10 Of The Most 'Fun Facts' I Have Learned As A Biology Major

10 Of The Most 'Fun Facts' I Have Learned As A Biology Major

1. The bananas that we eat cannot reproduce.
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Being a biology major, there are a lot of basic, core intro classes that you have to sit through until you get to the classes that you actually want to take and are interesting to you.

Now that I am done with the basic intro classes and I am taking a semester off of biology to take more chemistry classes, I am now realizing that these basic classes were actually pretty interesting. They also taught me some things that I never thought I wanted to know.

They were hard and stressful while they lasted and I'm now realizing that some of the information that stuck with me from those three intro classes aren't going to be used in my future. However, they were good to learn because they made me more aware of the world around me.

Here are the 10 most "fun facts" that stuck with me after my final intro to biology course.

1. The bananas that we eat cannot reproduce.

They are examples of triploid autopolyploids. In other words, they end up with too many chromosome sets from other bananas. That is why bananas are grown from bulbs rather than seeds; the seeds can't grow more banana plants. The banana plant, typically considered a herb, is grown by plantation workers transporting stalks from old plants to grow new ones. That information shakes up everyone, especially the entire lecture hall the day that we learned it in class.

2. Birds are the modern-day dinosaurs.

They may not look like it, but birds are, like the dinosaurs were, ancestors of reptiles.

3. We are currently in the sixth mass extinction.

Above was the face of every single student in my biology class. That is why it's so important to take care of our planet. Extinctions take millions of years, and there were already five major ones in the history of the earth. The most famous one was probably the Cretaceous, when the dinosaurs were wiped out. The sixth mass extinction probably won't end for thousands, maybe even millions, of years, but it is important to start caring for the earth now. Pollution and greenhouse gases are real and are no joke.

4. The human belly button is home to about 67 different species of bacteria.

They're part of the trillions of bacteria and archaea that are present on your body. Other places bacteria are found there are present in your mouth (about 700 different species) and in your large intestine (about 1,000 different species). You're welcome!

5. There is a type of flower that smells like a rotting dead body.

In the eyes of biology, life is all about reproducing and creating offspring that can survive to then reproduce themselves one day. The smell of the huge Rafflesia arnoldii flower attracts flies. The flies land on the plant and aid reproduction by spreading the plant's pollen.

6. Kerogenin, a chemical commonly used in shakes at McDonald's to make them thicker, is derived from red algae.

It's not as gross as it sounds, trust me. You have algae to thank for making your shakes thick and
keeping your ice cream — yes, brown algae derivatives are also found in ice cream — and cheese stabilized.


7. Scientists have estimated that humans have not yet discovered about 90 percent of the total species present on earth.

Yes, contrary to popular belief, we don't know everything. There are still things out there that exist that not even science knows about. New things are being discovered every single day all over the world, and that is the true beauty of science.

8. Male and female ducks reproduce in a unique way.

I'll spare you the details. If you really want to know what I'm talking about, you can Google it, but I didn't tell you to do it.

9. The earth was around long before life, itself, and life happened quickly and in a short period of time.

To put it into numbers, the earth is 4.5 billion years old, but life began 3.5 billion years ago. Life happened in a span of only 1 billion years. It doesn't seem like a long time, but when you think about all that happened in that span of one billion years, it's pretty amazing.

10. Scientists think that lemurs got to Madagascar through rafting, just like in the movie.

The island itself has remained separated 300 miles from the African coast for about 88 million years, and lemurs have a common ancestor on the African continent itself that they evolved from. So, how did they get to Madagascar? We know that lemurs are not as old as the island of Madagascar, so how did they get there? Scientists believe the answer is by rafting. The movie may not be entirely fiction after all.


I attribute all of the information listed above to lectures and presentations given in the General Biology III course taught by Dr. Ashley Byun and Dr. Jennifer Klug of the Fairfield University Department of Biology.


Cover Image Credit: Shutterstock

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The Post Grad Phase No One Talks About

Graduation is all fun and games until you remember everything you're leaving behind.

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"Congratulations!" It's such a small, exciting word. The weekend I graduated from college, this was the only word I seemed to hear. It left me feeling confused. Congrats on leaving all my best friends behind? Congrats on never finding comfort in that morning stroll across campus again? Congrats on leaving a town I have called home? Congrats on leaving the school that has taught me some of the most valuable lessons? I just couldn't seem to find the excitement in this word-- all I could think about were the things I was going to miss.

5 -- The Local Restaurants, Bars, Shops

To be completely honest, it's almost insulting having to leave behind all of the restaurants, bars, and shops in your college town. After years, you have finally found all of your favorite hot spots-- places to day drink and avoid going to class, a spot to grab a pizza to celebrate a Friday, a boutique for a last minute game day outfit, and even your favorite local coffee shop.

So, it doesn't quite qualify as a restaurant or a bar, but the local Target (that closed at midnight!!) was my hot spot. My roommate and I would go there for any and all reasons. We would go to buy school supplies to mark a new school year. We'd go late at night to buy our favorite binge worthy snacks. On our many and short "let's be healthy binges" we would buy a ton of fruits and vegetables we never ate. We spent a ton on Christmas decorations and Valentine's Day candy. The house that built me, ya know what I mean?

4 -- The Campus

You walk on campus so many times during your college career. Unfortunately, most of the time, you take your surroundings for granted. But remember these things: the campus saw you on your worst and your best days, the campus saw you crying to your mom on the phone when you knew you had to change your major, your campus saw you when you got the call letting you know you got into graduate school, and these buildings let you sit on the steps when you needed a chance to breathe between classes.

You'll take all of these buildings and campus surroundings for granted, until it's your last walk. My last walk around campus as a student was hard. It was suddenly even more beautiful than I remembered. It had been my home for four years, and somehow four years had gone by in a blink of an eye.

3 -- Game Days

If you're fortunate enough to go to a football school, you know how fun game days are. Game days in the south are all about dressing your best, getting up early to tailgate (because you can't drink all day if you don't start early), and cheering on your team. You get to spend an entire day with all of your best friends at your favorite school.

It's weird leaving the student section for the last time. I remember we all looked around and said "Thanks Bryant Denny," knowing we'd for sure be back in the fall as alumni, but our time as student fans had officially come to an end. One of the hardest things about this goodbye is that it's the first goodbye you really have as a senior. When the season comes to a close, you have yet to finish your first semester, but you realize how fast it's flying by.

2 -- Greek Life

Similar to game days, if you were lucky enough to join Greek life, you know how hard it is to leave. Going to a big school, you realize how communal Greek life has made your college experience. Somehow, everyone knows everyone. You start seeing the same faces around campus, and it's served as a comfort for you. You have made endless friendships in your house, but you've also made friends in other houses. The people in your house have become your family for four years.

I ate every single meal at my house. I studied for all my exams at my house. I complained to my friends about annoying classes. I celebrated my successes and the successes of others at my house. I found my people at my house.

1 -- Your People

Your people are what you'll miss the most. Your people are the reason the word "congratulations" is so daunting. You're leaving your support system. Your people are starting jobs or continuing their education, but not with you. Your people will be scattered all across the country.

This is the absolute hardest part of leaving college. This is the reason I cried all the way home with my car packed to the brim. My girls have been with me through the good and the bad for four years. Even weeks after graduating, it's hard to write this without shedding a few tears. To my girls: I already miss Netflix and wine nights, I miss Snapchats after a night out at the bars, and I miss walking over to your houses just to do homework. You are all so special to me, and I will be cheering you all on throughout your next adventures. Can't wait to plan many trips together!

You will miss these things, and this phase will be one you'll go through. But the point of the matter is, you'll have these memories and these people forever. So, congratulations! Congratulations on an unforgettable college experience. Your future is bright.

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5 Tips For Incoming College Freshman

Remember when everyone told you that high school was going to be the best four years of your life.. and then it wasn't? Well now for some of you, comes the BEST and WORST four years of your life. Here's a little bit you need to know in order to be prepared for the eventful year to come.

Scleigh1
Scleigh1
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Yes, believe it or not your parents, friends, and teachers were right. College is SO much different than high school in so many different ways. Luckily, I just survived my freshman year so I was in your place literally a year ago today. Everyone tells you how different college is from high school but they don't tell you how and that's what I'm here for! Lets just start with the 1st difference....

1. A whole new world

You will feel like your in a new world because in a way you are. You will suddenly be surrounded by so many groups of people, new cultures, different lifestyles, different languages, everything is so NEW. Not only are you not going to class with the same people everyday that you have seen in the hall for years but you are going to classes with complete strangers from all over the states and sometimes even the world. You are suddenly going to have to share a room with a stranger or even a best friend which can also lead to some issues. But what is most important to know is that even though you feel alone the first few weeks or even months... trust me so does everyone else, its okay to feel overwhelmed its normal. We all have absolutely no idea what we are doing we are all just pretending like we have somewhat of a plan. I met most of my friends my freshman year through being completely LOST on campus.

2. Making new friends

One thing that you aren't taught how to do in high school or honestly by anyone is how to make friends. I knew most people in my classes throughout high school so when I started college I hardly knew anyone besides my roommate. It definitely took me a while to branch out and start making friends but I had to remind myself to put myself out there and eventually I met some wonderful humans. Remember to always be yourself and you will attract people that WANT to be your friend. It takes time but once again, you are not alone. It will look like people already have their group and stuff but everyone is struggling just as much as you most likely.

3. Responsibilities 

The new responsibilities you will have... get prepared, they will hit you like a truck or at least they did me. You will suddenly be responsible for cleaning your room, doing your laundry, feeding yourself, doing your homework, remembering specific dates, paying bills, honestly the list becomes never ending because you are slowly becoming an adult :(((( I remember a time when I wanted to be an adult, now all i want to do is be in kindergarten taking a nap LOL, Luckily I already was familiar with most of these things as were others im sure but there are also people that haven't had to do some of the things by them selves before which can be overwhelming at times. You will eventually fall into your own personal routine and get your own system going and things will become second nature. Don't be afraid of this, just be prepared in order to have the most stress free incoming year.

4. Academics...

The real reason we are in college in the first place. Yeah, here is where your parents and teachers were right... high school courses and college courses can be either very similar or very different. It honestly depends on what the course is and who your professor is but, for the most part, college courses and professors are much different. Professors do not like to repeat themselves and expect you to remember any important dates they mention. They expect you to write it down, no excuses. In high school you teachers would give you a break but that's not really how college works. Some professors may cut you some slack but most wont. Do NOT waste a professors time and remember that even though you are paying to go to school there, you can get kicked out in a heart beat so don't risk it. Refrain from talking in class, and show up!!! you can miss one thing and the next thing you know you have a 5 page paper due in a few days. Save yourself the stress and just pay attention for the whole 50 minute or hour and a half class you have.

5. Packing 

PACK LIGHTLY!!! I packed so much unnecessary clothes, decorations, etc, that I ended up not needing or never even using. Safe as much space as you can because your dorm room will definitely get cluttered fast and you will accumulate more things throughout the year. So, pack the clothes and decor you NEED. Try your best to not over pack (as hard as it is (; )

6. Homesickness

No one:

Every college student ever: "Ugh I can't wait to go to college I hate living here!"

You know we've all said it but you will most likely get homesick at some point. My house is not far from the College at all and even I still was homesick sometimes. Its one of those things that everyone goes through so remember you are not alone. Luckily, we live in the 21st century too so you can always video chat your fam and send them some love. Its okay to be homesick just try to get more involved and do things you would do if you were at your own house. I always try to bring a few things from home too just to look at and remind myself that I will see my family soon.

Freshman year was difficult for me to adjust to as im sure it was to others, so hopefully you keep these tips in mind this summer as you prepare for your first year of college! I am excited for you all to start this next chapter, welcome to the beginning of adulthood class of 2023!

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