Observations, collections, and notes about natural history, biology, ecology, environment, and conservation
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The Pieridae family consists of a large number of small to medium size butterflies, characterized by orange, white or yellow wings. Many species of Sulphurs are quite similar in size, color, markings & flight characteristics. Some interbreed & hybridize, making identication difficult. #entomology #lepidopterology
Linnaeus’ International Code of Botanical Nomenclature dictates that a plant name start with a capitalized genus, followed by a lower-case species, then either a variety (if naturally occurring), cultivar (if created by a breeder) or hybrid name (if it’s a cross between two plants, indicted by an “x”). The code is regulated by the International Botanical Congress, which convenes every six years since 1900 to evaluate & decide on naming issues raised by new genetic research & scientific findings.
In 2017 plague struck black-tailed prairie dogs in the Thunder Basin National Grassland, Wyoming. A study in the journal Ecological Applications follows the fates of not only the prairie dogs but also the land they lived on & the many animals their deaths affected. The area’s vegetation & its animals — including carnivores such as badgers, foxes & coyotes; deer & elk; & 80 species of birds — were all impacted. The prairie dogs play a critical role for vegetation & wildlife within their habitats.
Interesting article by the Washington Post about just how crowded our sky is becoming. Elon Musk's company SpaceX plans to launch 30,000 internet satellites, possibly reaching this number before 2050. OneWeb & Amazon’s Project Kuiper are vying for similar fleets. By some estimates, the combined satellites may number over 100,000 by 2030. The impact of so many objects will affect other scientific fields as well. #astronomy
Scientists are unearthing a quiet truth about the woods: Where trees grow, or don’t, depends in part on the quirky decisions of small seed-dispersing mammals. In a 2019 study in Ecology Letters, described as a “proof of concept,” the researchers showed that the personalities of small mammals influence their choice of seeds. Many other factors subtly influence the animals' decisions, therefore affecting the long-term future of the trees & forests as a whole.
'Petrichor' is that pleasant, earthy scent that accompanies a storm’s first raindrops. Rain itself has no scent; the smell actually comes from the moistening of the ground, a combination of fragrant chemical compounds. Some are from oils made by plants. The main contributor to petrichor are actinobacteria. A byproduct of their activity is an organic compound called geosmin, which becomes aerosolized when raindrops hit the ground, which contributes to the petrichor scent. #meteorology
The Pieridae family consists of a large number of small to medium size butterflies, characterized by orange, white or yellow wings. Many species of Sulphurs are quite similar in size, color, markings, & flight characteristics. Plus some interbreed & hybridize which makes identication even more challenging. #entomology