Archive for October, 2011

Credit: Charles Taylor / Fotolia

I read this article about essences extracted from a prawn or octopus off the west coast of Norway that could end up as flavouring in noodle packages in China. Scientists are investigating marine organisms to find components or compounds that have commercial use. The potential results are particularly promising in relation to foodstuffs as well as for applications in medicine and the energy industry. This is interesting because there are millions of creatures out in the sea and who knows that could be extracted from them. Essences extracted from prawns and octopuses can be alternatives to gathering spices on land.

What do you think about this?

What other possible products can be made with essence extraction on sea creatures?

Consider how much noodle products are made in China. How do you think this can affect countries economically if they sold the extracts to China?

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I found an interesting article about how people found out that there have actually been more humpback whales in the ocean than we thought we’d have. They saw humpback whales swimming in the waters of the North Pacific Ocean. Hey, they’re whales, gotta love em. I thought that the dramatic increase in the population of whales (especial of humpback whales) was some shocking great news!

 

Researchers had said there were fewer than 20,000.  As they updated, they found out that there are actually more than 21,000, maybe even higher. It’s amazing how the humpback whale population can keep itself up from getting hunted down. Lately in the past, whaling has helped decreased the numbers in their population. In 1966, there had been around 1,400 humpback whales due to commercial whaling. How sad is that?

 

Are they going to be on the line of being endangered in the future again soon? How has the population on humpback whales been increasing?

 

Additional Site: http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/whales-humpback-antarctica-krill-1447/

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I read on this site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-west-wales-15065721 that there is an epidemic in wales. Pollution is turning river water orange. It was so polluted that around 40-50 fish have died and maybe even some smaller ones. They aren’t sure what’s making the river so polluted but they are trying to diagnose the problem. “Our priority is to minimize the impact of the pollution on the local environment and investigate how and why this has happened.” The discoloration in the water is said to be from rust, and it will take some time to clear up, but there really isn’t a solution for it since PH tests indicate that there is no need for lime dosage.

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While reading this article I thought it was crazy when the article said that we would maybe be able to turn coral into a pill and be able to use it as a sunscreen. Scientists are wanting to gather coral’s defense system against the suns harmful ultraviolet rays to make a sunscreen pill for us humans. Scientists have studied a couple samples of endangered Acropora coral they believe they can synthetically replicate in the lab the key compounds they say tests on human skin could be soon. But before they are able to create a tablet version a team led by Dr. Paul Long are planning for it to be tested as a lotion first before they go forward with this idea. To do this they are going to copy the genetic code the coral uses to make the generic compounds and then going to out it into bacteria in the lab so that it can rapidly replicate to produce large amounts.

Do you think this is going to be a good idea knowing that this species of coral is endangered?

Do you think that that it will be healthy for your body’s system to eat this type of pill?

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Leafy Sea Dragon

 

Weedy Sea Dragon

I was reading this article about a fish called the Sea dragon.  A kind of fish that’s pretty close in relation to the seahorse or the pipefish.  There are two different kinds of the sea dragon there’s a weedy dragon and the leafy dragon.  These fish are covered in leaf-like appendages all over their bodies, and are perfectly outfitted to blend into the seaweed and kelp formations that they’re surrounded by.  Leafy dragons are generally brownish yellow in body color with  remarkable olive colored appendages. Weedy dragons have a less lively look  and are usually a reddish color, sometimes with yellow spots.  Leafies can get up to about 13- 14 inches long while the Weedies can get up to 18 inches.  These fish have very long, skinny snouts and also very thin tails which they use for gripping.  They will usually drift along with the current like seaweed but they have small transparent dorsal fins that help them swim.

Ive never seen anything like a sea dragon before and i thought they were pretty interesting and also pretty cool to look at.

Do you think there are any other species of fish that are similar to sea dragons?

http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/fish/sea-dragon/

 

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Did you know that it is the male penguin that makes the nest and cares for the baby eggs?  I learned in this article http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/15305502that the males the one who builds nests. The penguins in Ross Island, Antarctica are the builders and care givers in the family.  This group of penguins has over 250000 males and then the females and a ton of juvenile birds. They said that the noise that is made by penguins hurts their ear.  The males build nests with rocks.  The males with the nicest nests attract the females.  The photographers who were there tried to get video of the penguins building their nests, however there are so many it’s hard to get them without other penguins getting in the way.  They finally got video of a male building the perfect nest.  He would gather rocks and put his nest together.  Every time is an effort of futility for that poor guy. All of his efforts to attract a nice female were gone every time he leaves to get more rocks. Lesson learned, don’t turn your back.

How long does it take for a penguin egg to hatch?

How cold do you think the male penguins’ feet get staying in one spot holding the egg?

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As noted in this article, a new trend has been identified in the whale population by marine biologists in the North Pacific region. Previously, commercial whaling had reduced the humpback whale population to just less than 1,400. But since the time that census was taken in 1966, the number of whales has skyrocketed to approximately 21,000: a substantial improvement.

This number was first reported in a 2008 statistical study known by the acronym SPLASH (Structure of Populations, Levels of Abundance and Status of Humpbacks). SPLASH began as a three year project, undertaken by researchers and NOAA scientists from all over the world, including Russia, Japan, United States, Mexico, Guatemala and Canada. The methodology consisted primarily of analyzing photographs taken in known population areas and feeding grounds for humpback whales. The tails of the humpbacks (known as flukes) were analyzed due to their distinct pattern, and 21,000 differentiating patterns were identified.

Jay Barlow, Marine Mammal Biologist for the NOAA, noted that the results of the study were very promising stating, “These improved numbers are encouraging, especially after we have reduced most of the biases inherent in any statistical model.” It has been postulated that these statistics produce a most conservative estimate, as not all population areas are known and increases are believed to have been “across the board.”

Several questions remain regarding both how this survey was carried out and how this should be interpreted: Could there any problems inherent in the methodology used? What might an increasing whale population entail for the ecosystem as a whole? Would these impacts be positive or negative? How long will it take for these whales to surpass their carrying capacity?

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Beneath the headwaters of Bristol Bay lies one of the worlds largest gold and copper deposits.  But Bristol Bay also has one of Americas largest Salmon runs ever.  Some people say at least 12000 jobs related to the salmon there would be lost.  The Department of Fish and Game said they had recorded over 40 million salmon swam through Bristol Bay last year.  If the miners were given the go ahead to start drilling in that area some would say that they would destroy that entire salmon run for ever.  They would dig a 2 mile crater 3.2 miles wide and thousands of feet deep just to get the gold and copper.  Bristol Bay fisherman and resident of the area  Anuska Wysoki says her and thousands of others would be forced to move to cities and other towns far away from where they had grown up fishing to find new jobs.  They do not have to do that now because they have fishing for a steady income.  Pebble mine said that they would have over 2,000 job opportunities for people but in a 30 year span that number would drop to around only 1000.  As some would say, “You can’t eat gold.”

What do you think they should do build the mine or not?

Do you think it would really damage the Salmon run?

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I read this article about Japanese debris floating our way after the devastating tsunami that hit Japan in March. Having dumped millions of tons of debris into the Pacific this was expected. Researcher Nikolai Maximenko built and are testing their new computer model of ocean currents to predict where the debris might end up. It seems a little scary that soon we will have unwanted debris flooding our shores, that could possibly be radioactive. I know it seems like we are safe way up here in Alaska, but knowing from trying to clean the beaches at Kayak Island, there is a lot of junk from all over the world that washes up on our beaches. Debris is expected to fall  on the Midway Islands this winter.

What kind of impact will this have on marine life?

What unexpected dangers will follow with this problem?

http://www.livescience.com/16599-japan-tsunami-debris-pacific.html

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I was reading this article about the turtles in Australia. Australian turtles are very demure, but when that times comes, they loose their fears and they become accustomed to people. They also recognize their food from where it comes from. They live 135 million years ago, but the time comes turtle are going to dye, because they are old. Most turtles I know is very shy and timid, because if they heard somebody coming to them they’re going to hide on their shell. I like turtles because they are a good pet even they are always hiding on their shells, and also I like turtles because they are slow to walk.

When I was a child I thought big turtles can eat people, because their face is very scary. And one day my friend bring a turtle in school but this is a small turtle and after I saw the turtle I was so scared because my friend throw the turtle at me. I was shock and I run out of our class room to go drink a water. This is in Philippines 8 years ago I was grade 4 that my friend did that to me. But when I’m grade 6 we study about the turtles and that lesson I learned that the big turtles can not eat people. After that day I’m not scared on turtles. I wish I have turtle.

Do you think that the turtles can live on the dry land in long time period?

Do you think turtles can help us our problem in Ocean?

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