Sunday, 17 June 2018

Seeing the Changes 1327



Around Llanelli Foreshore, there were Pyramidal orchids (Anacamptis pyramidalis) and Rest harrow (Onosis repens). There were also lots of exploring froglets (Rana temporaria) by Sandy Waterpark.

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In Loughor, Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara) got on with producing its poisonous orbs and Redshank (Persicaria maculosa) flowered. In Bynea, Majoram (Origanum vulgare) bloomed.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Here Comes the Night!


A Berkeley study on 62 wild Mammal species from across the planet has suggested that most of these animals are becoming more nocturnal when faced with local human activity (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/14/human-activity-making-mammals-more-nocturnal-study-finds). Avoiding the planet's most dangerous predator might not be a bad idea. It would be interesting to know if the animals involved have individually adopted this life-style (possibly to minimise disturbance in the same way that insect-eating bats avoid birds in the daytime) or whether members of these species that are more active 'after hours' are more likely to survive and breed (i.e. the change is currently being selected). These changes in nocturnal activity could have wide-ranging influences on the species (and other animals in the same environments). For example, it could alter the efficiency and duration of feeding or the availability .

Seeing the Changes 1325

In Loughor, a white-tailed bumble-bee hoverfly mimic Volucella bombylans zoomed about.


Rat Recovery


There is an interesting study (https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/jun/14/paws-and-play-gene-treatment-helps-rats-with-spinal-cord-injury-regain-their-nerve) from King's College London suggesting that gene therapy can help restore mobility in the limbs of rats who had had their spinal cords damaged. The single injection delivers an enzyme (chondroitinase) to the damaged region, dissolving scar tissue and allowing the nerves to reconnect. The enabled the rats to regain a complex motor activity task that involved their fore-paws. This may also prove to be helpful in clinically treating some forms of spinal damage.

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More action around the Bynea/Penclacwydd border. Marsh woundwort (Stachys palustris) and Marsh bedstraw (Gallium palustre) were both in flower. Day-flying Six-spot burnet (Zygaena filipendulae) and Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae) moths were both in action. For the Common blue damselfly (Enallagna cyathigerum), love was in the air.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

A Micro Improvement?


Amongst all the talk of our losing species of mammals, birds and insects, it is somewhat contrary that the UK is apparently gaining one new species of micro-moth per annum (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/jun/14/one-new-species-of-micro-moth-found-in-britain-every-year). The additions apparently arrive either under their own steam (flying in or, more probably, blown on the winds) or get imported along with agricultural or horticultural produce. These are a modest increase for our biodiversity and, in some cases, a potential source of future problems (some could turn out to be serious pests).

Seeing the Changes 1327

Around Llanelli Foreshore, there were Pyramidal orchids ( Anacamptis pyramidalis ) and Rest harrow ( Onosis repens ). There were ...