Welcome To The August BioDump
As Ducky’s resident ecologist, I’ve taken it upon myself to keep Ducky’s amazing community up to date with the latest news about the planet we’re all trying to live sustainably on. Whether that news be triumphant, heartbreaking or just plain fascinating, here is where you’ll find it on a monthly basis.
I promise that there will be weird and wonderful stuff, and in line with the Ducky attitude to climate psychology, we’ll try and keep it to a minimum of doom and gloom.
Trondheim has some fantastic bird-life, but did you know that there’s also a healthy bat population flitting about, and that it’s somewhat of a mystery how they cope with Norway’s short summer nights? My former colleague Mari Fjelldal had a piece in Adresseavisen this week about her work with Trondheim bats. You can also read an English version at this link.
Some promising local progress to start, with Oslo Kommune pouring money into interesting carbon capture technology. The article admits that relying on this sort of technology can impede the transition to renewables, we can hope that isn’t the case.
Two mummified cave lion cubs have recently been unearthed in Siberian permafrost. Despite the fact that the two cubs were found within fifteen metres of each other, they lived 15,000 years apart.
… the weird …
Ever heard of the tuatara? It’s often referred to as a living fossil, which is a foolish and misleading term, but gets the point across. Some very interesting research on them popped up recently, concerning a stark disparity between the speed of the animal itself, and its gametes.
Speaking of animals and their sex lives, imagine travelling through a reef, seeing a thousand butts poking out at you, and then realising they all belong to the same organism. Should you be offended, or impressed?
Taxidermy can go really, really wrong. Especially when you ask someone to stuff an animal that they’ve never seen outside of a painting before. Case in point, the Lion of Gripsholm Castle. Lastly, on a more fun note, the Bronx Zoo has a completely insect-filled carousel. That is all.
… and the bad news.
More weird reef-related corruption in Australia, where more money has been dished out to an organisation that has been heavily funded already and done little to nothing to help the Great Barrier Reef. This comes on top of the World Heritage Committee backing down from putting the GBR on the ‘in danger’ list after intense political lobbying by the Australian government.
I bang on about invasive species a lot and their damage on local wildlife, but their financial cost is also enormous. The UK has probably spent between five and 13 billion pounds on invasive species in the last 50 years, with that number significantly higher in Australia. Please, if you do have a cat, keep it indoors.
And lastly, scientist have uncovered some quite severe permafrost thawing in Siberia. For those who don’t know, permafrost is huge carbon sink and its release creates devastating feedback cycles.
Climate Data Expert, Ducky AS
As well as being one of our climate data experts, Sam is also an avid science communicator and runs the blog Ecology for the Masses, where he and a team of international writers break the world of biodiversity and ecology for the general public. Check it out here!