Browsing articles from "February, 2012"
Feb 17, 2012
Penny

Necklace of death: Here’s what ocean waste does to marine animals (VIDEO)

A video made by Alaska Department of Fish and Game shows how oceans waste threaten marine animal lives.

A study on a species of seal called the Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus), an endangered species living on the coast of southeastern Alaska, found that, often, these animals die from plastic or rubber bands that their hook or fishing gear used to catch salmon.

Between 2000 and 2007, researchers found 386 cases where animals died because of waste, but the number of victims seems to be much higher. In addition, experts argue that the same is true for other species of mammals, seabirds and turtles.

In Alaskan waters, Steller sea lions, northern fur seals well (Callorhinus ursinus) are the animals most affected by marine litter. However, unlike sea lions, seals Nordic seem to swallow hooks.

During an investigation, the scientists found that a population made up of nearly 500,000 seals that live on the island Pribilof northern summer and autumn, 100 copies were damaged waste.

Experts explained that in these areas, where sea currents converge, forming islands of waste that fish prefer them because they provide shelter. So the seals that eat these fish end up Foraging in piles of debris, injuring it. If adults are injured in search of food, babies become trapped in trying to play with the cable loop or plastic, which come as some loops.

To stop the disaster, under the slogan “Lose the Loop” (“Escape the trap”), experts recommend that before putting them away, to cut to pieces any cable or plastic debris that might catch these animals. Other proposed solutions to reduce the volume of waste discarded by ships and any material that could wrap around the neck of an animal.

Feb 16, 2012
Penny

Know why zebras have stripes? Scientists do!

The reason why zebras have evolved to have those black and white stripes that characterize them was a matter of dispute among scientists for decades. Now, a team of researchers from Hungary and Sweden announced deciphering the mystery.

Streaks are meant to keep away hematophagous flies, scientists say. The study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology shows that the pattern created by black and white stripes like zebras are becoming unattractive to the “insect-vampire”.

The secret lies in how it reflects light striped pattern.

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Feb 7, 2012
Penny

Back When Sahara Was Green and Fertile

Sahara! For everyone, this word evokes the desert: a desert of sand and stone, with hot sun, a world almost barren, hot and dry to the destruction of every living thing. The obstinacy with which we cling to this image, remember that the Sahara is still alive – some animals and plants adapted to these extreme miracle – that there are oases where water feeds plantations, animals and humans and protects the centuries life settlements.

More than we could imagine the whole Sahara as a green and fertile plains. However, this land, which is now for us all, Desert, was once – in a few thousand years ago – a huge green expanse, replete with vigor, swarming of animals and inhabited by people who enjoyed this abundance and living on her account. What happened to that haven?

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Feb 6, 2012
Penny

Earth’s oceans more acid in last 200 years than in earlier 21,000 years

New research conducted by specialists from the University of Hawaii came to a shocking conclusion: carbon emissions of anthropogenic origin have caused ocean acidification at a rate greater than natural.

This will lead to the extinction of many organisms that live in Earth’s waters, the most affected being mollusks and corals.

In certain regions of the planet, the acidity increased more in the last two centuries earlier than 21,000 years, the study said.

Increased acidity of oceans makes it difficult to build protective layers they need to survive among mollusks and corals.

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