Science No Chaser

Why These Fish Bully Other Fish–Into Breathing Air

[Two Clarias gariepinus catfish caught near Bogor, West Java in Indonesia. Image by W.A. Djatmiko via Wikimedia Commons and CC-BY-SA-3.0]  There’s one in every school. These aggressive individuals go around pushing and biting their neighbors, goading them into risky behaviors–like breathing. Several species of catfish, including the African sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus), have both gills that take …

Dolphins (probably) can’t recognize each other’s voices

[Above: Two bottlenose dolphins swimming around. Image via Max Pixel and Creative Commons CC0 license.] Human speaking voices come in a dizzying array of tones. They can be raspy or reedy, lilting or monotone, chirpy or sonorous, nasal or throaty, breathy or booming, and that’s before we even start describing accents. Most mammals, including humans, …

7 Things To Know About Mitochondria: 2016 edition

Mitochondria: To most people, they’re little more than a ghostly memory fragment from middle school biology. However, these tiny “powerhouse(s) of the cell” are much more than they seem. They’re actually the shape-shifting descendants of ancient bacteria that were eaten by a larger archaebacterium billions of years ago. . (If you want to know more …

How 600 Citizens Helped to Document an Underwater Epidemic

[A Sunflower Sea Star with several arms missing. Photo by Jerry Kirkhart via Flickr & CC 2.0 License.]  In 2013,  something strange started happening to the starfish, or sea stars, that live along North America’s Pacific Coast. Casual observers began reporting starfish that were “dissolving” or “melting”. “What you first see is they start getting …

The Slow Poisoning of the UK’s Bees (and What to Do About It)

[Photo by David Short via Flickr & Creative Commons 2.0] “By Request” is a series of posts where I track down studies that answer questions asked by you, my blog’s readers.  High School Friend Elna asked: “Impending extinction of bees- what can prevent?” That’s a tough question to answer, because some bee populations are at much …