Ecology and Evolution!
amnhnyc:

For the first time, scientists have shown that deep-sea fishes that use bioluminescence for communication are diversifying into different species faster than other glowing fishes that use light for camouflage.
Read the full story.

amnhnyc:

For the first time, scientists have shown that deep-sea fishes that use bioluminescence for communication are diversifying into different species faster than other glowing fishes that use light for camouflage.

Read the full story.

Salamanders Help Predict Health of Forest Ecosystems, Inform Forest Management

Jan. 22, 2014 — Woodland salamanders are small, lungless amphibians that live in moist, forest habitats throughout the U.S. and the world. Salamanders often serve as vital links in forest food chains; their population size and recovery from major disturbances can help predict the health of forest ecosystems. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that salamander population size reflects forest habitat quality and can predict how ecosystems recover from forest logging activity. MU researchers believe these findings can be translated to other species within forest ecosystems throughout the world

Salamanders Help Predict Health of Forest Ecosystems, Inform Forest Management

Jan. 22, 2014 — Woodland salamanders are small, lungless amphibians that live in moist, forest habitats throughout the U.S. and the world. Salamanders often serve as vital links in forest food chains; their population size and recovery from major disturbances can help predict the health of forest ecosystems. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have determined that salamander population size reflects forest habitat quality and can predict how ecosystems recover from forest logging activity. MU researchers believe these findings can be translated to other species within forest ecosystems throughout the world

rhamphotheca:

The Amazing Lemming: The Rodent Behind the Snowy Owl Invasion?

By Joe Smith, ornithologist/restoration ecologist

A stunning photo is making the rounds on the web of a snowy owl nest wreathed by 70+ lemmings.

The picture tells the story of rich times for one snowy owl; it had so much prey at its disposal that it couldn’t stop itself killing more rodents than it could eat.

This picture presents a hypothesis for this winter’s snowy owl invasion.

Here’s the idea: a superabundance of lemmings occurring in summer 2013 during the owls’ nesting season resulted in high nesting success. No baby owls went hungry and a superabundance of owls fledged.

Seeking to space themselves out, many of these young, well-fed owls are now invading unusually southern latitudes throughout North America.

At this point, we can’t be sure what has brought all of these owls south, but we do know that lemmings play a critical role in influencing snowy owl breeding distribution and nesting success. Beyond their role in the lives of owls, lemmings influence almost all aspects of arctic ecosystems…

(read more: The Nature Conservancy)

photos: leo_seta | Flickr and kleditsch | Flickr

"…Hughes and his colleagues documented a remarkable chain reaction that began when sea otters started moving back into Elkhorn Slough in 1984. The sea otters don’t directly affect the seagrass, but they do eat enormous amounts of crabs, dramatically reducing the number and size of crabs in the slough. With fewer crabs to prey on them, grazing invertebrates like sea slugs become more abundant and larger. Sea slugs feed on the algae growing on the seagrass leaves, keeping the leaves clean and healthy….”

"Long-lived bacteria, reproducing only once every 10,000 years, have been found in rocks 2.5km (1.5 miles) below the ocean floor that are as much as 100 million years old…”

scikc:

Cicada emergence gif

scikc:

Cicada emergence gif

3 Recommended Documentaries

In the mood for a good one? Here are 3 that I’ve watched recently (all on Netflix) which are pretty thought provoking. 

  1. If a Tree Falls (2011) - follows one man’s impending trial for acts of “eco-terrorism” during his time with the Earth Liberation Front (ELF). 
  2. Vanishing of the Bees (2009) - examines the “mystery” behind colony collapse disorder (CCD). Narrated by Ellen Page. 
  3. Surviving Progress (2011) - explores the “progress trap” in connection to sustainability and it’s applicability to modern times. Features commentary from great Stephen Hawking and Jane Goodall, among others. 
Shorter-Winged Sparrows Evolve Around Highways
"Over the last 30 years, the number of cliff swallows killed along roads in southwestern Nebraska has plunged, and the birds’ average wing length has shrunk, researchers report March 18 in Current Biology.” (read more)
The data are “jaw dropping,” says animal behaviorist Colleen Cassady St. Clair of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, who was not involved with the work. The results suggest that years of smacking into SUVs forced swallows to adapt to the road.

Shorter-Winged Sparrows Evolve Around Highways

"Over the last 30 years, the number of cliff swallows killed along roads in southwestern Nebraska has plunged, and the birds’ average wing length has shrunk, researchers report March 18 in Current Biology.” (read more)

The data are “jaw dropping,” says animal behaviorist Colleen Cassady St. Clair of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, who was not involved with the work. The results suggest that years of smacking into SUVs forced swallows to adapt to the road.

did you ever post about Lynn Margulis dying!?!?! I just found out today!

I did not and apologies for the late response… I seem to never see these messages. 

For those curious, Lynn Marguilis ”is best known for her theory on the origin of eukaryotic organelles and her contributions to endosymbiotic theory, which is now generally accepted fr how certain organelles were formed.”

Any animal…

Any animal…


Origin of Photosynthesis Revealed: Genome Analysis of ‘Living Fossil’ Sheds Light on the Evolution of Plants
ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — Atmospheric oxygen really took off on our planet about 2.4 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event. At this key juncture of our planet’s evolution, species had either to learn to cope with this poison that was produced by photosynthesizing cyanobacteria or they went extinct. It now seems strange to think that the gas that sustains much of modern life had such a distasteful beginning.
(Read more ->)

Origin of Photosynthesis Revealed: Genome Analysis of ‘Living Fossil’ Sheds Light on the Evolution of Plants

ScienceDaily (Feb. 21, 2012) — Atmospheric oxygen really took off on our planet about 2.4 billion years ago during the Great Oxygenation Event. At this key juncture of our planet’s evolution, species had either to learn to cope with this poison that was produced by photosynthesizing cyanobacteria or they went extinct. It now seems strange to think that the gas that sustains much of modern life had such a distasteful beginning.

(Read more ->)





Rendezvous - The Murf