleskimmer on a trip to Madagascar which was arranged by Odonatours.com, and it was the first trip by the company. “At least three new species was found,” says Erland, “and the trip was an effort to get some pictures for the forthcoming book on the dragonfly fauna of the island, by KD Dijkstra. This book will be distributed for free to institutions and schools in Madagascar, teaching them about a corner of their their unique fauna.” In order to photograph the quick-moving jungleskimmer, Erland had to crank the ISO on his camera to 6400 and use a narrow aperture, but he was able to capture its somewhat unique ovipositing behavior in a great shot. “My main interest in dragonflies are behavior,” says Erland, “and getting a photo of the Madagascar jungle-skimmer doing oviposition was really great.”

Like all dragonflies, the Madagascar jungleskimmer is aquatic or semiaquatic when in their nymphal stage, which can last for several years. Adult female dragonflies, then, have to lay their eggs in or around water. Most do so by either quickly dipping their rear ends on the water’s surface and depositing an egg, or cutting slits into aquatic plants and laying the eggs inside the plants. The female Madagascar jungleskimmer, however, flicks water droplets (with her eggs inside) onto the shore! Some other species are known to do this as well, and as of I can’t find a clear-cut explanation for it. If anyone knows, please write in the comments!

A prolific Flickr user, Erland has found that using iNat’s Flickr importer is an easy way for him to add his geotagged photos to iNaturalist, and hopes to add more of his observations from around the world to iNat.

- by Tony Iwane


- To give you an idea of what this kind oviposition looks like here’s video of a Tyriobapta torrida dragonfly in Singapore flicking her eggs onto land. Very quick!

- Odonatours.com has a report of their tour available online here [pdf].

Posted on September 22, 2016 05:19 PM by tiwane tiwane | 2 comments | Leave a comment

September 15, 2016

Observation of the Week, 9/15/16

This Marvellous Spatuletail seen in Peru by @>joanseptembre is our Observation of the Week!

Male hummingbirds are well known for their flashy, iridescent plumage but Marvellous Spauletail males take their courtship plumage and displays a bit further. Unique among birds, this species has only four tail feathers, and in males two of those feathers are extremely long (2-3 times body length) and end in large flat discs, or “spatules.” When courting, males hover in front of females and wave these spatules back and forth. They also make a snapping sound, which until recently was thought to be made by the feathers, until a BBC film crew showed the noise came from the bird’s beak. 

Marvellous Spatuletails live only a small area of the Peruvian rainforest, and were a target species for iNat user Joan Septembre (@joanseptembre) on her most recent trip to the country. She’d missed out on seeing them three years earlier, but made sure to visit Huembo Reserve this time, which is known for having a population of them. And sure enough, she saw at least two males come to one of the feeders in the reserve!

“They were smaller than many of the other hummingbirds, if you don't count the tail feathers, and much less aggressive,” she says. “They would sit in the bushes and wait until most of the other hummingbirds had gone...if it looked safe, they would go to the feeders for a very short time, then dart off again.” Many other hummingbirds would chase them off as well.

“I have a lot of fun taking photos for iNaturalist,” says Joan. “It makes me more aware of what is around me, things I wouldn't notice otherwise, [and] I feel that I get as much as I give when I post on iNaturalist.  I am ending up with a great record of some of the interesting plants and animals that I've seen in various places around the world, and they have been identified for me!...I hope that some of the things I've observed and photographed will be interesting for others to view, and useful for scientific research as well.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Pretty much everything about hummingbirds is amazing, especially in slow motion. Here’s a great one involving a wind tunnel.

- And another fun one from Earth Unplugged.

Posted on September 15, 2016 04:41 PM by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 08, 2016

Observation of the Week, 9/8/16

This Brown smooth-hound shark, seen along San Francisco Bay by @sassafire, is our Observation of the Week!

Naturalist Morgan Dill grew up along the shores of Lake Michigan, and says she  “couldn’t be pried off the beach in the summers. I spent most of my days outside exploring, playing in the nearby creek and building forts in the backyard, scattering seeds I’d find and then watching them sprout and grow.” Now she’s a naturalist who works at the Crab Cove Visitor Center along the shores of San Francisco Bay, where she leads field trips, does seine netting, and educates folks about the bay’s flora and fauna.

Last week some visitors came to the visitor center saying they had found a small shark washed up on the tide line, so Morgan and her colleague went to check it out. They identified it as a Brown smooth-hound shark, “which we don’t typically see, though they are not uncommon,” she says, they confirmed it was a female and wasn’t injured. They then walked it out into the water and watched it swim away.

While Northern California is known for its population of Great White Sharks, that species usually hangs out along the coast, especially around the Farallon Islands, and only rarely enter the bay itself. There are, however, many other species of smaller sharks that call the bay home, such as Leopard Sharks, Northern Pacific Spiny Dogfish, large Broadnose sevengill sharks, and of course the small Brown smooth-hound shark, which is actually preyed-upon by the sevengills. Brown smooth-hounds average around two feet in length, and swim close to the bottom where they find invertebrates and small fish for food. Their name comes from their iridescent brown dorsal color. It’s tough to know why this one was so close to shore, but these sharks tend to pup in the shallow waters of the bay in spring and summer. The bay is an important nursery for many fish, including sharks. Not a commercially important fish, so far its population numbers have been holding steady, unlike many other shark species.

Morgan admits to not being “the most prolific of iNaturalist users when it comes to posting observations,” but she uses iNat in other ways, such as checking IDs of things she’s found, and she’s using it with high school students for a program she teaches that’s run by the East Bay Regional Park District and the Save the Redwoods League. “[The students] are always surprised that people are out there willing to look at what they find and identify it,” she says. “I love knowing they are getting real feedback from other citizen scientists, and have a feeling of contributing with their own experiences out in the field.”

And for Morgan herself, “I think that being a naturalist, and using iNat, makes me pay attention to the smaller details, and giving time to really consider what would help identify or distinguish an organism. Taking time pushes me to think about the beautiful intricacies of things, and ultimately discover more.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Here’s a short video showing a pregnant Brown Smooth-hound shark.

- Last year a Great White Shark was seen making a kill off of Alcatraz, the first known recorded incident of a Great White kill inside the bay.

- While most of us picture a Great White or something similar when we hear the word “shark,” sharks and rays (their cousins) are incredibly diverse. Here are some photos and descriptions of some of them, courtesy of the BBC. 

Posted on September 08, 2016 03:54 PM by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 01, 2016

Observation of the Week, 9/1/2016

This two-tailed Arizona Bark Scorpion seen by @jaykeller in Arizona is our Observation of the Week!

“My parents told me that in my earliest years, up to about age 4, I was deathly afraid of anything with more than 4 legs. By age 6 or so, that fear turned to intrigue, and I never looked back,” says Jay Keller. At age thirteen he had an 8,000 specimen insect collection and even helped the assistant curator of the Frost Entomological Museum of Penn State sort and re-catalog large portions of their collection and conduct public tours. In his teen years, nature took a backseat to other interests (“sports, cars, music, GIRLS etc.”) but he was always aware of it. By his mid-twenties, however, he got back into nature “by becoming an all-too-serious birdwatcher, which waned a few years ago as I became bored with that and started re-noticing all forms of nature, especially rekindling my interest in insects - now primarily through photography vs. collecting.”

Jay’s friend BJ Stacey (@finatic) introduced him to iNat a few years ago, and he says “once I decided to dip my toe into it, I became hooked, and now spend far too much time with it for my own good! You will always see me on the leaderboards not because I want to be at the top of the heap, but more because I am a very active nature photographer who tends to be in nature all the time, which is the one thing other than my family that provides me stress relief and happiness.” As of today (September 1st, 2016), BJ and Jay are our two top observers, with over 65,000 (!) observations between them.

The two of them recently took a trip to Arizona, which is when Jay found this remarkable two-tailed Arizona Bark Scorpion, as he was using a UV flashlight to look for fluorescing scorpions. “I observed it for a minute before I realized that something was ‘off’...when I quickly realized that there was only one set of legs and chelae, it suddenly dawned on me that I was looking at a single Bark Scorpion with two metasomas and two stingers!” In terms of anatomy, a scorpion’s “tail” is called the metasoma, and is an extension of its abdomen, or opisthosoma (the anus is actually located near the end of the metasoma, towards the stinger).

Wanting to study this rare individual, Jay notes that he “very carefully” was able to put it in a vial (the Arizona Bark Scorpion is the most venomous scorpion in North America) and took it home, where he says he “[gained] permission from my wife to maintain such a creature at least for a period of time.” You can read more updates and info about the scorpion on Jay’s iNat journal post here, it’s definitely worth checking out. And yes, both tails seem to be totally functional and are used for stinging. He notes that “others who are far more experienced with scorpions than I, and who have themselves observed many thousands of individuals have told me they have not yet found one.”

In regards to photographing and exploring nature, Jay says “I have a strong desire to simply understand what I am seeing out there, and the photos not only aid in their eventual identification, but ultimately make me want to research the creatures at a much deeper level, which is in part made possible with the community on iNaturalist. iNaturalist is a really exceptional forum for all those with a keen interest in the natural world to learn about, enjoy and share with others the amazing diversity of life that exists around us.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Here’s video of a two-tailed scorpion in captivity, feeding on a cricket. This one doesn’t use its stingers here, however. 

- If you want to get a UV flashlight for yourself, they’re relatively cheap and easy to find on the internet. It’s fun to go on a night hike and see what else fluoresces, like millipedes, lichens, plants and more!

Posted on September 01, 2016 06:18 PM by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 31, 2016

iNat and Media Attention in 2016

iNaturalist has been the recipient of some media attention this year, from the National Park Service’s BioBlitz 2016, which peaked on May 21st, and xkcd’s mention of iNat in its early June comic, but our biggest boost came from this story on NPR by KERA’s Lauren Silverman, which ran on August 6th and made some comparisons between iNat and the Pokemon Go craze.

iNat user Sam Kieschnick (@sambiology), an Urban Wildlife Biologist in Texas, had been running a few moth programs during National Moth Week and one program in Midlothian, Texas got some press in a local paper. “Lauren Silverman...must have read that and called me up to get some more information,” says Sam. “Another moth night was coming up in Dallas, so I invited her to it.  She brought some recording tools to make a story for the local and statewide shows. The story ended up going a little bit towards the Pokemon Go angle, and that was good - because of that, it was picked up nationally on Sunday morning's All Tech Considered.”

The NPR story really boosted the number of new users to iNat, as well as activity on the website and in our mobile apps. For example, here’s a chart showing the number of new iNat iOS users after the NPR piece aired crushing any old records we had (you can see the earlier spikes around the BioBlitz and the xkcd mention).  

It’s interesting to compare these new user spikes to the number of iOS sessions (a period of time when a user is actively engaged with the app). There’s a really big spike during the BioBlitz’s peak days, although not as large as the NPR story garnered.

The BioBlitz spike was due to a high number of multiple sessions (same folks using the app multiple times), whereas the NPR spike was caused by a large number of new users, rather than multiple sessions. Different audiences and goals, perhaps?

What’s cool is that our numbers post-NPR are still significantly higher than average. After the xkcd mention we had a huge spike in web sessions, then a sharp drop-off; after NPR, session numbers remain much higher than usual and very high for this time of year, which historically has lower session numbers. And while we of course can’t link all new users to the NPR story, it’s fun to check out the numbers of new users since the story ran: 35,414 new users were created between August 5th and August 30th, and they’ve made 58,518 observations - about 31% of all observations made since August 5th. Not bad!

So what’s going on here? Did the NPR story just reach the right demographic? Have a wider reach overall, since it’s from a major news source? Or perhaps the popularity of Pokemon Go helped everyone realize that going outside and pointing your phone at things can be a lot of fun - priming folks for iNat. It’s also noteworthy that the NPS BioBlitz was focused on a specific period with a specific goal, whereas the NPR piece took a different tack, emphasizing fun, competition, exploration, and discovery - something folks can use any day, wherever they are.

If you’ve got some thoughts, feel free to share below.

- by Tony Iwane (with data help from the iNat team)

Posted on August 31, 2016 11:07 PM by tiwane tiwane | 3 comments | Leave a comment

August 30, 2016

Observation of the Week, 8/17/16

This Common Glider butterfly, seen in the Democratic Republic of Congo by @congonaturalist, is our belated Observation of the Week for August 17th, 2016!

I originally emailed Naftali Honig (@congonaturalist) weeks ago, but email communication has been spotty, as he is in the Democratic Republic of Congo doing anti-poaching and anti-trafficking work, mainly with elephants but with other threatened wildlife as well. Originally from New York, Naftali says he “started getting involved in doing anti-poaching and anti-trafficking work after living in the rainforest for a year. I would have loved to just stay in the forest and explore, but there are too many threats to the wildlife I came to love there.” He’s a 2016 National Geographic Emerging Explorer, and you can read more about him and his work here

Of course during his time and his work there, Naftali sees many other animals. “I see Common gliders all the time in Central Africa. They seem to be common here in this corner of the DRC...Curiously, right after this photo got chosen as Photo of the Week, what seemed like millions of Common gliders flew over the village where I was in DRC! Conditions must have been just right.”

The Common glider butterflies of Africa (Cymothoe caenis, different from the Common gliders of Eurasia, which are Neptis sappho) are, as their name suggests, common throughout tropical Africa, and are varied in color and pattern. The straight lines you see on the one above are markings on the underwings and wouldn’t normally be seen from above without strong backlighting, like we have here. They’re a migratory butterfly, and it’s likely Naftali saw a migrating group come through the village.

Naftali uses iNaturalist to log his findings, and says “Citizen science is a fascinating approach in the 21st century and frankly I've learned a lot about taxa for which I simply haven't got the guidebook out in the Congo! I'm usually not too far from my bird and mammal guidebooks, but butterflies? Wasps? Orchids? This global community of passionate people is really impressive and genuinely inspiring.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Here’s a video of National Geographic’s 2016 Emerging Explorers, including Naftali.

Posted on August 30, 2016 11:54 AM by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 25, 2016

Observation of the Week 8/24/16

This Spider-tailed Horned Viper, seen in Iran by matthieuberroneau, is our Observation of the Week!

I love snakes, and a few years ago my friend @robberfly sent me a video of the Spider-tailed Horned Viper. I was floored, and never forgot about this bizarre animal. So when Matthieu Berroneau’s observation of one (the first one with photographs on iNat) was being passed around by the iNat crew it made my day.

OK, personal tangent out of the way.

A professional herper and photographer in the south of France, Matthieu Berroneau has also been obsessed with this snake, ever since it was first described in 2006. Despite having recently returned from a trip to Malaysia, he and his companions had the opportunity to visit Iran and they couldn’t turn it down. They “planned to observe different crazy species of Amphibians and Reptiles of Iran like Paradactylodon persicus, Phrynocephalus mystaceus and of course Pseudocerastes urarachnoides (Spider-tailed Horned Viper).” And that they did - with the help of local guides and their own expertise, Matthieu and his group found over 60 reptiles during their two week, 5,500 km trek through the country. The search for Pseudocerastes urarachnoides in Iran’s Ilam province was an adventure in and of itself, involving armed guards, stormy weather, and of course an encounter with a venomous snake. Matthieu goes into more detail here, definitely check it out. “This day will live long in my memory and it is still with stars in the eyes that we leave Ilam,” he wrote. "Iran is an absolutely beautiful country inhabited by friendly and cheerful people, full of incredible scenery and unsuspected wildlife."

The first specimen of Pseudocerastes urarachnoides was collected in a 1968 survey and promptly misidentified as a Persian horned viper (Pseudocerastes persicus) with a tumor or growth, rather than a new species. When another specimen was collected in 2003, it spurred more research and the description of a new species in 2006. And researchers suspected that the snake used its strange tail as a lure (which many other snakes do), this behavior wasn’t observed in the wild in until 2008. With its perfectly camouflaged scales, the snake is well hidden from its prey until it’s too late. However, at least one snake has been observed having its spider appendage pecked clean off by a bird!

Matthieu recently joined iNaturalist, but he’s been documenting his finds online for much longer - his high quality photos are on Flickr; he and his friends have created Herpetofocus.fr, where they share their photos and experiences; and he has a Facebook page. He’ll continue posting to iNaturalist and says he’s found it useful for keeping track of where he’s found his many subject. “And if at the same time this can help the scientistic community and the conservation of endangered species,” he says, “it's perfect for me!”

- by Tony Iwane


- Here’s some footage of Pseudocerastes urarachnoides using its tail to catch a  bird.

- All of Matthieu’s iNat observations in Iran can be found here.

- Make sure to check out Herptofocus.fr’s trips page to read about their other amazing trips.

- The original published description of Pseudocerastes urarachnoides.

- Please note that while Matthieu writes excellent english, I did clean it some of his quotes for clarity.

Posted on August 25, 2016 05:16 PM by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

U.S. National Park Service - 100 Years, 100k Observations



The National Park Service (NPS) consisted of 35 parks and monuments when President Woodrow Wilson established it on August 25th, 1916. And in that same year, a fourteen year-old Ansel Adams, who had collected bugs and tromped through the wilderness of San Francisco as a young child, visited Yosemite National Park with his family. It was his first visit there, and he later wrote, “one wonder after another descended upon us...There was light everywhere...A new era began for me.”

One of the first inexpensive cameras in common use was the Kodak Brownie box camera, and Ansel was lucky enough to have one. He of course began to avidly photograph what he saw at Yosemite, on his way to becoming one of the most popular and influential photographers in the history of the medium. His photos (and his lobbying) were instrumental in the creation of King’s Canyon National Park and have inspired countless people to appreciate and preserve the natural world.

A century later, the National Park Service now oversees over 400 parks and monuments, which are visited by 300 million people every year. Visitors no longer carry Kodak Brownie cameras, but they are armed with smartphones; pocket-sized wonders combining cameras, gps antennae and internet connectivity.

Thus BioBlitz 2016, a citizen science project using iNaturalist to record as many species as possible in the national parks through this centennial year. And just in time for the NPS’s actual 100th birthday, iNat users have just passed the 100,000 observation mark in the NPS Servicewide BioBlitz project, which aggregates all observations throughout the system! That’s about 9% of all iNat observations recorded this year, worldwide - not bad. Over 10,000 species were recorded by over 5,000 users, ranging from the western Pacific to the coast of Maine, and all of the research grade data will be added to the National Park Service’s NPSpecies database, helping NPS staff gain a deeper knowledge of each park’s biodiversity. For example, 13 spider species, 17 lichen species, 2 terrestrial isopod species and 1 native earthwom species were all new species added to the George Washington Memorial Parkway’s list!

To help you get an idea of BioBlitz 2016’s scale (and because they’re cool), there are two interactive maps on this post - one up at the top of the post and one just below this paragraph, which include all observations in the project through 8/23/16. Make sure you play around with them! A big thanks to @loarie and @kueda for making the above and below interactive maps, respectively.

There’s still four months left in 2016, so get out there and make some observations in a nearby national park if you can. You’ll be helping in the greater understanding and preservation of over 84 million acres of land - an incredible heritage. Who knows, maybe you could be our next Ansel Adams!

by Tony Iwane


Psst! Since only verified observations will be added to NPSpecies, your identification assistance is critical for BioBlitz 2016 observations!  Use our Identify tool to identify any organisms in the project that you can - every little bit helps!

Posted on August 25, 2016 11:01 AM by tiwane tiwane | 1 comments | Leave a comment

August 22, 2016

Observation of the Week, 8/22/16

This Gelotopoia bicolor katydid, seen in Guinea by @nefariousdrru, is our Observation of the Week!

The above katydid is the first one of its species posted to iNaturalist, and it was found not by a professional naturalist or wildlife biologist, but by Heather, an infectious diseases epidemiologist!

This spring, Heather deployed to Guinea in response to a flare-up of the Ebola virus, working with the Council for State and Territorial Epidemiologists, who was helping the CDC staff the response. The flare-up happened in the forest and response time was critical, so the UN and WHO cleared some forest next a village and set up a camp for the responders.

When she visited the camp for the first time, Heather noticed a dead moth and some other insects. “As I was taking photos, I realized that what I thought was a twig hanging off the tent was actually a moth, so then I went looking for more,” she says. “I then realized that there were ‘bugs’ seemingly everywhere (at that time, my knowledge of insect taxonomy was pretty much just “butterfly, moth, ant, roach, praying mantis, and ‘bug’”). All that to say that, I didn’t know what I was looking at but I knew enough that it was special, even if just to me.” Heather continued to take photos in her spare time: “I’m a giant nerd and really enjoy adventuring. So, what that means is that on my adventures, I end up taking a lot of photos and working backwards.” After struggling with various identification resources, Heather heard the NPR story about iNaturalist, “so I figured I’d give these IDs another shot. That changed everything.”

Not much information is available about the Gelotopoia bicolor katydid, but katydids (Tettigoniidae, also known as “bush crickets”) are a large and incredibly diverse family of the order Orthoptera (the grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, and more). You can distinguish a katydid from its releatives by looking at its antennae - it has long, thin antennae, whereas grasshoppers have antennae which are shorter and more thick. Many katydids are actually predatory, with some species even predating snakes and lizards! Members of this family, like the one Heather found, have also evolved incredible camouflage.

Heather will continue to add observations from the places she travels to. “I’ve only been an INaturalist member for a couple of weeks now but now I know... there’s a place for my observations other than my ever expanding photos folder,” she says. “It has really helped me see how I fit into a larger community and appreciate the warmth of veteran naturalists who are willing to act as a resource for a newbie like myself.”

- by Tony Iwane


- Check out Heather’s other observations from Guinea here. Please help ID them if you’re knowledgeable about the region!

- Noted entomologist, author and photographer Piotr Naskrecki has written quite a few blog posts about katydids, showcasing their diversity. Here are some of them

- Katydid nymphs are usually really cool looking. Bugguide has a collection of nymph photos.

Posted on August 22, 2016 01:53 PM by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

August 10, 2016

Observation of the Week, 8/10/16

This Langaha pseudoalluaudi snake, seen in Madagascar by victorialnjackson, is our Observation of the Week!

“While I'm by no means an expert on Leaf-nosed Snakes from Madagascar...I can say that her observation is quite exciting,” writes herpetologist Paul Freed (@herpguy). “Of the three species of Leaf-nosed Snakes endemic to Madagascar, her observation is one of the rarest of the three.” Paul notes that in Gerald Kuchling’s paper from 2003, Kuchling says the species was described from only the type specimen, found in 1966! “It is possible that additional specimens have been seen/collected since 2003, but given their limited distribution in remote regions of northwestern Madagascar, and the cryptic appearance of this highly unusual snake, it's not likely that many other specimens have been found,” says Paul. This snake is also the first record of this species on iNaturalist as well.

Victoria Jackson, who posted this observation, is a student of Biological Sciences at the University of Exeter in the UK, and was a research assistant on an expedition that Operation Wallacea was conducting in northwestern Madagascar. “We surveyed everything from the trees and other plants to the invertebrates, herps, birds and mammals,” she says. “One of the herpetologists on the team was out on a survey when they found this Langaha pseudoalluaudi and brought it to the camp to show everyone (they put it back where it had been found afterwards). It was amazing to see, so delicate and beautiful and a very gentle snake.”

Very little is known about L. pseudoalluaudi, but the most common snake of the genus, L. madagascariensis, has been the study of some observation and research. It’s difficult to differentiate sexes in most snake species but in the Langaha genus, females have a more “leafy” snout, whereas the males have a snout that is more smooth and pointed. L. pseudoalluaudi females also have protruding scales above the eye, which L. madagascariensis females lack. Langaha snakes are considered ambush predators (makes sense) and hang from branches and vines in the forest, waiting for reptile and amphibian prey. They have been observed stalking and chasing lizards, however. Like many colubrid snakes, they are rear-fanged, basically meaning they have to chew on prey to envenomate it - which is exactly what this researcher let one of them do. He felt severe pain for hours, enough so that he “found it very difficult to sleep because of the intermittent severe throbbing and tenderness which continued throughout the night.”

Victoria (above, with a male white morph Paradise flycatcherTersiphone mutata) is hoping her studies will lead her to a career in biology, a field which has appealed to her since she was a child, “[and] which grew and grew through watching David Attenborough's nature programmes on TV.” She’s “interested in many aspects of biology, not just zoology and wildlife etc., but also genetics and cells and how everything works together.”

As for iNaturalist, Victoria loves using it to record what she sees every day, in addition to her trips abroad. “It's great when I don't know what something is because the chances are, other users will be able to identify it,” she says. “I think it's a great modern way to record your sightings on a database that scientists around the world can use!”

- by Tony Iwane


- A very nice little article (PDF) about observing L. madagascariensis behavior in the wild, something that has not been done much.

- Speaking of Sir David Attenborough, here’s a nice playlist from his great Life in Cold Blood series.

Posted on August 10, 2016 08:42 PM by tiwane tiwane | 1 comments | Leave a comment
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