Topic: biology

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I, Octopus – Science Friday

With thousands of chemically-sensitive suckers, color-changing skin, and a brain that literally stretches when they eat, octopuses seem like aliens living in our oceans. Understanding their physical adaptations and ho...

Explaining The Tree of Life

Travel millions of years through time with Sir David Attenborough as he explains The Tree of Life. Some background on the metaphor from The New York Times: In his 1859 book “On the Origin of Species,” Charles Darw...

Rock-Paper-Scissors Lizards

Biologists from UC Santa Cruz are studying the three distinct mating strategies of what's being referred to as "rock-paper-scissors lizards," the blue, orange, and yellow variations of the Western side-blotched lizard...

Opera singers sing during real-time MRI scans

Thanks to a team of researchers at the Freiburger Institute for Musician's Medicine, we get to watch this real-time MRI scan of baritone Michael Volle as he sings O Du, mein holder Abendstern (Oh thou, my fair evening...

Scorpion evolution, scorpion moms, & glowing scorpions

Scorpion facts: Scorpions have been on Earth for 400 million years, scorpions give birth to live young and then catch them in their arms, and under ultraviolet light, scorpions fluoresce. Scientist and Cal Academy Cur...

How do eyes work & how do glasses help us see?

Glass, water, and the eye are three different transparent mediums that change the direction of light, a phenomenon called refraction. Refraction in the eye helps us see by bending light into an accurately focused poin...

The Science of Skin Color – TED Ed

When ultraviolet sunlight hits our skin, it affects each of us differently. Depending on skin color, it’ll take only minutes of exposure to turn one person beetroot-pink, while another requires hours to experience the...

Evidence of evolution that you can find on your body

Signs of our evolutionary history can be found in the form of vestigial structures on the human body. Watch this Vox video to help identify the evidence of evolution in yours. Some background via Wikipedia: Vestig...

Subvisual Subway – The Art of New York City’s Bacterial World

Why do we wash our hands after we've been riding on public transportation? Is it true that "using the handrails on the subway is like shaking hands with 100 people"? New York City-based typographer and designer Craig ...

Jump In Jerboas – Science Friday

"A furry little rodent version of a Tyrannosaurus Rex," the jerboa has tiny forelimbs, a "noodle" tail that helps with them with balance, long legs and really long feet, with toes that support their speedy hops. W...

How do we know what color dinosaurs were?

The meat-eating microraptor was a black-feathered, four-winged dinosaur. How do we know its feathers were black? The evidence is in the microraptors' fossils. This TED Ed explains. Plus, more from Wikipedia: In Mar...

Bats flip like Tony Hawk to land upside down

Like pirouetting figure skaters, twisting high divers, or a skateboarder trying to land a 900, bats use inertia to flip upside down before they land. Brown University evolutionary biologists Sharon Swartz and Kenneth ...

X-ray video of how hamsters fit food in their cheek pouches

Golden hamsters, also known as Syrian hamsters, are flexible little creatures that can crawl through plastic and underground tunnel systems alike. In this video from Nature on PBS, we get to watch one navigate sharp t...

How do your eyes perceive color? – Physics Girl

When we talk about mixing colors, it's often because we're mixing paint, but what about light? The retinas in our eyes respond to light differently because of two types of photoreceptors: rods and cones. Rod cells hel...

How do plants grow in space? – Science Friday

Microgravity, different kinds of light, extreme conditions... Growing while in orbit or on Mars are two experiences that earthbound organisms have never needed to adapt to in our evolutionary history. How do our bodie...

How Do Sharks and Rays Use Electricity to Find Hidden Prey?

Imagine if you had six traditional senses instead of five: Sound, sight, touch, smell, taste and... What might you pick? Echolocation? Magnetoreception? How about electroreception? Sharks, rays, skates and sawfish...

How smart are dolphins?

Dolphins are well-known for being intelligent creatures... In fact, they're one of the smartest species on the planet. These cetaceans can communicate, cooperate, empathize, understand language, pass along their knowl...

Why Warm Blood is Better Than Cold – Rise of the Mammals

What does a tiny Hadrocodium wui fossil tell us about the evolutionary advantages that mammals were developing before the Cretaceous–Paleogene mass extinction event that finished off the dinosaurs 65 million years ago...

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