> NERD NITE 70: Creature Feature II

NERD NITE 70: Creature Feature II

CREATURE FEATURE 2 (3)

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11
Maceli’s 1031 New Hampshire
Doors open at 7, Presentations start at 8
Cost is one US dollar or coin.

 

Because you can’t get enough eukaryotes from Kingdom Animalia, we’re back with Creature Feature 2! If you are wondering whether Nerd Nite is more fun than a barrel of monkeys, our speakers may have answers for you.

Our presentations:

“Tale of a Jellyfish Sting: Untold stories of the oldest venomous animals,” by Anna Klompen
The oldest venomous animals, the Cnidarians (jellyfish, hydras, sea anemones, etc) are some of the most poorly understood in terms of venom content, structure, and evolution. Anna’s talk will be exploring the amazing jellyfish venoms we do understand, like how box jellyfish induce a heart attack in adult humans or how sea anemone venoms are currently being used as medicines.

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it: How animal ecology influences body plans,” by Matt Jones
Saber-tooths that aren’t cats. Lemurs that look like ground sloths. Crocodile-like amphibians. We see the same body plans show up repeatedly throughout time, but what does that tell us about evolution and habitat? Matt will discuss the concept of ecomorphology and how it can help paleontologists piece together ancient ecosystems.

“Performing for aliens: What can animal intelligence tests actually tell us?” by Ryan Ridder
Ryan is going to talk to us about different ways “intelligence” can be defined, various ways we’ve tried to measure it in other animals, and how some of our methods hold up to scrutiny.

Presenter biographies:

Anna is a doctoral candidate at the University of Kansas Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department with Dr. Paulyn Cartwright. She declared her lifelong passion for marine science at a well-matured age of 8, and studied biology and chemistry in her bachelors. Her love for jellyfish started in high school, and she currently studies how venom has diversified and evolved within jellyfish and their relatives.

Matt Jones is a PhD student studying paleontology in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Kansas under Dr. K. Christopher Beard. His primary research interest is in the origin and evolution of bats and he spends most of his days staring at tiny, fossilized bat teeth through a microscope.

Ryan is an Earth mammal that can talk, but do his gibberings *truly* reflect intentionality or a biographical sense of self? Can he truly take the perspective of others or plan for the future, and is he really using these traits to solve complex problems or mediate social disputes? Does he really have an inner life? Glyxor, lead investigator of the animal behavior research unit for the Kodosian Federation, Wolf 359 Beta, argues we should be skeptical. After all, those traits have always been What Makes Us Kodosian.

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