Animal accomplishments that have caused my students to break into applause

I’m teaching an Animal Behavior course this semester. The lectures are 80 minutes long and exactly during the sleepiest time of the afternoon; I enjoy the challenge of getting a reaction from the students under these circumstances. Videos of baby animals in peril always get attention (some good ones: marine iguana, barnacle goose, water buffalo), but they’re so reliable it almost feels like cheating.

My students have actually broken into applause during lecture three times so far. One of these will not be discussed in detail (it involved the recitation of poetry), but the other two were in response to two quite different animal accomplishments, which I thought I would share.

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Photos from a marine invertebrate biologist who shares half of my genes

My dad, as you already know, is no slouch at photographing terrestrial vertebrates.

American Robin fledgling. Photo by M. LaBarbera.

American Robin fledgling. Photo by M. LaBarbera.

Chickaree. Photo by M. LaBarbera.

Chickaree. Photo by M. LaBarbera.

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