Dining with a starfish

There’s nothing quite like seeing something in the field. I came to this realisation about half way through my Masters course. When I started, I was a fully-fledged Geoscientist and taking on biological knowledge would have been an immense challenge if it hadn’t been for the engaging, rapid-fire seminars given by Dr Rob Hughes. He […]

It's just a flesh wound!

This was originally posted at: http://blogs.egu.eu/palaeoblog/2013/02/18/its-just-a-flesh-wound/ Fossils, as we typically think about them, tell us about the death of an animal. The teeth, bones, shells, fragmented pseudopods and other weird and wonderful bits of carcass all only ever reflect one thing: a permanent geological limbo. These types of fossil are known as body fossils. The other […]

For the spotted spiny lobster, size does matter

In a great many species, females exhibit preferences for larger males – including that world-dominating species Homo sapiens (though a recent PLoS ONE study reveals the effect is only modest in actual couples). Certainly in the marine environment, choices such as this correspond to greater fitness in a species, with larger individuals being more fertile […]

Explosive antics in the field

Colima, Mexico. The goal: unearthing the secrets of Vulcán de Fuego or the “Volcano of Fire”. Fuego erupts roughly every two hours. Nothing major, just an outburst of billowing steam clouds from the summit, generally lasting no more than 10 minutes. These outbursts release pressure in the magma chamber below, and by letting off steam; […]