Tag Archives: parenting

Salamander Brigade! #CitSci to the Rescue!

If a salamander is going to make babies, they have to head to a vernal pool. In some places, that means a deadly trek across a freeway, resulting in many (50-100%) squished amphibians.  Conservationists in New Hampshire started a Citizen Science program to track both live and dead salamanders and give them a little help crossing the road. The Salamander Brigade has over 600 volunteers and helped 25K salamanders get to the pool, and hopefully, find a mate. They've also started photographing and ID-ing salamanders by their individual markings, and found that many of the same salamanders make the cross-freeway trek year after year! So COOL!

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Better than a disco ball

discoclamFor your next party, consider a "disco clam"? These clams have flashy lips that they move frequently to create a "disco ball" effect. Scientists at UC Berkeley (hey! I know Lindsay!) recently determined that this is not bioluminescence (as found in some animals such as jellyfish) but because the lip has highly reflective cells on one side. They still don't know why the disco clam has flashy lips, but mate attraction is always a good guess. Read more and see a video here (in an article by another UCB scientist, and my friend Jane Hu)!

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