Professor Marcus Byrne teaches us about the fantastical and unexpected world of dung beetles, their ecological importance, their connections to human culture and history, and how this lowly creature finds its way home by looking to the stars.
Each episode, we ask our guests for their personal book recommendations. Our latest guest was not only able to suggest one of his own (which you should totally read), but also two other absolute must-reads. Want to join our book club to find other nature-nerds who may be interested in reading the same things as … Continue reading Book Club| Professor Marcus Byrne’s Picks!
The pretzel top is not to be trusted
I’ve had this picture on my camera roll for almost a year now and I figured I should finally get to posting it. If you’re wondering what this scorpion looking flying insect is, it’s the Pelecinus polyturator, a type of wasp. The adults drink nectar and are pretty harmless, unless you’re a June Bug. That’s … Continue reading Dispatches from Somewhere #1: What a Wasp
This was originally written as an essay in 2015 based on a New Yorker article by Elizabeth Kolbert entitled “A New Climate-Change Danger Zone?” and reflects my opinions at the time. Much has changed in the world and the climate crisis has only gotten worse and my understanding of that crisis as well as the … Continue reading The Danger Zone
The Wild Life was born out of a desire to help alleviate something that, at the time, we were calling the nature accessibility gap. Initially, it was clear that this gap existed along economic and other demographic lines, exposing a stark pattern of under-representation of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) individuals and communities in … Continue reading An Absolutely Major Announcement
Order| Columbiformes While it may come as a shock, the Nicobar Pigeon (Caloenas nicobarica) is indeed a Pigeon. It’s also the closest living relative of the now extinct Dodo bird! These birds are named for an island chain of the coast of India where many of them live, though they can be found all the … Continue reading The Wild Life of the Nicobar Pigeon
The other day, I was going through a pile of junk (which I have a lot of) and came across this. This intentionally blurred piece of paper was the very beginning of #TheWildLife. It’s just a bunch of notes and ideas that I was jotting down while I tried to decide what I wanted to … Continue reading The Journey So Far
Red Panda Order| Carnivora Family| Ailuridae Red Panda's, like the Giant Panda, eat mostly bamboo (and are impossibly adoreable). But here's the thing, they aren't pandas. They're actually more closely related to skunks and raccoons, and make up their own subfamily alongside skunks, raccoons, and weasels. Much like the Eau de Popcorn smelling Binturong, the … Continue reading The Wild Life of Red Pandas
KVSC, the radio station of my Alma Mater, St Cloud State University, recently interviewed new for there segment ‘Untold Stories of Central MN’. It aired on Earth Day 2020 and was an incredible honor and opportunity to speak about my passions. For those of you more familiar with The Wild Life side of my life, … Continue reading 88.1 KVSC Interview: The Untold Story of Distance Learning During COVID-19 with ISD 742’s Devon Bowker, Science Teacher, Naturalist, and Blogger
Well, we’ve come a long way. We’re at our 50th episode! We will be hosting a live show on Zoom!and YOU are invited. On May 1st at 7pm CT, we’ll be playing trivia (of course, based on topics from our first 49 episodes [and no, you don’t have to have listened to all of them … Continue reading The Wild Life’s 50th Episode Celebration: Live Trivia Show!
If you become a member during the November Membership Drive, we'll double your first two months conscious conservation contribution through the Wildlife Ambassadors programs to 20%!
So, here’s the thing: we, at this moment, are rolling out a new newy thing. It’s super cool—the Wildlife Ambassador program! Basically, when you become a member at Patreon.com/TheWildLife, you can pick a species of some kind of personal importance to you and we will donate 10% of your contributions each month to either a … Continue reading Become a Wildlife Ambassador
When most people think of Australia, their mind conjures up images of a Mad Maxian landscape—brick red sand blemished with gray-green freckles of saltbrush. Standing tall in a rigid defiance, the occasional gum or eucalyptus serves as safe haven for koalas and kookaburras under a big hard sun. Maybe they think of the Great Barrier … Continue reading Home Is Where The Log Is: A Velvet Worm Short Story
This past weekend as I sat below an old oak tree while drinking my morning cup of coffee and looking out on a glassy Lake Darling in Alexandria, Minnesota, something fell from the sky and landed at my feet. Small and curled up like a slightly puff green and yellow sour gummy worm. It's face … Continue reading Is it a Worm? Is it a Wasp? No! It’s the Elm Sawfly!
Prepare to learn about a whole new kind of Cookie Monster on this #SharkWeek themed #SundayFishSketch...and this one glows!
In the skies across Minnesota (and much of the eastern US and southeastern Canada, for that matter), roams a fierce and agile predator, capable of taking down prey you would never imagine---and some many wouldn't dare to try at themselves. Hagenius brevistylus, is a clubtail dragonfly known as the Dragonhunter, and is one of nearly … Continue reading The Dragonhunter
If you're reading this right now, you might be realizing that we're about to be playing a game of semantics (systematics, rather). For many, if it looks like a Spider, that's all they need to know to shiver in disgust and engage in fight, freeze, or flight. It may be pretentious to dwell on the … Continue reading When a Spider isn’t a Spider
As September 1st approaches and the metamorphosis of The Wild Life continues, we wanted to give you a sneak peak at some of our upcoming episodes.
#TheWildLife is setting out on new horizons. Now not only is our show available wherever you get your podcast, but starting September 1st, we will be releasing new episodes every single Friday! Plus, we're starting a new weekly blog schedule!
It's #FossilFriday, and you know what that means---fossils. Big surprise, right? This week, with an unoriginal but begging to be used titular parody on the classic Star Trek episode 'The Trouble with Tribbles"---we're talking trilobites. Here is my trilobite. It was a gift from my brother (podcast co-host) he picked up at a rock convention. … Continue reading The Trouble with Trilobites
This #SundayFishSketch comes from Ichthyologist, Rene Martin. Visit her shop on InPrint to see more of her artwork or to order prints! Meet the Common Sea Dragon Phyllopteryx taeniolatus While it may be a dragon by name, the Common Sea Dragon is no more a dragon than a sea horse is a horse. One, it would be … Continue reading Sunday Fish Sketch| The Common Sea Dragon
In celebration of #FossilFriday, I wanted to share an educational resource: a lesson I used during student teaching to introduce a unit on evolution. This lesson can be modified for middle school level and was written in accordance to MN state standards which very closely mirror NGSS, however, I structured this lesson for the high … Continue reading Fossil Friday| Introducing Evolution with the Archaeopteryx
It's #TWLHikingClub Tuesday! To continue our series on often less appreciated critters, this week we are talking about the always adorable, and sometimes vicious, shrew.
The theme for this week's #SundayFishSketch was fish that don't look like fish, which is most definitely the case with almost all larval marine fish.
#SundayFishSketch| Meet the Tripodfish, a deep sea dwelling hermaphrodite that, well, looks like a tripod---designed by Tim Burton.
In this episode, we discover that we may not be as unique, or advanced, as we thought as we learn about amazing subterranean fungi farmers, cowboy insects, and a 55 million year old relationship that puts our use (or misuse) of antibiotics to shame.
The banded sculpin (Cottus carolinae) is a mottled brown freshwater fish with dark vertical bands native to swift moving streams of the eastern United States where they dine on insects, various larvae, and occasionally, though sparingly, on other smaller fish or crustaceans.
Piranhas need no introduction being that their teeth and diet have earned them quite the reputation, especially around Hollywood as a super villains aquarium species of choice or as the center of several B-movies.