Barnacles are hermaphroditic – they contain both male and female sex organs. You’re thinking, “Well, they always have a date on Saturday night.” No, it’s a really bad idea to self-fertilize: Inbreeding results in little genetic diversity. Worms, slugs, snails – slow-moving animals with low rates of encounter – are all hermaphroditic. And you could not get any slower than an adult barnacle!
Should we worry about asbestos in serpentine rock? Yes, a bit. In California, we have North America’s largest exposures. It’s even our official state rock.
Q: What’s the largest underground-dwelling invertebrate in the Bay Area? How does it live?
Learn a few secrets of efficiency from the majestic pelican.
Q: When I see bees and hummingbirds feasting on even tiny flowers, I wonder if each flower replenishes the nectar supply, or is it a one-time offering?
Can bees see colors that people can’t? What about birds? How do scientists figure out what can be seen by other animals, especially small animals like insects?
The biggest shark in the Bay is the seven-gill–with two more gill slits than the average shark. Why the extras? Well, turns out they’re probably an evolutionary accident, but these are still fascinating animals–up to 10 feet long, and swimming right out there in the Bay!
Bay Nature reader Rich saw a number of dead barn owls along I-5. What’s going on? Turns out barn owls may be the most widespread birds in the world — and they may be the original ghosts!
Michael Ellis declares that ringtails register a 9.9 on the cuteness scale, and they were reputed to shack up with miners during the Gold Rush. Yet longtime field biologist Wendy has yet to see one of these small mammals. They are elusive, but not as uncommon as you might think.
We don’t have fireflies in the Bay Area, but we do have glowworms. What are they and why the heck do they light up?