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Butterfly

Scientists Discover New Coral Species in Galapagos Waters

Image
© Photograph: PR
A nudibranch rests against brightly coloured coral at the Wolf island site in the Galapagos.
Discovery of new species raises hopes that coral reefs may be more resilient to rising sea temperatures than previously thought.

Scientists have discovered three new coral species - and one that was thought to be extinct - in an extensive survey of reefs around the Galapagos Islands, raising hopes that reefs may be more resilient to rising sea temperatures than previously thought.

Honeycomb coral (Gardineroseris planulata) had apparently been wiped out in in 1997-98 by the last big El Niño event. This natural periodic event affects weather globally and another is expected this year. But the study around the relatively unexplored areas of the coasts of Wolf and Darwin islands to the north-west of the main archipelago turned up several separate colonies.

Fish

Alarming Invasion Of Round Goby Into Great Lakes Tributaries: Impact On Endangered Fishes 'Serious'

Image
© Yavno
This is a round goby.
A team of scientists from the University of Toronto, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and the University of Guelph has identified a drastic invasion of round goby into many Great Lakes tributaries, including several areas of the Thames, Sydenham, Ausable and Grand Rivers. A number of the affected areas are known as "species-at-risk" hot spots.

"This invasion poses many potential threats for native species of fish and mussels," says Mark Poos, a PhD Candidate in U of T's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Poos is lead author of the study published recently in the international journal Biological Invasions. Up to 89 per cent of fish species and 17 per cent of mussel species are either known or suspected to be affected by the goby invasion. Of particular concern is the impact on species that have a conservation designation, including such endangered species as the small eastern sand darter fish and mussels such as the wavy rayed lampmussel.

Butterfly

Where Did All the Flowers Come From?

Image
© Sangtae Kim/University of Florida
RARE PLANT Amborella trichopoda, a small shrub found only on the island of New Caledonia in the South Pacific, represents the oldest living lineage of flowering plants.

Throughout his life, Charles Darwin surrounded himself with flowers. When he was 10, he wrote down each time a peony bloomed in his father's garden. When he bought a house to raise his own family, he turned the grounds into a botanical field station where he experimented on flowers until his death. But despite his intimate familiarity with flowers, Darwin once wrote that their evolution was "an abominable mystery."

Darwin could see for himself how successful flowering plants had become. They make up the majority of living plant species, and they dominate many of the world's ecosystems, from rain forests to grasslands. They also dominate our farms. Out of flowers come most of the calories humans consume, in the form of foods like corn, rice and wheat. Flowers are also impressive in their sheer diversity of forms and colors, from lush, full-bodied roses to spiderlike orchids to calla lilies shaped like urns.

Bizarro Earth

Mexico: Earthquake Magnitude 5.0 - Veracruz

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Tuesday, September 08, 2009 at 05:14:33 UTC

Tuesday, September 08, 2009 at 12:14:33 AM at epicenter

Location:
17.737°N, 95.418°W

Depth:
113.6 km (70.6 miles)

Distances:
85 km (50 miles) SSW of San Andres Tuxtla, Veracruz, Mexico

85 km (50 miles) ESE of Tuxtepec, Oaxaca, Mexico

115 km (70 miles) WSW of Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, Mexico

435 km (270 miles) ESE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico

Bizarro Earth

Italy: Earthquake Magnitude 5.0 - Sicily

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Monday, September 07, 2009 at 21:26:31 UTC

Monday, September 07, 2009 at 11:26:31 PM at epicenter

Location:
38.652°N, 14.074°E

Depth:
10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

Distances:
85 km (50 miles) NE of Palermo, Sicily, Italy

140 km (85 miles) WNW of Messina, Sicily, Italy

155 km (95 miles) NW of Catania, Sicily, Italy

385 km (240 miles) SSE of ROME, Italy

Bizarro Earth

6.2 Earthquake Hits Northern Georgia

Image
© USGS
An earthquake of magnitude 6.2 has struck northern Georgia.

The US Geological Survey said the quake was 10km (6.2 miles) deep, and its epicentre was 80km from the city of Kutaisi, in the Oni area.

There have been no immediate reports of damage or casualties from the earthquake, which struck at 0341 local time (2241 GMT).

Attention

Abrupt reversal detected in Arctic cooling trend

The Arctic climate has been warmer over the past decade than during any 10-year period in 2,000 years, according to a study by an international research team that adds powerful new evidence that human-generated greenhouse gases have speeded the pace of the planet's recent warming.

The report from an international team of climate scientists concludes that climate change in the Arctic has accelerated since the Industrial Revolution, abruptly reversing a long-term worldwide cooling trend.

Bizarro Earth

Earthquake Magnitude 5.4 - Albania

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Sunday, September 06, 2009 at 21:49:42 UTC

Sunday, September 06, 2009 at 11:49:42 PM at epicenter

Location:
41.432°N, 20.385°E

Depth:
3.9 km (2.4 miles) (poorly constrained)

Distances:
50 km (30 miles) ENE of TIRANA, Albania

80 km (50 miles) SW of Tetovo, F.Y.R. of Macedonia

95 km (60 miles) WNW of Bitola, F.Y.R. of Macedonia

95 km (60 miles) NNW of Korce, Albania

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 3.0 - Northern Arizona

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Friday, September 04, 2009 at 06:01:01 UTC

Thursday, September 03, 2009 at 11:01:01 PM at epicenter

Location:
36.979°N, 112.400°W

Depth:
17 km (10.6 miles)

Distances:
11 km (7 miles) ENE (73°) from Fredonia, AZ

13 km (8 miles) ESE (118°) from Kanab, UT

25 km (16 miles) ENE (73°) from Kaibab, AZ

151 km (94 miles) E (82°) from Mesquite, NV

267 km (166 miles) ENE (70°) from Las Vegas, NV

Bizarro Earth

US: Earthquake Magnitude 4.0 - Central Coast of California

Image
© USGS
Date-Time:
Sunday, September 06, 2009 at 03:20:55 UTC

Saturday, September 05, 2009 at 08:20:55 PM at epicenter

Location:
35.559°N, 120.800°W

Depth:
5 km (3.1 miles)

Distances:
8 km (5 miles) W (274°) from Templeton, CA

13 km (8 miles) SW (236°) from Paso Robles, CA

14 km (9 miles) NW (306°) from Atascadero, CA

221 km (137 miles) SSE (153°) from San Jose City Hall, CA