Hybridization patterns in two contact zones of grass snakes reveal a new Central European snake species | Scientific Reports
This is amazing news. Natrix natrix -previously thought to be the only grass snake in the UK – has been found to be genetically distinct from what was previously thought to be a variation rather than separate species, the newly named Natrix venaticus. Studies sampled mtDNA from existing skins and specimens and found clear genetic differences between the two, confirming Natrix venaticus as a separate and distinct species. No living snakes were harmed for the study either, which is always good news.
So I’m writing an essay about drivers of coral reef bleaching, and reading about acidification and its effects on marine mammals that secrete calcium carbonate, and this new research pops up. Interesting immediate adaptation to cope with lower pH levels in marine environments; although I’m not sure how long-term (and effective) an adaptation it might be. Similarly, some coral species and their symbionts are more tolerant of some drivers of bleaching than others. Again, in the short-term that helps those species, but it’s not clear how far beyond their normal thresholds for CO2, irradiance, thermal stress and acidification they can survive. And then there’s coral diseases… We are pushing the limits, changing environments and testing tolerance thresholds for so much of the world’s wildlife, and not in a good way.
“The new species, Siamogale melilutra lived 6.24 million years ago in the Yunnan Province in China. It weighed approximately 110 lbs and was roughly the size of a modern wolf.”
It’s so tragic that these animals are so traumatised and conditioned to rely on handouts for resources that they gain their freedom after someone cut the nets and they don’t know what to do with it. Awful breaking of a wild animal’s autonomous, free spirit.
Thanks to Huff Post for sharing the plight of Taiji dolphins with its readers. It’s actually six months of every year that the Japanese fishermen commit these heinous crimes against nature and allow greed and ignorance to rule the town of Taiji, Wakayama Prefecture. Half of every year they slaughter dolphins. It should be absolutely illegal to do what they do but instead they get rich from selling those they spare from the butcher’s knife to marine amusement parks around the world.
Don’t visit dolphin shows. Your ticket funds this massacre in Japan every year. Supply and demand; stop demanding dolphins entertain us, they’ll stop taking them for captivity and killing the rest.