Friday, December 28, 2007

Scientist's Persistence Sheds Light On Marine Science Riddle --- ScienceDaily (Sep. 29, 2006) — When he started compiling an online database of seashells 15 years ago, Dr. Gary Rosenberg did not envision that his meticulous record-keeping would eventually shed light on a 40-year-old evolutionary debate.

Deep-sea Species' Loss Could Lead To Oceans' Collapse, Study Suggests --- ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2007) — The loss of deep-sea species poses a severe threat to the future of the oceans, suggests a new report publishing early online on December 27th and in the January 8th issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press. In a global-scale study, the researchers found some of the first evidence that the health of the deep sea, as measured by the rate of critical ecosystem processes, increases exponentially with the diversity of species living there.

Photo-monitoring Whale Sharks: Largest Fish In The Sea Appear To Thrive Under Regulated Ecotourism --- ScienceDaily (Dec. 28, 2007) — Up to 20 meters long and weighing as much as 20 tons, its enormous size gives the whale shark (Rhincodon typus) its name. Known as the 'gentle giant' for its non-predatory behavior, this fish, with its broad, flattened head and minute teeth, eats tiny zooplankton, sieving them through a fine mesh of gill-rakers. Listed as a rare species, relatively little is known about whale sharks, which live in tropical and warm seas, including the western Atlantic and southern Pacific.

Monday, December 24, 2007

How many species of giraffes are there? - Not 1 but 6, from genetic studies

As much as we think we know a lot about the world, our all so familiar giraffe springs a small surprise on us. But soon, with lots of species dying out, once again, the cliche phrase is "we probably won't know what we have lost..." See BBC news link