Why does the spectacled bear have facial stripes? Or why do canids have relatively plain faces? In a new article with the Caro and Stankowich labs, we explored the behavioral factors that might predict the diversity in facial and chest colors in carnivorans. Much to our surprise, we found that there might be different factors associated with the evolution facial and chest coloration in different lineages. Find out more by reading the full article in Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology, or its press coverage from Science.
On November 12, the Burke Museum held a new family event, “Amazing Animals“. Mammalogy joined the entomology and invertebrate collections in a fun day that allowed visitors to explore animal diversity. Abbie, Leith and Sharlene had a great time talking to families about bats, showing off 3D printouts of bat skulls, and handing out Pocket Bats cards.
We travelled to Knoxville for the 2017 North American Symposium for Bat Research! As always, we had a wonderful time presenting and discussing our work, and catching up with our fellow bat biologists. Here are some highlights of the meeting:
Postdocs, Dr. Abigail Curtis and Dr. Jessica Arbor, have just launched a new page on the Santana Lab website for our new and exciting outreach project “Pocket Bats!” Check out 3D augmented reality models of skulls from some of the amazing bats we are studying in the Santana Lab at the University of Washington using a free Augmented Reality app that works on iPhone and Android devices! We have already added five Pocket Bat Cards to the Pocket Bats page, with many more exciting species to come! Link: http://faculty.washington.edu/ssantana/wordpress/pocket-bats/
Former lab undergrad Kristin Campbell has just published her study on sea otter skull and bite performance in the Journal of Mammalogy. Click here to learn whether and how differences in skull morphology and bite performance are related to diet specialization in these remarkable mammals.
Our 2016 SICB Symposium A bigger picture: organismal function at the nexus of development, ecology, and evolution was a great success! Throughout the day, a stellar roster of 10 speakers led us through their diverse research and perspectives on the study of ontogenetic inertia and its role in vertebrate macroevolution. In a complementary session, held the day before the symposium, 8 graduate students and postdocs presented excellent talks on topics related to ontogeny, functional morphology and evolution. A talented group of 6 American Indian and Native Alaskan undergraduates, invited as part of our broader impacts, also had a productive and fun meeting with the guidance of their grad student mentors. All this was possible thanks to efforts with co-organizer Paul Gignac, a National Science Foundation award, and support from the SICB Divisions of Vertebrate Morphology and Comparative Biomechanics. Stay tuned for the products of this symposium in an upcoming issue of Integrative and Comparative Biology.