Saturday, November 28, 2009

Amazing animals

platymolekiwiduck
A Hawaiian duck that resembled a platypus-mole-kiwi, probably foraged in forest duff and shallow streams, huge trigeminus - why? electrosensory bill or nares? apnea adaptation? whiskery feathers?

An octopus carries and uses coconut shells
octopus hand tools

long tail glider
the tail has 2 rows of ventral ridges, reminds me of my interpretation of dino-bird and pterosaur long bony tails with bristle scale feathers to grasp tree bark, both taxa co-evolved into short tailed flyers with improved perching rear toe claws but in this "squirrel" which lacks wings is sufficient for gliding from tree to tree.

Both from Christopher Taylor's nature blog, Catalogue of Organisms

From Zooillogix nature blog: antarctic seals & elephant birth
leopard seals
weddell seals
http://scienceblogs.com/zooillogix/2009/11/graphic_elephant_birth.php

Cameron's blog: Galapagos Marine iguana

Marine CO2 effects on shellfish, crustaceans, calcific algae:
crabs & CO2
(compare to green plants in soil which can't absorb carbonic acid through roots, so must consume CO2 in air via photosynthesis.)
eco-web-tet: ants, fungi, bacteria, plant in 4 way symbiotic relationship

Ich! Parasite has 2 endoparasites:
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-12/uog-url120209.php
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Humans and saltwater: (h/t Frank at Greg's site)

a recent study in ultra-marathon runners (100 mi) found that they lost between 11.2 and 144 g of sodium during the event. Obviously the range is huge and it really depends on the person. Total water loss in the same event ranges from 14 to 36 liters.

A liter of seawater contains approximately 35g of salt. One liter of blood contains 9g of salt. For every liter of seawater you drank you would need to add 2.8 liters of fresh unsalted water to be “even.”
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While sweating excessive amounts of salt would be deleterious to humans inhabiting hot and humid inland environments, sweating large quantities of salt that was isotonic with the blood stream would be advantageous in a hot and humid coastal marine environment where signi´Čücant
quantities of marine invertebrates were consumed." MW

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PZ on evo development of nervous system: exaptation of simple organelles in protists to tissue cells, salt control, electric potential...
nerve evolution

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