Posts by Kees Moeliker:

Five old crabs, and a fresh one

One month after both Dutch and international media reported about my efforts to obtain pubic lice for the collection of the Natural History Museum Rotterdam (see an earlier post on this subject), it is my pleasure to report that the museum received a mere total of six crab specimens: five almost 60 year old dry-preserved, […]

Unexpected Fish

Unexpected fish is/are in the news. As with all discoveries of ?living fossils?, the catch of the third specimen of Indonesian coelacanth Latimeria menadoensis by local fisherman Yustinus Lahama on May 19th 2007 off Malalayang Beach, North Sulawesi, was covered by numerous press reports. The website of WWF Indonesia presents some hidden details how this […]

Bart Knols – Ig winner garners further honor

“It is a nice prize, the highest form of recognition you can get in tropical medicine in the Netherlands.” Medical entomologist Bart Knols sounded excited, and he had good reason. Yesterday, he and his colleague Willem Takken of Wageningen University were awarded the Eijkman Medal 2007 for their combined 20 years of research into insects […]

Death of a birdman

Many of man’s early attempts to conquer the sky ended in tragedy. So did the experiment of the Austrian tailor Franz Reichelt, one of the the last of the birdmen. He combined his urge to fly and his workmanship in a garment to serve as both an overcoat and a parachute. In 1911 he decided […]

Ducky genitals: the female answer

Only 3% of all avian species possess a phallus, or male intromittent organ. Among these happy few, especially ducks are famous for their relatively long corkscrew shaped penises. From personal experience and observation, I know a flaccid, stretched mallard (Anas plathyrhynchos) penis may measure up to 18 cm, and the Argentine lake duck (Oxyura vittata) […]

Infanticide in Japanese ducks

Digging into the life of the spot-billed duck in Japan (see my previous blog entry), I found a true ‘first’ of peculiar behaviour in this species, as published by the researchers Tetsuo Shimada, Kazuyuki Kuwabara, Saori Yamakoshi, Tomomi Shichi in Journal of Ethology 20(2), September 2002. Apparently, ducklings not only have to fear ferocious carp. […]

Duckling feeding fish? Nope.

Remarkable duck behaviour always has my full attention. When a video, taken in Japan, titled ‘baby duck feed the carp’ was posted on YouTube, I studied it carefully. That’s because there is no previous report of any duck engaged in feeding fish (in contrast to reports of? ducks feeding on fish — although that is […]