Sunday, March 04, 2007

Saturday Morning Nature Blogging

(yeah, yeah I know it's nearly a day late, but I got dragged into this silliness and was swamped by a bunch of email requiring replies -- hopefully, I will be able to complete a post about it soon, which I have started writing since it includes, for first time, right wing bloggers directing emails at me, but don't get the wrong idea the exchanges were all relatively polite and amusing)

I finally managed to catch up on some reading about the Strange New Creatures Found in Antarctica:
Several strange creatures including a psychedelic octopus have been found in frigid waters off Antarctica in one of the world’s most pristine marine environments.

Others resembled corals and shrimps. At least 30 appear to be new to science, said Julian Gutt, chief scientist of an expedition that was part of the International Polar Year research effort set to launch on March 1. The researchers catalogued about 1,000 species in an area of the Antarctic seabed where warming temperatures are believed to have caused the collapse of overlying ice shelves, affecting the marine life below.

“This is virgin geography,” said expedition member Gauthier Chapelle. “If we don’t find out what this area is like now following the collapse of the ice shelf, and what species are there, we won’t have any basis to know in 20 years’ time what has changed and how global warming has altered the marine ecosystem.”

There were several news articles written about this last week, but this one had some of the best pictures:

Speaking about best pictures, PZ Meyers at Pharyngula has posted this fantastic artist rendering and informative article about newly found fossils of Orthozanclus:

(click on over to his blog for a larger image and a great article)

Also, I want to thank PZ for adding me to his blog roll and introducing me to Craig McClain's and Peter Etnoyer's science blog, Deep Sea News, which I have added to my blog roll. I have an emotional affinity with their blog having once worked for the Deep Sea Drilling Project at Scripps Institute of Oceanography, which I always say, "was the best job I ever had" and really mean it! They had a great post yesterday on the hypothesis that Hydrothermal Vents May Be the Womb of Life in answer to a question posed by one of their readers:
What's the current take on a deep-sea origin of life? I just finished reading Genesis by Robert Hazen where he discusses some of the hypothesis' pros and cons and how there is something of a divide between the "ventists" and the "Millerites" and was wondering if deep-sea scientists naturally fell into the "ventist" camp.

Late addendum

Dhonig at Hynocrites has posted this great map of the world in 2050 entitled, The United States of Creationism:


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