Conservation efforts of Australia’s Grey Nurse Shark

By Elisa Botting With the looming anthropogenic driven sixth mass extinction, the extinction of many organisms is becoming increasingly probable. Organisms that require specialised habitats and are strongly affected by the slightest environmental changes are arguably the first victims of the extinction period. Due to its specialised habitat of subtropical to cool temperate waters andContinue reading Conservation efforts of Australia’s Grey Nurse Shark

Why comb jellies complicate animal evolution

By Heiloi Yip Ctenophores, also known as comb jellies, are a group of jellyfish-like marine organisms found all over the world’s oceans. The complexity of a ctenophore bodyplan is somewhere between that of simple poriferans (sea sponges) and highly complex bilaterians (animals with bilateral symmetry). By intuition, one might draw a phylogenetic tree with theContinue reading Why comb jellies complicate animal evolution

Why do honeybee queens live longer than their workers?

By Heiloi Yip Honeybees are well-known for their social hierarchy being consisted of two main castes: the queens and the female workers (the male drones will be ignored in this article). Each colony will typically consist of a single egg-laying queen, along with tens of thousands of workers that perform various tasks to maintain theContinue reading “Why do honeybee queens live longer than their workers?”

Ocean Currents and their Relationship with Marine Life

By Ayoush Srivastava As climate change continues to accelerate, there is increased international attention towards its effects and the development of potential measures to slow its pace. The exponential growth of greenhouse gas emissions over the past 30 years, especially carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4), has increased the average global temperature by 0.2°C annually;Continue reading “Ocean Currents and their Relationship with Marine Life”

An underwater symphony: the importance of sound in our oceans

By Evangeline Wilby   When humans explore below the surface of the ocean, sound fuses into one background noise, but to marine life, this is a diverse array of sound that is essential to their existence. Specifically, the coral reef; a noisy habitat with a language scientists are yet to fully uncover (Honeyborne et al., 2017). Most people areContinue reading “An underwater symphony: the importance of sound in our oceans”

How vultures thrive on the carrion that poisons humans

By Isabelle Hall  Rotten meat forms a significant part of the diet of numerous scavengers, including vultures and hyenas. Vultures are obligate scavengers, surviving almost solely on carrion. Instances of human consumption of rotten meat have been recorded – some reportedly practise this as a method of achieving a euphoric high, possibly through contraction ofContinue reading “How vultures thrive on the carrion that poisons humans”

The cracks in our skulls and what they can tell us about vertebrate evolution

By Heiloi Yip Out of all the anatomical features unique to vertebrate animals, the skull is arguably one of the most significant traits. As a skeletal structure that not only protects the brain, it also comprises the structure of the jaw and contains the sensory organs, making the skull a very valuable trait for anyContinue reading “The cracks in our skulls and what they can tell us about vertebrate evolution”

Why do mammals yawn?

By  Jemima Frame Warning: Reading this may cause excessive yawning Yawning is a behavioural trait that is common between all vertebrate mammals and is seen as one of our most primitive behaviours, with Charles Darwin (1838) noting that “seeing a dog & horse & man yawn, makes me feel how much all animals are builtContinue reading “Why do mammals yawn?”

How urbanisation shapes evolution

By Rachel Chan Around half the world’s population lives in an urban area: packed in cities that make up 0.5% of our planet’s surface (Ritchie & Roser, 2018; Schneider, Friedl & Potere, 2009). For the flora and fauna in urban areas, life is dramatically altered compared to that of their wild, non-urban counterparts. After all,Continue reading “How urbanisation shapes evolution”

A call for research on Myzobdella lugubris

By Justin Bauer The widespread North American leech Myzobdella lugubris is part of the Piscicolidae family. Due to its small size (1-2mm) and its marine habitat, it is not very well researched. While is maintains a commensal relationship with crustaceans it is a parasite to fish and more research must be conducted to fully assessContinue reading “A call for research on Myzobdella lugubris”