Posts Tagged ‘Invertebrates’

“Brittle Star City” Found on Antarctic Seamount

May 22, 2008

A teeming horde of brittle stars has been discovered atop an undersea mountain chain near Antarctica, challenging long-held assumptions about the ecological role of such submerged peaks, known as seamounts.

The find, nicknamed “Brittle Star City,” was made by a team surveying waters near the Macquarie Ridge, 870 miles (1,400 kilometers) south of New Zealand, as part of the Census of Marine Life, a ten-year scientific study of life in the oceans.

Voyage leader Ashley Rowden said the researchers were amazed as images from towed cameras revealed tens of millions of brittle stars—invertebrates related to starfish and sea urchins—feeding in the fierce currents that swirl around Antarctica.

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When little things that rule world are lost

April 14, 2008

There are 6.5 billion people in the world today, three times as many as 50 years ago. There are undoubtedly three billion fewer insects, the forgotten creatures that maintain the fabric of life.

These include bees, butterflies, moths and all flying mites and invertebrates and sea creatures that inhabit earth and slime. Not many people, excepting scientists who watch and count, pay much attention.

Almost everybody is aware of the travails of the major star species such as polar bears, pandas and tigers. We are reminded on a daily basis of their endangerment. There was a scare about bees last year but honey is still in the supermarkets so the bee colony collapse is more or less old news.

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