Episode 238 – Lanternfish: The Sea Wall

“…today we’re talking about this little fish of mine. But more on that later.”

When twilight comes, it’s time to light your lantern. But sometimes human technology isn’t enough to get past nature’s barriers. That was the case when early sonar came up against the lanternfish, which congregates in the millions. This tiny mesopelagic creature bioluminates the twilight zone, following the gray haze up and down with the turning of the earth. But following the light is one way to find food in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.  

Episode 237 – Japanese Macaque: Pink Parka People

“…and today we’re talking about petite pink primates in plush parkas. But more on that later.”

In the highlands of Japan, one tufty monkey likes to season its food, play in the snow, and waylay unsuspecting people in its free time. It uses all of its simian smarts to quickly learn new behaviors and then use them against their human interlopers. But being a pink-faced eskimo in a cold climate means you need to use every means at your disposal to survive here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 236 – Hammerhead Flatworm: I Will Survive

“…and today we’re talking about a flat slimy menace that will not go gently into the night. But more on that later.”

Have you ever felt that you just don’t fit in. Struggling to make connections with a social group can be difficult, but what if you’re clashing with an entire ecosystem. Such is the plight of an invasive species. The hammerhead flatworm comes from lands far off, but it may be making a home in your backyard, eating something that you might take for granted. But sometimes the most resilient creatures overstay their welcome in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 235 – Blue Manakin: Featherloose

“…and today we’re talking about a Casanova with a posse. But more on that later.”

If John Travolta has taught us anything, it’s that the ladies can’t resist a man who can dance. Well, at least that’s true for one species of colorful bird known as the blue manakin. But there are tons of birds out there that dance to get attention, what makes this guy so special? It all comes down to rehearsing with your crew here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 234 – Barking Deer: Barking Up the Wrong Tree

“…and today we’re talking about a deer whose bark is worse than its bite. But more on that later.”

The forests of India are beautiful places to forage for nutritious greenery. Though the fantastic foliage looks tasty, it may be concealing a predator that’s equally appetized by you. If you’re a deer that’s detected a dastardly ne’er-do-well, what can you do to protect yourself? Such is the plight of the Indian Muntjac. But sometimes a borrowed tactic is the right one for the job in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 233 – Draco Lizard: Falling with Style

“…and today we’re talking about a little lizard that does more than leap! But more on that later.”

Man’s imagination has run wild with the idea of magical flying lizards for almost a thousand years. Dragons are a part of the mythos of cultures all over the world, but they never thought that true flying lizards would be quite this small. The Draco lizard isn’t bound by petty morality or gravity. This scaly critter takes what it wants, and what it wants to take is flight. Find out how this lizard is able to fall with style here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 232 – Chimney Swift: Flue Flyers

“…And today we’re talking about a bird that wears t-shirts and stays on the bleachers. But more on that later.”

Bird life is about taking to the skies, but it’s also about finding a place to rest, nest, and make more birds. But where do you nest when a tree branch is just too uncomfortable for you to sit on? Such is the challenge for a certain kind of swift, that lives life in the air until they find a nice safe place to glue their nests to the side of a flat surface. But sometimes you have to compete with humans for the best places to make your home in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 231 – Bloodworm: Jaws of Strife

“…and today we’re talking about another beautiful sea creature that everyone will love to look at pictures of. But more on that later.”

The ocean is full of just chock-full of friendly and not-at-all scary things. One of those very fun things is the foot-long bloodworm with an extremely strong and painful, venomous bite. But how does this wistful worm use its toxic teeth to deliver its malicious munch? Let’s just say that nature is most definitely metal as we delve into the jaws of Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

Episode 230 – Sea Robin: Walking Ray of Sunshine

“…and today we’re talking about the marine of the marina that can swim, fly, and crawl. But more on that later.”

The ocean is a breeding ground for aberrant creations. Pressure and struggle has formed some of the most peculiar Pisces on the planet. But one fish wanted so badly to skitter along the ocean floor like a crab, they could almost reach out and touch it. But not with a fin, with something much more bizarre. The sea robin may be bizarre, but it’s no deep cut of the deep, it’s one of the most common family of fish to be found. But sometimes when circumstances get you down, you just have to crawl towards Life, Death, and Taxonomy.

This was a suggestion from Eliana!

Episode 229 – Striped Skunk: The Stinkiest Gun in the West

“…and today we’re talking about a little guy that is as stinky as he is striped. But more on that later.”

Perhaps one of the world’s most famous (or infamous) animals is the humble skunk. But it’s not only famous in the human world, it’s also well-known in the animal kingdom. For animals that live near a skunk, seeing that flash of black and white fur stokes a primal fear of being stinky. But how stinky is it? And why does it smell like a burning tire at Coachella? It’s all part of letting potential predators know who’s boss here in Life, Death, and Taxonomy.