On a largely uninhabited island (a cay) in Bahamas, the chief residents are less than a two-dozen feral pigs. The island is now more lovingly referred to as Pig Island. The origins of these island pigs are unknown. One story suggests hungry sailors dropped them off to fatten them up for a later feast only […] http://dlvr.it/4TQCy5
DEADLIEST CORAL NEAR YOU
Many types of coral, and thousands of marine animals have the ability to produce poison.
Zoanthids (Anthozoa, Hexacorallia) are colonial anemones that contain one of the deadliest toxins ever discovered, palytoxin (LD50 in mice 300 ng/kg), but it is generally believed that highly toxic species are not sold in the home aquarium trade. We previously showed that an unintentionally introduced zoanthid in a home aquarium contained high concentrations of palytoxin and was likely responsible for a severe respiratory reaction when an individual attempted to eliminate the contaminant colonies using boiling water.
Several of them are still very poorly understood and much remains to investigate, however, it is known that corals as Palythoa, is the most venomous coral there.
Can inject venom with a little dosis as 25 nanograms and kill a rabbit. 4 micrograms of toxins are enough to kill a adult man.
Venom enthusiasts know that the potency of poisons is measured using the LD-50 – the dose that will kill half a group of mice after a set time. The most venomous snake has an LD-50 of 25 micrograms per kilogram of body weight. For tetrodotoxin, the equivalent figure is 8 micrograms. For batrachotoxin, the poison from the skin of poison dart frogs, it’s 2-7 micrograms. For palytoxin, it’s 0.3 micrograms (or 300 nanograms).
Well, first off, killer whales are part of the family Delphinidae, which includes all oceanic dolphins. Here’s a phylogeny (note that it is split up into the Globicephalinae and Delphininae subfamilies- be careful not to get Delphininae mixed up with Delphinidae. Thanks, science.)
(Figure taken from this paper.)
So by that logic, you’d say “Yes, killer whales are dolphins.” But then of course we run into a problem, because a whole separate group of marine mammals are called dolphins- the river dolphins (superfamily Platanistoidea).
Like this cute lil Baiji.
And of course both Delphinidae and Platanistoidea fall under the suborder Odontoceti, the toothed whales, so there all of the sudden is your whale.
(Taken from this page.)
And this group includes things like the sperm whale, so it’s not like everything in Odontoceti is a dolphin- you wouldn’t call this handsome fellow a dolphin.
The Odontoceti have a sister suborder called the Mysticeti, the baleen whales, and that includes your humpback et cetera. They’re all together in the order Cetacea.
So if you’d consider everything in Cetacea a whale, then yes, dolphins are whales, and killer whales are dolphins if you consider everything in Delphinidae a dolphin. But the point is that the common names can refer to a bunch of different things that generally aren’t monophyletic- try narrowing down the common definition for ‘porpoise,’ which lots of people use to refer to dolphins, but which actually refers to a group of small cetaceans within Odontoceti (family Phocoenidae).
Basically, common names can be iffy; when in doubt look at the biological name and the phylogeny.
STOP USING PLASTIC WITHOUT ONE IMPORTANT REASON!
Marine debris can kill underwater life in many many ways. This summer the Basking Shark Scotland organization spotted a basking shark (Cetorhinus maximus) with rope around its nose. White abrasions can be seen where the rope has been cutting in and being in close proximity to the eye, must be damaging.
Remember that a sharks nose is a highly sensitive part of its body, an area where the sharks electro-senses are concentrated. There is no question that this fouling will have an effect on the shark. Imagine what it would be like to have something on a sensitive part of your body but not have the means to remove it!