The secret world of bottlenose dolphins, killer whales, and 10 other cetacean species have been graphically described in the new IMAX film “Dolphins and Whales 3D”. Produced by François Mantello. The film has some stunning underwater footage. Narrator Daryl Hannah does a terrific job. All the sequences were shot under water. None of the animals shown in the film were trained or captive. The wonderful film inspires people to take action to conserve the ocean.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Scientists have developed a barcode that can distinguish majority of the plant species. A small gene, gene matK located in the chloroplast of the plant, is the key to the bardode. DNA barcoding is already a well-established technique in animals. This may not work properly in hybrids as hybrids have their genome rearranged, which may confuse the information provided by matK. In future as sequencing technology gets faster and cheaper, hand held devices at ports and airports could check if illegal species are being transported. Currently, there are only a few experts that could accurately identity the plant composition of biodiversity hotspots in the world. This certainly would come as a big boost for conservation. This path breaking work is reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal
Sunday, February 03, 2008
An upcoming issue of Geophysical Research Letters has very interesting observations about Salmon. Led by geomorphologist Marwan Hassan of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver,Canada, the research opens up new info about various facets of Salmon migration unknown to us till now. The researchers found that the salmon account for up to 50% of the annual amount of sediment migration in a given stream. People have known for a long time that salmon dig up the stream bottoms. But it is the first time that details about how they do it are coming out. Sediment traps were used to track the movement of preplaced magnetized particles to study the effect of salmon digging up in four mountain streams in British Columbia. Oxygenation of the river is improved by this activity of Salmon. Multiplied by millions of salmon, and repeated year after year the shape of streambeds and the health of stream ecosystems are directly affected. The researchers feel that the fish could be shaping larger-scale valley features and even influencing landscape evolution.
The inputs for this post have come from ScienceNOW Daily News.
Saturday, February 02, 2008
World’s second largest wetlands reserve has been declared in Congo. This declaration is in tune with Ramsar convention. Named Grand Affluents wetland reserve, it comprises an area of 6 million hectares. This will help secure water and livelihoods for millions of people. Wild animals like elephants, hippopotamuses buffalos and many species of migratory bird stands benefited by this. Convention on Wetlands was first signed in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea on 2 February 1971.