Category Archives: Animalia

All animals and general biology

Virginia is for Oyster Lovers

“Why then the world’s mine oyster, which I with sword will open.” Thus, Shakespeare gave us a new idiom in the Merry Wives of Windsor repeated ever since, and Oscar Wilde wielded it with customary wit: “The world was my … Continue reading

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About Giant Eggs & Double Yolks

This week’s gift from a neighbor’s chicken coop included one extra-large egg. After hard-boiling and cracking open we found a double yolk, which some say is a good omen on our wedding anniversary. The following conversation over a meal would … Continue reading

Posted in Animalia, Assisted reproductive technology, Fertility, Nature | Tagged , ,

The Dawn Chorus—Requiem for a Birder

The last hour of the night seems darkest after tossing and turning to wake from strange dreams with a pounding heart. But there is a spell that can cast off the pall if we listen at an open window in … Continue reading

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Pause for Pangolins

There’s no other mammal like them. Pangolin, the spiny anteater. They look like dinosaurs reduced to the size of domestic cats, miniature ankylosaurs with armored plates (scales) made of keratin instead of bone with sharp points. They may soon join … Continue reading

Posted in Animalia, Nature | Tagged , , ,

Insectageddon means we are buggered

It was one of those throw-away remarks that stick in the mind. I was at Middlebury College in June when somebody at dinner said, “Funny, I saw more deer on the journey here than insects splattered on my windshield.” He … Continue reading

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