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February 2015

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Adult male L. larvaepartus calling by a stream with two tadpoles visible within the circle. (Photo from Iskandar et al., 2014 - PLOS ONE)
Born a TadpoleFirstStory
Sulawesi frog gives birth to live young
MVZ Curator of Herpetology Jim McGuire made a ground breaking discovery while on a recent research trip to the remote Indonesian island of Sulawesi.
He became the first to obtain direct proof that the fanged frog Limnonectes larvaepartus gives birth to live tadpoles rather than laying eggs.
Hayes linked the herbicide atrazine, widely used by Syngenta, to changes in frogs' reproductive organs. (Photo courtesy of Cal Alumni Association)
"What's Motivating Hayes" 
New Yorker mini-documentary
A new mini-documentary, part of the
New Yorker pilot series "The New Yorker Presents", tells the story of how UC Berkeley biologist (and affiliated MVZ faculty member) Tyrone Hayes became the target of agribusiness giant Syngenta.   

NRS Celebrates Milestone  
UC Natural Reserve System turns 50
The MVZ's Hastings Natural History Reservation, established in 1937, has been a part of the UC Natural Reserve System (NRS) since its inception in 1965 and is the oldest reserve in the NRS.


The NRS celebrates its 50th anniversary this year. Since 1965, it has grown to encompass 39 reserves, protecting more than 756,000 acres of natural areas in California, and making it the largest university-administered reserve system in the world.

"Captive Mexican Wolf at Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico".
(Photo by Jim Clark (US Fish & Wildlife Service), via Wikipedia)
Mexican Gray Wolf in Southern California? 
MVZ specimen offers clues
Captured in the Mojave Desert's Providence Mountains in 1922, researchers believed the wolf to be a lone Southern Rocky Mountain Gray Wolf. 

However, recent DNA analysis of the skull housed at the MVZ suggests that it was in fact a Mexican Gray Wolf, broadening the historical range of this rare species and offering new potential for reintroduction.
Belding's ground squirrel (Urocitellus beldingi). (Photo by Yathin S Krishnappa, via Wikipedia)
U. beldingi vs. the Drought
Agricultural pest, ecosystem engineer?
In their native alpine meadow habitats, Belding's ground squirrels are ecosystem engineers, aerating soils and increasing water retention. 

However, a re-survey of sites documented by MVZ's Joseph Grinnell over a century ago shows that both the species and their alpine meadows are quickly disappearing.
Sierra Nevada Red Fox (Photo by Keith Slausen, US Forest Service, 2002, via Wikipedia)

Red Fox in Yosemite
First sighting in area since 1916
Motion-sensitive camera traps caught footage of the rare Sierra Nevada Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes necator) in Yosemite National Park on December 13th, 2014 and again on January 4th, 2015.

The last time the subspecies was sighted in Yosemite was during an MVZ collecting expedition in 1916!



This month's banner photo courtesy of...

Male (left) and female (right) fanged frog Limnonectes larvaepartus on the island of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Read more about MVZ Curator of Herpetology Jim McGuire's amazing discovery of a frog species that gives birth to live tadpoles

(Photo courtesy of Jim McGuire) 

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This month, we feature a book chapter by J. R. Griesemer that focuses on our own David Wake's "taxon-based" research: What salamander biologists have taught us about evo-devo.
Would you like your publication featured? Email Us!
Upcoming Events

Wednesdays, 12 pm to 1 pm

Grinnell-Miller Library, MVZ 

Open to the public!

March 4. Jonathan Losos, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard.

March 11. Jack Dumbacher, Dept. of Ornithology and Mammalogy, California Academy of Sciences. 


March 25 - 27, 2015
UC Berkeley

March 29 - April 3, 2015
Oakland, CA

Cal Day
April 18, 2015, 9 am to 4 pm
Cal Day is the one day that the MVZ opens its doors to the public with fantastic displays, activities, and demonstrations. Bring the whole family!

Bird 'Tails' from an 
MVZ Graduate Student

In Tough Little Birds, Katie LaBarbera blogs about her research on Dark-eyed Juncos, animal behavior, and evolutionary biology. A recent post: " Do birds have a sense of smell?". 

The views expressed in "Tough Little Birds" do not necessarily represent those of 

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"Discovering Yosemite", "Understanding California", and "California Vernal Pools". 

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