possums, predators, and biocontrol

Australian brush-tailed possum, Trichosurus vulpecula

Featured image from https://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/topics/animals-and-plants/native-animals/native-animal-facts/brush-tailed-possum   Recently I shared this Spinoff article about extinction on Twitter, & tagged the Science Learning Hub as the NZ focus makes the article a good fit with their mahi supporting student learning. But I was somewhat surprised to have someone else pop up saying that they wouldn’t read it because, […]

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is it a shrimp? is it a prawn? no – it’s Super Crayfish! (revisited)

I wrote this post a couple of years ago, but I think it’s worth revisiting it. Why? Because these crayfish are in the news again – apparently they’ve “taken over” a Belgian cemetery (or, more correctly, the waterways in that cemetery). Local scientists believe that someone must have had the crustaceans in a home aquarium […]

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zombie ants, updated

Image source: David P. Hughes, Maj-Britt Pontoppidan – http://www.plosone.org/article/showImageLarge.action?uri=info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0004835.g001 CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17917778   Back in 2010 I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which  do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, […]

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