Eels and winter can give you the willies

It’s a cold November day as I sit writing this column and what’s a more perfect topic to write about on a day like this than eels? Our friends down here from the great lakes region are familiar with a nasty bloodsucking fellow up their way called the lamprey and we’re glad that you didn’t bring him with you.

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Ugly is, as ugly does – even with fish

We tend to think of fish as light agile creatures using water like an airplane uses air, both beautiful and strong. This is not the case with these three fish. They have names that make you step back and an appearance that only on a good day would mother love. Continue reading

Sometimes a disaster can be a good thing

It is that time again, hurricane season that is and most of us are thinking about how we are going to deal with the potential threat of another Ivan. In our personal lives things like accidents, fire and illness make things uncomfortable if not down right dangerous. Out in nature it is much the same only what we see as a disaster is in reality just a part of the natural cycle of life. Continue reading

The march of the deserts: Then and now

Global warming is causing a variety of changes in our planet and one of them is desertification. Only a very small minority of scientists now doubts the reality of global warming. The argument is whether human produced greenhouse gases or natural long-term climatic cycles are responsible for it. As with most everything in nature there is usually more than one cause. The cause of global warming is something that is without a doubt of concern but on such a vast scale as global warning we sometimes have a hard time rapping our minds around the concept. Continue reading

Things that animals do under stress

In our modern society we tend to be put under stressful conditions. The origin of that stress can come from many different sources from one source at a time or several. It can be our jobs, family, the environment or many other things. These conditions can affect just one individual at a time or entire populations. In the end it really doesn’t matter because as individuals or populations we all react much in the same way to stress. A key factor in that induces stress in populations is overcrowding. Continue reading