Category Archives: Uncategorized

Dr. Gall talks bird hearing on Pulse of the Planet

Dr. Gall recently talked with Jim Metzner of Pulse of the Planet (formerly a brief NPR segment and now a full length podcast).  Check it out here!

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A Cat’s Urine Odor: A Possible Solution To Your Lawn’s Vole Problem.

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Animals utilize their different sensory systems – smell, vision, and hearing, among others – to gather information about their environment. Further, the sensory modalities an animal uses to most effectively gather information vary between species. For instance, while humans seem … Continue reading

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Seeing is Be-Leaving: Sensory Perception and its role in Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep Migration

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Sensory ecology is a growing field of scientific exploration that meaningfully engages sensory information–such as visual, olfactory, and auditory signals–with an individual’s natural environment. Research in this field provides us with key insights into the decision-making process of animals, which … Continue reading

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Changing Climate, Same Sensory Systems

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Typically, when we talk about climate change and all of its associated effects such as the sea levels rising, droughts, and literal warming of the planet, we have a very human-centric point of view. We typically ask questions about the … Continue reading

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The secret to some insect behaviors? It might be smelly bacteria

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The sense of smell is an incredibly complex and important sense across the animal kingdom. Insects rely heavily on olfaction for everything from finding mates, shelter, and food to locating oviposition sites. While a lot of research has been done … Continue reading

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Please Don’t Eat Me – I’m Just a Cleaner Shrimp

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We hate ticks in the summer. Those greedy eight-legged bloodsuckers bury their heads into our skin and get all the free food they want. They are also dangerous transmitters of diseases and can possibly leave you ill for a long … Continue reading

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What makes parasitic cuckoo bees so cu-cool? They parasitize foreign nests without detection

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You heard right, some species of bees—known as cuckoo bees—have lost the ability to provide for their offspring, leading them to parasitize the food provisions collected by other bee species. Cuckoo bees are brood parasites, or species with offspring that … Continue reading

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Humans Distracting Hermit Crabs: How Noise Pollution Affects Decision-Making

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Animals, including humans, perceive their environments using multiple types of sensory systems, which can include visual, auditory, tactile, chemical, or electric senses. They integrate sensory information gathered from different systems and use it to make decisions that will best help … Continue reading

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Exceptional Deception: The Role of Female Cuckoos’ Calls in Effectively Fooling Hosts

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Picture this: you’re in the kitchen shortly after coming home from the hospital with a brand new baby. While you’re chopping tomatoes, someone sneaks into your house with their baby, silently places their baby in the cradle with your own, … Continue reading

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Grateful that I am not a female winter moth: insectivorous birds can detect chemical cues of female winter moths during mating season and eat them (and their mates)

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How predator and prey species interact with each other can affect the dynamics of an ecosystem and the consequent species composition and diversity of the area. Because of this, piecing together how these interactions occur and on what levels is … Continue reading

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