Friday Faves June 19, 2015

All weekend long! #SPARCS2015

Once a year or so, there's a canine science conference, and it's happening again this weekend. You can live stream the whole thing FOR FREE!!! DO IT!! Or at least drop in for a few talks. This year's speakers include Katheryn Lord, Hal Herzog, James Ha, and my friend @DogSpies will be there too!

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A power outage like no other

I have reported on plenty of squirrel-related power outages before, but the one that hit my own town (Berkeley) has gotten a lot of attention, perhaps because of the huge number of people impacted. Coincidentally, while I was in New York, I got a call from the New York Times to talk about it. Although a squirrel may seem like a scapegoat...this is how the power company knows a squirrel did it...a body is usually left behind.

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Evolutionary Arms Race for...egg patterns?

Brood parasitism occurs when a bird of one species lays its eggs in the nest of a different bird. If the nesting bird can't tell the difference between its own babies and someone else's, the best thing to do is just...take care of them! To improve their sneakiness, the parasite has evolved to lay eggs that are more similar to the hosts...but in return, scientists have now discovered that the host has evolved to lay more complexly patterned eggs, to make it easier to kick out those foreign eggs.

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