Category Archives: Biology

Cool Beans

by James Morris
Illustration by Sara Haidermota

A few summers ago, I was driving my two sons to a trail head for a hike in the Adirondacks in upstate New York. They were going with a group of kids up a mountain called Iroquois.

I advised them to be sure to bring lots of water for the long hike. In turn, they asked me how I was going to spend my day. “Writing about urine,” I replied.

“Urine?” they asked incredulously.

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Get a Backbone

by James Morris
Illustrations by Talia Niederman

What’s a vertebrate? That’s easy – A vertebrate is an animal with a backbone.Hagfish

Not so fast. It turns out that not all vertebrates have a backbone. That is, they don’t have the bones that make up the backbone, called vertebrae. Hagfish, for example, don’t have vertebrae, but are classified as vertebrates.

That doesn’t make sense. How can a vertebrate not have vertebrae? Continue reading

Trees Aren’t Brown

by James Morris

With the start of another school year, let’s take a look at diversity in all its forms.

I recently overheard a conversation between my wife and a friend named Tom. Tom just took up painting, and my wife has painted for many years. They were talking about how to paint trees, when my wife said, “Take a look at trees – they aren’t brown.”

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