Category: The Wild Life Blog

The Ebola Virus

A virus whose very reputation has solidified itself as a pathogen of fear, Ebola is one of the most notorious, pathogenic, and fatal.

Why do Elephants Have Big Ears?

When you get hot, you sweat. When Elephants get hot, well, they don’t sweat. So what’s a 13 foot tall and 13,000-pound animal to do?

The Impact of Barry Commoner

As one of America’s most influential environmentalist, Barry Commoner devoted his life and career to ecology, awareness, education, and enacting positive change. He was among the first to begin advocating for recycling and organic farming, as well as raising awareness about the threats of… Continue Reading “The Impact of Barry Commoner”

Shooting a Lion

In the case of the lion, a picture represents hundreds of years of colonialism, a de-wilding of nature, and the narcissism of the human race.

Salmon Fight

This was originally written in 2015 based on a New York Times video from 2008 I decided to share this based on this week’s news that the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch has downgraded British Columbia farmed salmon to “Avoid” for their “potential transmission… Continue Reading “Salmon Fight”

Ostrich Cells Used to Make Glowing COVID-19 Detecting Masks

Yasuhiro Tsukamoto and his team of researchers at Kyoto Prefectural University in Japan have developed a mask that helps detect COVID-19 under blacklight using cells from the Ostrich.

Reflection: Dead Forests & Living Memories

In her article for The New York Times, “Dead Forests and Living Memories”, Helen paints a picture of a lost landscape, the struggles of restoration and conservation efforts, and the continued threat of globalization on native ecosystems.

Algae as a Biofuel

microalgae through a microscope

With the exception of chemosynthetic life forms such as many of those who reside at the openings of deep-sea hydrothermal vents, the vast majority of biological energy has the sun to thank for its origins. Whether it be thermal, or through photonic collisions within… Continue Reading “Algae as a Biofuel”

Comprehension Strategies: Antibiotic Resistance

Teaching about abstract concepts like antibiotic resistance can be a difficult undertaking. That’s why it’s important to utilize a variety of comprehension strategies, especially at the secondary level. The attached google slide presentation provides examples of two of my favorites: the Discussion Web, and… Continue Reading “Comprehension Strategies: Antibiotic Resistance”

Dragonflies & Damselflies: What’s the Difference?

Dragonflies and Damselflies are both super similar to each other, but there are some key differences! (most of the time)

Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers: Spot the Difference

These two little woodpecker species are notorious for their visual similarity, but there are some key differences that can tip you off!

Full ‘Titin’ Protein Name is 189,819 Letter ‘Longest’ English Word

Have 3 to 5 hours? Try reading the 189,819 letter full-name of this giant human protein!

The Tawny Emperor Butterfly

The Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton) Butterfly may be beautiful, but their food sure isn’t. Finding an adult on a flower isn’t likely. Instead, you’ll find them on dead animals, poop, mud, and sap, slurping up broths of minerally goodness.

The Froghopper | DFS #11

froghopper insect on a leaf

This here is a froghopper. They can jump distances over 100 times their body length, accelerate at 4000 m/s^2 (nearly 9,000 mph), and experience 400 Gs while doing it. For context, a typical human could withstand no more than 9 Gs of force, and… Continue Reading “The Froghopper | DFS #11”

Join Devon on The Wild Life

Have a nature question you want to be answered? Come on the show to have it answered by Devon (and maybe even a special guest) Comment below or email your questions to

Dispatches From Somewhere #10: The Golden Silk

Trichonephela clavipes, or The Golden Silk Orb-weaver, may be huge but they look a lot tougher than they act. They’re not aggressive and only bite if handled roughly, and they’re super clumsy outside of their web!If you listen to the podcast, you might remember… Continue Reading “Dispatches From Somewhere #10: The Golden Silk”

Dispatches From Somewhere #9: False Turkey-Tail

This is not a Turkey-tail. It’s a false one! Stereum ostrea, or False Turkey-tail, is a plant pathogen and wood decay fungus. The species name, ostrea, comes from Oyster in reference to its shape. It really is a pretty little fungi 🍄

Grid-Scale Storage

The wind doesn’t always blow, and the sun doesn’t always shine—and not always equally or consistently. Even in the sunniest of places, like deserts, “the amount of sunlight can vary from minute to minute.” (The Economist, 2014) On the flipside, demand itself is also… Continue Reading “Grid-Scale Storage”

Looking for Direction

Hey, there wonderful human beings. First, an update on The Wild Life: I am currently wrapping up production on an episode with Rhiannon Kirton on Deer which I absolutely love. After that, I have an episode to finish on Horseshoe crabs and then on… Continue Reading “Looking for Direction”

Dispatches From Somewhere 8: American Nursery Web Spider

Fairly certain this is an American Nursery Web Spider (Pisaurina mira). This was one that caught me super off guard while rummaging through a portion of priory while leading a Tiny Nature hike with @hikehoppers. P. mira is most well known for its sexually cannibalistic… Continue Reading “Dispatches From Somewhere 8: American Nursery Web Spider”

Dispatches From Somewhere #7: Pitcher Plants

Weird plants are the best finds. On a camping trip this August with my brother, we came across a bunch of Purple Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) in a bog! Similar to the Venus Fly Trap, it too is a carnivorous plant, trapping insects inside… Continue Reading “Dispatches From Somewhere #7: Pitcher Plants”

Dispatches from Somewhere #6: The Indo-Pacific Rock-Boring Urchin

One of my favorite finds from our trip to #Oahu, an Indo-Pacific Rock-Boring Urchin (Echinometra mathaei).

Giraffes Need Friends, Too

Giraffe Social Circles and What They Mean for Conservation November 14th, 2021 What do Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Gilmore Girls, and Giraffes have in common? The women are the stars of the show.  Despite being one of the most popular animals on Earth, giraffes… Continue Reading “Giraffes Need Friends, Too”

Let the Sun Shine

In February of 2014, 40 minutes outside of Las Vegas, the Ivanpah solar-thermal plant made its debut. Able to deliver 377 MW of power to 140,000 southern California homes, it’s “a sea of 347,000 mirrors, reflecting the rays of the desert sun on to… Continue Reading “Let the Sun Shine”

Making some changes

After nearly 5 years of podcasting and blogging, I’m forging a new path. I don’t know how it will look. I don’t know what to tell you to expect. What I do know is I’ve thrown out a lot of the fluff that was… Continue Reading “Making some changes”

The Crown-of-Thorns Starfish & a Genetic Trojan Horse

A Crown of Thorns Starfish in the waters of Fiji

The Crown-Of-Thorns Starfish may not look like much, but their impact is inarguable.

Protecting Wolves with Dr John Vucetich

Today on The Wild Life, why protections were ended, what’s happened since, why hunting wolves is viewed by many as unjustifiable, their social nature and disruptions, the why behind anti-wolf rhetoric, and how protections can be put in place once again.

No Fracking Way

Short for hydraulic fracturing, fracking was introduced into the oil and gas industries in the late 1940s as a method of extracting petroleum or natural gas. Nowadays, it is estimated that “90% of the natural gas wells in the United States” (Dunlap, 2019, 97)… Continue Reading “No Fracking Way”

Why is Renewable Energy So Expensive?

Any major socioeconomic transition is going to have its costs and trade off’s, and renewable energies are certainly no exception. A major argument regularly used against renewable energies is their high cost in comparison to their more traditional, fossil fuel-based counterparts. Many of these… Continue Reading “Why is Renewable Energy So Expensive?”

Putting a Price on Carbon: Who Pays, and How?

It’s not uncommon that a Carbon tax or Cap-and-Trade is dismissed as some sort of scheme, just another example of the government taking the people’s hard-earned money. Thing is, this simply isn’t true, and both options carry some serious weight in terms of the… Continue Reading “Putting a Price on Carbon: Who Pays, and How?”