Showing posts with label population. Show all posts
Showing posts with label population. Show all posts

Trapdoor Spider has Declining Population

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Times are a changin', as the saying goes. And it is not always for the best. Trapdoor spiders are getting fewer in South Australia. They balance the ecosystem, so their loss is a bad thing.  If they do not eat beetles, for example,  the Coleopltera will run amok. | not. |◀|
Trapdoor spider
Surveys on the numbers show a sharp decline. In 18 days in the 1950s 122 specimens were found. A search in 2014 caught only 18 in ten days. No research has been done to see what is happening nationwide. | ▶ | not. | ▶ |

The arachnid has its weaknesses. Each builds its burrow when it is immature. The retreat is home for its whole life. If the lair is damaged it cannot be rebuilt. Its positive point is longevity: it can live for 30 years.| ▶ | not. | ▶ |                                      | ▶ not | ◀ |
BiOLOGY 
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LEGGIES ARE FEWER
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People of Vanuatu are Southeast Asians!

Vanuatu ancestors were from Taiwan and the Philippines.
A discovery has sent shock waves through anthropology. The ancestors of Vanuatuans were put in the pot of Pacific Islanders. People of this island do not look like Asians. However, DNA tests on the oldest skeletons found show that the island's first arrivals came from the Philippines and Taiwan only 3,000 years ago.
People of Vanuatu
It seems that Australian Aboriginals and New Guineans did not initially venture out onto the sea, though Pacific islands were much closer to Vanuatu than Southeast Asian countries. Scientists say Papuans moved their later to produce the modern Vanuatuan gene pool.

There is a problem here. Combining the facial features of Filipinos and Papuans does not produce modern Vanuatuans.  There was movement westward of people from South America. Pacific islanderSs of South American descent obviously arrived in Vanuatu at some time. It seems scientists do not always show common sense!
 Chemistry by Ty Buchanan 
vanuatu, vanuatuans, philippines, taiwan, filippinos, taiwanese, anthropology, scientists, population, south, america, pacific, islanders articles interesting unique technology free news sex

Nuclear Physics to Track Australian Waterbirds

Nuclear physics used to track Australian waterbirds.
Australia's native birds are on the decline - those damn humans! Yes, we are destroying the planet and we have to do something about it.  Obtaining data on bird numbers is paramount. Nuclear physics is the answer.  Researchers are examining feathers recently dropped by waterbirds. It provides information on where birds have been and what they have eaten.  The I-TRAX Core Scanner shows chemical changes over time. A mass spectrometer is also used to determine oxygen, hydrogen and nitrogen isotopes.
Australian waterbirds
Feathers are composed of keratin like hair. Water sources have different chemical composition. This is stored in the keratin, so a map can be created of where birds have been living. The method of feather analysis is much cheaper than leg banding or satellite tracking.

Members of the public can contribute. At present scientists are picking up feathers then posting them to the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO). Anyone can do this to further the body of data on birds.
 
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WATERBIRD DATA
australian, waterbirds, water, birds, number, population, track, Nuclear, Science, Technology, Organisation, ANSTO, mass, spectrometer articles news politics economics society anthropology historiography history sociology free news sex

Mice in Madeira

I've been everywhere man - I mean mouse! João Gonçalves Zarco, the Portuguese explorer, thought he had discovered a pristine island untouched by man. However, Madeira had been reached earlier by other people. Mouse move with man and their genetic fingerprint showed that Vikings had got there first.
Madeira mice
Mice began "travelling" with humans when people started storing grain. There is nothing like a free feed to hitch a ride. As grain was moved aboard ship, mice got on too. When a ship reached its destination the mice alighted and started a new colony of their own.

The mice who populated Madeira do not have DNA traces of Portuguese mice. They are related to north eastern European mice. Apparently, viking did not construct any lasting structure on the island. This is also the case in North America where very little evidence has been found of Viking exploration.

Carbon dating of mice skeletons on Madeira show the earliest to be 1,000 years old. This was the high point of Viking wanderings across the globe. Like humans, mice do damage. Their presence is responsible for the extinction of native marine birds - they ate them!
 Genetics by Ty Buchanan 
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Little Penguin of Australia and New Zealand are Different species

Animals may look alike and are asumed for decades as being one and the same, but scientists are often wrong. Australian and New Zealand little penguins (Eudyptula minor) look identical, However, new reseach shows that they are different species.  The cute little penguin is the smallest of all penguins. It is only 30cm tall. It lives along the southern coast of Australia and coastal New Zealand.
Little penguin of Australian and New Zealand
Many scientists find it surprising that two different species inhabit the same region and look very much alike. The answer lies in the nature of the niche. Animals evolve to take advantage of a particular niche, so to a large degree the niche shapes the animal.

There is strong opinion that the Australian little penguin should be given a name. A name has been put forward: Eudyptula novaehollandiae. There is a problem as the Australia species is also found in Otago on the southernmost tip of New Zealand: how they got there is a mystery.
 Biology by Ty Buchanan 
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Animal Biodiversity is the Highest Ever

Despite extinctions the number of animal types in the world is at an all-time high. This is due to a proliferation over the last 200 million years. It seems as time goes on the number of species increases. This seems to be a law on this planet and maybe the universe.
Animal biodiversity on the planet world
There are indications that humans could be changing this by causing extinctions. However, it will be a long time before the variation of species declines significantly. With the poles melting a tipping point could be reached where even humans are under threat of disappearing. This is just a theory at this time. Perhaps, changing the way we live will make things better for all creatures.

Human knowledge is going on a pace. There are new discoveries minute to minute. Indeed, it is difficult for specialists to keep up with all the reading that is necessary. Even general practitioners say there are not enough hours in the day to keep abreast of the latest breakthroughs.
 Evolution by Ty Buchanan 
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HIGHEST NUMBER OF SPECIES IN THE WORLD NOW!

Australian Government Pushes Kangaroo Sales in California

The Australian government is interfering in the democratic process of California. Currently, the state has laws that allow the import and sale of kangaroo products. Conservation lobbyists say international law protects all endangered species. There is one major problem with this stance: kangaroos are not endangered. Indeed, they are pests like rabbits and camels.
kangaroos in plague proportions
The law in California expires in January. Assemblyman Mike Gipson intends to extend it and add a clause allowing the sale of parts for shoes and soccer balls. Funds nave been allocated by the Australian government to the Kangaroo Industries Association of Australia which pays for a California lobbyists company to keep trade open.

Ethically, being a private body, the Industries Association of Australia should not accept government funding while lobbying to gain economic benefit. However, their claim that a cull is needed on Kangaroos is correct. If you want to know the real situation about kangaroos ask an Australian farmer. He/she will tell you that profits disappear every year due to pest kangaroos.

It is a pity that the current Australian government does support its pro business views by proactively engaging in questionable behavior. The business sector is capable of being effective on its own behalf without government support even verbally or financially.
 Politics y Ty Buchanan
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The Aboriginal "Race" is in Danger

Aboriginals have been in Australia for at least 40,000 years, perhaps 60,000 years. If they were the first to leave Africa this could be pushed back to 80,000. Because they are so different from Asians this could be the case. A skull found in South America is clearly aboriginal - How did it get there?

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders number about half a million of Australia's 23 million. Numbering them is difficult as many, like the American black population, have white people in their ancestry.

There is a strange state of affairs with more than a quarter of the overall population in Australia being born overseas. This has meant an important inter-cultural mix. However, the Aboriginal culture is dying out. Few young people speak native tongues in depth. Older people are not able to pass on languages completely: there are thousands of Aboriginal dialects across the country. Religious rituals in particular are disappearing.

Aboriginal art is very strong and many earn income from this. It is in demand not only in Australia but worldwide. Indeed, Aboriginals tried to patent the "dot" in their painting. The claim was turned down which left fake paintings by white people as a problem in the market.

Absorption into the white population has been the country's main aim for centuries. There are a few Aboriginals who stubbornly stay out of this idea. They are losing as time passes. City Aboriginals know nothing about traditional Aboriginal life. They would die of starvation if left in the outback. Their forebears knew how to survive.
Anthropology by Ty Buchanan
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Smooth Newt Lissotriton vulagaris Invades Australia

Australia is full of vermin brought in from Europe over the centuries by immigrants wanting to make this country feel like home. Pet shops and animal collectors are also responsible for some restricted creatures getting out and breeding in the wild.

Even seemingly harmless animals can become pests if their population rapidly increases. The smooth newt, Lissotriton vulagaris, was thought to be safely in collections. However, some have escaped and are becoming a pest in Victoria. Newts are not normally found in Australia. It is not known what the long term consequences will be.

It is not likely that they will spread to Queensland or the Northern Territory because they prefer cooler climates. They could become plentiful in southern Australia.

There is a worry that the newt will carry the chytrid fungus that is deadly to native frogs. Competition for food could cause Australian species to decline. It is necessary to find the extent of the invasion. Though it is unlikely that funding will be found for this.
Biology by Ty Buchanan
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New Food Varieties From Plant Enbryo Culture

Natural pollination was used for years in plant research. it was thought to be the only way that a "pure" line could be preserved. Plants vary in characteristics depending on altitude and longitude. Crossing plants from different geographical region was the method put forward by Nobel Prize Laureate Dr Norman Borlaug who led the way in the Green Revolution.

This method only produced three generations of new varieties each year. A different system was needed. Embryo culture is the result. This is used in combination with changes in water, temperature, humidity, light and potting mix and is much more productive. Plant embryos are like stem cells. The neutral "baby" plants are nurtured and placed onto a media culture that determines what type of plant they will become.;

Pure-line plant genotypes are obtained in a shorter period. This is a major change in the creation of new crops that will feed the world's growing population. It will obviously take several decades to achieve the higher growth rates of the new food crops. However, scientists are optimistic.
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Conservation by Ty Buchanan
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Populations in Developed Countries Are Getting Older

Though populations in Western countries are getting older, the proportion of young people in developing countries is extremely high. There are no fears of a future labor shortage because of this. However, Western economies will probably face higher unemployment and lower tax revenue if they do not employ older citizens.

Countries that go through boom times seem to end up with societies that do not produce enough children to "even out" the general population over time. A case in point is Japan. It was a strong economy from the 1960s. Now it is struggling but the propensity not to have children persists. Savings were high in Japan. Elderly people have already sold off assets that they had accumulated to fund their retirement. Savings have fallen from 15 per cent of GDP to only 3 per cent. Baby boomers experienced the highest standard of living ever so they had the opportunity to save. Younger Japanese workers today do not have the income surplus to put aside for their retirement.

One thing that at first seems a negative could prove to be a positive. Developed countries will not able to afford to pay government funded pensions. Older people will be forced into the workforce. Governments will have to back this up with strong health systems in order to keep elderly workers healthy enough to be able to maintain employment. To ease matters developed countries will have to follow Australia's lead and rely on immigration for population growth.
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Society

Views on Climate Change Has Altered in the US

The common view on climate change (CC) has shifted. This is due to the shocking weather in the US over the last few years. A survey of respondents at Yale University shows those who believe that global warming is happening has increased from 57 per cent in 2010 to 66 per cent currently.

People with common views have been identified:

  • Alarmed - 13%
  • Concerned - 26%
  • Cautious - 29%
  • Dismissive - 10%
  • Disengaged - 6%
  • Doubtful - 15%


These figures were obtained in 2011, a year before the Yale study which noted the changes as follows:


  • Alarmed - 13%
  • Concerned - 26%
  • Cautious - 34%
  • Dismissive - 10%
  • Disengaged - 2%
  • Doubtful - 15%

Other important opinions in each group include:

  • Alarmed - 57% = Extremely sure CC is happening
  • Dismissive - 94% = Strongly dstrust Pres. Obama
  • ........"....- 70% = Strongly distrust climate scientists
  • All Respondents - 58% = US could afford to act on CC
  • ........"..........- 79% = Solar & wind power are answers


People have to directly "live" dramatic change in weather for their view to alter. This is the experience in the US and it is probably the same elsewhere. As bad weather occurrences become permanent the global common opinion will be that damage has been done to the world's climate by human activity.
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Science

Magnets Stop Crocodiles Returning to Their Home Range

We have been told that magnets have wonderful powers: not only can they be used to generate electricity, they can be used to reduce pain, etc. Now a new use has been found: crocodiles have been fitted with magnets to stop them returning to their home area.

In Florida they have been carrying out an experiment to find out if magnets can be used to disrupt crocodiles' homing ability. Though small in number, crocodiles do cause problems when they wander into populated areas. People fear them even though they are are small and usually run away from humans. In contrast alligators are larger and more dangerous.

Once a "rogue" crocodile has been caught it is relocated to an area free of humans. Magnets are put on the crocodile's head. This affects the animals natural homing abilities so that it remains where it is placed. The population has increased because fewer wander onto roads. This is a good thing as the species is endangered.

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Nature

Man Tortures Kangaroo

Culling an animal species is acceptable but cruelty is not.  The exact population of kangaroos in unknown.  There are at least as many as there are people in Australia.

Culling involves a direct gunshot to the head.   Using your car as a weapon to run over a kangaroo, then kicking it to death is definitely not on.

Nigel Franks went even further: he dragged the carcass two kilometers along the road with a rope attached to his car.   A woman found the dead animal in the high street of a town.

In court the defendant was told he was in serious trouble.  He had already broken the law before, not complying to a community order.  He has to return to court on June 4 to find out what his sentence will be.
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Law