Category Archives: Quirky Questions

Planning the Perfect Alien Invasion

It sounds like a conspiracy theory: there are invaders all over the world, lurking in plain sight. The thought of it immediately calls to mind fantastical Dr. Who-worthy plots where little green martian men wear the skins of humans and … Continue reading

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Perfect Patterns: Science in Autumn Leaves

The bliss of crisp air, golden light, and the deeply satisfying scuffling of shoes through piles of dry leaves is what makes autumn my favourite season. The fall leaves are especially fascinating to me. A few cold nights can make … Continue reading

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Getting Around

Europe may have seen a historic heat wave this August, but the Biophiles kept cool by heading due north to the Svalbard archipelago, a group of islands 1000 km off the Norwegian mainland and at 78° latitude, well above the arctic … Continue reading

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Microscopic Perfumers – Microorganisms Impact Floral Scents

The scent of a flower is a complex chemical cocktail that can include more than fifty different chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that are produced in varying amounts by the plant. The combination of different compounds in varying amounts … Continue reading

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The Secrets of Silent Flight: What Owl Feathers Can Teach Engineers

In the wee hours of a warm dark summer night, a couple is walking arm-in-arm down the middle of a silent street lined by darkened houses. The sound of their footsteps startles a jackrabbit from its gourmet flowerbed repast and … Continue reading

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Non-Human Hitchhikers

Last month, a great headline on BBC caught my eye – The hitchhiking snakes of the Caribbean. The piece lives up to the eye catching title: it is a new and somewhat unexpected twist on an old story. Boa constrictors … Continue reading

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Drawing the Line: How do Fungi Stake Out Their Territory?

Hostile meetings are a daily reality in nature, both between individuals of the same species and different species. Whether it is giraffes battering each other with their necks to determine who gets the choice spot among the trees, or dolphins … Continue reading

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