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Archive: BioBlog June 2011

profs, publications, & social media

Alison Campbell Feb 14, 2016

A while back, my Twitter feed brought up a post with the intriguing title “Prof, no-one is reading you“. The article kicks off with the following provocative statement:  Many of the world’s most talented thinkers may be university professors, but sadly most of them are not shaping today’s public debates or influencing policies. Now, them’s fighting … Read More

Is it a drone? Is it a giant mozzie?

Alison Campbell Feb 12, 2016

No, it’s one of New Zealand’s big dragonflies, most probably the bush dragonfly Uropetala carovei, and colloquially known as the “Devil’s darning needle” (presumably because of their colour & size). And indeed, they are large creatures, as you’ll see from the photos. The adult dragonfly is the biggest dragonfly in NZ at nearly 90mm long, and with wings spanning … Read More

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The bedbug genome and their bloody habits

Alison Campbell Feb 09, 2016

Once upon a time, I wrote about traumatic insemination in bedbugs. (Those of my friends who are still traumatised by learning about the reproductive habits of various slug species may not wish to follow that link.) Now, two papers just published in Nature Communications describe the results of sequencing & examining the genome of the common bedbug, Cimex lectularius. Read More

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Just how small can a small snail be?

Alison Campbell Feb 03, 2016

When I was a kid I used to collect shells on the beach – got my Girl Guides ‘collectors’ badge & everything So I really enjoyed reading this post over on Sciblogs NZ. And that in turn reminded me of an article I saw recently on microsnails. According to that article, “Microsnail” is the term for the creatures … Read More

the strange s*x lives of leopard & banana slugs

Alison Campbell Jan 30, 2016

Following on from the private lives of snails, I bring you: slugs! (The first part of this post is largely a repost of something I wrote back in 2009.)   Leopard slugs, like other terrestrial slugs & snails, are hermaphrodites. They produce both eggs & sperm, but must exchange sperm with another slug in order to … Read More

Words and ecology, ecology and words

Alison Campbell Jan 29, 2016

I love words (to the extent that I’ve been known to peruse dictionaries for pleasure). The Story of English was one of my favourite TV programs, back (long way back) in the day. So, of course, when I saw positive reviews for Robert Macfarlane’s book, Landmarks, I had to get hold of a copy. For, as the … Read More

More moo woo

Alison Campbell Jan 28, 2016

Once I started paying attention to the woo around milk I realised how much of it there is. And how ready people are to accept it. I’ve written about the notoriously non-scientific Food Babe before. Someone with a high pain threshold could probably manage a daily blog post on this young woman and the way she manipulates opinion, and sometimes … Read More

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Snail s*x toys

Alison Campbell Jan 22, 2016

This morning when I went out to feed the goldfish, I encountered a pair of snails in flagrante delicto. I resisted the urge to step on them   However, I was reminded of a post that I wrote several years ago, on the sexual habits of snails, and thought it was worth a repost. So here goes: Copulation in … Read More

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