university in pictures

various diatoms

christmas holidays have started, so it’s the last chance to post some photos while they’re relatively up-to-date…

here are some impressions from various practical courses, from work, and – in a separate album – photos i took on a zoological field trip back in october.

one of the highlights of that field trip was the finding of a beetle which belonged to the cicindela genus. there are only a few spots left in tirol where these ground beetles can be found.

holding a bumblebee (bombus sp.)

another one was when timo (the head of the excursion) suddenly asked me “would you like to hold a bumblebee?”
what he didn’t tell me at first: in the evolution of insects, the stinger developed from their egg-laying apparatus. males don’t need to lay eggs, so they don’t have a stinger either. still, the male tried to sting me, making the usual “stinging moves” with its back – seems like this reaction is genetically programmed in both males and females.
besides, at first i had no idea how to actually hold a bumblebee. it’s not something i do everyday :-)

fun fact: one of the features for telling the gender apart is …facial hair (who would have guessed? seriously?). bumblebees with a lot of facial hair are usually males. counting the number of segments in their antennae is more reliable, though.

[view photos: university and work, in pictures]
[view photos: zoological field trip]

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