Ecology & Zoology
To celebrate International Cephalopod Awareness Days
, I decided to comb through all the cephalopod news since last October (and there's been quite a bit of it) to bring you the top ten essential, not-to-be missed
stories of cephalopod science and culture. The theme of 2012 seems to have been the discovery of unexpected and slightly embarrassing habits . . .
Every year, anywhere from 100 million to 1 billion American birds are thought to die after colliding with windows. Planners and builders have tried a variety of techniques to reduce collisions, but, according to a trio of researchers from the University of Alberta, these mitigation efforts are ultimately stymied by a poor understanding of what environmental conditions encourage collisions in the first place.
Seven species of vulnerable sharks and manta rays have now been submitted by 35 countries for consideration for protection next year under an international treaty concerned with regulating wildlife trade.
Governments met the deadline today and formally submitted their proposals for the meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in March 2013. The recommendations include porbeagle and oceanic whitetip sharks, three species of hammerhead sharks, and two types of manta rays. For nearly 40 years, CITES has shielded thousands of plants and animals from overexploitation through international trade, and the treaty is widely considered one of the best-enforced international conservation agreements.
In India most of the marine mammal records come from stranding and accidental catch in trawls and purse seine. There are two main habitat of marine mammals in India, (1) Arabian Sea on the western coast with a wide continental shelf and constant salinity, and (2) Bay of Bengal with narrow continental shelf and fluctuating salinity. Both the habitats provide optimum living condition for tropical marine mammals as there are few Islands and submarine features which offers less hindrance in their movement.
A couple of weeks ago ago, a debate about the existence of scavenging cephalopods broke out on the cephalopod mailing list
. A few days later, such a creature appeared
in the news
as if conjured!
A grad student had e-mailed the ceph-list because he’d found a website that claimed “most cephalopods are active hunters while some are scavengers.” He couldn’t think of any scavenging cephalopods, and wanted to know if anyone else could.
Thinking of some amazing organisms in a sandy beach, the sand bubbler crab always comes in mind. Dotilla clepsydrodactylus, the sand bubbler crab, is the one crab which makes the beaches more beautiful by displaying its marvelous art.
While walking on beaches in Andaman Islands, India, during low tide we can savor the beautiful designs done by these crabs. So, why and how these crabs design like this? The answer is: food!! These crabs have no idea that they are making beautiful designs for us. They are so ignorant that they design pretty well!
I had one of a kind experience when I went to a very beautiful beach in south Andaman. The whole beach was populated with the sand crabs, Ocipode quadrata, the ghost crab, Dotilla myctiroides , soldier crab and the most important Dotilla clepsydrodactylus, the sand crab. The sandy beach is the only habitat these crabs are comfortable as they pop in and pop out of their burrow in every low and high tide respectively, which make them the perfect organism to sense the rise and fall of the tide. I was in Andamans for two years from July 2006 to May 2008, where I did M. Sc. inn Marine Biology. I liked the island so much that it became one of my dream to write on the marine biodiveristy of the island, it might turn into a book someday.
Conservationists and managers are not only interested in current environmental conditions, but also those that may develop in the future. Processes such as urbanization and human population expansion, for example, might eventually reduce the usefulness of some currently high-quality habitats. This possibility is particularly worrisome when the impacted species are threatened or endangered.
While organic farmers like to claim the boom in agriculture of the last 30 years was not related to science, history says otherwise.
The last few decades have seen the rise of a new field of research known as "conservation physiology," in which researchers use endocrine approaches to investigate whether anthropogenic activities are stressful to wild animals. To quantify physiological stress, scientists collect plasma, urine, saliva, and/or fecal samples and see whether variations in hormones--glucocorticoids, in particular--are associated with changes in the external environment.