Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Odds and Ends

  • Snakeheads, an invasive fish species from Asia, continue to be a problem on the Potomac and its tributaries. On Sunday, 80 were found in Dogue Creek, a stream that feeds the Potomac near Fort Belvoir. I think this discovery should settle any questions about whether snakeheads are firmly established in the area. The only question now is how much of an effect they will have on native fish populations.
  • Emperor penguins, the subjects of the film March of the Penguins, may be among the oldest species in the penguin family, if DNA studies are correct. DNA indicates a split from other seabirds around 70 million years ago, and a common ancestor for penguins about 40 million years ago. Both dates are before Antarctica froze over.
  • Another study suggests that the speckling on birds' eggs may serve to strengthen weak areas of the shell.
  • The folks at Capital Weather had an interesting note about Columbus and hurricanes in honor of yesterday's holiday and this year's crazy hurricane season.
  • Today is the last day for submissions to this week's I and the Bird, which will be hosted at Science and Sarcasm.