Sioux Falls Zoologists

"Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!"

The mirror test is an experiment developed in 1970 by psychologist Gordon Gallup Jr. to determine whether an animal possesses the ability to recognize itself in a mirror. It is the primary indicator of self-awareness in non-human animals and marks entrance to the mirror stage by human children in developmental psychology. Animals that pass the mirror test are: Humans older than 18 mo, Chimpanzees, Bonobos, Orangutans, Gorillas, Bottlenose Dolphins, Orcas (Killer Whales), Elephants, and European Magpies. Others showing signs of self-awareness are Pigs, some Gibbons, Rhesus Macaques, Capuchin Monkeys, some Corvids (Crows & Ravens) and Pigeons w/training. (Sorry Kitty!)

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Life in the Undergrowth for showing
us the wide adaptabilty of insects to different environments.

Life in the Undergrowth

Life in the Undergrowth (2006) - 250 minutes
Life in the Undergrowth at

Hosted by David Attenborough

Open your eyes to the bizarre, ferocious and surprisingly beautiful world of the invertebrates. Join David Attenborough on his groundbreaking exploration into a spectacular miniature universe not normally seen, but teeming all around us. Within this remarkable world lie not just bugs and beetles, but exotic cicadas, neon glow worms, intricate silk-weaving spiders and bat-eating centipedes - not to mention a whole host of other incredible life-forms with intimate, startling behavior. Thanks to technical innovations in lighting, optics and computerized motion control, this turbulent, super-organized world is finally revealed from the perspective of its extraordinary inhabitants. These creatures may be minuscule, but they live life on a truly grand scale.

6-21-18 Moths fly 1000 kilometres with Earth’s magnetic field as a guide
Bogong moths are the first insects found to use Earth’s magnetic field to navigate long distances, during their epic migrations across Australia. An Australian moth uses the Earth’s magnetic field to help find its way across the continent. While other insects have been shown to navigate using Earth’s magnetic field, the moth is the first to do so over long distances and at night. Bogong moths (Agrotis infusa), like the famous monarch butterflies in the Americas, make an epic migration. In spring, about 2 billion of them leave their breeding grounds on the dry, flat plains of south-east Australia, and fly over 1000 kilometres to a set of around 50 caves high in the Australian Alps. There they spend the summer, dormant. In autumn, they return to the plains where they reproduce and die. Eric Warrant of the University of Lund, Sweden and his colleagues studied how the moths find their way. “When we began this study, we were convinced that the bogong moth would exclusively use celestial cues in the sky, such as the stars and the moon, for navigation during migration,” he says. But that is not what they found. The team trapped wild moths and placed them one at a time in a flight simulator where they could watch them closely. The simulator was completely blank inside except for two simple landmarks, and it was fitted with magnetic coils so the team could manipulate the magnetic field within. If the visual and magnetic cues both directed the moths to fly a particular direction, they did so. “They love the pretend mountain landmark, and love to fly towards it,” says Warrant.

3-27-18 Beetlemania: How a supergroup scuttled to world domination
Handsome, hardy and diverse, beetles are supremely successful critters with a lot to teach us – but they’re suffering from our environmental waywardness. WHEN biologist J.B.S. Haldane was asked by a theologian back in the 1940s what we could infer about the mind of the creator from the works of creation, he supposedly replied, “an inordinate fondness for beetles”. The story is almost certainly apocryphal, but it reveals both an undeniable truth and an open question. Judging by their sheer numbers, God is certainly fond of beetles. But just how fond? The number of beetle species is just one lacuna in our knowledge of these extraordinarily successful creatures. Another is what makes them quite so successful. As we slowly fill in the gaps, we are beginning to appreciate the unique insights these insects can give us. Whether we want to understand evolution, the workings of the biosphere or how plate tectonics has shaped the continents, beetles hold the answers. But let’s deal with the numbers question first. New beetle species have been described at an average rate of about four a day since 1758, when Carl Linnaeus started cataloguing plants and animals using the two-part Latin scientific names we know today. Towards the end of the 20th century, there was general agreement that the total count was heading towards 400,000 species, based on specimens housed in the world’s museums and carefully documented in 250 years of scientific journals and monographs. Compare that with 5500 mammals, 10,000 birds, 85,000 molluscs and 250,000 plant species, and it is clear that in diversity beetles far outstrip any other multicellular organisms, perhaps quietly brushing aside nematode worms.

3-27-18 Beetlemania: Five amazing beetles from around the world
Whether it is harvesting water, doing origami or hitching free rides on termite backs, the sheer diversity of beetle behaviour is the key to their success.

  1. Head-stander beetles
  2. Hazel leaf-roller
  3. Giraffe weevil
  4. American burying beetle
  5. [No common name]

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Life in the Undergrowth

Sioux Falls Zoologists endorse Life in the Undergrowth for showing
us the wide adaptabilty of insects to different environments.