strange behaviors

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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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Posts Tagged ‘tick’

Nose-Picking For New Species

Posted by Richard Conniff on October 17, 2013

For all of you who have been covertly digging for hidden treasure up your nose, here’s proof that it really can happen.  I came across this little gem on the Verge:

Tony Goldberg, habitat

Tony Goldberg, habitat

After returning from an African research expedition, pathobiology professor Tony Goldberg found an unexpected stowaway: a tick hiding up his right nostril. “When you first realize you have a tick up your nose, it takes a lot of willpower not to claw your face off,” Goldberg, a University of Wisconsin–Madison researcher, says in a statement.

But Goldberg managed to retrieve the tick from his nostril and send it off for analysis, leading him to not just discover a potentially new species of tick, but what could also be a new explanation for how diseases spread between chimps and humans.

Though DNA analysis could only confirm the tick’s genus — and not whether it was a new species — because it wasn’t fully developed, its presence made Goldberg curious about why it was hiding up there in the first place.

[Technical note:  That “wasn’t fully developed” makes no sense.  What Goldberg’s published account actually says is that the researchers couldn’t find a match on GenBank for the mitochondrial DNA they sequenced.]

Goldberg and other researchers began studying high-resolution photographs of chimps, and they noticed that 20 percent of the chimps had Read the rest of this entry »

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