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Old 25th October 2019, 12:26 AM   #451164  /  #551
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Old 25th October 2019, 12:30 AM   #451168  /  #552
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSG View Post
https://www.sciencenews.org/article/...ling-asteroid

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Within 700,000 years after the impact, for instance, some mammals had grown to be 100 times as heavy as the original survivors, researchers report online October 24 in Science.
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Old 25th October 2019, 01:12 AM   #451171  /  #553
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The concretions holding fossil skulls is so cool - like it's your birthday and you get a surprise present when you open the nodule.
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Old 25th October 2019, 03:09 AM   #451173  /  #554
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there were on a high mineral diet
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Old 25th October 2019, 08:38 AM   #451194  /  #555
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Where are the shearwaters? https://abc.net.au/news/2019-10-05/m...chers/11572220

Quote:
Each year, hundreds of thousands of short-tailed shearwaters descend on Victoria's coastline to breed following a mammoth journey which takes two months to complete.

The birds spend the northern summer around Alaska, before travelling 15,000 kilometres to Australia where they arrive with precision.

For the past 30 years, the south-west Victorian population has arrived at Griffiths Island, near Port Fairy, a day either side of September 22.

But this year, the date came and went without the usual flurry of activity.
better late than never https://www.penguins.org.au/news/lat...w-news-page-33

I'm assuming that if they've made it as far as Phillip Island they'll be reaching Port Fairy as well; after 15,000 Km across the Pacific Ocean a few hundred kilometres is neither here nor there (PI is east of N?yfb and PF is west)
Spoke too soon https://abc.net.au/news/2019-10-25/m...sland/11627720

Quote:
Key points:
Fewer than 100 of the usual 40,000 mutton birds have arrived at Victoria's Griffiths Island
The Environment Department says it's unlikely the birds will appear this year, given they're now one month late
But a university professor says the birds are remarkably resilient and there's no reason to panic yet

Last edited by MSG; 25th October 2019 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 21st November 2019, 09:01 PM   #452827  /  #556
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Using environmental DNA to detect endangered species https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03522-3

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Old 23rd November 2019, 02:17 AM   #452859  /  #557
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/grrlsci.../#41a826c033e1

Quote:
“In our new paper, we show that for migratory songbirds only 8% of conservation plans acknowledge sexual segregation exists and only 3% actually developed conservation strategies for both males and females,” said lead author of the study, avian ecologist Ruth Bennett.
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Old 23rd November 2019, 07:16 PM   #452868  /  #558
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More on the shearwaters https://www.theguardian.com/environm...arwater-deaths
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Old 28th December 2019, 06:56 AM   #454862  /  #559
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Quote:
The fossils reveal an unexpected diversity of tufted hair-like ‘proto-feathers’ from meat-eating dinosaurs, together with downy body feathers, and wing feathers from primitive birds that would have been used for flight.

The finds were all entombed in fine muddy sediments that accumulated at the bottom of a shallow lake close to the South Pole during the Age of Dinosaurs.

“Dinosaur skeletons and even the fragile bones of early birds have been found at ancient high-latitudes before,” Dr. Kear said.

“Yet, to date, no directly attributable integumentary remains have been discovered to show that dinosaurs used feathers to survive in extreme polar habitats.”

“These Australian fossil feathers are therefore highly significant because they came from dinosaurs and small birds that were living in a seasonally very cold environment with months of polar darkness every year.”

The fossil feathers were discovered in the Koonwarra Fish Beds Geological Reserve, which is a heritage listed site 145 km southeast of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia.
- http://www.sci-news.com/paleontology...rds-07800.html

also: https://www.sciencealert.com/palaeon...rs-toasty-warm
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Old 15th January 2020, 09:23 PM   #455580  /  #560
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https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/...64?pfmredir=ms

Quote:

As well as the huge seabird die-off, the researchers believe the marine heatwave caused the mass mortality of a suite of other fish, mammal and bird species during 2014?17.

During the period that the blob persisted off the coast of the US, production of phytoplankton or microscopic algae dropped, and "the largest harmful algal bloom in recorded history" stretched from California to the Gulf of Alaska in 2015, the researchers said.

"A massive die-off of planktivorous Cassin's auklets [seabirds] occurred from Central California to British Columbia in the winter of 2014-15, a marked increase in mortality of [sea lions] was noted in Southern California, and an unusually large die-off of baleen whales occurred in the Gulf of Alaska in 2015?16," they wrote in their paper, published today in PLOS ONE.
https://journals.plos.org/plosone/ar...l.pone.0226087

Quote:
About 62,000 dead or dying common murres (Uria aalge), the trophically dominant fish-eating seabird of the North Pacific, washed ashore between summer 2015 and spring 2016 on beaches from California to Alaska. Most birds were severely emaciated and, so far, no evidence for anything other than starvation was found to explain this mass mortality. Three-quarters of murres were found in the Gulf of Alaska and the remainder along the West Coast. Studies show that only a fraction of birds that die at sea typically wash ashore, and we estimate that total mortality approached 1 million birds. About two-thirds of murres killed were adults, a substantial blow to breeding populations. Additionally, 22 complete reproductive failures were observed at multiple colonies region-wide during (2015) and after (2016?2017) the mass mortality event. Die-offs and breeding failures occur sporadically in murres, but the magnitude, duration and spatial extent of this die-off, associated with multi-colony and multi-year reproductive failures, is unprecedented and astonishing. These events co-occurred with the most powerful marine heatwave on record that persisted through 2014?2016 and created an enormous volume of ocean water (the ?Blob?) from California to Alaska with temperatures that exceeded average by 2?3 standard deviations. Other studies indicate that this prolonged heatwave reduced phytoplankton biomass and restructured zooplankton communities in favor of lower-calorie species, while it simultaneously increased metabolically driven food demands of ectothermic forage fish. In response, forage fish quality and quantity diminished. Similarly, large ectothermic groundfish were thought to have increased their demand for forage fish, resulting in greater top-predator demands for diminished forage fish resources. We hypothesize that these bottom-up and top-down forces created an ?ectothermic vise? on forage species leading to their system-wide scarcity and resulting in mass mortality of murres and many other fish, bird and mammal species in the region during 2014?2017.
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Old 16th January 2020, 12:57 PM   #455587  /  #561
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I read that article last night. Still feel awful.
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Old 17th January 2020, 06:16 AM   #455602  /  #562
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https://theconversation.com/australi...and-why-127523

Quote:
With our colleagues Dirk Holman and Aleks Terauds, we recently developed a technique to non-invasively estimate the body condition of Australian sea lions by using a drone to collect high-resolution photos of sedated sea lions. We then used the photos to digitally reconstruct a 3D model of each animal to estimate its length, width and overall volume – and compared these to physical measurements.


- https://www.sciencedirect.com/scienc...5?dgcid=author

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Old 17th January 2020, 01:16 PM   #455609  /  #563
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Neat.

They look like oddly shaped penguins from above.
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Old 23rd January 2020, 06:39 AM   #455726  /  #564
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https://theconversation.com/australi...yndrome-129186

Quote:
White‐nose syndrome has recently decimated bat populations across North America. While the fungal pathogen responsible for this disease, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, currently doesn?t occur in Australia, the fungus is virtually certain to jump continents in the next decade.

Our recent research, published in the journal Austral Ecology, attempted to quantify this risk ? and the results are not encouraging. Up to eight bat species occupy caves in south-eastern Australia that provide conditions suitable for the fungus to grow.


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Old 23rd January 2020, 02:07 PM   #455732  /  #565
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Wikipedia notes the fungus spreads via contact bat to bat, and it can persist on human clothing. There is some evidence human cavers have introduced it to various hibernariums.

Australia should consider keeping people out of such places. I saw maybe two or three bats last summer after a couple decades of seeing dozens to hundreds every evening in summer. Two hibernariums near me were wiped out.
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