Poison Dart Frog with Tadpoles
Many species of poison dart frog are dedicated parents. The eggs are usually laid on the forest floor amongst leaf litter. Once the eggs hatch, the parents transport the tadpoles away from the dangerous ground to a safer environment such as a water filled bromeliad or tree hole. The tadpoles cling onto mucus on the parent’s back. The female will visit her young every few days and deposits unfertilised eggs for her tadpoles to eat.
Lee on Flickr

Poison Dart Frog with Tadpoles

Many species of poison dart frog are dedicated parents. The eggs are usually laid on the forest floor amongst leaf litter. Once the eggs hatch, the parents transport the tadpoles away from the dangerous ground to a safer environment such as a water filled bromeliad or tree hole. The tadpoles cling onto mucus on the parent’s back. The female will visit her young every few days and deposits unfertilised eggs for her tadpoles to eat.

Lee on Flickr

Poison Dart Frog

Poison dart frogs consist of the family Dendrobatidae and are native to the rainforests of South and Central America. They are known for their bright colours and toxic secretions, which have been used by indigenous cultures to create poisonous darts for hunting.

The conspicuous colorations and patterns of the frogs warns potential predators of their toxicity. It is hypothesised that the frogs gain their poisons from their diet, which can consist of ants, centipedes and mites. In captivity, frogs which are reared on diets without these alkaloid poisons have a significantly lower level of toxins.

Around 4 species are used by indigenous peoples to lace darts with deadly toxins. The frogs are carefully exposed to fire, which causes them to exude a poisonous fluid. The tips of arrows and darts are soaked in this fluid and will remain deadly for 2 years.

Geoff Gallice, Drriss & Marrionn on Flickr

Bicolour Parrotfish (Cetoscarus bicolor)
Parrotfish are a family of wrasses that can be found in coral reefs, rocky coasts and seagrass beds. They play a significant role in a process known as bioerosion.
Bioerosion refers to to the breaking down of hard marine substrates by organisms. The parrotfish is known to ingest coral, eating the edible polyps while crushing and excreting the inedible portions as sand. Their teeth grow continuously to replace material worn down by this feeding. Additionally, they have teeth located in their throat which can grind up coral chunks into sand.
One parrotfish can produce up to 90 kg of sand a year. They play an essential role in their ecosystem by preventing overgrowth of coral and creating and distributing coral sands.
Richard Ling on Flickr

Bicolour Parrotfish (Cetoscarus bicolor)

Parrotfish are a family of wrasses that can be found in coral reefs, rocky coasts and seagrass beds. They play a significant role in a process known as bioerosion.

Bioerosion refers to to the breaking down of hard marine substrates by organisms. The parrotfish is known to ingest coral, eating the edible polyps while crushing and excreting the inedible portions as sand. Their teeth grow continuously to replace material worn down by this feeding. Additionally, they have teeth located in their throat which can grind up coral chunks into sand.

One parrotfish can produce up to 90 kg of sand a year. They play an essential role in their ecosystem by preventing overgrowth of coral and creating and distributing coral sands.

Richard Ling on Flickr

Scientists Successfully Implant Lungs into Fish
Scientists have successfully created a goldfish that is capable of breathing atmospheric air. Using advanced microsurgery techniques, researchers at the New South Wales Veterinary Institute implanted a pair of frog lungs into the fish, which survived out of water for 2 hours.
The lungs were connected to the respiratory surface that were naturally found in the gills. The fish was able to conduct gas exchange through the lungs instead of the gills, which allowed it to breath in a terrestrial environment. A very humid chamber was constructed for the goldfish so that it did not dehydrate.
Find out more
Image: KSL.org

April fools

Scientists Successfully Implant Lungs into Fish

Scientists have successfully created a goldfish that is capable of breathing atmospheric air. Using advanced microsurgery techniques, researchers at the New South Wales Veterinary Institute implanted a pair of frog lungs into the fish, which survived out of water for 2 hours.

The lungs were connected to the respiratory surface that were naturally found in the gills. The fish was able to conduct gas exchange through the lungs instead of the gills, which allowed it to breath in a terrestrial environment. A very humid chamber was constructed for the goldfish so that it did not dehydrate.

Find out more

Image: KSL.org

April fools

Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus 

Octopus paxarbolis (and Broad-winged Hawk)

An intelligent and inquisitive being , the tree octopus explores its arboreal world by both touch and sight. Adaptations its ancestors originally evolved in the three dimensional environment of the sea have been put to good use in the spatially complex maze of the coniferous Olympic rainforests. The challenges and richness of this environment may account for the tree octopus’s advanced behavioral development.

The tree octopus is listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species as critically endangered. This is due to factors including the loss of natural habitat and predation from introduced species such as house cats.

Learn More
Photos by Galen Leeds

not April fools. This one is legit
Genetically Modified Corn Responds to ‘Pain’
Scientists in Australia have been successful in creating the world’s first case of plant perception in a recently created artificial strain of corn.
The corn, known as “XB59” has had DNA from mice incorporated into its own genetic makeup and was originally manufactured to become a new strain of superior, faster growing food crop.
The geneticists Ryan Jamison and Rhonda Carl recently published their paper, “Sensory perceptions in the GM corn XB59”, in Biotech of Tomorrow, a leading international peer reviewed journal. In it, they detail experiments done to show that the crops are able to associate ‘painful’ activities such as cutting or burning with death.
According to Jamison, “when [the plants] are exposed to harmful stimuli, they exhibit signs of withdrawal such as wilting or localised death”.
XB59 has been hailed within the GMO industry as a modern food crop, which is able to produce profitable produce twice as fast as traditional corn. 
Despite its agricultural success, some groups have expressed apprehension towards what they perceive as “plant sentience”. Edna Krause, spokesperson for AIFN said in an interview with the Omicron that “the GMO industry must tread carefully when it comes to modifying crops. … This has the potential to create a whole new field of ethical violations.”
Read the full article

 April fools

Genetically Modified Corn Responds to ‘Pain’

Scientists in Australia have been successful in creating the world’s first case of plant perception in a recently created artificial strain of corn.

The corn, known as “XB59” has had DNA from mice incorporated into its own genetic makeup and was originally manufactured to become a new strain of superior, faster growing food crop.

The geneticists Ryan Jamison and Rhonda Carl recently published their paper, “Sensory perceptions in the GM corn XB59”, in Biotech of Tomorrow, a leading international peer reviewed journal. In it, they detail experiments done to show that the crops are able to associate ‘painful’ activities such as cutting or burning with death.

According to Jamison, “when [the plants] are exposed to harmful stimuli, they exhibit signs of withdrawal such as wilting or localised death”.

XB59 has been hailed within the GMO industry as a modern food crop, which is able to produce profitable produce twice as fast as traditional corn. 

Despite its agricultural success, some groups have expressed apprehension towards what they perceive as “plant sentience”. Edna Krause, spokesperson for AIFN said in an interview with the Omicron that “the GMO industry must tread carefully when it comes to modifying crops. … This has the potential to create a whole new field of ethical violations.”

Read the full article

April fools

Coral Fungi

I saw this cool clump of fungi while I was out walking yesterday. It belongs to the clavarioid group of fungi, commonly known as coral fungi.

© via Flickr