Page 1 of 20

Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 8:05 am
by justjj

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:12 pm
by fsm
We went for a wander down the Maitland Bay track this afternoon. We didn't find any engravings but Ruby spotted this banksia.

55

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:37 pm
by Helix
Banksia spinulosa var. collina aka Banksia collina?

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:47 pm
by fsm
Helix wrote:Banksia spinulosa var. collina aka Banksia collina?


I think you are correct. We'll have to chip in and buy you a red cape if you keep this up!

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:11 pm
by roughbarked
fsm wrote:
Helix wrote:Banksia spinulosa var. collina aka Banksia collina?


I think you are correct. We'll have to chip in and buy you a red cape if you keep this up!



Banksias are easy on the east coast. I can count them on one hand basically.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 11:21 pm
by Helix
roughbarked wrote:Banksias are easy on the east coast. I can count them on one hand basically.


I think we're all familiar with your maths skills.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:40 am
by roughbarked
Helix wrote:
roughbarked wrote:Banksias are easy on the east coast. I can count them on one hand basically.


I think we're all familiar with your maths skills.


You haven't counted my fingers yet.. ;)
Well there were only five main species, to my knowledge. Unless some new ones have been discovered since I last looked. I'm not counting hybrids or whatever.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:09 am
by Helix
roughbarked wrote:You haven't counted my fingers yet.. ;)
Well there were only five main species, to my knowledge. Unless some new ones have been discovered since I last looked. I'm not counting hybrids or whatever.



I can think of eleven east coast species off the top of my head. If I went looking, I'm sure I could come up with some more.

Of those, most were described in the 1700s, a handful in the 1800s and a couple in the early 1980s. (I checked the dates.)

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:27 am
by roughbarked
Helix wrote:
roughbarked wrote:You haven't counted my fingers yet.. ;)
Well there were only five main species, to my knowledge. Unless some new ones have been discovered since I last looked. I'm not counting hybrids or whatever.



I can think of eleven east coast species off the top of my head. If I went looking, I'm sure I could come up with some more.

Of those, most were described in the 1700s, a handful in the 1800s and a couple in the early 1980s. (I checked the dates.)



That many eh?

Well they are still easy enough compared to the amount in WA.

I'm always getting into trouble for not saying exactly what I mean. It probably should have been south east coast of NSW rather than loosely stating - east coast.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:00 am
by justjj
Morning All and big g'day to booshkie.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:20 am
by Helix
roughbarked wrote:I'm always getting into trouble for not saying exactly what I mean. It probably should have been south east coast of NSW rather than loosely stating - east coast.



Yes. I'm convinced.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:56 am
by flying spaghetti monster
Love your work, Helix.
I thought it was Banksia spinulosa, and your ID made me go in search of more info.
It was in a nice group, that had a lovely variation in flower colour. There were ones with all gold spikes, others with gold spikes with red to brown styles. The one in the picture had purplish styles, which contrasted nicely with the gold.

More walking today to revisit a nice stand of dwarfish Angopheras. Another chance for GPS fun too.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:11 am
by Helix
Banksias have such exquisite flowers. I've spent altogether too much time taking close up photographs of the flowers at all stages, from the top and side, and of the cones. There's just such a lot of texture in that group.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:13 am
by roughbarked
Helix wrote:

Yes. I'm convinced.



Clear as mud. ;)

Helix wrote:Banksias have such exquisite flowers. I've spent altogether too much time taking close up photographs of the flowers at all stages, from the top and side, and of the cones. There's just such a lot of texture in that group.


Indeed. :)

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:26 am
by flying spaghetti monster
Exquisite banksias, yes, and yes to the textures. I been admiring the gnarly Banksia serrata trunks, just to add to the textural joy.
And it is Angophoras to see today. My spelling is suffering from my old age, as well as other things.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 11:33 am
by roughbarked
flying spaghetti monster wrote:Exquisite banksias, yes, and yes to the textures. I been admiring the gnarly Banksia serrata trunks, just to add to the textural joy.
And it is Angophoras to see today. My spelling is suffering from my old age, as well as other things.



Add to that, leaf margins and texture is again enhanced.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:32 pm
by Helix
Just cleared out the bits and pieces of the chook pen. Now to measure it so I can work out how much gravel I need for the floor and how much shade cloth for the roof.

This is one of those long-term projects. That is, I might take a while to get around to each bit.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 1:42 pm
by roughbarked
Helix wrote:Just cleared out the bits and pieces of the chook pen. Now to measure it so I can work out how much gravel I need for the floor and how much shade cloth for the roof.

This is one of those long-term projects. That is, I might take a while to get around to each bit.


A bit at a time is fine but it is always easiest if the bits are placed by priority. ;)

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 6:43 pm
by justjj
Curling!
My goodness!
So much fun, but incomprehensible for a while to a newbie.
If you'd said a sport was the interest I would have put big money on Hockey.
Our traveling there featured dams / bridges / spillways etc ... my partner was a civil engineer who had worked in Tassie while here in OZ, on their infrastructure, so it was very much a dedicated education on such things, for me.
We always camped in National Parks everywhere though, so saw lots of the natural world ... and (like you) we loved the birds. Some of that was because they were the safest wildlife to be camping around, I think.
We never got to the East of the Rockies though .. not properly.
Vancouver was our base for three years, so our trips fanned out from there.

Another of the "old forum"-ites went to Canada and came back with great pics of birds as well.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 7:51 pm
by Helix
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-17/s ... pp/4695346

The science world has paid homage to Johnny Depp by giving his name to an extinct creepy-crawly with "scissor hand-like" claws reminiscent of one of the actor's best-known roles.

Kooteninchela deppi was a 505-million-year-old distant ancestor of lobsters and scorpions, according to a study in the Journal of Palaeontology.

It has been named for Depp's famous portrayal of a gentle freak named Edward Scissorhands in the 1990 eponymous film.


Worth having a look at the link for the drawing of the critter.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Fri May 17, 2013 8:03 pm
by Helix

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 7:22 am
by justjj

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 8:22 am
by roughbarked

:) morning jj.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2013 9:39 am
by justjj
Good Morning rb and all


Heading in to the Herbarium at the Botanic Gardens today for a special public celebration of fascinating plants.

and this
http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunea ... 3-cme.html

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 8:28 am
by justjj
A new category added to the big animal photography competition.
I am linking it through NPR, because that has so many interesting takes on what is happening around the world.

" "Just An Animal" "

http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/20 ... 6838/leong

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:05 pm
by Helix
Team Badger (against the UK badger cull) combines 'Badger, Badger, Badger' and 'Flash Gordon' in...this...way

http://youtu.be/EllYgcWmcAY

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Mon May 20, 2013 7:48 pm
by justjj
Two young people here enjoyed that very much AND were horrified to learn of the reason for it.

Liked this comment
" ... sign the petition everyone who hasn't yet and forward, retweet and share etc! Keep the badgers alive! x Let's get this petition to 220,000 today."
Goodnight for now folks.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 22, 2013 7:22 pm
by Helix
This is going to annoy Bob 'kill the flying foxes' Katter:

"Testing has confirmed the virus in the infected horse was the type of ABLV found in one species of insect-eating microbats, not flying foxes.


Update on the Australian bat lyssavirus case from Qld Dept of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 4:20 pm
by Helix
Something to look forward to: Google Street View goes to the Galápagos!

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:31 pm
by Helix
And because every nature chat thread should include a story about the Mt Kaputar version of the red-triangle slug: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conse ... 2n9ik.html

Click on that link. You'll be impressed.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:50 pm
by flying spaghetti monster
You were right, Helix. Very impressed.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 8:59 pm
by Helix
flying spaghetti monster wrote:You were right, Helix. Very impressed.


And here's a picture of the orange version from Mt Bellenden Ker. It was taken by our very own Davidavid.

http://davotrip.blogspot.com.au/2009/01/non-frog.html

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:27 pm
by flying spaghetti monster
Hi-vis slug! And 'Dr Seuss-like Dracophyllum plants'.
What a great blog.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 10:48 pm
by ilago
Helix wrote:And because every nature chat thread should include a story about the Mt Kaputar version of the red-triangle slug: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conse ... 2n9ik.html

Click on that link. You'll be impressed.


Great article :)

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed May 29, 2013 11:21 pm
by justjj
:) fantastic; they really are.
So is the story of how they came to be there.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 6:47 pm
by Helix
The Feds are considering putting the 'national' back into national parks.

The federal government is considering expanding its powers over national parks in response to plans by Coalition-led states to allow shooting, cattle grazing and logging in protected areas.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:11 pm
by Teleost
What a good idea. The states will fight it tooth and nail but as they seem incapable of understanding the concept of national parks, it needs to be done. I'd even be happy about paying fees to use them under a federal system. At the current time, I see good money paid for over flowing bins, full toilets and unmown over-populated camping areas.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 7:25 pm
by Helix
That's because the poor rangers get lumbered with that sort of stuff, when they should be out doing more important things. :(

My only concern with the feds taking over is that things could get a whole lot worse if there's a change of government. But until then I'd be happy to see the feds wrench control of NPs from the states.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:25 pm
by Teleost
One of my casuals just got a position with QNPWS or whatever it's called these days. I had to congratulate her as she'll be more secure with them, but that's not saying much :(

I'd love to let a herd of cattle into Campbell's yard and dump a few thousand Yellow crazies in his living room.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:34 pm
by Helix
Teleost wrote:One of my casuals just got a position with QNPWS or whatever it's called these days. I had to congratulate her as she'll be more secure with them, but that's not saying much :(


No. But all the best to her.

Teleost wrote:I'd love to let a herd of cattle into Campbell's yard and dump a few thousand Yellow crazies in his living room.


I'll be holding the door open for you.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu May 30, 2013 10:48 pm
by Teleost
I'm now allowed to say that WTMA have an application in for funding for the crazies and so far signs are very positive.

I'm probably not allowed to say that I don't think they've asked for anywhere near enough, but something's better than nothing and there may be further grants down the line.

IMHO we have around 12 - 18 months before the battle is lost all together due to terrain and access. We need to get folks jumping up and down and screaming at the pollies.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 4:58 pm
by scottieK
found chat, now how do I access archives? can I > thank you. bbl

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:04 am
by Helix
I thought we would all benefit from this lovely series of photos showing a mum gorilla and her very young twins at a zoo in The Netherlands.

http://www.zooborns.com/zooborns/2013/0 ... s-zoo.html

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 5:32 pm
by Helix
And because there just aren't enough echinoderms featured in this forum, here are some spectacular feather stars (crinoids) from tropical waters around the world. Crinoids are the fancy schmancy (and upside down) cousins of seastars.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:10 pm
by flying spaghetti monster
How gorgeous are those crinoids.
Can you post a link to something slimy and gross now, just for balance?

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 10:22 pm
by Helix
flying spaghetti monster wrote:How gorgeous are those crinoids.
Can you post a link to something slimy and gross now, just for balance?


How about a slimy, gross hagfish?

Hagfish are not the most glamorous of creatures.

They slope around on the deep, dark ocean floor, scavenging for food. Dead whale is a favourite.

But they do have a trick up their sleeve, or rather tucked within their snake-like body - abundant, highly-condensed slime.

A hagfish has no jaws, and its slime serves as a valuable form of self-defence.

Researchers recently filmed what happens when a shark bites a hagfish - its mouth and gills are quickly covered in slime. The shark has to back off, or face a slimy suffocation.


And here's some footage of hagfish feeding on a dead whale.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 11:40 pm
by flying spaghetti monster
Nice. That's done the trick.

Hmmmm, that's the life for me. A hagfish farmer, providing hagfish slime to bike wear manufacturers.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 9:21 pm
by justjj
Good Evening .. a friend sent me a note about this and I thought it might interest others.

Sightings - available through itunes

"Description

Sightings is a field data collection app that makes it easy to record location data for natural history observations. You’re out in the bush. You see a night parrot. You add a record in Sightings, start typing ‘nigh…’, select ‘night parrot’ from the auto-complete list, and you have a permanent record of the date, time and location of your sighting. Sightings comes preloaded with the common and scientific names of all Australian tetrapods (birds, mammals, reptiles, frogs), plus most Australian butterflies and dragonflies. You can also upload additional names if your taxon of interest is missing. Sightings can be used to record the location of anything, not just animals.

You can then email the list of records to yourself, or connect your iPhone to your computer and download a CSV/GPX file through iTunes.

Important notes:
Your records are not shared with anyone else or uploaded to the Internet - only you have access to them.

This app requires GPS hardware for effective use. iPod touch and the original iPhone don't provide the level of accuracy required for obtaining precise locations.

The GPS hardware works separately to the phone communication hardware, so you can still use this app to record locations even if you don't have phone reception.

Warning: Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life."

and Helix, I'm guessing you might have posted more about this, but if so I must have missed it ... I found it most interesting.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... 785866.htm

" ... For more than 150 years, biologists have been puzzling over an Irish mystery: A number of wildlife species that live in Ireland are absent from the rest of Britain but are found in Iberia, the peninsula that includes modern-day Spain, Portugal and parts of France.

Research into this so-called 'Irish question' has failed to produce a single theory that explains how and when various species covered hundreds of miles from one place to the other.
..."

Edit: ilago - fixed links

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:47 pm
by roughbarked
I'd read somewhere that SE Ireland was once colonised by Spanish but I have no idea how long ago. The evidence is still there in that the people are still there. It would appear to have been more recent than 8,000 years though.

Re: Nature CHAT

PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2013 10:59 pm
by Helix
justjj wrote:and Helix, I'm guessing you might have posted more about this, but if so I must have missed it ... I found it most interesting.

http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/ ... cLXrZz2sQo

" ... For more than 150 years, biologists have been puzzling over an Irish mystery: A number of wildlife species that live in Ireland are absent from the rest of Britain but are found in Iberia, the peninsula that includes modern-day Spain, Portugal and parts of France.

Research into this so-called 'Irish question' has failed to produce a single theory that explains how and when various species covered hundreds of miles from one place to the other...."



I didn't see that. Thanks! It's referring to the biogeographic conundrum of the Lusitanian flora and fauna, which is a small group of quite disparate taxa that occur in Ireland and on the continent (mostly the Iberian Peninsula), but not on the British mainland. One of the hypotheses for that distribution is that the ice sheets scoured the mainland, extirpating most species, while southern parts of Ireland were spared. This would mean that the Lusitanian distribution is relictual. This seems not to be the case.

They've used Cepaea nemoralis, which is quite a widespread snail (it's one of the species targeted in that huge citizen science project --- EvoLab), so they can look at the relative strengths of the biogeographic signal between locations, presumably. I'll look at the PLoS ONE paper tomorrow to see what they say.

There's at least one truly Lusitanian terrestrial mollusc --- the slug Geomalacus maculosus --- which is a rather handsome species. It'd be interesting to see what that might reveal. (If it hasn't already been looked at. It's been a while since I leafed through the literature.)