ORCAS AND OTHER ANIMALS MAY SPEAK WITH COMPLEXITY

Many species of animals produce vocalizations comprising multiple element types, combined into complex sequences. Some species have vocal repertoires of tens or even hundreds of discrete elements; others have only a handful, but use them to generate a wide variety of combinations. Most researchers assume that these sequences are well characterized as Markov chains (i.e. that the probability of a particular vocal element can be calculated from the history of only a finite number of preceding elements).
The vocalizations of orangutans, finches, killer whales and four other animal species have some form of grammar and may be more language-like in structure than previously thought. The results, along with other studies, challenge the breadth of the disparity between human language and and the seemingly simple generation of sounds animals are thought to produce. More research may reveal an evolutionary step that links the two.

Reference: Kershenbaum et al. 2014.Animal vocal sequences: not the Markov chains we thought they were
Photo by Cristina Martín

ORCAS AND OTHER ANIMALS MAY SPEAK WITH COMPLEXITY

Many species of animals produce vocalizations comprising multiple element types, combined into complex sequences. Some species have vocal repertoires of tens or even hundreds of discrete elements; others have only a handful, but use them to generate a wide variety of combinations. Most researchers assume that these sequences are well characterized as Markov chains (i.e. that the probability of a particular vocal element can be calculated from the history of only a finite number of preceding elements).

The vocalizations of orangutans, finches, killer whales and four other animal species have some form of grammar and may be more language-like in structure than previously thought. The results, along with other studies, challenge the breadth of the disparity between human language and and the seemingly simple generation of sounds animals are thought to produce. More research may reveal an evolutionary step that links the two.

Anónimo asked:

I know you post a lot about the cruelty of sea world and I thought you'd like to know that as a park they are finally going under. At the most they should only last a couple more years because of how much business they lost and the toxic image they now portray. Though Seaworld the company itself probably won't collapse as they own Busch Gardens and several other theme parks, the prison for whales will probably close (sea world park)

uff I (we) wish, but what about the announcement of seaworld expansion in San Diego, Orlando and San Antonio? xxxxthanks, but i need proof!!!

surprise why people choose go to aquatic park, when is beautiful go to the beach or for some specific areas to watch animals in their habitats..

A bottlenose dolphin has taken a new baby of another species under its flipper. It’s believed the dolphin, named Kiwi, lost its calf years ago after becoming stranded in an inlet near Kerikeri. But now Kiwi’s put her maternal instincts to use, watching over a common dolphin calf by the name of Pee-wee.

Anónimo asked:

How big are the pearl fish exactly, because ouch!

mmm to be honest, is my first time that i heard of pearlfish,according to advance aquarist, Some of the species can reach upwards of 50 cm in length when full grown. These fish are unique in that the adults normally live inside invertebrates, not only in sea cucumber, also in clams, sea squirts, and starfish in a commensal relationship (not harming their host).  This trait is common throughout the Carapidae family.

wow 50 cm… but they are slender, scaleless, so probably the sea cucumber anus is alright :) well for them

NEW FOSSIL: LARGEST FROG KNOW TO DATE FROM ANYWHERE LIVED 40 M.A IN SOUTHERN CHILE

The new species had a length of between 55 and 59 cm, and up to a meter with straight legs. With these measures exceeds the Beelzebufo or devil frog of Madagascar, the largest frog known so far that lived during the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago, weighed about 4.5 kilos and ate small dinosaurs.
For now, its weight is difficult to estimate and its appearance is unknown, but is believed to be very similar to the current Giant Chilean frog. Both species  from the same Calyptocephaella genus 
The discovery of the fragment occurred in 2008 and was entirely fortuitous. The humerus was collected along with remnants of penguins, crocodiles, turtles and sharks teeth. 
“The fossil spent seven years without us knowing what it was, until quite by accident we were lucky enough to check out other fossil remains of frogs. Seeing the humerus, the relationship was immediate, “said Rodrigo Otero, researcher.

source: La Tercera (Fuente en español)
Reference: Otero et al. 2014. Evidence of a giant helmeted frog (Australobatrachia, Calyptocephalellidae) from Eocene levels of the Magallanes Basin, southernmost Chile.

NEW FOSSIL: LARGEST FROG KNOW TO DATE FROM ANYWHERE LIVED 40 M.A IN SOUTHERN CHILE

The new species had a length of between 55 and 59 cm, and up to a meter with straight legs. With these measures exceeds the Beelzebufo or devil frog of Madagascar, the largest frog known so far that lived during the Cretaceous, about 65 million years ago, weighed about 4.5 kilos and ate small dinosaurs.

For now, its weight is difficult to estimate and its appearance is unknown, but is believed to be very similar to the current Giant Chilean frog. Both species  from the same Calyptocephaella genus

The discovery of the fragment occurred in 2008 and was entirely fortuitous. The humerus was collected along with remnants of penguins, crocodiles, turtles and sharks teeth.

The fossil spent seven years without us knowing what it was, until quite by accident we were lucky enough to check out other fossil remains of frogs. Seeing the humerus, the relationship was immediate, “said Rodrigo Otero, researcher.

this gif show  the FIRST microscopic, slow-motion footage of an Box-Jellyfish firing venom
The box jellyfish, have such powerful venom that they can kill an adult human. And to inject it into you, jellyfish and anemones use nematocysts, which are terrifying organelles that pretty much work like hyperdermic needles filled with venom. When you brush up against the tentacle of a jellyfish or anemone, these nematocysts fire out of the tentacle and spray venom.
The new episode of Smarter Every Day, filmed at James Cook University, is helping scientists understand how jellyfish bring down humans with their venom
Recently, two new species of box jellies were found in Australia, all indicate that these new species are toxic.
watch the whole video: Smarter everyday

this gif show  the FIRST microscopic, slow-motion footage of an Box-Jellyfish firing venom

The box jellyfish, have such powerful venom that they can kill an adult human. And to inject it into you, jellyfish and anemones use nematocysts, which are terrifying organelles that pretty much work like hyperdermic needles filled with venom. When you brush up against the tentacle of a jellyfish or anemone, these nematocysts fire out of the tentacle and spray venom.

The new episode of Smarter Every Day, filmed at James Cook University, is helping scientists understand how jellyfish bring down humans with their venom

Recently, two new species of box jellies were found in Australia, all indicate that these new species are toxic.

Anónimo asked:

Shark's embryonic cannibalism is some brilliant Darwinism wouldn't you say?

YAS!!! DARWIN WAS RIGHT!!!

Embryonic cannibalism appears in polyandry, when females sharks copulate with multiples males (why not? do not judge them)

For convenience polyandry to occur, the costs of females resisting males must outweigh the costs of mating. Females tend to get injured by males during copulation because males bite onto their pectoral fins and bodies while mating. Females can also receive cloacal injuries caused by the male’s sexual organ, not all is fun. The existence of behavioural polyandry suggests there is sperm competition in sand tigers, whichcorresponds with the observation that males of this species store larger volumes of sperm than other sharks.

So, the only way to eliminate competition (I mean genetic competition), is a intrauterine way, depending on the most robust and well adapted baby shark.

Please, read the papers bellow, is interesting, and easy to understand

image

Also note the size differential between the hatchling (H) and an embryo (E) from the same uterus. interesting.

Chapman et al. 2013. The behavioural and genetic mating system of the sand tiger shark, Carcharias taurus, an intrauterine cannibal 

popsealife

popsealife:

Sibling Rivalry

Baby sand tiger sharks (Carcharias taurus) exhibit what is called ‘embryonic cannibalism’. The first one to hatch from its egg capsule proceeds to devour its surrounding brothers and sisters.

This provides the little one with sustenance, allowing the shark to grow exponentially while in its mother’s womb.

This also helps eliminate the competition. See, momma sand tiger shark gets around, and not all of those kids are from the baby’s daddy. Devouring the others ensures that only its father’s (and mother’s, of course) genes are passed on to the next generation.

video source: Megabeeach on Youtube

reference: Chapman et al. 2013.

marine-conservation

Shark Week 2014: Personal Opinion

marine-conservation:

image

Shark Week 2014 is coming to an end tonight on The Discovery Channel, and with it its crazy, imaginary theories and legends. 

I approached this year’s line-up with a lot of hesitation, and really did not get my hopes too high. Last year’s ridiculous Megalodon’s documentary made me cringe. Unfortunately, this year’s episodes came with their own shares of disappointments.

As expected, the science was left to be desired. Shark Week opened on Sunday with a 2-hour, fake documentary called “Shark of Darkness”. Has it really fooled anyone? Even with disclaimers that it was a dramatization, the special effects and acting were so bad that the show bordered on self-parody. Have you not learned anything from last year, Discovery? Surprise, Submarine is not real. A 60yr old, “Old Hitler” Monster Hammerhead does not exist along the coast of Florida. Sharkaggedon was completely skewed and advertised as truth. And yes, the Megalodon is STILL extinct. There is no new evidence.  I will not bother watching this year’s Megalodon non-sense. At this point, even Sharknado was more entertaining.  The Discovery Channel is, once again, ludicrous.

What everybody wants is science. Plain, simple, TRUE scientific facts to learn more about these great animals, what they do, what they eat, where they go, how they reproduce, how they interact, and how human beings impact them and their habitat. 

I was very satisfied with this year’s features on deep-sea sharks (my favorite; I actually learned things!), great whites pupping grounds,  shark tonic immobility, and the footage of the REMUS cam,but that’s about it. I know that, as a marine scientist, I have quite high expectations when anything marine-related airs on TV. But I have also many friends, who really do not know much about the oceans other than what I tell them, who crave this supposedly scientific week. 

It really bothers me to know that a ridiculous amount of money is spent on making these mockumentaries. It completely defeats the original purpose of Shark Week. There are so many relevant and urgent shark issues that could have been addressed: shark cull policy in Western Australia, by catch, overfishing, shark finning, shark conservation, shark tagging for scientific research, endangered species, or even the O.R.C.A… But the channel decided to take the route of sensationalism, with mockumentaries about animals that do not exist or are extinct, and to once again perpetuate the idea of shark attacks and the fear of sharks. How many tweets did I read about people now being more afraid of going swimming in the ocean after watching Shark Week? Too many!

On top of that, producers of the show have lied to many scientists to get them on the show, and later completely edited their interviews to bring their own personal (fake) twist. Not cool, Discovery. 

With that said, Shark Week has allowed many scientists, conservation organizations, and grassroots groups to use social media to really reach a larger audience and promote shark conservation. Sharks, and marine biology in general, very rarely get such exposure, and with the current trends of hashtags on many social media platforms, it is very easy for the general public to get their facts straight and to learn more about marine science and the many organizations doing work to save the sharks.

image

The Discovery Channel surprisingly does promote shark conservation not their own website, but how many of the millions of viewers will bother checking their website? Probably very few. There was not enough great episodes this year to counter-balance the ridiculousness and fallacy of the terrible ones. Shark Week needs to go back to its roots and restore a positive image on TV for these beautiful and necessary apex predators of our marine ecosystems.