Archive for Mountains
www.nationalgeographic.com 16th November 2010
A (comparatively) large new species of squid has been discovered among the underwater mountains of the southern Indian Ocean. The yet un-named squid is about 28 inches (70 cm), has a deep-red colour, and uses bioluminescence to lure its prey. Although small compared to the Colossal Squid, which have been positively identified up to 65 feet long (20 metres), the new species is bigger than many other squid species, some of which can be as small as one inch. The squid was spotted in a six-week long research trip by International Union for Conservation of Nature. “In a single expedition, we sampled about a fifth of all the world’s squid species that are known to date,” said Alex Rogers, a conservation biologist at Oxford University. “That’s really a staggering diversity of squid to sample in a single trip.” Among the 70 odd squid species sampled, there were several other new species as well as the one pictured above. The purpose of the expedition was to document the diversity of life on ‘seamounts’ or underwater mountains, which could number in the hundreds of thousands around the world. One of the reasons scientists believe they are so rich in marine life is because creatures can simply sit on the mountain sides and catch the daily fall of plankton and other micro-organisms to the sea floor.
e360.yale.edu 9th November 2010
Quoted from source:
‘The habitat diversity of the planet’s mountain ranges may offer a safe haven for species threatened by the effects of climate change, according to a new study. Using infrared photography and sensors to monitor soil temperatures in Switzerland’s central Alps, researchers from the University of Basel found that slope exposure and the ruggedness of the alpine terrain “produce a broad spectrum of life conditions” not present in most ecosystems, creating “refuge habitats” for many species. Based on computer modeling, the researchers estimated that if temperatures increase 2 degrees C, only 3 percent of alpine habitat will become unsuitable for species in the region. The scientists said they were surprised by the high degree of temperature contrasts found in the Alps, and that the many micro-climates will enable species to migrate short distances and still find suitable habitat under a scenario of modest temperature increases. The study was published in the Journal of Biogeography.’