Category Archives: Manchester

ANOVA HEADACHE HINT

November 2007

Final year students – a lot of you are worried about “interaction diagrams” in 2-way ANOVA and what they mean. This page looks very useful and should answer all your questions with some very simple examples. JUST READ THE FIRST SECTION – “Introduction”. Stop when you get to “II. Notation” or you will get a headache. You have been warned.

I think the really interesting examples are those where neither factor is significant, but the interaction is, and you get an X-shaped diagram. First and second year could usefully look at this, too.

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DEVILS IN DANGER

October 2007

The Tasmanian Devil suffers from a horrible viral cancer which is killing off the population. Conservationists are trying to take measures to save them.

Faculty of Life Sciences trivia quiz: which member of staff has a scar from a Tasmanian Devil bite?

Highlight this line to get the answer: Andrew Loudon

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Filed under Diseases, Manchester, Marsupials, Quiz

OTTERS IN EDINBURGH

October 2007

Otters have been sighted in the middle of Edinburgh. No news on them romping about in the Medlock as yet, but you never know. (The Medlock is the river at the lowest point of Oxford Road, near the BBC. The University is technically in Chorlton-on-Medlock, which in 1843 Friedrich Engels described as being one of the vilest places on the planet…)

Salmon have returned to the Mersey, and soon the name of Parr’s Wood may again be appropriate. (“Parr” is an old English term for salmon fry. Parr’s Wood is a rather unprepossessing part of South Manchester, near the Mersey. Apologies to anyone who lives there and loves the place)

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Filed under Fish, Mammals, Manchester

THE FOOT OF T.REX

October 2007

Our very own Dr Phil Manning strikes again. This time, he has identified the first footprint of T. rex. A team from BBC North-West was on hand! BBC News page; watch the programme here (may not work outside the UK).

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Filed under Dinosaurs, Fossils, Manchester, Videos

ECUADOR

September 2007

The Yasuni national park in Ecuador is threatened by oil prospection. This article outlines the issues. Our 2nd Year field course to Ecuador helps provide an alternative income source for the local people. For an MEN article about the course, go here.

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Filed under Conservation, Ecology (political), Manchester

HAPPY ORANGS, GRUMPY HUMANS?

September 2007

I hope you were impressed by the new Orang house at Chester Zoo. I thought it was fantastic, and the Orangs seemed happier (that was also the impression of the Birmingham Uni final year project students who were studying their behaviour after the change of enclosure). But the public is apparently unhappy – the Zoo has had loads of complaints that they aren’t marooned on their island any more, so you have to wait a few minutes to see them….

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Filed under Manchester, Primates, Zoos

BLUE PLANET SUICIDE

September 2007

You may remember the massive Amazonian Arapaima (callled Harry) from your visit to the Blue Planet Aquarium. Well this year, it wasn’t there. A couple of months ago it managed to escape by jumping out of its tank – all 2m of it! – and sadly died, flopping on the floor. It has been sent to the Natural History Museum in London, where it turned out to be a female… Click here if you don’t know what I’m talking about.

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Filed under Fish, Manchester, Zoos

THE TREE OF LIFE

September 2007

The Tree of Life is a terrific web resource providing information about thousands of organisms. Very useful as a starting point for essays, GBLs etc.

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Filed under Classification, Images, Manchester

ZOOLOGY PRIZES!

September 2007

Richard Preziosi has set up two prizes, one for first year and one for second year Zoology students.

The Charles Gordon Hewitt Prize will be awarded to a First Year Zoologist, based on their 1st semester Practical marks. The prize will be worth the cost of the Millport Marine Biology field course – in other words, you’ll go free.

The John Leigh Philips Prize will be awarded to a Second Year Zoologist, based on their 3rd semester LSM marks. It is worth the cost of whichever of the foreign field courses you go on – in other words you’ll go free. If you’re going to Ecuador, that’s a sizeable chunk of money. So – work hard at those practicals!

And as to where those names come from:

Hewitt (1885-1920) was one of my predecessors 100 years ago, and knew a thing or two about maggots. Philips (1761-1814) helped lay the basis for the Manchester Museum.

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MORE HARES

May 2007

An excellent picture of a brown hare mother (Lepus europaeus) suckling. NB rabbits also have very brief suckling durations (around 3 minutes a DAY – yes, that figure is correct). That means that rabbit pups have to find the nipple very quickly. There’s a key pheromone involved in this, helping to guide the pup to the nipple. More info in my Final Level course on Chemical Communication in Animals.

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Filed under Baby animals, Images, Mammals, Manchester