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Archive for November, 2010

I’ve Moved Down South!

Well not exactly. I’m still in Minnesota, but my blog has moved to the Southern Fried Science Network, also known as The Gam. My new address is http://zoologirl.southernfriedscience.com!  Sorry to make you update bookmarks and whatnot, but I’m really excited about joining a network of fellow science bloggers! I’ll still be blogging about the same topics, so please join me at my new home. And while you’re at it, check out the collection of great science bloggers also on the Southern Fried Science Network.

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No quick links this week. I’ve been pretty busy and haven’t had much time to even read! I soon will have time for more blogging though and also a big announcement!

But, a few weeks ago, I asked if anyone could name Carl Linnaeus’s favorite plant. I figured I should follow-up on that (even though no one tried to answer).

*drumroll*

Linnaea borealis from Wikipedia

The answer is Twinflower (Linnaea borealis)! From the photo above, you can probably tell how the plant received its common name. As for the scientific name, you may think that Linnaeus named the plant after himself, being the father of modern taxonomy and all. However, it was his teacher and friend Jan Frederik Gronovius that named the plant in his honor. On the naming, Linnaeus wrote:

Linnaea was named by the celebrated Gronovius and is a plant of Lapland, lowly, insignificant and disregarded, flowering but for a brief space – from Linnaeus who resembles it.”

illustration from Wikipedia of Linnaea borealis

Linnaea borealis illustration from Wikipedia

Twinflower grows around the world at northern latitudes. I’ve come across it often here in Minnesota. It really is an adorable plant, especially when flowering, and I can see why it was Linnaeus’s favorite.

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On a Thursday!

  • First, something that put a smile on my face. One of my posts was included in the most recent edition of Scientia Pro Publica (Science for the People) blog carnival! There are plenty of great blog posts about science in this edition about everything from drunk bats and venomous mammals to discussions of the peer-review process. So go check it out!
  • Cosmic curiosity reveals ghostly glow of dead quasar– discovered through the citizen science project Galaxy Zoo!
  • Do you ever get sad from reading about endangered species and losses of biodiversity? Then you must read Back from the Brink: Victories in Conservation over at Southern Fried Science. It discusses a recent paper in Science which shows conservation efforts are helping to slow extinctions. I couldn’t help but notice that a few of the success stories they highlighted are in part thanks to zoo breeding programs, including that of the the Asian Wild Horse. The Minnesota Zoo played a significant part in their recovery, and here’s a great video on that story.
  • And related to my rant yesterday, I think the paper mentioned above supports how important scientific publications can be, especially considering the paper provides evidence that conservation efforts work and need more support. In addition, one of the co-authors is none other than the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Bear Biologist David Garshelis. He is also co-chair of the IUCN Bear Specialist Group, and was recently on The Colbert Report sticking to his story that he’s not afraid of bears. Videos below!

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For a while now, I have considered writing about the controversy surrounding Dr. Lynn Roger’s black bear research and whether collared bears should be protected from hunting. I haven’t done so yet because I haven’t formed a solid opinion, can see both sides of the argument, and am not a bear hunter. But recently, Lynn Rogers made some comments that I can’t ignore.

Lynn Rogers and Black Bear

(more…)

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