Parasitism: The dark side of symbiosis

Sand steenbras infected with tongue-eating louse (Photo by Marco Vinci/Wikimedia Commons)

Sand steenbras infected with tongue-eating louse (Photo by Marco Vinci/Wikimedia Commons)

In nature, when two individuals of different species often live in close association with each other, this leads to a phenomenon called symbiosis. There are three types of symbiosis: Mutualism is a win-win situation for both organisms because...

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Nature's most dedicated dads

Red foxes (Photo by GDallimore/Wikimedia Commons)

Red foxes (Photo by GDallimore/Wikimedia Commons)

Across the world, millions of animal fathers strive to ensure their offspring’s survival. In honour of Father’s Day, learn about 10 of the animal kingdom’s most devoted dads and the fascinating ways they look after their...

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Biting down on the eastern subterranean termite

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Petri dish trials to examine behaviour patterns in eastern subterranean termite populations. (Photo by Vicki Simkovic)

Watching a termite farm through a glass aquarium is fascinating, as you peer into the life of a mysterious species whose activities are normally hidden from view. Workers can be seen excavating tunnels, using their jaws to move soil grain by...

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Getting down at the Yellow Quill Prairie

The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve on a sunny day (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

The Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve on a sunny day (Photo by Diana Bizecki Robson)

Last week I started my field season by getting down on my hands and knees to collect plants and pollinators at the Yellow Quill Prairie Preserve south of Brandon, which is owned and managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada. While that may not...

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Calling doctor centipede

House centipede (Photo from Wiki Commons)

House centipede (Photo from Wiki Commons)

Before starting in communications I had a successful career as a bug doctor. I had a nice little set-up on the playground of my elementary school where I would take bugs cut up by classmates and nurse them back to health. I wasn’t top in my...

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The search for an elusive species

Black purse-web spider (Photo by Rob Craig, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

Black purse-web spider (Photo by Rob Craig, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry)

The black purse-web spider is not well known in Ontario. The species has been found occasionally across Southern Ontario, from Windsor to Belleville, including a recent find in Rouge Park in 2012. Interestingly, it belongs to the group of...

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