Lungfish are a primitive animal within the Osteichthyes. Lungfish have gills but they also have the ability to breathe directly using a modified swim bladder. They live only in Africa, South America and Australia. Modern lungfishes have a number of larval features and demonstrate the largest genome among the vertebrates. These amazing fish all have an elongated body with fleshy paired pectoral and pelvic fins and a single unpaired caudal fin replacing the dorsal, caudal, and anal fin of most fish. The following video was shown in class by Mr. Buntain but it was so cool that I had to post it on my wikispace; it shows the lungfish and their incredible ability to adapt to their environment. (click image for video)

lungfish. (2008). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from Encyclopædia Britannica Web site: ****
Animal Planet TV, (2008, September 16). Fooled by Nature - Lungfish. Retrieved December 10, 2008, from YouTube Web site:

Wood Frog - Rana sylvatica

This species hibernates on land, under logs, leaves or tree stumps covered by a layer of snow. Because wood frogs do not go very far underground to hibernate, they are exposed to the freezing temperatures of winter. The frog goes into a frozen state and their survival depends on the production of antifreeze compounds, like glucose. Using these compounds, the wood frog can survive freezing up to 65-70% of its body water. The lowest body temperature that the frog can tolerate is -3 to -6C. When the wood frog is frozen, there is no blood flow and pulmonary breathing and cardiac activity cease. After thawing, these physiological functions are rapidly restored - the frog "comes back to life". Scientists are hoping that this amazing animal will lead to break throughs in cryogenics.

scarletsparrows, (2007, March 11). North American Wood Frogs. Retrieved November 25, 2008, from YouTube Web site:
(2002). Wood frogs, Rana sylvatica. Retrieved November 25, 2008, from Canada's Aquatic Environments Web site:

Methane Fire Tower

While doing research for the STEM expo and, of course, while studying for biology (archaebacteria and methanogens) I became curious about the harmful chemical - Methane - and found an amazing experiment done by none other than the legendary Mythbusters.

tinytim2020, (2008, October 06). Mythbusters Methane Fire Tower. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from YouTube Web site:

Converting Waste into Energy

With a lot of talk regarding waste management and high fuel prices, organizations are working to convert waste, or rather the methane that it emits, into hydrogen and usable energy. One of the leading institutions in renewable solar hydrogen production is the SHEC (see article below). This video shows waste management's attempts to reduce methane emitions and their goals for the future.

PESNetwork, (2008, January 16). Waste to energy -- an overview. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from TouTube Web site:

Sperm whale vs Colossal Squid

This is a virtual recreation of a fight between a sperm whale and a colossal squid, both of whom are fierce predators.

The Sperm Whale, Physeter macrocephalus is the largest of any living toothed animal. The sperm whale was named after the milky-white waxy substance, spermaceti, found in its head which was originally mistaken for sperm. It feeds on squid and fish, diving as deep as 2,200 meters (7,200 ft) in order to harvest its meals, making it the deepest diving mammal in the world. In addition, this animal is equipped with echolocation, it uses sonar to locate prey and it can also focus its sonar to form a beam that temporarily paralyses its kill. Sperm whales can live for more than 70 years.

The Colossal Squid, Mesonychoteuthis hamiltoni, is believed to be the largest squid species in the world. Though it is known from only a few specimens, current estimates put its maximum size at 12–14 meters (39–46 feet) long, making it the largest known invertebrate. Unlike the giant squid, whose arm and tentacles only have suckers lined with small teeth, the Colossal Squid's arms and tentacles are also equipped with sharp hooks. Its body is wider and heavier than that of the giant squid, it has a longer mantle but shorter tentacles.

(2008, October 19). Sperm Whale. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from Wikipedia Web site:
(2008, October 19). Colossal Squid. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from Wikipedia Web site:
PabloBatistaner, (2007, February 01). Animal Face-Off - Sperm Whale vs Colossal Squid. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from You Tube Web site:

CERN - Particle Accelerator

CERN's latest project is the Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest particle accelerator. The LHC tunnel is located 100 metres underground, in the region between the Geneva airport and the Jura mountains. It has a circumference of approximately 27km. As of August 2008 the majority of the LHC ring is now cooled to the 1.9 K (−271.25 °C) operating temperature. The first high-energy collisions are planned to take place after the LHC is officially unveiled, on October 21st, 2008. Since this is biology, I thought it would be appropriate to show you what would happen to all living things, meaning the earth and its inhabitants, if the experiment to recreate the conditions after the big bang were to go wrong. What are your thoughts?

BrainReleaseValve, (2008, February 18). The CERN Black Hole. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from You Tube Web site:
(2008, September 29). CERN. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from Wikipedia Web site:

Titan Arum

This video depicts the Titan Arum which is one of the largest plants in the world! Although it is found in many botanic gardens around the world it is still indigenous only to the tropical forests of Sumatra. It produces a foul odor in order to attract prey, because of its smell it is sometimes referred to as the "Corpse Plant". This extravagant plant has an inflorescence, a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem of the main branch, nearly 10ft tall. Click image for video

Titan_Arum.jpg (2005, November 20). Retrieved September 28, 2008, from Wikipedia - Titan Arum Web site:


Glow-worm is the commun name for insect larva which use bioluminescence and resemble worms. There are four groups of "glow-worms": arachnocampa, lampyridea, phengodidae, and railroad worm. The purpose of their glow varies. Some use it to attract mates, others as a warning signal but the arachnocampa, which are found in the Waitomo Caves in New Zealand, use it to catch prey as demonstrated in this clip:

myuniwork, (2006, December 13). Glow-Worms. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from You Tube Web site:

Elephant vs Mouse

This clip shows the mythbusters determining whether elephants are, in fact, afraid of mice:

emnoir, (2007, November 27). Mythbusters Elephant vs Mouse. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from You Tube Web site:

Ready for a good laugh? Check out this video on Myotonic or "fainting" goats! - Click here for video



Based in Saskatoon, Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC Labs) has recently constructed and demonstrated a Dry Fuel Hydrogen Generation System that is powered primarily by sunlight-focusing mirrors. The system comprises a solar mirror array and advanced solar concentrator and shutter system, and two thermo-catalytic reactors to convert methane, carbon dioxide, and water into hydrogen. SHEC has designed and constructed a solar hydrogen generation system that, when utilizing sunlight, appears to deliver more energy than it receives.
Click Here for Article

Bakos, J (2005, May). Renewable Solar Hydrogen Production. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from SHEC Web site:
Mood Rings

Find out how mood rings really work and how their color change does not depend on your mood but rather your body temperature
Click Here for Article

Helmenstine, A (2008). How do mood rings work?. Retrieved November 6, 2008, from Web site:

Interactive 3-D Map of Brain

Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience is one of first medical centers in the U.S. to develop and begin using translational, interactive 3-D technology to map the human brain and help guide neurological surgeons during epilepsy surgery and procedures to remove malignant brain tumors. This imaging technology will able to help surgeons during complicated procedures.

Click here for article


Thomas Jefferson University , (2007, August 3). Interactive 3-D Map Can Guide Neurological Surgeons Through The Brain During Procedure. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from Science Daily Web site:

David Suzuki

In this article Dr. Suzuki, the renowned scientist, stresses the importance of electing a leader that cares about environmental issues such as biodiversity loss and global warming. He suggests that a strong economy is related to the health of the environment. Therefore, perhaps we should consider, during this and future elections, that "everything is connected!" Click here for articlesuzuki.jpg

Kish, Katie (2008, February 27). David Suzuki. Retrieved September 30, 2008, from Eco-Chick Web site:

Genetic Experimentation may lead to Human/Cow


• UK scientists are hoping to fuse human DNA with cow eggs!
For the use of stem cell research, scientist want to create a 99.9% human embryo (the remaining percent being cow) and extract stem cells before destroying it. Since human eggs for research are in short supply and to obtain them women have to undergo surgery, scientist have proposed this controversial solution. What are your thoughts?

Walsh, F (2006, November 6). Plan to create human-cow embryos. Retrieved September 17, 2008, from BBC News Web site:


The Virtual Body
Explore the Brain, Heart, Skeleton and Digestive Tract in a series of interactive activities
Click Image for activities
Hamner, K,J The Amazing Human Body Systems. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from The Amazing Human Body Web site:

Mitosis and Meiosis Interactive Activity
Click image for activity

U.S. National Library of Medicine, (2008, October 14). Mitosis and Meiosis: Cell Division. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from Genetics Home Reference Web site:

Video Experiment
This is an experiment I am conducting. Please comment if you were able to watch the entire video (with sound) even when you knew this was a test. {make sure the video has finished loading before commencing} Good Luck...
If you have already read the comments you're a cheater and not a genuine participant!

gcoochy, (2007, April 03). Retrieved October 16, 2008, from You Tube Web site:


A stereogram is an optical illusion created from two-dimensional images. Stereograms were discovered by Charles Wheatstone in 1838. He found an explanation of binocular vision, which led him to the construction of the stereoscope which consists of a series of prisms and mirrors to allow a person to see 3D images from two 2D pictures.
What do you see?

unknown, (2008). 3D Stereogram Gallery - Dog. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Eyetricks Web site:

Interactive Forensic Autopsy

internal_organs.jpgThe word "Autopsy" literally means "to see without oneself". The Egyptians were the pioneers of autopsies. They would remove and examine the internal organs of the deceased prior to mummification. Autopsies are either performed for legal or medical purposes. Forensic autopsies are needed when the cause of death may be a criminal matter, while clinical autopsies are performed in hopes to find the unknown cause of death or for research purposes. Autopsies consist of several seperate procedures, including an external examination, and an internal examination is also conducted with permission from immediate family.

Here is a link for an interactive autopsy:

Dr. Baden, (2008). Interactive Autopsy. Retrieved September 17, 2008, from HBO Web site:


The Human Body

  • about 2/3 of the body is water
  • over half of the bones in your body are located in your hands and feet
  • there are an estimated 1 billion neurons in the human brain
  • you lose about 1/2 liter of water a day through breathing
  • each cell in your body has an estimated 6 to 8 feet of DNA
  • the body is in a continual state of hunger, which is intermittently relieved by eating
  • researchers have found that fetuses are able to learn and recognize sounds while in their mother's womb
  • identical twins have identical DNA but not identical fingerprints because DNA does not control finger print patterns
  • the only jointless bone in the human body is the hyoid bone in the throat
  • a protein found in saliva, secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor, helps to heal wounds
  • the surface area of the lungs is about the same size as a tennis court
  • smoking can impair your intellect, particularly later in life
  • there are about 9,000 taste buds on your tongue
  • researchers from NASA have concluded that playing video games can actually improve your health
  • scientists have found that it is impossible to tickle yourself because the cerebellum, a region in the posterior portion of the brain, warns the rest of your brain when you are attempting to tickle yourself

    unknown, (2008). Did You Know? - The Human Body. Retrieved September 21, 2008, from Web site:


· falcons are being used at a major airport to scare away flocks of birds. Aircraft collisions with birds present a possible danger to passengers and costs airlines millions of dollars in damages
· amphibians are on the decline around the world due to pollutants and the destruction of amphibian habitats
· researchers have grown eyes in previously sightless Astyanax mexicanus cave fish
· chimpanzees have about the same memory capacity as a preschool age human child
· dolphins emit loud clicking sounds to stun their prey while hunting, just like sperm whales (see videos)
· elephants are the only animals that have four knees
· marbled hatchetfish are the only known fish that can actually fly by jumping into the air and moving their fins
· researchers are attempting to prevent animal extinctions by collecting and freezing genetic material from endangered animal species
· hippopotamuses have pink sweat; they secrete a pink substance to cool down and to keep their skin moist
· proportional to their size, colossal squids have the largest eyes of any animal in the world (see videos)
· an unfertilized ostrich egg is the largest known single cell
· researchers have discovered a new type of animal in Greenland; it is a very small organism that is comparable in size to a pinhead
· a species of pink dolphin can be found in the Amazon River
· some New Guinean bird species secrete powerful toxins to deter predators and to protect their eggs
· a study of the white blood cell count of promiscuous primates suggest that promiscuity can lead to the development of stronger immune systems
· all polar bears are left-handed
· sharks can get cancer and are capable of two types of reproduction, some sharks lay eggs which are called mermaids' purses, while others give birth to live young
· iguana's are able to shrink in length by up to 20% when there is a scarcity of nutritional resources
· albatrosses can sleep while in flight
· the smallest mammal in the world is the bumblebee bat from Thailand, it's about the size of a bumblebee and weighs less than a penny
· slime mold can determine the shortest route when navigating through a maze
· snapping shrimp create underwater noises that are so loud, submarines use the sounds to hide from the sonar of enemy vessels
· tarantula venom may one day be used to treat heart attack and brain tumor patients
· some parrots have the ability to not only talk but to understand language
· tuataras have three eyes and are the oldest known reptiles
· the tongue of a Blue Whale is about the size and weight of a full grown African elephant
· a spider's web is stronger than steel, it would be five times stronger than a piece of steel the same size
· researchers have come up with a theory as to why penguins waddle, it's a means of conserving energy while penguins are one their long journeys to mating grounds
(2008). Animals. Retrieved October 19, 2008, from Web site: