Posted by: gillarbuthnott | October 6, 2013

Enjoyment comes in many forms…

imagesI was delighted to be at the launch of Lari Don and Cate James’ new book Breaking the Spell  this week. It’s a beautifully illustrated collection of Scottish folk tales. Some of them are well known, but others I had certainly never come across before. I loved them all and am now debating exactly who should get a copy for Christmas.

I had to spend Saturday on duty at the school Open Day, which is not always the most thrilling way to spend part of a weekend. However, this year’s proved to be thrilling – at least if you’re a biologist. We had a real, live birth in the lab. (Not human, before I completely freak someone out.) It was microscopic, but enormously exciting nonetheless.

The beasties in question are called Daphnia and what makes them particularly interesting is that they are transparent, so if one is pregnant, you can actually see the babies inside and watch the birth. Well, I was riveted to the microscope, to the amusement of the somewhat confused visitors. Edinbugh zoo pandas – eat your heart out!Daphnia%20with%20eggs Here’s a picture of one of the little darlings, with eggs rather than babies inside her, top left.


  1. We had some in a fish bowl, years ago – I’d completely forgotten! They were weird and magical in equal measure –

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