Sunday, 22 July 2012

Wildlife stuff from the week 16-22/7/12

'Hidden secrets in the world's most northerly rainforests'
"lichens are actually two or more species living together in a symbiotic relationship"

"Lobaria pulmonaria grows to about the size and shape of a crinkly green leaf and is found throughout Europe, Asia, North America and Africa in coastal areas with high rainfall. However, it is in decline and is considered an endangered species in many parts of Europe."

'Oldest reproductive orangutan celebrates 50th birthday'

"His keepers said Major, who lives at the zoo with his three female companions and four children, is especially prized for his reproductive prowess."
Is he, indeed! Lucky ladies :o)

'Sri Lankans name new fish genus for [anti]theist Dawkins'
"Richard Dawkins has through his writings helped us understand that the universe is far more beautiful and awe-inspiring than any religion has imagined," Pethiyagoda told AFP on Monday.
"We hope that Dawkinsia will serve as a reminder of the elegance and simplicity of evolution, the only rational explanation there is for the unimaginable diversity of life on Earth," he said.

[video] 'Research pair uncover secret of hummingbirds' ability to fly in the rain'
The way they do it is to change their posture, to angle their wings differently, and work a little harder.
"in a more horizontal position, the birds were better able to adjust the angle of attack of their wings, and doing so also tended to reduce the amount of rain that actually struck their wings. Changing position then, appears to give the birds more power while still expending as little as nine percent more energy."

Frogs, bats, livestock, Tasmanian Devils... now snakes, have been observed getting sick.
This time to the Sunshine virus, so-called because it was first identified in the Sunshine Coast of Queensland, Australia

'Promiscuous squid fatigued after mating: study'
"In order to pass on their genes, southern dumpling squid engage in up to three hours of mating with each partner, but University of Melbourne researchers have found that this results in a reduced ability to swim for up to 30 minutes afterwards."
What's so interesting about this? Some people can't walk for 30 minutes after mating :P

'Nepal snow leopard threatened by climate change'
The Snow Leopard favours hunting above the tree line, but below 5000 metres. As the climate warms, and the trees are omfortable living higher and higher up the mountain sides, the tree line pushes further into leopard hunting territory.
This reduces their ability to hunt, and puts them into competition with neighbouring species, such as humans --a species which is notorious for brutally expunging its competitors for resources, and has ballooned in population in recent centuries.
The historical tactic is to cull invasive species such as these - rabbits, cane toads, ivys, etc - conservationists will hope it doesn't come to that! The problem species is one that frowns on genocide, when done to itself...

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