-by Ptera Hunter Among the best responses that I have seen to date about the recent mashugana decision by the Tennessee School Board to ban a book about the holocaust (because a cartoon mouse shows a breast) comes from graphic artist Ruben Bolling (a.k.a., Tom the Dancing Bug.) One of Mr. Bolling’s most recent parodies,Continue reading “Kudos to a Great Graphic Artist Rubin Bolling: Alternative MAUS Hits Home”
Tag Archives: Ptera Hunter
Snake in the Hole, Harding Co., SD.
Camouflaged racer snake peers outward to the world. It tries to blend into its surroundings—mimicking its background rather than a dangerous predator.
Dinner and a Date with a Twist
Organisms lie, exaggerate, and scam their way to food, to territory and to sex. In one species of firefly, females can dine on the males of another species if they send a phony mating signal. The duped male becomes dinner rather than a date. Because of this threat, males will approach females with caution. SometimesContinue reading “Dinner and a Date with a Twist”
Cow Pox and the Propaganda of the 19th Century’s Anti-Vaccine Society
In June 1802, James Gillray published the Cow-Pock or “The Wonderful Effects of the New Inoculation!” a publication of the Anti-vaccine Society. It used bald-faced lies and misinformation to discourage people from taking the first vaccine in European medicine. In his classic propaganda cartoon, he implied that vaccinations would cause people to become more bovine,Continue reading “Cow Pox and the Propaganda of the 19th Century’s Anti-Vaccine Society”
Many species of animals use deception to gain an advantage. The elk that signals dominance with a long bray needs to fight less often than the elk that does not signal a tough-guy attitude. With a good bluff, he can usually avoid a costly fight. Learn more about the art of lying in the naturalContinue reading “Tough-Guy Elk”
The Lying Fiddler
Everything lies. For virtually every species, lying and lie detection are essential survival skills. Fiddler crabs that have lost a claw will re-grow a bigger but weaker claw. When challenged by a smaller crab, the weak-clawed fiddler will bluff. It will display a fighting stance that tells the smaller crab that a confrontation would beContinue reading “The Lying Fiddler”
Plastics and Their Role in Silent Consent
A recurring theme in Silent Consent by Circa24 is the damage done to the future generations from the plastics that made much of the carbon era so remarkable. Plastics, as we know them, have become rare strategic materials in the Founder’s States of that book. People seek antique plastic products from the 20th century asContinue reading “Plastics and Their Role in Silent Consent”
The Braggart Goldenrod
Golden Rod and Vespid wasps (Ptera Hunter, Salem IL, 2006). Yellow attracts many pollinating insects, including these vespid wasps. Bees and wasps have trichromatic vision (three pigments), but they are not the same visual pigments (opsins) that we have. They can see farther into the ultraviolet but less well in the reds. Their clue toContinue reading “The Braggart Goldenrod”
Mimicry in Insects: A Victorian Print signed H. Morin
Mimicry in Insects (19th century; restoration by Ptera Hunter, 2020). This plate contains different mimicking insects. Plates like these challenged the 19th century reader to find as many of the creatures as possible, thus discovering their various deceptions. Check it out and see how many you see before scrolling down to the key. challenged theContinue reading “Mimicry in Insects: A Victorian Print signed H. Morin”
An Intelligent Spider?
When we think about animal geniuses, arthropods don’t usually top the list of usual suspects. However, one genus of jumping spiders, Portia, includes spiders who have a gift: they can devise hunting strategies and make decisions. Portia makes their livings by hunting other spiders. These eight-legged geniuses do not simply attack; they appear to makeContinue reading “An Intelligent Spider?”
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