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New episode! 

Pet trade threatens unusual lizard

A strange monitor lizard from Borneo has become popular in the wildlife trade, which could threaten its existence, a conservation organization is warning in a new report. The rare earless monitor lizard (Lanthanotus borneensis) has remained obscure since the last research was conducted on it in the 1960s. It lives underground and has adaptations such as a lack of external openings for its ears and small eyes and limbs. The animals are officially protected in Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, and Malaysia,the countries that make up Borneo. But in the last 2 years, private collectors have begun selling specimens from the wild. TRAFFIC, a wildlife trade monitoring network that is a partnership of conservation organizations,found the animals being offered for sale online in Europe. The organization says many of the lizards are being collected from the wild and smuggled out of Borneo and that the trade should be made illegal under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. All other species of monitor lizard are protected by the convention.

Source - news.sciencemag.org

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New episode! - An introduction to: Insect Orders 

We’ve all seen insects, right? Scuttling along the forest floor, buzzing between flowers, or simply basking in the sun. But what are the different types and how are they classified? Phil gets to grips with taxonomy and illustrates some common critters you might see on your travels.

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New episode out today! - The amazing world of Bats.

As night descends, many species of nocturnal animal emerge. Bats are by far the most iconic and amazing. Join David as he explores amazing bat facts in this introduction to the group.

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The BBC have produced an interesting article about the purpose of Zoos. Very in-keeping with one of our previous episodes.

Polychaete worms have a staggering level of diversity, with an estimated 25,000 species world-wide. The christmas tree worm pictured above is one such slightly strange looking polychaete. But unfortunately for these fascinating animals, the release of silver nanoparticles from a multitude of industrial processes threatens their future. In fact, a study published only last year showed that mortality in the early life stages is significantly increased through exposure to silver nanoparticles in the water column. 

Photo by Nick Hobgood (CC)

See: May Carr, C., (2012), Polychaete diversity and distribution patterns in Canadianmarine waters, Mar. Biodiv., 42: 93–107.

Also See: Garcier-Alonso, J., (2014) Toxicity and accumulation of silver nanoparticles during development of the marine polychaete Platynereis dumerilii, Science of the Total Environment, 688-695.

“We’re all Homo sapiens — thinking men and women — but in a world that faces an uncertain future of habitat destruction, climate change, and ecological catastrophe, perhaps it’s time we became Eco sapiens." 


www.ecosapien.org

Two unclassifiable species found off Australian coast

Mushroom-shaped organisms found on south-east continental slope cannot be placed in any existing phylum

Four views of Dendrogramma enigmatica, an unclassifiable species found off the Australian coast. Photograph: PLOS ONE

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The contribution of ecotourism to local economies is surprisingly large. In fact, in the case of the manta ray, one study estimated that tourism contributes $140 million dollars per year, whilst the harvesting of manta rays for consumption brings in a measly $5 million dollars per year. And if that doesn’t put people off fishing them, perhaps heavy metal poisoning would? Essumang (2010) determined that manta ray meat regularly contains dangerous levels of Arsenic.

Photo by Jackie Reid (PD)

See: O’ Malley, M. et al, (2013), The Global Economic Impact of Manta Ray Watching Tourism, PLOS ONE.

Also See: Essumang, D., (2010), Analysis and Human Health Risk Assessment of Arsenic, Cadmium, and Mercury in Manta Birostris (Manta Ray) Caught Along the Ghanaian Coastline, Taylor and Francis Online, Volume 15, Issue 5.


“We’re all Homo sapiens — thinking men and women — but in a world that faces an uncertain future of habitat destruction, climate change, and ecological catastrophe, perhaps it’s time we became Eco sapiens." 


www.ecosapien.org

This slightly mysterious looking creature is called an Onychophoran. Due to its close relationship to the arthopods, scientists have put a great deal of effort into studying this enigmatic creature. Through doing so, our understanding of arthropods such as insects and spiders has increased dramatically. Not only has it contributed towards science, it also has quite a strange way of hunting: the animal squirts a sticky slime from glands in the head, which is sufficient to literally glue any prey to the ground. Being such a slow animal, this enables it to hunt animals much faster than itself.

Photo by Bruno Vellutini (CC)

See: Baer, A (2012), Comparative Anatomy of Slime Glands in Onychophora (Velvet Worms), Journal of Morphology, 273:1079–1088.

“We’re all Homo sapiens — thinking men and women — but in a world that faces an uncertain future of habitat destruction, climate change, and ecological catastrophe, perhaps it’s time we became Eco sapiens.”

www.ecosapien.org

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Why do we need the modern zoo?

The zoo has come a long way, transforming from a place of public entertainment, to the modern zoo, which many see as a centre for conservation. So why do we even need modern zoos? In this episode, David explores this very question.

If you like this episode, or any other, why not hit that subscribe button? We need all the support we can get, to help continue produce the huge array of videos we hope to make.

And check out our Tumblr blog for competitions and conservation and wildlife news, and our Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

http://ecosapienshow.tumblr.com

https://www.facebook.com/EcoSapienShow

https://twitter.com/@eco_sapien

http://instagram.com/ecosapien

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Why do we need the modern zoo? 

The zoo has come a long way, transforming from a place of public entertainment, to the modern zoo, which many see as a centre for conservation. So why do we even need modern zoos? In this episode, David explores this very question.

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Why are bees so important? 

Bees are important, right? That seems to be the general consensus. But is it true? And should you still care even if you don’t eat honey. Phil argues that the answer is ‘yes’ and presents his top five reasons that explain just why bees are so important.

If you like this episode, or any other, why not hit that subscribe button? We need all the support we can get, to help continue produce the huge array of videos we hope to make.

And check out our Tumblr blog for competitions and conservation and wildlife news, and our Facebook and Twitter for more updates!

http://ecosapienshow.tumblr.com

https://www.facebook.com/EcoSapienShow

https://twitter.com/@eco_sapien

http://instagram.com/ecosapien