Guest Post: The Resilience of The Citified Bobcat

If you were a bobcat, all tufted ears and oblique green eyes and lush spotted coat, you might find a lot to like about life in the Santa Monica Mountains. In the low, rugged range that bisects metropolitan Los Angeles, you would feast on the hordes of rats that frequent the unkempt middens of slovenly humans. You […]

A Leg to Stand On

For all those who suffered through my impossibly obscure quiz questions a fortnight ago, my heartfelt thanks. 120 readers sat the quiz to the end, and the average grade of 44% is no disservice to your knowledge level. There is one question in particular, though, whose most popular response surprises me. A remipede is a […]

Science Needs Cool Kids

I was not cool in high school. I think it would be a stretch to say I was a nerd, but I wasn’t cool and I certainly wasn’t getting laid. No, like so many scientists and science writers in the world, I mostly kept my head down and waited for college. You see, it’s in […]

Guest Post: the Truth about Cats & Dogs

Dogs have owners; cats have staff. Dogs are man’s best friend; cats are man’s best frenemy. Dogs come when called; cats take a message and get back to you. As long as we’ve had dogs and cats, we’ve had dogs versus cats. Dogs are obedient, loyal, and love unconditionally. Cats are obstinate, fickle, and love […]

What Destruction Has Wrought

On Monday, a slowly-creeping lava flow claimed its first house on the Big Island of Hawaii. The iron-heavy pahoehoe flow crossed the house’s yard and moved through a wall, sending flames into the 1,100-square-foot structure before continuing on to take down a nearby corrugated shed. This flow has been on the move since it first […]

Seeing Mammoths

Seeing a mammoth is not the same as looking over a zoo wall at a modern elephant, or even standing next to a live, gray, wrinkled wall of flesh with scant, coarse hairs. Watching the flexible, prehensile reach of an elephant’s trunk and the slow cross-wise chewing of hay, I’ve found it hard to see […]

Extinction Debt

There’s been a lot of road kill on my drive to work and back in Western Colorado, mostly prairie dogs and rabbits, and young magpies trying to learn how fast they have to fly to get out of the way. I find myself slowing and dodging for the live ones who continue shooting across my […]