59/150: Snorkels & Pancakes for World Turtle Day!


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Animalia: Chordata: Vertebrata: Reptilia: Testudines: Cryptodira: Trionychidae: Trionychinae: Apalone: Apalone spinifera (Charles Lesueur, 1827)

Spiny softshell turtles have a unique leathery shell which causes them to sometimes be called the pancake turtle! They can reach up to 54 cm and have a distinguishable snorkel like nose that allows them to stay submerged underwater for long periods of time. Continue reading “59/150: Snorkels & Pancakes for World Turtle Day!”

The Shelled Inhabitants of Balsam Lake Provincial Park


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This past week (July 27-31) I had the privilege of joining Kylee and Crystal on the BIObus when it travelled to Balsam Lake Provincial Park and Indian Point Provincial Park. Balsam Lake Provincial Park is a small park located on the Northwestern edge of Balsam Lake in the Kawartha Lakes. Continue reading “The Shelled Inhabitants of Balsam Lake Provincial Park”

Paddling Point Pelee


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Hello again readers! Last week, the BIObus headed as far south as you can go in mainland Canada, to Point Pelee National Park. We went out there to do some aquatic sampling at a few spots in the area: Point Pelee, Ojibway Natural Prairie Reserve, and Rondeau Provincial Park. Continue reading “Paddling Point Pelee”

Pura Vida! Volunteering for Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica


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Hello readers!

My name is Reid Vender, and I am excited to be the Database Management & Website Development Assistant here at BIO this summer. I have just completed my second year at Western University in medical health informatics, where I’ll be using the computer skills I’ve learnt to spice up the BIObus blog and manage an all-new online database, cataloging body mass values for all the specimens collected at BIO. However, it’s another side of my passion for nature and biodiversity which I’ll be sharing with you in this post. Continue reading “Pura Vida! Volunteering for Olive Ridley Sea Turtle Conservation in Costa Rica”

Happily Herping


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This past Saturday – as many of you might know – was the Ontario BioBlitz weekend. For those of you that are unfamiliar with the event, the traditional BioBlitz or “blitz” is a 24-hour period in which both trained biologists and citizens scientists try to observe and record as many species as possible in a specific area. After the event these collected observations help to quantify the diversity and abundance of plant and animal species in the selected area to create more focused research and conservation efforts. Continue reading “Happily Herping”