Tuesday, 26 April 2016

King Clone, The Oldest Living Thing on Earth

It is believed, that King Clone is the oldest creosote bush ring the Mojave Desert, as far as 11,700 years old. Frank Vasek, The professor of University of California has discovered the King Clone and their age are projected by him. The King Clone ring is one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. The single clonal colony plant of Larrea tridentates reaches up to 67 feet in diameter although average diameter is 45 feet. After Vasek hypothesized that the creosote ring was, in fact, one organism, a graduate student working in Vasek's lab, documented that plants within a ring had more alike characteristics, than those from other plant clusters. The King Clone resides on mostly unprotected lands, because most of people do not care and drive over it with all-terrain vehicles. Due to its natural habitats, the creosote bush may lose some of these waxy, resinous leaves during extreme drought, but never loses them all. Therfore, these leaves are pungent after a rain, and have been used as antiseptics and emetics by native peoples. Its foliage provides refuge for crickets, grasshoppers and praying mantids.

The brainy Vasek has used two methods to estimate the age of ring. The first method is counted rings and measured the distance of annual growth, while the second method to use radiocarbon dating on pieces of wood found in the center of the ring and measuring their distance from each other and living bushes. Therefore, the dating methods come up with similar results. The Creosote Bush is the most characteristic feature of North America's hot deserts that tolerates arid conditions simply by its toughness. It competes belligerently with other plants for water, and frequently wins, for its prevalence in many arid locations.

Furthermore, The King Clone ring is on restricted-access public land in the central Mojave Desert, about 0.6 miles north of California Route 247 on Bessemer Mine Road near the towns of Lucerne Valley and Landers. It is situated within the Creosote Rings Preserve of the Lucerne Valley and Johnson Valley. Well, if you want to grow this bush with seeds, then place a number of seed capsules in a shallow pan cover with boiling water. So let them soak overnight. After that place a few seed capsules in a pot with soil and start to water, so thin out the superfluous seedlings and plant. Source: Charismatic Planet

Thursday, 14 April 2016

Marine Iguanas; The Most Disgusting Clumsy Lizards

The much-maligned marine iguanas of the Galápagos Islands are so famously homely, can be describing as "hideous-looking" and "most disgusting, clumsy lizards." In fact the iguanas are not pretty with their wide set eyes, ugly in faces, spiky dorsal scales, and knotty, salt-encrusted heads.  The marine iguana has the ability, unique among modern lizards, to forage in the sea, can dive, more than 30 feet into the water. It is sometimes called Galápagos marine iguana lives on the rocky Galápagos shore but also be spotted in marshes and mangrove beaches. Marine iguanas are medium-sized lizards almost 200 to 340 mm, however vary in body size, which is different depending on the island the individual iguana inhabits. The adult males weigh is falling between 12 to 13 kg vary due to algal productivity and sea surface temperature

Though, these strange creatures lack in looks they make up for with their astonishing and exclusive ecological adaptations. Scientists have different thoughts that land-dwelling iguanas from South America have drifted out to sea millions of years ago on logs or other debris ultimately landing on the Galapagos.  Indeed their appearance is fierce, in contrast of actually having gentle herbivores, surviving exclusively on underwater algae and seaweed. Marine iguanas are sexually dimorphic with adult males weighing around 70% more than adult females and have correlation between longevity and body size. The large adult males’ body size is selected sexually, suffering higher mortality than females and smaller adult males. The Amblyrhynchus cristatus lacks agility on land but is a graceful swimmer, and mortality rates are, in fact, explained through the size difference between the sexes.

The species emerged marine iguanas spread to nearly all of islands of archipelago, hosts marine iguanas of exclusive size and shape and color.  Moreover, the strange creature’s short, blunt snouts and small, razor-sharp teeth help them scrape the algae off rocks and flattened tails let them move crocodile like through the water. Even though, their claws are long enough and sharp for clinging to rocks on shore or underwater in heavy currents.  The population of ugly lizard is not confirmed yet but can be judge in hundreds of thousands. The marine iguana starts reproduction in cold and dry season; female marine iguanas sexual maturity starts 3 to 5 years, however male reach sexual maturity at the age of 6 to 8 years. Female laid eggs 1 to 6 and which takes 3 months to incubate. The eggs lays in nests dug 30 to 80 cm deep in in sand or volcanic ash.

The iguanas has dark gray coloring to better absorb sunlight after their forays into the frigid Galapagos waters. Therefore, they even have distinct glands that clean their blood of extra salt, which they ingest while feeding.  The specie is under continuous pressure from non-native predators like rats, feral cats, and dogs, who feed on their eggs and young. They are endangered throughout the archipelago and are considered vulnerable to extinction. Marine iguanas sneeze habitually to expel salt from glands close their noses. The salt often lands on their heads, giving them a unique white wig. The marine iguana forages exclusively on inter- and subtidal algae, and 4-5 red algal species are their food of choice, however varies in accordance to the algal abundance, preferences and foraging behavior.
The marine iguana is an ectothermic animal, spends limited time in cold water, and afterwards basks in the sun to warm up. Their dark color shades also support them in heat reabsorption. Moreover, the specie fights sometime during the breeding season but are usually harmless; and they’ll bob their heads as a threat and if the other suitor responds, both will thrust their heads together until one backs away. The Marine Iguana is presently labeled as vulnerable in its conservation status and its population has been gradually decreasing throughout the years due to natural predators defenses needed to help protect them against new enemies. The marine iguana has developed over time in a fairly safe environment and thus does not have a very strong immune system. Source: Charismatic Planet


World’s largest cherry garden? 10,000 cherries in bloom in Wuhan, China

Located near East Lake in central Chinese city of Wuhan, the Moshan Cherry Blossom Garden has attracted thousands of tourists since mid-March. This garden covers an area of 260 acres. There are more than 10,000 cherry blossom plants in it. The first batch of cherry blossoms are presented by Deng Yingchao, wife of China’s former premier Zhou Enlai. They were a gift from former Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.

Most cherry blossom plants are cultivated by joint investment of China and Japan in the year of 1998.
Now Moshan at East Lake of Wuhan is billed as one of the world’s three largest cherry gardens. The other two are at Washington State of America and Aomori Prefecture in Japan.

Chinese farmer loses 25 tons of fish after sinkhole appears in his pond

A farmer in south China' s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region suffered heavy losses after a sinkhole appeared in his fish pond. The incident occurred in Guiping City at about 4 am on March 24, when water levels at the pond were seen falling at a dramatic rate. At around 9am, the pond almost completely drained, and what' s left of the water in the pond was flowing down a gaping hole. The owner of the farm says he lost about 25 tonnes of fish.

SOUNDBITE: YANG SHUANGXIAN, Owner of fish pond  "The water used to be 1.2 meters deep. I' ve been running the fish farm for five years and each year we would produce 30 tons of fish. This time, our direct loss is estimated to be 450,000 Yuan to 500,000 Yuan. So, local villagers say, this is not the first time for such sinkholes to appear in the area. They suspect that a nearby quarry is likely to blame for causing the incident.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

The Blood Lake of Iraq

The bloody lake is situated just outside Iraq’s Sadr City. This amazing red lake has led to a numerous speculation looks like blood. The researchers has though pointed out that the reservoir is pretty big and putting huge amount of blood into reservoir to get it tainted red.  However, various stories have been speculated that local peoples butchers their animals and dumped their blood and offcut into the reservoir, but that would have been required more distinctive brown tinge. Moreover, several believe the red lake is result of chemical pollution. Moreover there is possibility that severe increases in salt levels are known to cause water to turn blood red. Could also potentially be some sort of algal bloom. So far, only one image is available on Google earth.