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Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years

Six-Legged Giant Finds Secret Hideaway, Hides For 80 Years | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
The insect is so large — as big as a human hand — it's been dubbed a "tree lobster." It was thought to be extinct, but some enterprising entomologists scoured a barren hunk of rock in the middle of the ocean and found surviving Lord Howe Island...

 

Island Biogeography is endlessly fascinating and provides some of the most striking species we have on Earth.  The physical habitat is fragmented and the genetic diversity is limited.  Within this context, species evolve to fill ecological niches within their particular locale.  This NPR article demonstrates the story of but one of these incredible species that never could have evolved on the continents.  In modern society, more extinctions are happening on islands than anywhere else as 'specialist' species are in greater competition with 'generalists.' 


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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:56 PM

When reading I found out that they call it "Ball's Pyramid"because that is what is left from the last volcano that emerged from the sea about 7 million years ago."British naval officer named Ball was the first European to see it in 1788. It sits off Australia, in the South Pacific. It is extremely narrow, 1,844 feet high, and it sits alone.

What's more, for years this place had a secret. At 225 feet above sea level, hanging on the rock surface, there is a small, spindly little bush, and under that bush, a few years ago, two climbers, working in the dark, found something totally improbable hiding in the soil below. How it got there, we still don't know."

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 24, 5:33 PM

This article freeked me out at first.  The idea of hand sized bugs is just…yuck!  But after reading the article I found it very interesting.  That these bugs managed to survive on a single bush on an island isolated from the world.  The description of them as acting un-buglike by peering off into couples that sleep cuddling with each other is just kind of cool.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 25, 7:35 AM

On Ball's Pyramid the stick insect is different than any other insect I have seen. The size of it is terrifying, as it as big as a human hand. There are many different kinds of animals or insects someone can find on remote islands, islands such as Madagascar, Australia and even on this small island, which is located off of Australia's coast in the Pacific.    

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Venice sinking five times faster than thought?

Venice sinking five times faster than thought? | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it

Venice, by virtue of its geographic situation will always be sinking as a course of nature.  A research team from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the UCSD has recently concluded that Venice is sinking 2 millimeters per year...not catastrophic on a single year basis, but threatens the long-term viability and sustainability of the location. 

 

Urban ecology: what economic forces created the rationale for building Venice?  What environmental factors are currently threatening it?  Will economic or environmental forces win out? Location: do the economic advantages of a location outweigh the environmental liabilities of the location?  How do these competing factors influence the development of a city?  For additional information on this story see: http://www.physorg.com/news/2012-03-venice-hasnt.html


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, September 30, 2013 5:47 PM

The famous city in Italy is sinking, and quickly.  It seems that the transient opportunities of a transient town are like that of other areas exposed to natural inclemence- such as New Orleans, and earthquake zones.  Sooner or later, places that are exposed to disaster will become inhabitable, and possibly abandoned.  When I hear of this city sinking, it makes me think of the Titanic, and how people should likely jump ship out of this situation, before the whole city 'goes under.'  I also think of marshy areas that would not be well-suited for development and inhabitance, and it seems that there is a history in the town that united people to live there in spite of the abundance of water.  Some of my ancestors were from Italy, and I wouldn't want harm to come to their homeland, but it really makes me wonder why they chose such a place to live...  It seems likely to me that the mere fact that it was sinking was not really considered much back then;  they were not as realistically concerned about the longevity of the city in the long run, than they were about the 'now' and the time at hand.  This reflects many facets of humanity and the hedonistic lifestyles that accompany many humans.  Humans that live for today and forget about tomorrow are doomed to live a life of sorry.  Humans that live for tomorrow and not today are out of touch and fail to seize the day.  Humans that live for today but remember tomorrow are the masons that build stairways to new lands for their descendents, and along with that, myriad new possibilities for positive opportunities.  I think some of the wisdom of Italy was put into its architecture and structural design, so that we might remember- we are dying in this life, just as Venice sinks, but we should live life as best as we can, and pave the way for future generations.  Like so, the dumping of wastes into the ocean seems tiny at first, but accumulates over many generations and will leave many ocean species dead, and harm the overall functionality of the Earth as a whole.  Let Venice be a reminder.

Paige McClatchy's curator insight, October 6, 2013 6:27 PM

So not only is Mexico City sinking, but Venice is as well, and five times faster than we thought at that. If the heart of an urban, sprawling city becomes completely destroyed what changes will be made to the outlying areas? Will they break up into multiple, smaller districts each with a central area? Where will the rich who used to reside in the heart move to?

Brett Sinica's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:36 PM

Day to day, even looking into next year the rate of 2 millimeters per year may not seem drastic.  To a city that has been around for hundreds of years, it's assumed the city plans to stay standing for hundreds more.  Considering the age of the city, say in a couple hundred more years, some buildings could begin to take in water.  It is also possible that certain parts of the city could be sinking faster than others.  There is a similar situation in Mexico City where it was built on a lake and each year that source diminishes due to the demand of water by its residents.  Certain parts of the city are sinking and some buildings are slanted due to the results.  These cities are beautiful  but reality shows that as time passes, it will probably only get worse.  Hopefully preventions can be taken to at least reduce the speed of sinking so that people after us can appreciate the architecture and atmosphere the city has provided all these years.

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Lurking in the Deep

Lurking in the Deep | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Divers on Australia's Great Barrier Reef recently snapped rare pictures of a wobbegong, or carpet shark, swallowing a bamboo shark whole.

 

The diversity of life on this planet and the ecosystems which such creatures live in is something that continually leaves me in awe at the wonders of the natural world.


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Cam E's curator insight, April 8, 10:18 AM

The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most biologically diverse regions in the world, and the ecosystem that exists there is extremely delicate, as well as extremely fantastic, as seen in this article.

Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2:41 PM

When I first saw this image I thought that this white shark was swimming into a chest or something anything except for another shark. Then when opening the article it was apparent that the shark was being eaten by another shark. 

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 23, 2:57 PM

A wobbegong, also known as the carpet shark, engulfs a bamboo shark in the Great Barrier Reef. This was a surprising and rare photo for Divers in Australia. It is crazy how animals so close in relativity can instantly become predators, and possibly a meal, to each other!

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For Mexico City, a Repurposed Landfill

For Mexico City, a Repurposed Landfill | Classwork Portfolio | Scoop.it
Methane from a landfill will flow to a power plant, helping to keep the lights on in the city.

 

When Mexico City’s government shut down the giant Bordo Poniente landfill last December, officials announced that they had a full-blown plan for the site...the city aims to capture the methane gas produced by the landfill to fuel a power plant that could supply electricity to as many as 35,000 homes. 


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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, February 4, 9:50 AM

This article describes the idea in the making in order to save energy and to put a power plant into a land fill in order to create endless light supply in the city. This new response to power outages is important to look at and ask questions on how the rest of the powere suge and plants will make do with this new repurposed landfill.

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, February 4, 9:50 AM

Mexico City is making huge advancements in thier plans of turning methane, created from landfils, to create energy that can be used elsewhere in our everyday needs. This new and recycled energy can be used to produce heat, create light sources and run automobiles. Trash is not going away, so it is a perfect idea to turn trash into treasures. Greater potentials can arise from these advancements and changes.

Amy Marques's curator insight, February 20, 12:47 PM

I think it's great that Mexico City is leading by example and reusing the landfill. The article discussing how the United States has had plans of figuring out what to do with the gases that come from landfills but nothing ever actually happens. The U.S just keeps rebuilding more landfill cells. The methane gas produced by the landfill is going to fuel a power plant that could supply elecricity to about 35,000 homes.