TedTalks - Edith Widder: How We Found the Giant Squid

Humankind has been looking for the giant squid (Architeuthis) since we first started taking pictures underwater. But the elusive deep-sea predator could never be caught on film. Oceanographer and inventor Edith Widder shares the key insight — and the teamwork — that helped to capture the squid on camera for the first time.

(via: TED - YouTube)

Boophis ankarafensis:
A New Species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with Acoustic Monitoring of its Nocturnal Calling  [2014]
A new species of treefrog of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) is described from the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park in northwest Madagascar.
This new species is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and dorsum; similar in morphology to other species of this group including: B. bottae, B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. tasymena.
All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt.
Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula. The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity.
Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Due to these threats it is proposed that this species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria…
read the paper  
(via: NovaTaxa - Species New to Science)

Boophis ankarafensis:

A New Species of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) from the Sahamalaza Peninsula, northwest Madagascar, with Acoustic Monitoring of its Nocturnal Calling  [2014]

A new species of treefrog of the Boophis rappiodes group (Anura, Mantellidae) is described from the Sahamalaza – Iles Radama National Park in northwest Madagascar.

This new species is green in colour with bright red speckling across its head and dorsum; similar in morphology to other species of this group including: B. bottae, B. rappiodes, B. erythrodactylus and B. tasymena.

All individuals were detected from the banks of two streams in Ankarafa Forest. The new species represents the only member of the B. rappiodes group endemic to Madagascar’s western coast, with the majority of other members known from the eastern rainforest belt.

Despite its conspicuous call, it has not been detected from other surveys of northwest Madagascar and it is likely to be a local endemic to the peninsula. The ranges of two other amphibian species also appear restricted to Sahamalaza, and so the area seems to support a high level of endemicity.

Although occurring inside a National Park, this species is highly threatened by the continuing decline in the quality and extent of its habitat. Due to these threats it is proposed that this species should be classified as Critically Endangered according to the IUCN Red List criteria…

read the paper 

(via: NovaTaxa - Species New to Science)

Insect ID - MI, USA:
The cat stirred this up on the porch tonight, buzzing loudly and flying erratically. Southeastern Michigan (metro Detroit). What is it?
Paxon:
It’s hard to tell exactly which species this is, with blurry night time photo, but… this looks like Linne’s cicada (Tibicen linnei). Have a look at these links, and see if you agree with me:
http://bugguide.net/node/view/32143
http://www.cicadamania.com/genera/species.php?q=T.+linnei
http://www.americaninsects.net/h/tibicen-linnei.html
http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/Michigan_Cicadas/Michigan/Index.html

Insect ID - MI, USA:

The cat stirred this up on the porch tonight, buzzing loudly and flying erratically. Southeastern Michigan (metro Detroit). What is it?

Paxon:

It’s hard to tell exactly which species this is, with blurry night time photo, but… this looks like Linne’s cicada (Tibicen linnei). Have a look at these links, and see if you agree with me:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/32143

http://www.cicadamania.com/genera/species.php?q=T.+linnei

http://www.americaninsects.net/h/tibicen-linnei.html

http://insects.ummz.lsa.umich.edu/fauna/Michigan_Cicadas/Michigan/Index.html

Giant Octopus Released Back Into the Wild

Velma the Pacific Giant Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) was returned back into the wild today. The Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, OR, typically keep their octopuses 6-9 months and release them once they outgrow their tank or show signs of getting ready to reproduce. For their specimens they depend on donations from local crabbers and fishers who accidentally catch them in their pots and nets. They’re currently on the lookout for their next resident octopus.

(via: Hatfield Marine Science Center Visitor Center)

It’s Time Again… Catch the Shorebird Migration!

by Rosemary w/ MassAudubon

The end of summer brings a new kind of beachgoer: waves of shorebirds that stop by Massachusetts (and other Northeastern states) beaches as they migrate south for the winter. This spectacle began in early July, and though we’re nearing the end of its peak (mid-August), it will continue through mid-November.

Migratory shorebirds can appear on practically any tidal wetland. Away from the coast, any muddy pond or lake shore will also often host small numbers of shorebirds during migration. While many shorebirds spend time in Massachusetts/the NE, here are five that you may see right about now…

(read more: MassAudubon)

photos: Vitalii Khustochka/Flickr; albertovo/flickr; Jerry Fishbein; and Justin Lawson/Flickr bumpylemon

astronomy-to-zoology
astronomy-to-zoology:

"Freshwater Hydroid" (Cordylophora caspia)
…a ‘unique’ species of Oceaniid hydrozoan which is native to Northern Europe, but has been introduced into the United States and Canada. True to its common name Cordylophora caspia inhabits freshwater and brackish (or sightly salty) habitats, with colonies growing on a myriad of hard surfaces like rocks, pilings, and even mussel shells. Like marine hydroids C. caspia is predatory and will consume a variety of freshwater invertebrates. 
Cordylophora caspia populations may benefit from the expansion of zebra and quagga mussels in North America, as they provide substrate. It is thought that the increase salinity in systems impacted by road salt benefit them as well. 
Classification
Animalia-Cnidaria-Hydrozoa-Hydroida-Anthomedusae-Oceaniidae-Corydlophora-C. caspia
Image: Nadine Rorem

astronomy-to-zoology:

"Freshwater Hydroid" (Cordylophora caspia)

…a ‘unique’ species of Oceaniid hydrozoan which is native to Northern Europe, but has been introduced into the United States and Canada. True to its common name Cordylophora caspia inhabits freshwater and brackish (or sightly salty) habitats, with colonies growing on a myriad of hard surfaces like rocks, pilings, and even mussel shells. Like marine hydroids C. caspia is predatory and will consume a variety of freshwater invertebrates. 

Cordylophora caspia populations may benefit from the expansion of zebra and quagga mussels in North America, as they provide substrate. It is thought that the increase salinity in systems impacted by road salt benefit them as well. 

Classification

Animalia-Cnidaria-Hydrozoa-Hydroida-Anthomedusae-Oceaniidae-Corydlophora-C. caspia

Image: Nadine Rorem

cool-critters

cool-critters:

Greater Bilby (Macrotis lagotis)

The greater bilby, often referred to simply as the bilby since the lesser bilby became extinct in the 1950s, is an Australian species of nocturnal omnivorous animal in the Peramelemorphia order.

Greater bilbies live in arid areas of central Australia. Their range and population is in decline. It makes its home in a burrow that spirals down, making it hard for its predators to get in.

Greater bilbies are nocturnal omnivores that do not need to drink water, as they get all the moisture they need from their food, which includes insects and their larvae, seeds, spiders, bulbs, fruit, fungi, and very small animals. Most food is found by digging or scratching in the soil, and using their very long tongues.

Greater bilbies are generally solitary marsupials; however, there are some cases in which they travel in pairs. They are considered as “Vulnerable" by the IUCN.

photo credits: wildlifesydney, oddanimals, geeveston