The secret world of mini-beasts

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Do you ever think about the wonderful world of mini-beasts,the most numerous and diverse of species of animals?

The term mini-beasts applies to various invertebrates such as insects, spiders, ants, butterflies, bees, wasps, and beetles. Many can be seen – and studied with the naked eye or a hand lens – on leaves, tree barks, in the soil, and in water. But this world of wonder and invention mostly goes on unobserved. Read the rest of this entry »

Modern fish communities live fast and die young

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Fish communities in the 21st Century live fast and die young. That’s the main finding of a recent study by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society who compared fish recently caught in coastal Kenya with the bones of fish contained in ancient Swahili refuse heaps in order to understand how to rebuild the current fisheries.

“The ancient Swahili middens represent a time capsule of data, containing information on the composition of the region’s fish assemblages and how human communities influenced the marine environment,” said McClanahan, WCS Senior Conservationist and head of the WCS’s coral reef research and conservation program. “The historical data suggest that fishing removes the slower-growing, longer-lived species over time and that marine protected areas are only partially successful in recovering the fish communities of the past.”