Tag: zoology

The bee’s knees


diatomaceousEarth Diatomaceous earth.

To be pedantic, bees don’t really have knees, just a number of joints in their legs. But if they did, their knees would be clearly viewable with a new imaging device that combines the functions of a microscope and a cell analyser: Cytell. Follow the link to find out how it genuinely was inspired by a bee leg.

I’m mainly interested in the detailed, hypersaturated and Pixar-esque aesthetic of the images produced by the Cytell. So different from what most people would imagine when the only experience of scientific images they’ve had was their dull and probably outdated school textbooks.

mosquitoProboscis Mosquito’s head and proboscis. No… no, thanks.

lingualpapillae Lingual papillae, which are found on top of the tongue. Actually looks sort of… appetising?

MantisLeg Praying Mantis leg.

The Cytell images are also interesting to me in the slightly more narcissistic sense that real science has finally caught up with…

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It’s Gay Animal Fortnight

It’s Gay Animal Fortnight



What’s that? You never heard about this carnival of homosexual, bisexual and transvestite animals? (That I just made up.) So sad… some people have a sheltered upbringing. Because there are definitely gay and, yes, even intersexual or transvestite animals throughout the world and there always have been. Sorry about that, bigots and religious nuts, but to adopt a phrase already in circulation: DEAL WITH IT.

It’s documented in thousands of scientific papers, even though a shameful number of scientists themselves have not been averse to clutching their pearls and squeamishly claiming not to see what their own data unequivocally shows. In 1999 Bruce Bagemihl did the world a great service by compiling and summarising this evidence for the ubiquity of non-reproductive (hetero- and homo-) sexual practices throughout the natural world in his mammoth 750-page Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. It’s an exploration of possible evolutionary and biological…

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