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March 9, Rong Ma

Horns and Thorns: Nature’s Ammunition.

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The natural world is filled with weapons. From horns to boiling acid, pincers to neurotoxins, animals (and plants!) have evolved a multitude of weapons with which to wage war. These weapons come in variety of shapes and sizes, and are used in a multitude of different ways and contexts. Yet, they have evolved for a common purpose: they’re useful for securing food, preventing yourself from being food, and, often, reliable with the ladies. At Science Under the Stars this March, come see some of nature’s most awe-inspiring weaponry and find out why they matter.

Science Under the Stars is a free public outreach lecture series in Austin, Texas. The talk will be held outdoors at Brackenridge Field Laboratory, 2907 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, Texas 78703.

Here’s the schedule for this month’s event:

  • 6:15pm – Snacks, natural history displays, and activities designed for kids of all ages will be available!
  • 6:30-6:50pm – Guided tours of BFL will be offered, dependent on weather and light conditions (wear sturdy shoes and bring water)!
  • 7:00pm-7:45pm – Settle in to hear the talk!

Genevieve Smith

Conflict Avoidance:

How NOT Competing Can Be The Ticket to Success.

With over 8 million species and counting on the planet, fighting for survival can be a challenge. But often, being able to avoid competition is as important as facing up to it. Finding new ways to make a living, new places to colonize, and new things to eat allows species to coexist in our crowded world and results in the astonishing variety of life that surrounds us.

Genevieve studies avoidance of competition in amphipods – tiny crustaceans that live in lakes and ponds.