CreatureCast – Foraminifera

posted by Casey Dunn / on January 22nd, 2016 / in eukaryotes

Connor McGuigan, a student in my invertebrate zoology course in 2013, describes Astrammina rara: a giant, carnivorous cell that lives in Antarctic waters. This foraminiferan is a unicellular organism that can capture and eat animals much larger than it.

Song: Chauncy by Podington Bear.

CreatureCast – Dracunculus

posted by Casey Dunn / on January 20th, 2016 / in Parasites

This animation by Hadley Witt, a student in my invertebrate zoology course in 2013, describes the life cycle of Dracunculus. This parasitic worm is endemic to Africa, and is also known as guinea worm and the fiery serpent. While in the human host, this worm can grow up to one meter long, leading to extreme suffering. However, because it is easily preventable by filtering contaminated drinking water, this worm may be the next human pathogen to be eradicated.

Music: “Sonata in C minor for Harp” by Jan Ladislav Dussek (1760-1812), played by Hadley Witt

CreatureCast – Harems

posted by Casey Dunn / on January 11th, 2016 / in Arthropods

This is the story of the unusual mating strategies of marine isopod Paracerceis sculpta. It is based on work by Stephen M. Shuster. See the article that accompanied this piece at the New York Times for more information.

Story produced and told by Louisa Pitney for Casey Dunn’s Invertebrate Zoology course at Brown University. Music is “Les crocodiles manget aussi les bonshommes Wizzards” by Circus Marcus, and can be found at

CreatureCast – How Siphonophores Grow

posted by Casey Dunn / on January 11th, 2016 / in Development, Siphonophores

Riley Thompson describes the unique way that siphonophores grow. Rather than have one body with many specialized parts, they have many bodies that are each specialized for particular tasks. For more information, see our medium post.

This episode of CreatureCast was created by Riley Thompson, based on a script that we wrote together. The animation is based in part on illustrations by Freya Goetz. More animations can be found at, a project supported in part by the National Science Foundation grant DEB-1256695. Music by Coda.