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I'm a (former) university student, in Newfoundland. This blog is a pile of my interests!
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A mosquito’s proboscis comprises two tubes, one to inject saliva and the other to draw blood. 

That’s a crane fly, though!

I don’t know if anyone wants pictures of cod guts. I might post them anyhow, though. If nothing else, it’s interesting! I can label the pictures to show which part is which, and their function, special features, etc… The worst thing is that they aren’t going to be in situ, so you won’t see their natural placement in the body.

No, I’m not killing a cod specifically for the ogling of innards. The cod will be eaten. The innards are usually discarded. I’m going to use them today for increased understanding of the biology of the codfish.

Stay tuned!


Boletus elegans now called Suillus grevillei

From: ‘Illustrations of British mycology containing figures and descriptions of the funguses of interest and novelty indigenous to Britain’ By Mrs. T.J. Hussey Published 1847

I really, really hope I’m related somewhere down the line to Mrs. Hussey. I love fungi, too ._. 

Russia’s boreal forest — the largest continuous expanse of forest in the world, found in the country’s cold northern regions — is undergoing an accelerating large-scale shift in vegetation types as a result of globally and regionally warming climate. That in turn is creating an even warmer climate in the region, according to a new study published in the journal Global Change Biology and highlighted in the April issue of Nature Climate Change.

Otoliths (“earstones”) are small, white structures found in the head of all fishes other than sharks, rays and lampreys. Otoliths provide a sense of balance to fish in much the same way that the inner ear provides balance in humans. Fish otoliths also aid in hearing. 

To the fisheries biologist, the otolith is one of the most important tools for understanding the life of fish and fish populations. Growth rings (annuli) not unlike those of a tree record the age and growth of a fish from the date of hatch to the time of death. Daily growth rings formed in the first year of life, and visible only through a microscope, record daily age and growth patterns in surprising detail. And sophisticated chemical techniques allow the reconstruction of everything from the year of hatch, to migration pathways, to the temperature of the water. Indeed, virtually the entire lifetime of the fish is recorded in the otolith. For that reason, otoliths are used and studied in almost every fisheries laboratory in the world.

This brings to mind a memory from my childhood. My dad’s a fisherman, and when I was little I’d sometime go on really short trips with him on his longliner. I was catching cod, with a single line. I’d have a cod on the hook on one side of the boat, then I’d have to haul the line over to the other side, then go back and haul it to the other side. Over and over, until the fish was out.

When the cod was caught, it was quickly filleted and put on ice. The organs would be removed and, usually, thrown overboard for the seagulls to eat. I was just taking everything in when I saw something sliding along the deck. It was moving, on its own! Upon closer inspection, I realized it was a cod’s heart, still beating strong. I was not disgusted, but thoroughly intrigued.

A fish’s heart is the simplest of vertebrate hearts. It has two chambers - one atrium, and one ventricle. In comparison, our heart is four-chambered. Blood enters the atrium, where it flows into the muscular ventricle. The ventricle pumps it through a very elastic section called the conus. After the conus, it exits the aorta and travels through the body, then through the gills where it’s oxygenated again. A fish’s blood travels in a single circuit.

My heart will go onnnnnnnnnnn

My heart will go onnnnnnn

Agh. The future stresses me out!

I’m going into something biology-related, that’s for sure.

But while I like the observational aspect of biology, I think I’d enjoy the experimental side, too. 

I’ve always liked engineering and the adoption of patterns or chemicals found in living things to create new technology or improve existing technology. 

There’s so much offered in university that it’s really hard to decide what way to head.

It’s like someone removed your fetters and told you to run along one of any of the hundreds of equally beautiful paths ahead of you.

What to do? If you’re a person who finally decided what to specialize in, please tell me how you came to what you did. Please?