Posted by: r.m. | January 14, 2009

and, for at least a moment, stop…

… and see the magnificent, humbling wonder of this Earth — without the destruction and insanity and stupidity and madness of one of its species (i.e. the Homo sapiens)

here is the highlight of the science news of ’08 of plants and animals



  1. I really liked this article! Here are the points that I’ll never forget:
    -the fungus responsible for bat’s death&decline.
    -the stress hormones in elephants (but if we want to think logically, shouldn’t they produce MORE babies in order to make sure some survive the stressful conditions and ensure that their genotypes thrive?!)
    -the small snake. From now on each time I’ll see a worm I’ll take it for a Leptotyphlops carlae!
    -the tool use by non-humans: the dolphin’s sponge.(and we’re still considering ourselves as the most “intelligent” creatures!)
    -the “blind” ant! I’m sure it’s not blind because it absolutely evolved other mechanisms to compensate the absence of eyes.

  2. this is a nice post.what i found most interesting was the article about the elephants and the one about the dolphins.but i must agree with serge:the elephants should reproduce more to ensure their genotypes thrive.

  3. really good post short but kinda cool:P i loved the snake’s embryo its cute! seriously i loved the fact that some spiders are vegeterians now! never imagined that. as for that small snake God even when its that smalll it still look scary to me!

  4. Nice post!! i loved the elephants and the dolphins and the spiders…sometimes it looks to me that we are living in a different world than them…it’s really glory to find what God is able to do!!

  5. wow a wonderful article. i liked the story about the death and decline of bats due to the fungus…its really interesting.

  6. nice article the big fang and the small snake are nice and they dont look threatening (are they??) and the point about the bat the fungi in his nose…something humans didnt cause atleast (Right?)…the spiders one was funny 😀 and intresting.
    Sally El-Koussa

  7. Its quite an interesting article but a sad one as well. The most striking news to me was the one concerned with the dangers facing the coral reefs these days. I mean i cant believe that a quarter of the planet’s reef-building corals face a noticeable risk of extinction! I had no idea about the benifits of coral reefs i realize that they can have very important medical value. Some produce compounds active against asthma, heart disease, leukemia, tumors, HIV. Also coral skeletons are being investigated as substrate for bone grafts. What’s more is that chemicals produced by sea slugs and sponges to repel fish are useful as insecticides.

  8. What really attarcted my attention in this article is that for once Homo sapiens are not blamed for increase in CO2 production!!:) Those small tiny mountain pine beetles are becoming part of the problem in the fight against greenhouse gases. So the previous climate model that treats the forest as a “closed box with the climate acting on it,” doesnt hold anymore because within that small boxe there might be disturbances driven from the inside rather from the outside. Now that’s a big problem:(!

  9. It is a nice article…what was

  10. ( sorry error)..anyways, what was the most interesting is the bat story…It’s wierd that fungus growing on the nose of bats are the cause of bats decline…
    in addition, i liked the story of the vegeterian spider…i always have this “blood filled image” of a spider biting someone..It’s good that there are vegeteraian spiders, it may be good for their health 😛 !

  11. Everyday I discover new things about this world and about our animals. It was scary reading about the bats and fungus. Some of these were actually surprising like the elephants and dolphins. I think elephants should reproduce more to decrease their stress hormones.

  12. That was such an effective article, I loved it. 🙂
    It’s so wonderful how many species exist, including those we hardly know of. The ant could be an interesting case to study. It’s odd that it has no eyes, but it could be an example of how the evolution of the modern ant came to be (natural selection).
    What is distressing and contradictory is the fact that more poaching is going on today than before the 1989 ivory ban. To think that we’re individually destructing animal and plant species altogether is truly shameful.

  13. These articles were very interesting. Specially the one about the elephants. It is very sad that these species are not only being threatend by poaching, but also by a different indirect way which is the increase in stress hormones that is affecting reproduction. We as human beings should open our eyes to what we are doing and try to overcome our destructive nature.

  14. This planet has been the host of some of the World’s most magnificent and breath-taking phenomena. It’s so sad that the most impressive of all, and by far, turned to be so destructive and out of control, and by that I mean: WE Humans.

  15. i really enjoyed this article. it has few but very interesting and imprtant details. the one about the dolphins got me thinking do they use the sponge method because the fish is become more hard to find??? the elephants becoming rare is very sad, they are such nice creatures, very interesting. I just hope they reproduce more so they wouldnt become rare..

  16. interesting articles. I liked the one talking about the bar-tailed godwits. These birds have a capacity to flight thousands of kilometers without taking a break.
    but the distance of migration have been elongated last years because the longest flight records are recent. climate change may be affecting their routes, but more experiments should be done to demonstrate this statement.
    But what is clear is that other types of migratory species like the flycatcher are affected by climate change and their numbers are decreasing in many European countries. These species are indicators of global warming.

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