As a roommate, I am the tiger in this comic. I tend to keep to myself, as I enjoy my privacy, but it gets out of hand at times and borders on anti-social behavior (or so my guilt tells me). But I am working on it. Last week I happened to catch this piece over at Scientific American by the great Bora Zivkovic*. It had all the things I love: tigers, behavioral adaptations, and tigers.

Regular readers will know that I’m big on conservation, especially creatures endangered by poaching, and especially if the poaching is fueled by a black market demand for superstitious magic remedies. So I was rightly fascinated by these tigers who had changed their behavior in order to keep interactions with humans low. Of course, it’s sad that they were effectively driven off their temporal niche, but at least they’re still in the park, where some of their human co-habitators are military patrols, enforcing anti-poaching laws.

I’ll be waiting for Bora’s next piece, where he reports on the tigers returning to their normal schedules.


This post was brought to you by Nickel (Ni).

*Among his many projects, Bora has studied the circadian clocks of animals (particularly the Japanese quail) extensively, and it’s a subject I enjoy reading about. If you asked me to pick my favorite gland, it would be the pineal—nicknamed “the third eye” due to its role in modulating sleep/wake patterns.

The pineal gland, along with non-visual photoreceptors, will likely play into a future comic.