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About Roar

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So far Roar has created 32 blog entries.

5 Insects That Might Make Okay Boyfriends…

When it comes to being an awesome boyfriend, sometimes all it takes is a little love and affection. And presents. Lots of presents. Maybe presents during love and affection.

Just so we know not all insects make terrible lovers, here are a few that might not be so bad:

1. Scorpionflies

millette_scorpionflies_022. Decorated crickets

millette_crickets_023. Burnet moths

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4. German cockroaches

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5. Giant water bugs

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Check our facts!

1 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347209002553

2  http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347207002552

3 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0031942211001105

4 http://www.sciencedirect.com.prox.lib.ncsu.edu/science/article/pii/S0022191009001930

5 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0003347200915070

*Cockroach expert Coby Schal tells us the roach nuptial gift is a combination of sugar and phospholipid (lecithin), the two critical ingredients in chocolate (minus the cacao)!

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Emily Millette is a designer living in North Carolina.  Follow her on Twitter @emilymillette.

Creative Commons License
Good Insect Boyfriends by Emily Millette is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

By |February 13th, 2014|Bugs|4 Comments

There’s No Such Thing as Organic Honey, Lady!

We at Buzz Hoot Roar have something very important to tell you: There’s no such thing as organic honey.

OrganicHoney-01

 

By Roar and Katie McKissick. AKA Beatrice the Biologist, McKissick is a blog and science comic that hopes to make science fun and interesting for the casual reader. Visit www.beatricebiologist.com to see more of her work, and follower her on Facebook and Twitter.

By |February 5th, 2014|Bugs|14 Comments

The Ladybug’s Secret Evil

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Check our facts:

1 Harmonia axyridis ladybug invasion and allergy

2 Multicolored Asian lady beetle hypersensitivity: a case series and allergist survey

3 Harmonia axyridis ladybug hypersensitivity in clinical allergy practice

 

Words by Roar, art by Hoot.

By |January 14th, 2014|Bugs|3 Comments

The Driftin’ Life of Mayfly Nymphs

One of Earth’s most ancient groups of insects, mayflies (Order Ephemeroptera) are famously short-lived as adults—some living less than four hours before dying.

BHR-Baetid-3

So you might imagine that immature mayflies try their best to live a long and happy life.

Mayflies hatch in streams and rivers, spending their immature life underwater as wingless nymphs, crawling around rocks to scrape and nibble on algae and bacteria.

Streams are dangerous places for mayfly nymphs, with hungry fish patrolling the currents and predatory insects prowling the bottom. To reach new feeding areas or to escape attacks by other insects, mayfly nymphs push themselves off the stream bottom and wiggle into the current, drifting downstream before settling on another rock.

But it turns out that mayfly nymphs are pretty smart about when NOT to drift. Experiments on Baetis mayfly nymphs in California compared their drift behavior in streams containing both predatory insects and trout against streams containing only predatory insects.

Trout are visual predators that hunt during the day. Predatory insects like stonefly nymphs hunt during the night.

In streams with trout, Baetis nymphs actively drift at night to find new patches of food and to escape stonefly attacks, but they completely stop drifting during the day to avoid fish attacks.

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In streams without trout, Baetis nymphs still drift at night. But they also will drift to new food patches during the day since there are no fish to attack them.

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How Baetis nymphs detect the presence of fish versus insect predators is still a mystery—it might […]

By |January 7th, 2014|Bugs|8 Comments

Yaaaaaaaawn!

Chasmology! The study of yawning! It’s a real thing! There’s even an international conference!

Everybody yawns!

yawn1_03

Even human fetuses!

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Seeing, reading, or thinking about yawning triggers more yawning in humans (except those of us with schizotypal personality traits). Contagious yawning happens more often when you’re warm and when you breathe through your mouth and most probably is a primal, uncontrollable expression of human empathy.

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So it’s no surprise that children don’t yawn contagiously until they’re a few years old.

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If you’re out with your Romeo or Juliette and they start to yawn, don’t fret! In people, yawning is triggered by some sex-related agents like oxytocin and androgen, and many males get sexually aroused when they yawn.

yawn5_03

And one more thing, to set the record straight: Research shows we DO yawn when we’re bored, we DO yawn because we’re sleepy, and we do NOT yawn because of high CO2 levels or low O2 levels in the blood and brain.

yawn6_03___________

By Roar.

By |December 19th, 2013|Backbones|2 Comments

Five Insects We Never Want to Have Sex With

1. Honey Bee Queensmillette_final_honeybee_02

2. Dragonfly Malesmillette_final_dragonfly2_023. Bedbugsmillette_final_bedbug2_024. Water boatmen males

Have you ever had that boyfriend who wants to sit around and play guitar just for you? What are you supposed to do? Smile politely? Sing along? Pretend Extreme’s “More Than Words” captures your shared feelings?

millette_final_boatmen_025. Cowpea Weevilsmillette_final_weevil4_02

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Check our facts:

 1.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FtKqic69xVo (honeybee queen)

2.  http://www.mndragonfly.org/biology.html (dragonfly)

3.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLaaqX6A3AU (bedbugs)

4.  http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0021089 (water boatmen)

5.  http://bugguide.net/node/view/12796 (water boatmen)

6. http://sciencenordic.com/bizarre-penis-shaved-scientists (Cowpea weevil)

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Emily Millette is a designer living in North Carolina. She’d like you to know, that from where she’s sitting, this is the best week yet. Follow her on Twitter @emilymillette.

Creative Commons License
Insect Sex by Emily Millette is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

By |December 10th, 2013|Bugs|12 Comments

Guess that Age: It’s a Ringer!

tree_rings

 

Check our facts:

http://www.livescience.com/32443-why-are-tree-rings-lighter-or-darker.html

http://na.nefsc.noaa.gov/sharks/age.html

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1748-7692.1996.tb00305.x/abstract

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/1447446?uid=3739776&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103109731323

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1095-8649.1985.tb04294.x/abstract

http://formontana.net/paleolab.html

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Devin Cremins is a graphic designer working in the Raleigh, NC area with a love of science and illustration. Visit octopusoddments.com to see more of her work or follow octopusoddments on tumblr.

Also special thanks to Julia Ellis, who really knows her sharks: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10641-006-9116-2.

 

By |December 4th, 2013|Backbones, No Backbones|3 Comments

Holiday Reruns: Five Conversation Starters for the Thanksgiving Table

Tongue-tied with Uncle Tommy? Sick of Aunt Sally’s prattle? Try some of these BHR-approved conversation starters to get things going this Thanksgiving.

1. “My little heart goes pitter pat just being surrounded by all of you loved ones. Speaking of hearts, did you know smaller animals’ hearts beat faster than larger animals? Well, they do.

 

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2. “It sounds like that investment banking career is really taking off for you, Mike. Oh, me? I just took up omphaloskepsis.”

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3. “No, I’m not being creepy about your baby, Janet. I’m expressing a natural evolutionary urge to protect him.”squeezeit_05_03
4. “Oh, look at the moon! It’ll look even smaller tomorrow night. How do I know? I just know.”
gibbous-moon-mnemonic
5. “It’s natural to share, Jerry. But you gotta work for it. So no, you’re not getting any of my pecan pie.”
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Image credits: 1. Neil McCoy, 2. Julia Rice. 3. Jaime Van Wart 4. Christina Wang 5. Chris Trlica
By |November 26th, 2013|Backbones, Bugs, Other Science|1 Comment

We Got the Beat

Metabolism! The stuff our body does to keep us rolling down the road! Powered by our hearts!

beats_record

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Some scientists say all animals have a fixed number of heart beats before we die (955,787,040, to be exact).

dancedance_mouse

 

While not always true, metabolism (and heart rate) generally correlates with lifespan. Animals with slow beats live longer. Be still, our hearts—or at least slow down!

 

Check our facts: 

http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/watkins/longevity.htm
http://jn.nutrition.org/content/132/6/1583S.full

Heart Rate Sources:
The Complete Dinosaur
The Cardio Research Web Project
Electrocardiographic studies of the three-toed sloth, Bradypus variegatus
Squirrel = Super Soldier? WIRED Online
Cheetah Facts
Wikipedia!
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Illustrations by Hoot and Brad Berkner, a master craftsman of multimedia. Check out more of his work at http://www.bradberkner.com/ and follow him on Twitter @bberkner.
By |November 22nd, 2013|Backbones|7 Comments

Why Some Ants Dress in Drag

So if you’re the weak guy in a class of bullies, can you still get lucky? Some males of the ant species Cardiocondyla obscurior say,

BHR_Transgender_Ants1_03

They have some advice for you.

In C. obscurior nests,

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To avoid getting stomped on by the larger males and still mate with future queens, these Steve Urkles mimic the scent of fertile female ants.

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Beefy bullies get all hot and bothered by their brothers dressed in drag, and instead of attacking these should-be rivals, they try to mate with them.

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Meanwhile, our ant Ru Pauls are hooking up with the actual females.BHR_Transgender_Ants2_last_01

Not only are these wimps getting lucky; so are their offspring. Dressing in drag is one way scrawny guys push their genes into future generations.   BHR_Transgender_Ants_last_01

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Brad Maurer is a stream restoration engineer at The Nature Conservancy. He likes his job, but still regrets dropping out of art school. He’s currently working on a book of insect cartoon characters.

By |November 20th, 2013|Bugs|1 Comment