Showing posts with label biology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label biology. Show all posts

There are 100 Million Unnamed Species


Biology - 100 million unnamed species exist on the planet.

We know that many species on the planet are dying out. Apparently, we have nothing to fear. Though 2 million species have been named, a massive 100 million more are out there. This does not include currently unnamed bacteria.

Using clear categories will never be an adequate way to name species. Like human gene pools that are blurred across the world it seems that animals are also on a graduated scale, looking alike while being genetically different.

Each living creature is placed in a species category because it has independent evolutionary lineage. A horse and donkey for example are different species, but they both have a common ancestor. If they do breed their offspring are infertile. There is debate about this with claims that some mules have had young. This gets into the argument about Neanderthals breeding with humans when they have a different number of chromosomes. Interbreeding should not be possible.
Brewer's Sparrow
Brewer's Sparrow
The problem with naming is that animals from two species can look virtually identical. The African elephant is a misnomer. There are actually two species: the bush elephant and the forest elephant. One is genetically distinct from the other.
Clay-colored Sparrow
Clay-colored Sparrow
Using clear categories will never be an adequate way to name species. Like human gene pools that are blurred across the world it seems that animals are also on a graduated scale, looking alike while being genetically different.
 Biology by Ty Buchanan 
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BIR
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New Fish Species by the Dozen in the Kimberley

Scientists know everything! Unfortunately, they don't. Much is still being discovered. The Kimberley in Western Australia should be called the place of the unknown because new species are being found there all the time.
New species of gudgeon kimberley
New Gudgeon Species
Forays into the Kimberley rivers area have brought to light 16 new species of grunter (Terapontidae), three gudgeons (Electridae) and a hardyhead (Atherinidae). Twelve were found during the first three weeks.
New hardyhead species kimberley
Hardyhead from the Kimberley
Famous people become more famous because they are - well, famous it seems: one of the new species is to be named after the writer Tim Winton. The rest will be given Aboriginal names, after all, there is the little thing about them being the first on this continent.
New grunter species kimberley
Kimberley Grunter
 Biology by Ty Buchanan 
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Wasps Favor Large Size for Sex

Size matters when it comes to sex. When in the orchid world it does anyway! The plants rely on wasps for fertilization. Apparently, male wasps are attracted to the largest orchids. Shape of plants also has a role.
Male wasps visit large orchids to pollinate them
Orchids are a replica of female wasps, in shape and scent. Two orchids who had two kinds of wasps enamored with them were observed. The wasps did visited both types of plants but they spent more time "copulating' with their favored orchid.

Scent is offered to male wasps on little black beads. This only attracts males to the flowers. Once there, shape and size of blooms affects whether wasps stay or go. Orchids also benefits from this because plants with larger flowers are fertilized and they produce the next generation of orchids.
Chemistry by Ty Buchanan
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wasps orchids plants attract fertilization blooms scent smell male female
MALE WASPS GO FOR SIZE

Australia's Exports of Genetic Material is Growing

Animal genetics in Australia is going strong. Exports of genetic material is growing particularly in Columbia, Chile and Mexico. The world generally is its oyster. 
Australian animal genetic exports semen
Semen is the primary export product. Chile imports bovine semen while sheep and goat semen is purchased by Columbia. Latin America is the main market. Australia has a way to go to reach the U.S. and Canada. However, it is quickly catching up.

The quality of Australian beef is high and breeds suit the climate of South America. Sheep and goats are highly regarded. Surprisingly, even canine semen is exported to SA. Embryos are also sent there.
Genetics by Ty Buchanan
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Dangerous Frogs of South America

Though South American animals have been named little is known about many of them. Scientists fell into the trap of taking frogs for granted. They got more than they bargained for.  Aparasphenodon brunoi and Corythomantis greeningi are the first venomous frogs to be identified. The dart frogs have bony spines on their faces that they jab into potential predators.
Venomous toxic frog corythomantis greeningi
Like snakes, the frogs inject a toxin into the body of threats. This is odd really, because the frogs have evolved this defence while having no natural enemies. The target of a frog was Edmund Brodie, a biologist, who suffered intense, radiating pain lasting for over five hours. He was lucky: a gram of this venom can kill 300,000 mice or 80 people. It would take many frogs, though, to make this much toxin.

The attack on the scientist was a glancing blow by C. greeningi, which is not as potent as A. brunoi. The team was not going to test out A. brunoi, however. Another thing was learned by the biologist: when you walk in the jungle don't go around picking things up. You may get a surprise!
Biology  by Ty Buchanan
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Man Still Has a Hunter Gatherer Body

The big debate - has Man evolved to eat anything? Of course, eating everything is a huge claim. Human beings have only lived in large groups for 10,000 years. Is this time enough to evolve to eat processed foods? Personally, I would say no. Even scientists who claim this are misguided. They are believing their own propaganda.
Paleo diet of primitive man hunter gatherers
Evolutionary biologist Marlene Zuk says evolution over the last few thousand years has allowed us to digest milk. Don't be fooled by the expertise claimed by this scientist. It should be remembered that many people especially Asians still cannot consume milk without becoming sick. This evolutionary "benefit" is not yet complete. She also says that the hunter-gatherer diet is not known. This is wrong. A great deal is known about the diet of primitive Man. Study of isolated African tribes shows that women collected tubers and berries while men brought home meat every few days. This did not change for hundreds of thousands of years.

Until the last century most humans lived in sparsely populated regions. Was evolutionary "progress" sufficient to change the dietary capability of people in such a short time? Certainly not! Ms Zuk's claims are rubbish. It has been proved that autism is dietary in nature. Changing a diet improves the well being of a sufferer. Scientists still ignore this proven truth.

Processed food may keep you alive but it makes you suffer as well. High intake of sugar for the general population began in the United States in the early 20th century. The Americans were fatter than the British, for example, at that time due to the sugar. Only the wealthy could afford sugar in 19th century Victorian England.  Unfortunately, the Western diet has spread throughout the whole world. The problem with processed food is that vitamins, minerals, protein and particularly carbohydrates can be concentrated into a product, but toxic elements are concentrated as well. However, we do not know which elements are making us ill. Carbohydrate gives potent amounts of energy, but it also makes us fat if we don't use it.

Biology by Ty Buchanan
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Pheidole Ants Rule the World

Man is not the only animal to dominate the Earth. Pheidole ants have spread over all the livable continents. They are so common that a walk in a tropical forest means some are killed by just stepping forward.

There are 1,200 species of the genus Pheidole. Each has developed to exist in a particular niche of the ecosystem. In a study of 300 species it has been found that certain species evolved similar characteristics independently.

Species proliferated dramatically - from one to 600 species in the Americas. The evolutionary goal was to dominate all niches, first in the New World then in the Old. Expansion across one was independent of the other. Evolution took its own course.

Ants are essential for healthy ecosystems. They aerate the soil, disperse seeds and help move nutrients. In biomass they equate with all vertebrates. Their study is indeed important
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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New Mushroom-Like Organisms found off Australian Coast

There may be alien creature "out there" - Well many believe that there is - but some weird things live on this planet. In the ocean depths of Australia odd living organisms have recently been discovered.

At first glance they look like floating mushrooms. They are not related to fungi though. The creatures are actually flowering plants and vertebrates. Dendrogramma mostly consist of a stomach surrounded by jelly-like skin.

Scientists believe they are the remnants of early life forms which appeared before the life that went on to dominate the Earth. In other words they were a dead end. They are unique, not related in any way to life that eventually became successful across the globe.

There are a lot of new things still continuing their existence at the bottom of the oceans. Many are very specialized living off toxic substances that would kill other organisms. Don't bother to look for life in the stars. Much still awaits discovery beneath our feet.
 Science by Ty Buchanan 
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New Catfish Species in Australia

Carfish are fairly mundane creatures. If you are fishing and you hook one thinking it is a big pike you are annoyed when you drag it in, and "drag" it the defining word. They are usually a dead weight on the line.

On the other hand if you are a biologist all animals are of interest. A combined US, Australia team has discovered a new catfish species in North Queensland. It has a tail like an eel, not the usual fish-like tail. Apparently, people knew of its existence for many years and just assumed it was like any other catfish.

Tandanus tropicanus is cylindrical in body shape. It has a large head and tiny eyes. DNA tests showed that the fish is a distinct species. Overall, its body configuration is different from other catfish.

Unlike many catfish it is good to eat. Fishermen have been catching it for many years for food not knowing how unique it was. Despite the accumulation of human knowledge about the world there is a lot we still do not know about nature.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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Higher Carbon Levels in Sea Water Changes Hermit Crab Behavior

More research is proving that the theory of animals becoming bolder with climate is correct.  Sea water is retaining more carbon dioxide.  This is altering the body chemistry of some animals.

Tests were done on the hermit crab and a "toy" of its main predator the octopus.  In a laboratory, hermit crabs were split into two group and put into aquariums.  The water in one aquarium was at a pH of 7.6; the other had a pH of 7.1.  This may seem to be only a small amount of difference in acidity but it was significant on behavior.

The flicking of antennae (testing for danger of preying animals) and oxygen levels were measured.  The hermit crabs in the more acidic pH 7.1 water flicked their antennae less often.  Crabs in the 7.6 aquarium definitely responded much quicker when a toy octopus was dipped into the water.

Visitors at the Third International Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World had a good laugh at the crab behavior.  A more serious problems could be the declining level of safe hermit crab abodes.  Higher acidity is dissolving abandoned shells that hermit crabs jump into and carry around as homes.
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Marine Biology
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