Archive for the 'South Pacific Islands' category

Bananas Galore in the Pacific

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The world's most popular fruit is the banana, which originated in the very-much overlooked region of Polynesia. This interesting video explores the relationship between the peoples and cultures of New Guinea, New Caledonia and the Solomon Islands and the world's most popular fruit, the banana.

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Australian Aboriginal Rock Art May Depict Giant Bird Extinct for 40,000 Years

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Australia's oldest painting?
A red ochre rock art depiction of two emu-like birds (Genyornis newtoni?)
with their necks outstretched.
Image: Ben Gunn [larger view]

An Australian Aboriginal rock art may depict a giant bird that is thought to have become extinct some 40,000 years ago, thereby making it the oldest rock painting on the island continent. The red ochre drawing was first discovered two years ago, but archaeologists were only able to confirm the finding two weeks ago, when they first visited the remote site on the Arnhem Land plateau in north Australia.

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Spondylus Imperialis Oyster

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Spondylus Imperialis Oyster?
Photographed in the Luonnontieteellinen keskusmuseo, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
Image: GrrlScientist, 18 May 2010 [larger view]
Canon SX100 IS.

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Mystery Bird: Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher, Ceyx erithaca

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[Mystery bird] Oriental Dwarf-Kingfisher, Ceyx erithaca, photographed "somewhere" in Indonesia. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]
Image: a herpetologist photographed this bird while visiting the islands of Indonesia [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

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Darwin's Finches Develop Immunity to Alien Parasites

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A male Medium Ground Finch, Geospiza fortis, sits on a tree branch in Ecuador's Galapagos Islands.
Image: Jen Koop.

ResearchBlogging.org

People often view the Hawaiian islands as a tropical paradise, the ideal vacation site, but you wouldn't agree with this assessment if you happen to be a bird. According to a federal report published last year in the United States, nearly all of Hawaii's birds are in danger of becoming extinct due to habitat destruction, competition from imported species and of course, infections by alien disease organisms. In short, this tropical paradise is an ecological disaster area.

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Impressive Courtship Dance of the Black Sickle Bill Bird of Paradise

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This streaming video is a clip from 60 Minutes where Bob Simon and Bruce Beehler, a scientist from Conservation International, head off into the New Guinea wilderness in search of the Black Sickle Bill Bird of Paradise, Epimachus fastuosus, and -- amazingly -- the cameramen capture video of this species's rarely seen courtship dance.

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Indonesian Megavolcano Provides Rare Peek into Global Warming

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Sixty-two-mile-long Lake Toba, seen in the center of this satellite image,
was created by the largest explosive volcanic eruption of the past
100,000 years -- an eruption whose aftermath holds important clues for us
today about rapid climate change, Drew Shindell says.
Image: NASA.

Wow, there are days when I wish I had a television, and today is one of them. Why? Tonight, PBS is showing a really fascinating program; a NOVA show entitled Mystery of the Megavolcano that I really really want to see [it shows tonight; Tuesday, September 8 at 8 pm ET/PT on PBS]. This program discusses the latest data regarding the Indonesian (Sumatra) volcano, Mount Toba, that gave rise to the greatest volcanic eruption to occur on Earth in the last 100,000 years. I've included several video clips for you below the jump (with Indonesian subtitles!!);

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Tuna Fishing in the South Pacific

Aug 28 2009 Published by under Fish, South Pacific Islands, Streaming videos

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This fascinating video shows how South Pacific islanders fish for Skipjack Tuna for commercial export using hook, line and pole. Skipjack Tuna are more able to withstand the pressures of commercial fishing than other tuna species because they reach sexual maturity in one year and then spawn many times per season afterwards. Of course, they are not as commercially desirable because they are the smallest tuna species, but if humans cause the extinction of all other tuna species due to overfishing, Skipjack might be the only species that remains. If you have adequate wifi support, you should watch this full-screen in high definition.

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Spider Web Fishing in the South Pacific

Aug 27 2009 Published by under South Pacific Islands, Streaming videos

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This fascinating video shows how South Pacific islanders from the Solomon Islands archipelago use webs spun by a particular species of spider to catch a particular species of fish. If you have adequate wifi support, you should watch this full-screen in high definition.

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Kuhl's Lorikeet Conservation: 'Ura: The Spirit of the Queen, 3

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This informative video discusses the conservation of one of my research birds, the Rimatara (Kuhl's) Lory, Vini kuhlii, known by the natives as the 'Ura. Not only is this bird's story interesting, but it also exemplifies the complications and challenges of conserving any endangered species. This is part three of a three-part series [8:46]

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