strange behaviors

Cool doings from the natural and human worlds

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    Every Creeping Thing: True Tales of Faintly Repulsive Wildlife: “Conniff is a splendid writer–fresh, clear, uncondescending, and with never a false step; one can’t resist quoting him.” (NY Times Book Review)

    The Species Seekers:  Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth by Richard Conniff is “a swashbuckling romp” that “brilliantly evokes that just-before Darwin era” (BBC Focus) and “an enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes” (New Scientist). “This beautifully written book has the verve of an adventure story” (Wall St. Journal)

    Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time by Richard Conniff  is “Hilariously informative…This book will remind you why you always wanted to be a naturalist.” (Outside magazine) “Field naturalist Conniff’s animal adventures … are so amusing and full color that they burst right off the page …  a quick and intensely pleasurable read.” (Seed magazine) “Conniff’s poetic accounts of giraffes drifting past like sail boats, and his feeble attempts to educate Vervet monkeys on the wonders of tissue paper will leave your heart and sides aching.  An excellent read.” (BBC Focus magazine)

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The Pond Scum Artist

Posted by Richard Conniff on September 22, 2014

This video caught my attention this morning, partly because it reminded me of the beautiful arrangements made by the nineteenth-century naturalist Ernst Haeckel, and partly because it documents an indisputably strange behavior of the species-seeking kind.  It’s about a British eccentric who makes microscopic arrangements of diatoms.  They are a kind of algae, with simple but symmetrical bodies, and there an estimated 100,000 different species of them at the base of the aquatic food chain.

I like the line at about four minutes: “I just could not get over how nature could produce something that beautiful. Most of the world never sees that beauty.”

We see only pond scum and scrunch up our noses instead..

 

 

 

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