Articles and Comments - Biology, Botanics, And Zoology

Articles, essays and comments related to biological sciences, botanics, and zoology, and regarding different ecosystems, both as information as well as scientifically-oriented.

The Existence Of Flying Dragons - Many people without education in mathematics find it hard to understand how odds and probabilities shape our world, and how it is that seemingly impossible things happen.

New Research Shows How Much Food is Needed by Seabirds - An international group of scientists, including one from the U.S. Geological Survey, has shown that many seabirds begin to suffer when the food available for them in the ocean declines below a critical level. This level is about one-third of the maximum amount of food available historically. They have shown that this critical level is about the same for seabirds wherever they happen to be in the world. Their study – the most comprehensive ever undertaken – covers birds from the Arctic to the Antarctic and from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

How To Define A Zebra - Zebras are related to horses, but these, in turn, are not well known despite the fact that we think we know them: scientists still don't agree on what exactly is a horse and where does the species come from. People invest and spend millions in horses every year, people bet on them and we have them living with us, but we don't know them for sure.

Irukandis And Portuguese Frigates - Not all exotic animals are amicable, peaceful or useful for us; an encounter with a jellyfish like the Portuguese Frigate or the smallish Irukandi that inhabits in the Coral Sea, near Australia can be deadly even for adult people.

Exobiology's Roulette - It is a statistical fact that as the number of iterations of any probable event increase, odds tend to become something more like certainty than anything else; so, in an universe that were really infinite there would be no odds but certain things, and assuming that ours is just that, then in order to expand our knowledge and understanding about it we should start to assume that some things, like the probability of life outside Earth, should be considered as a fact.

Cryptozoology - We ought to admit it: in our world, incredible things happen. Not only you can become rich in a casino or by means of winning the lottery; it is even possible to discover unbelievable things like an unknown animal, a new species, a treasure and even that the people that we think we know, really prove to be other people.

Creationism, Odds, Biology And Games - Many people without education in mathematics find it hard to understand how odds and probabilities shape our world, and how it is that seemingly impossible things happen.

Salt Water Alone Unlikely to Halt Burmese Python Invasion - Invasive Burmese python hatchlings from the Florida Everglades can withstand exposure to salt water long enough to potentially expand their range through ocean and estuarine environments, according to research in the latest issue of the Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology.

Get Fit To Gather Food - The archer fish of the Australian manglars shows how far nature could go to adapt animals just to eat.

Why Didn't The Egyptians Build Pyramids In Paris? - It is interesting to think about the possible reasons that precluded such an advanced society from establishing colonies thorough the Mediterranean, and the answer might just be found in the local botanical landscape.

Creationism Is A Belief And Not A Scientific Theory - Creationism is absurd, but not because it contradicts a scientific dogma like the ideas we have on the evolution of species, but because it pretends to force reality to fit a model of beliefs.

Creationism Versus Respectable Science and Belief - I think that what is true is simple and does not need neither so much activism nor twisted interpretations of science, law and so on; if creationism is unable to convince the modern human about the origin of life, it may just be that it should be forgotten altogether as a way of respecting both science and belief.

The Alleged Theory of Intelligent Design Does Not Belong To Science, And Not Even To Religion - These crude, subdued attempts to shape other people's thoughts since childhood on the basis of lying have nothing of science, and nothing of religion and love for God; it is just fanaticism.

How Ingenuity Saved The Life Of A Pope And The Political Structure Of Europe - For the medieval mind, the fact that the Pope himself could fall victim to God's fury would have been utterly devastating, and it almost happened.

Fire As A Local Environmental Cleanser And Countermeasure Against Infections - If you ever spent a night outdoors, in a swampy area, cold or tropical but filled with small insects, you surely know what it means to be attacked by swarms of mosquitoes, flies and other exasperating creations of nature; a good use of fire will save you from such a disgrace.

Slight Changes in Climate May Trigger Abrupt Ecosystem Responses - Slight changes in climate may trigger major abrupt ecosystem responses that are not easily reversible. Some of these responses, including insect outbreaks, wildfire, and forest dieback, may adversely affect people as well as ecosystems and their plants and animals.

A brief reflection on science and your vocation - Something to think about science and all other vocations; convince yourself that you should pursue what is calling you.

Commonly used atrazine herbicide adversely affects fish reproduction - Atrazine, one of the most commonly used herbicides in the world, has been shown to affect reproduction of fish, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study.

The true human environment - Ideas and debates about the factors that affect our environment and lives.

NOAA: Past decade warmest on record according to scientists in 48 countries - Earth has been growing warmer for more than fifty years - The 2009 State of the Climate report released recently draws on data for 10 key climate indicators that all point to the same finding: the scientific evidence that our world is warming is unmistakable. More than 300 scientists from 160 research groups in 48 countries contributed to the report, which confirms that the past decade was the warmest on record and that the Earth has been growing warmer over the last 50 years.

Fallen Leaves, Precipitation Add Similar Amounts of Mercury to the Environment - Fallen autumn leaves transfer as much, if not more, hazardous mercury from the atmosphere to the environment as does precipitation each year, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey research.

Common Parasite Potentially Increases Risk of Brain Cancers - A common parasite may be worth investigating as a risk factor for brain cancers, according to a new geographic analysis by researchers from a French infectious disease institute and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Climate Adaptation of Rice - Symbiogenics: A new strategy for reducing climate impacts on plants.

Culprit Identified: Fungus Causes Deadly Bat Disease - The appropriately named fungus Geomyces destructans is the cause of deadly white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats, according to research published today in the journal Nature.

Earth as art: Portraits from the studio of space - For most of us, deserts, mountains, river valleys, coastlines - even dry lakebeds - are familiar features of the Earth's landscape. For earth scientists, they are the focus of considerable research. But viewed from the unconventional perspective of space, Earth's geographic attributes can also be surprisingly beautiful.

Extent and Speed of Lionfish Spread Unprecedented - The rapid spread of lionfishes along the U.S. eastern seaboard, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean is the first documented case of a non-native marine fish establishing a self-sustaining population in the region, according to recent U.S. Geological Survey studies.

Scientific Literature Review Finds Opportunities for More Research on Solar Energy Development and Impacts to Wildlife - More peer-reviewed scientific studies of the effects on wildlife of large-scale solar energy developments and operations are needed to adequately assess their impact, especially in the desert Southwest, according to a scientific literature review conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey and published in the journal BioScience.

The Casino Of Meteorology And Life On Earth - If you think about thunder and thunderstorms, far from seeing them as threatening, you should see that they are beneficial and luck bringers; without them, life on Earth would have never appeared or developed.

Notes On Picking Fossils (I) - Picking fossils may be interesting, but sometimes is agaist the law, especially if the extraction is intended for sale.

Five Of The Top 100 Bird Watching Areas In The United States (I) - Bird watching stakes claim as America's number one hobby.

A Gardener's Diary (I) - Have you ever thought about keeping a gardener's diary to record what you plant and where you plant it?

Fashion and nature - Something to think about fashion and nature.

Natural products - Something to think about natural products.

How To Stimulate The Intelligence Of Domestic Animals (I) - Did you ever thought about stimulating the intelligence of animals by treating them as human beings?

How Cats And Wasps Relate To Each Other - The most similar ting to a cosmic cat in which we can think about is the monster of the Alien movie series, starring Sigourney Weaver, among others. In reality, it seems that H.R. Giger, the creator of the monster was really thinking about a sort of cosmic cat-wasp combination, arguing that both the cat and the wasp are the most self-sufficient predators in the animal kingdom.

I Remembered Today About Crocodiles - There are strange animals that you can find in different parts of the world, like the Gavial, or Indian crocodile.

Outdoors / Ecology, Nature and Environment - Ecological problems, their possible solutions and feasible and sustainable measures that you can take in order to contribute to care for and improve the relationship between humankind and the environment.

Ecology, Nature and Environment / Genetically Engineered (GE)

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Society / Globalisation / Antiglobalisation - Corporate and gubernamental political players worldwide support globalisation. People in general, however, tend to oppose this process as it unfolds now, causing widespread hunger, unemployment and poverty while less than 5% of humankind benefits from it.

Outdoor Activities / Exploration and Expeditions - Whether your interest lies within expeditions and trips or you want to learn about different uncharted places, tricks of the trade and possibilities, start reading this section.

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