Tuesday, 25 July 2017
Monday, 24 July 2017
The Oxwich site has new signage. Many of the flowers were past their best but there was still some Yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor); Wood sage (Teucrium scorodonia); Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis); Wild thyme (Thymus serpyllum); Sea holly (Eryngium maritimum); Bloody cranesbill (Geranium sanguineum); Orpine (Sedum telephium) and Marsh heleborine (Epipactis palustris). There were also many Six-spot burnet moths (Zygaena filipendulae) as well as Small copper (Lycaena phlaeas); mating Common blue (Polyommatus icarus); Small blue (Cupido minimus) and Small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus) butterflies. A dung beetle (Aphodius rufipes) also flew in.
Sunday, 23 July 2017
There has been a lot of publicity about the plan to attempt breed endangered Northern white rhinoceros by using sperm from a male in a Czech Republic zoo and eggs extracted from the closely-related Southern white rhinoceros at Longleat (the-scientist.com/?articles.view/articleNo/49934/title/IVF-to-Revive-Endangered-White-Rhino-Population). The gametes would be mixed in Italy, allowed to divide to the blastula stage, before being possibly implanted in the womb of a hormonally-primed female Southern white rhinoceros at Longleat. The argument is that the hybrid (between the sub-species) result of in vitro fertilisation would conserve 50% of the genes of the Northern line. I am not sure that this is an entirely useful process as zoos have very limited carrying capacity for large animals and you might well subsequently have to accommodate populations of northern, southern and hybrids. The rhinoceros is mainly endangered by a combination of habitat loss and poaching for their horns. Money might be better spent on preserving and protecting lands where they currently live. It's sad to say but the Northern white rhinoceros is essentially in the process of becoming extinct.
Saturday, 22 July 2017
Wednesday, 19 July 2017
More changes in Bynea with the mass flowering of Water mint ( Mentha aquatica ) and a late appearance of Peacock butterfly larvae ( I...
A combination of night rain and day-time sun has resulted in more Bynea blooms. The Southern marsh orchid ( Dactylorhiza praetermissa...
A study ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/feb/01/special-spit-is-the-secret-of-uniquely-sticky-frog-tongues-study-reveals ) has...
It is always sad to hear of problems occurring at places you have used for teaching and the outbreak of h5n8 avian influenza at Abbot...