Journal archives for March 2019

March 30, 2019

Project "April Fool's Day 2019 - BioBlitz"

Camouflage and mimicry are ways to deceive others. There are numerous species that camouflage or mimic other species to achieve their survival.
We ourselves, observers, are often surprised when we realize what happens during our field endeavors. I mean that so many other situations we do not even realize, we are fooled.
This project pays homage to the species that camouflage and mimic, and challenges us to find them. I selected some species, perhaps more visible, found on almost every continent.
Feel free to join the project and, also, suggest camouflage and mimicry species of your interest. Good luck to all of us!
The distinction between camouflage and mimicry is not always clear when only the model and the mimic are at hand. When the receiver is known and its reactions understood, however, the distinction is quite clear: in mimicry the signals have a special significance for the receiver and for the sender, which has evolved the signals in order to be perceived by the receiver; in camouflage the sender seeks to avoid detection by the receiver through imitation of what is neutral background to the receiver. [1]
In seeking to differentiate between camouflage and mimicry, camouflage can be consider as a more 'passive' attribute, in which an organism has evolved to blend in against a background, whereas mimicry has a more 'active' component to it, whereby an organism copies a specific species or behaviour.[2]

[1] https://www.britannica.com/science/mimicry
[2] https://treesforlife.org.uk/forest/forest-ecology/mimicry/
[3] https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rspb.2016.2080

Posted on March 30, 2019 03:34 by nelson_wisnik nelson_wisnik | 0 comments | Leave a comment

March 25, 2019

Project "The World Water Day 2019 - BioBlitz March 22 to 24"

"World Water Day is an annual UN observance day (always on 22 March) that highlights the importance of freshwater. The day is used to advocate for the sustainable management of freshwater resources. World Water Day is celebrated around the world with a variety of events. These can be educational, theatrical, musical or lobbying in nature." [1]
It is well known that the forms of live we deal with in the earth are all, or nearly all, dependent of the water. Being so, we needed to choose some few to catalog in the World Water Day. We avoided the obvious species that expend all their lives in the water (fishes, algae, for exemple), in favor of some that have have relation to water either in time or space, are around us, and do not demand sophisticated equipments to observe them.
"Amphibians are small vertebrates that need water, or a moist environment, to survive.
The species in this group include frogs, toads, salamanders, and newts. All can breathe and absorb water through their very thin skin." [2]
"Most cacti live in habitats subject to at least some drought. Many live in extremely dry environments, even being found in the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth. Cacti show many adaptations to conserve water." [3]
"Bromeliads often serve as phytotelmata, accumulating water between their leaves. The aquatic habitat created as a result is host to a diverse array of invertebrates, especially aquatic insect larvae. These bromeliad invertebrates benefit their hosts by increasing nitrogen uptake into the plant. [4]
"Nymphaeales, the water lily order of flowering plants, is found in quiet freshwater habitats throughout most of the world.
All plants of the Nymphaeales order are aquatic." [5]
The results show that, for the categories of life being observed by the Project, 62% were observations of Amphibians, while 34% were of Cactuses, only 3% of Bomeliads, and even fewer, only 1% of Nymphaeales.
The result for Nymphaeales did not surprise me, but the result for Amphibians was quite impressive since I hardly observe one.

https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-world-water-day-2019-bioblitz-march-22-to-24
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-world-water-day-2019-amphibians-bioblitz
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-world-water-day-2019-cactuses-bioblitz
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-world-water-day-2019-bromeliads-bioblitz
https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/the-world-water-day-2019-nymphaeales-bioblitz

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Water_Day
[2] Animal Encyclopedia, National Geographic Book (C) 2012
[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cactus
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bromeliaceae
[5] https://www.britannica.com/plant/Nymphaeales

Posted on March 25, 2019 22:38 by nelson_wisnik nelson_wisnik | 0 comments | Leave a comment