Monthly Archives: November 2013

Early Departure Time on Thursday

Hey everyone. Quick announcement. On Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, in the event that no one shows up in the first 20 minutes after 3:00, I will be gone from the Testing and Tutoring Center. If you show up before this, however, I will be there to SI for the entire time (to 5 o’clock). This is a break from my usual protocol of staying until 4:20 (unless someone shows up). I have an arrangement that evening, and this will not be the regular manner of doing things. It’s just for tomorrow

                                               -The SI

Practice Test 3 is UP!

The new practice test, and it’s subsequent answer key, are now up. You can find the two in the documents section. This Tuesday, Nov. 12 (your day back after Veterans’ Day) I will administer it in SI. I am located upstairs in the Library, in the Testing and Tutoring Center. Just ask for the Biology SI or Aaron, if it’s you’re first time coming; They’ll know where I am. I’ll give out exams at 3:00, and, at around 3:45 to 4:00, I will start to go over answers on the test and answer any questions you may have along the way and after (I recorded that the last test took around 45 minutes to an hour, and this test is just about the same length). Normal SI sessions go until 5:00, but seeing as this is a big Exam, I will stay an extra half hour or so if anyone has any questions that still need answering (some take time). If you can only make part of it, I still encourage you to do so, particularly the latter half. You can even take the test before hand and come in for discussion. Doing it at the first half of SI makes it more time effective if you already put out that time for coming anyway. If you truly can’t make it, the answer key is on the website as well (as already noted above). I’ll be checking my website for questions from you guys. I wish you all the best of luck, and, as always, I’m rootin’ for you.

-The SI

  Look at me still talking when there’s Science to do…

                                              -GLaDOS, Portal, Still Alive

Organism of the Day: Chinese Giant Salamander

Amphibians used to be the dominant form of animal life on the planet, before reptiles took over. Most of the great amphibians died offf over the hundreds of millions of years since thier reign, and none we have today are as large as their giants. There is, however, a few representatives who could could give someone a glimpse of a long forgotten past.


This is Andrias davidianus, the Chinese Giant Salamander. It is the largest amphibian in the world. Among the largest recorded lengths is 180cm (5.9feet) feet, although they average around 100cm (3.2 feet) nowadays. They live in mountain streams, including the Yellow, Pearl, and Yangtze, among others. They breed in August through September, with the female laying up to 500 eggs in an underwater cave. The male then protects this cave for 50 to 60 days until the salamanders hatch. Their population is on the decline, due to a host of factors including habitat loss and overhunting. Large ones are often found and eaten as a delicacy and used in folk medicine, so overtime their population has begun to favor smaller salamanders. It is one of the top ten EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) species. This means that if this one species dies, a unique evolutionary line, and a disproportionate amount of biodiversity, would be lost. This should serve as a reminder to all of us about how special even a single species can be. The situation isn’t as dire for the only other member of it’s genus, A. japonica, the Giant Japanese Salamander. This slightly smaller cousin also lives in the mountain streams of Northern Kyushu and Western Honshu Islands of Japan. It eats fish, crustaceans, and insects, and is used occasionally in folk medicine.


Note: I don’t own these images