Greetings everyone, 
We do hope that you are all enjoying the autumnal weather that has been engulfing the UK recently! In today’s post we bring to you a very interesting topic that is still open to more investigation and testing; Sexual Selection, this topic was explained beautifully by the very father of evolutionary biology Charles Darwin who wrote that sexual selection ... depends, not on a struggle for existence, but on a struggle between the males for possession of the females; the result is not death to the unsuccessful competitor, but few or no offspring.” Don't confuse the theory of sexual selection with the theory of natural selection. Natural selection derives from an organisms  struggle to survive where as sexual selection derives from the organisms struggle to reproduce
Within sexual selection you have a split of two distinctive categories: intersexual selection which before sex is often termed female mate choice; and intrasexual selection which before sex is known as male-male competition. Any selection that takes place after copulation is then labeled as post-copulatory sexual selection, and this ladies and gentlemen is the main focus of our article today!! Nothing like a bit of sex talk to get you started on a Monday. 
Interestingly, the idea of post-copulatory sexual selection was lost on Charles Darwin, we suppose that he thought that once the male had copulated with the female that competition then ceases to exist. Basically Darwin either believed or just generally assumed that every female in every species practices the fine art of monogamy… yeah this is not the case take Chimpanzees for example that one female isn’t getting it once but a possible 40 times all with different males! Lets be realistic here monogamy has proven to be a challenge for some humans as well. 
Post-copulatory sexual selection is built on two things sperm competition and cryptic female choice. Species that exhibit a high amount of sperm competition are easily identifiable. They are usually the ones who’s male members have bigger testes or bigger testes in relation to their body size- which hold more sperm. It goes onto thinking that males with more sperm will have a higher chance of fathering their mates next offspring. We all know that nature is not this simple, if another male happens to chance across a previously copulated female (could have happened minutes ago) he will inevitably copulate with her. This is the moment where postcouplatory sexual selection comes into play. Inside the females ova competition has already started between the two rival males sperm to make it to the jackpot… the females egg. 

Sperm competition in more detail:

We know that you guys are curious about what type of competition can possibly occur between sperm... well here you go:
  1. Sperm displacement: male flour beetles have modified genetalia in order to translocate other rivals sperm. 
  2. Sperm incapacitation.
  3. Sperm loading and allocation.
  4. The use of chemicals to prevent further mating thus reducing sperm competition completely: Drosophilia melangasta also known  as those annoying little fruit flies! When the male is finished with the female he releases a toxic protein known as ACP (accessory gland proteins) they act as an anti aphrodisiac thereby reducing future sperm competition. 

Even after all of this sperm competition there is one major obstacle to overcome. Cryptic female choice we also like to think that this is pretty empowering for all ladies in nature, it allows the female to ultimately make the final decision on who gets to fertilize her egg. 

Q.What is cryptic female choice?:

A. Females choose which sperm they use, rather than male ejaculates competing. 

Picture above shows sperm storage in Drosophila Melanogaster females.


  1. Some female species have ovarian fluid that is able to sort out the 'good' sperm from the 'bad' sperm as seen in Salmon. 
  2. Females can even store sperm and choose which sperm load to use! Pretty awesome right? The females in the tortoise family (Testudinidae) happen to do sperm storage meaning that they have access to a range of genetically different male sperm so they are able to influence a clutch’s paternity during individual fertilizing events. 


All in all...: 

This is a pretty advancing field of reproductive biology, there is still a lot withing sexual selection that needs further evidence! In fact just the other day in preperation for this article we were reading through an amazing paper that was talking about the 'Evolution of Sex'. From this we found that this whole postcopulatory sexual selection deal is built on the males in a species having more than one female mate (male lions and their pride of females) which causes sperm competition and females not committing to one male mate either (like the female chimps) thus leading to cryptic female choice. Almost as if this entire process is built on a species incapability of being monogamous. 

Well that bring us to the end of this blog post but tell us what do you guys think?? And keep a look out for more articles and of course our amazing Friday Facts!! 

Over and out.

The pyramids were built around 2700 BC to 1500 BC, so around 4000 years ago and the last known woolly mammoth population remained alive on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until 4,000 years ago. 
 Information Source    Image Source

Polar Bear livers consist of tremendous amount of vitamin A, if consumed humans can die of overdose, a condition known as acute hypervitaminosis A . Why does the polar bear liver have so much vitamin A, you ask? Polar bears have a much higher tolerance for vitamin A. Their physiology evolved this tolerance in order to eat marine mammals such as seals which store high levels of vitamin A in their livers and blubber.
 Information Source    Image Source

Each human head contains around 150,000 sprout. Each strand is highly structured from the molecular to the cellular level making hair very strong. A single strand could hold 100g (3oz) in weight: and the combined hair of a whole head could support 12 tonnes.
 Information Source    Image Source

Hope you have enjoyed this weeks short and sweet Friday facts segment!! Thank you for stopping by. And as always if you would like us to mention a fact in next week Friday facts? Make sure to leave a comment and come back for more articles!!

Bio Bunch.
Over and out.  
Animals are multicellular, eukaryotic organisms belonging to the kingdom Animalia or Metazoa. They range in complexity from simple organisms like ants to the highly developed human beings. Animals are beautiful, some are scary, while others are fascinating, many are breathtaking and a few are majestic, but most of all, THEY ARE AWESOME! 'Animal of the week' posts will let you and us appreciate and explore the wonderful nature of earth. This will include animals that you may or may not have heard of. There are over 30 million species on our planet, why not get to know some of them? I hope you enjoy reading through it as much as we enjoy writing about animals.

The Blue Sea Slug, also known as the blue dragon, blue ocean slug, blue glaucus, sea swallow, sea lizard and not to mention it's binomial name Glaucus atlanticus. Woah! That's a tricky one for the tongue!

Order: Nudibranchia
Family: Glaucidae

Habitat: Temperate and tropical waters of Atlantic, Pacific and Indians oceans.

Length: 10-30mm

Characteristics: Silvery grey on its dorsal side and dark and pale blue ventrally. Has up to 84 cerata - outgrowths on the upper surfaces of the body. It has six appendages which branch out into rayed, finger-like cerata and they float upside down.

The cerata is armed with nematocysts (stinging cells) which are absorbed from cnidarians they eat. Blue dragon feasts on other pelagic organisms such as Violet Sea Snail, Velella, Blue Button Jellyfish and the venomous Portuguese Man of' War. The stinging cells are acquired from Portuguese man of war and stored in special sacs called cnidosacs at the tip of their cerata. Tom Thompson and Isobel Bennett reported that the sting is more painful than they would have been on the Portuguese Man o' War as the blue dragon is able to select the most excellent ones and leave the less refined.
Additionally, one might say the blue dragon is a 'text book' example of counter-shading (a form of camouflage). Their foot and undersides of the cerata is blue or blue/white to avoid predation (sea birds) from above. Their dorsal surface is silvery grey to efficiently camouflage from fish looking up from below.

Does the blue sea slug remind you of a creature from world of war craft? What animals fascinate you? Leave a comment below to ensure a animal of your choice is in the next animal of the day.


Over and out.

For all the information used in this text and more visit these websites: 
Sea Slug Forum
Natural History Museum - Glaucus atlanticus (blue sea slug)
Greetings awesome people of earth, hope your enjoying our comeback. Posts are going to go back to a minimum of two a week. Hope you enjoy our Friday facts and of course Happy Friday! 

The National Science Foundation estimates that a human brain produces as many as 12,000 to 50,000 thoughts per day, contingent on how much of a deep-thinker a person is. Most of the so-called random daily thoughts are about our social environment and ourselves and a vast bulk of them are pure nonsense.

First collected in 1981, the horsefly species was unnamed for 30 years until CSIRO research scientist Bryan Lessard officially described the horsefly in 2011 and it was named after the American recording artist and actress Beyoncé Knowles. Scaptia Beyonceae has a dazzling golden rear formed by a dense patch of golden hairs, which provided the inspiration for its name.

Caffeine (medically known as trimethylxanthine) is a substance that exists naturally in certain plants. Caffeine is a stimulant and an addictive drug which is recreationally used for a lift in energy or feeling of heightened alertness. It is a central nervous system stimulant and a diuretic. It operates using the same components that amphetamines, cocaine, and heroin use to stimulate the brain, however much more mild in effect. 

Hope you have enjoyed this weeks short and sweet Friday facts segment!! Thank you for stopping by. And as always if you would like us to mention a fact in next week Friday facts? Make sure to leave a comment and come back for more articles!!

Bio Bunch.
Over and out.  

Greetings everyone, 
We introduce to you fine and awesome people today something that will be continuing on our blog called a 'Follow Up' why we hear you ask! Well so far on Biobunch we have covered quite a few concepts and touched on some very important global issues and we thought that as new information comes up on an article we had previously posted we would like to inform you further on the subject. So, welcome to the first Follow Up article!! 

Cast your mind back to the BEES NEED YOU! article posted a few days ago, remember how we said that their is an intimate and fascinating relationship between pollinators and plants well we found ourselves looking on YouTube for some AWESOME pollination clips and found something so breathtakingly beautiful we just had to show you! Without further a dew this video clip is rightfully called 'The hidden beauty of pollination' by Louie Schwartzberg! Enjoy!!

How amazing! this one video shows just how two different living organisms can be so interconnected with one another, and exactly why we solely believe in our websites motto 'In all thing of nature there is something of the marvelous', we hope you enjoyed it! What was your favorite pollinator from this short clip?? 

Over and out.
Greetings everyone,

We would like to kick of this post today by apologizing on the lack of new articles put on our blog since the poor excuse that was shark week, but let us assure you that it will be back to the usual from this point on!! We would like to thank all the people that have continued to keep looking at our blog we are truly appreciative. Lets talk about bees...

Bees are declining at an unprecedented rate and they are declining faster in Britain than in the rest of Europe, which is surprising because if the last 800 years is anything to go on we were known as the Isle of Honey! We are not the only one in this boat America has lost some 4 million honeybee colonies in 2008; France lost 500,000 in 1997 with Brazil, Canada, Europe, India, Argentina and China reporting a declining number. 
More than 250 species of bee are threatened with extinction and sadly 3 of them have already gone extinct. Now for some buzzing facts, Britain is home to 25 different species of bumblebee, which are further subdivided into 2 different families: 
Bombus: Characterized by living in small colonies. 

Psithyrus or Cuckoobees: these bees lay eggs in the nests of other bees for them to raise! Cheeky. 

Of all the bees in Britain there are only 3 different types:

Honey bees:

Solitary bees: never heard of this type of bee before well neither had we it turns out that they make up most of the worlds bees and they live alone in holes or in burrows. They store the honey made and the sweet little things have no sting! And Britain proudly has more than 200 species of this bee.
"Bees are the canary in the coal mine- so intrinsically interconnected with our ecosystem that their disappearance is a warning signal. Protect them and we protect our future." UN Environment Programme.

Losing the worlds most precious pollinators would be a devastating loss to our environment, without them we would have no honey, no chocolate (I mean ladies come on!), no silk, almost no fruit, less cotton, less meat, less dairy, fewer species, fewer vegetables and fewer wild flowers. Try and picture the world if we had no bees, we tried and all we could picture was an arable desert imagine going to Kew gardens to see the flowers only to get there and see empty plots! Umm money back please!!

But why? Why are our bees disappearing and what can we do??

It’s funny how governments make it seem so intricate and such a huge mystery as to why our bees are declining at such a fast rate, well let us just say it actually isn’t. Pesticides. Habitat Loss. Less Food. Changes in land use. Bee keeping methods.  Ta-dah that’s it.


The thing about pesticides is that they are not specific to one insect and we often forget this fact. When they are laid down they will kill or damage all living organisms that eat it… including us. Ever wondered how these work, well they are nasty things they literally attack the nervous system of the insect and they do the very same things to us if we digest them. Exposure for humans has been linked to the following, Parkinsons disease, infertility and a whole cocktail of other diseases. That’s why more of us should buy organic products, they are GMO (genetically modified crops) banned and pesticides are avoided at all costs. Organic farms focus on natural eco-systems and native species ensuring that there are wild species on the margins of fields and hedgerows thereby protecting the diversity of the surrounding environment.  

But can Britain go completely pestcide free, I mean has anyone else done it?

YES. Due to the mounting evidence against pestcides and their effects on human health Paris and Tokyo are now pesticide free and now there urban native bee population is thriving. In fact the populations of urban bees are doing better than their rural counterparts (but we will talk about why later). 

The British government policy is not able to ban something like pesticides without conclusive evidence and even when there is very convincing evidence they don’t make any promises. Surely the evidence must be valid and very conclusive for two different cities to go completely pesticide free?? Funnily enough the British government are working of the results from experiments conducted by the pesticide manufacturers themselves… yeah because those results cant be biased right... 

Thought to be at the very heart of why the worlds bees are disappearing… apart from Paris and Tokyo of course.
Cast your mind back to the DDT dilemma. It was banned due to its adverse effect on our health it caused liver damage, liver cancer, nervous system damage, birth defects and other reproductive harm. So yeah not that great. Well get a load of this…
Neonicotinoids are 7,000 times more toxic than DDT, which was banned in Britain in 1984. 
These harmful pesticides penetrate the plant and attack the nervous system of the insects that sadly feed on them. France banned neonics in 2000 after several extensive studies showed that even a small dose causes disorientation and impaired foraging ability. Italy, Germany and Slovenia followed suit banning the sales of two neonics manufactured by Bayer. 
A leaked memo sourced from the US Environment Protection Agency had warned that bees and other pollinators including our native butterflies are all at risk from the neonics ending up in the pollen and nectar of flowers, this then washes into streams the rivers and the ponds which then destroy our aquatic life and stays in the soil for many years. So environmental disaster.
Loss of habitat:
Since the Second World War Britain has lost 3 million hectares of wild flowers now only 100,000 hectares remain and these diminish each minute. The loss of habitat and food is mainly down to the expansion of agricultural farms and the fashion in gardens for ornamental flowers and perfect lawns. The intimate story of the bees and our habitat is a classical symbiotic relationship, in that with no bees you have no floral habitat, and with no floral habitat you have no bees. The Change of land use to a mono crop field equals bad foraging, by providing little and sometimes no food. 
But YOU can help, it has been shown that bumblebees, honeybees and solitary bees all benefit from our own back yards a lot more than the countryside. It could be as small as a window box, or as big as your whole garden, if you could even spare a small portion of your garden you could happily now that you are offering bees a sanctuary and thereby ensuring yours and your families future. It is really as small and as simple as that. 

It does not have to be as large as the garden above which is located at Dunster Castle but it is lovely to see a garden coming alive with buzzing bees literally. My family and I visited and loved it!

After a massive decline in honeybee numbers after a CCD outbreak bumblebees and other pollinators picked up the slack and practically did 100% of the work. (taken by my dad and I)
In fact take a look at this picture for ideas on some bee friendly plants! having trouble seeing it please visit friends of the earth who include this in there bee saving kit.

All that our wild bees require from us is...
1. A place where there are flowers blooming all year round.
2. Those of you with gardens a bit of bare ground for those lovely solitary bees mentioned earlier to call home.
3. And of course protection from chemical attacks. (pesticides, herbicides fungicides any un-natural chemical really) those of you growing veggies or fruit these flowers will attract wasps which are known aphid killers, also known as biological control! 


Just when you think that beekeepers care about bees they just go and betray our trust. Well it turns out that even some bee keepers become profit driven and as such the bees welfare loses out. An increase in honey production and increased use and access to pesticides and other toxic chemicals has lead to stressed bees which then increases the colonies susceptibility to diseases such as CCD ( colony collapse disorder).

Many beekeepers follow what is called ‘commercial’ practices which in turn lead to widespread acceptance of beekeeping methods which are no where near to being considered as bee friendly. In response to this mistreatment and increasing awareness from the public the Natural Beekeeping Alliance is now heading a movement encouraging a more holistic approach- in other words more consideration towards the bee and less profit driven. 

For happy bees natural beekeeping is definitely the best way. Really this method relies on the foundation of minimum interference- avoiding the opening of the beehives too often, NOT clipping the queens wings to prevent swarming, avoiding the use of synthetic chemicals and medications and finally adapting a ‘supervisory’ rather than a ‘managerial’ attitude. Main take home message is that natural beekeepers take care of the bees and take all other natural pollinators into account, yep that includes your butterflies, moths, wasps and other creepy crawlies. Guess what to all of our lovely readers YOU CAN BECOME A NATURAL BEEKEEPER! For more details visit Barefoot Beekeeper

Bees need our help, they need your help, they need the worlds help and we can do it. We aren’t sure at what point our British government is actually going to realise this rather urgent matter! Maybe they eat food that isn’t pollinated by bees at all which is strange because both bees and wild pollinators pollinate 84% of EU crops. Or maybe they are not bothered at losing our pollinators which would cost our economy £1.8 billion a year and of course trigger an environmental apocalypse and see a massive decline in our animals and birds.

“Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem-because most of what comes to us from nature is free… we tend to ignore it” Pavan Sukhdev, author of the UN report the economics of ecosystems and biodiversity. 

Scary to think that honeybees are thought to go extinct in Britain in 2018. We have told you that you can help by planting bee friendly plants in your garden, try and buy organic food, don’t use chemical methods in your gardens try biological controls (remember the wasp!). And most importantly sign the petition to ban neonicotinoids visit this website to see more details! There are so many companies fighting for the bees and we have helped you get started with a few links below! Good luck!!


Over and out.

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