Baby clownfish swim up to 400km to find a home


This video says about itself:

Clownfish aka anemonefish e.g. Nemo (Finding Nemo film) fish / fishes Amphiprioninae Pomacentridae

27 March 2014

The most famous clownfish in popular culture is Nemo the main character in the the 2003 animated film Finding Nemo. Nemo’s species is A. ocellaris. Clownfish and sea anemones have a symbiotic, mutualistic relationship, wherein each benefits the other.

Taxonomy – Genus Amphiprion:

Amphiprion akallopisos — Skunk clownfish
Amphiprion akindynos — Barrier Reef Anemonefish
Amphiprion allardi — Twobar anemonefish
Amphiprion barberi
Amphiprion bicinctus — Twoband anemonefish
Amphiprion chagosensis — Chagos anemonefish
Amphiprion chrysogaster — Mauritian anemonefish
Amphiprion chrysopterus — Orange-fin anemonefish
Amphiprion clarkii — Yellowtail clownfish
Amphiprion ephippium — Saddle anemonefish
Amphiprion frenatus — Tomato clownfish
Amphiprion fuscocaudatus — Seychelles anemonefish
Amphiprion latezonatus — Wide-band anemonefish
Amphiprion latifasciatus — Madagascar anemonefish
Amphiprion leucokranos — Whitebonnet anemonefish
Amphiprion mccullochi — Whitesnout anemonefish
Amphiprion melanopus — Fire clownfish
Amphiprion nigripes — Maldive anemonefish
Amphiprion ocellaris — Clown anemonefish
Amphiprion omanensis — Oman anemonefish
Amphiprion pacificus — Pacific anemonefish
Amphiprion percula — Orange clownfish
Amphiprion perideraion — Pink skunk clownfish
Amphiprion polymnus — Saddleback clownfish
Amphiprion rubacinctus — Red anemonefish
Amphiprion sandaracinos — Yellow clownfish
Amphiprion sebae — Sebae anemonefish
Amphiprion thiellei — Thielle’s anemonefish
Amphiprion tricinctus — Three-band anemonefish

Genus Premnas:
Premnas biaculeatus — Maroon clownfish

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Young ‘Nemo’ clownfish roam further than thought, study shows

Australian and British scientists reveal why it was so hard to find Nemo – baby clownfish can swim up to 400km to find a home

Thursday 18 September 2014 02.10 BST

Scientists have revealed why it may be so difficult to find Nemo – baby clownfish can swim up to 400km in search of a new home.

A study, co-authored by James Cook University (JCU) researchers, shows the larvae cross large tracts of ocean to find new coral to settle on, making them better able to cope with environmental change.

“Knowing how far larvae disperse helps us understand how fish populations can adapt,” said Hugo Harrison from JCU’s centre of excellence for coral reef studies. “The further they can swim, the better they can cope.”

He said the results of the study, released in September, offer insight into the long distances travelled by baby clownfish, which feature in the animated film Finding Nemo.

“In the past we haven’t known where they go, but now we’ve been given a rare glimpse into how far they can swim, crossing large tracts of ocean to find new homes,” Harrison said.

He said the larvae moved about but fully grown clownfish spent their entire adult lives under the protection of one anemone.

As part of the international study, researchers collected 400 tissue samples from the only two known populations of Omani clownfish found on two reefs off southern Oman.

By analysing DNA fingerprinting – which reveals which of the two reefs the fish originated from – they found larvae were regularly travelling the 400km distance between the reefs.

Study co-author Stephen Simpson from the University of Exeter in England said it was the longest distance scientists had been able to track the dispersal of any coral reef fish.

“The findings change our understanding of marine populations,” he said. “They’re not small and separate as we often assume, rather this research shows they’re often vast and interconnected.”

The study was published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE.

New owl species discovery in Oman?


The owl in Oman, photo by Arnoud van den Berg

From the BBC:

Owl recorded in Oman could be a new species

By Victoria Gill, Science reporter, BBC News

4 October 2013 Last updated at 06:43 GMT

Ornithologists working in Oman say an owl discovered in a remote, mountainous region could be a new species.

Wildlife sound-recordist Magnus Robb told BBC News that he heard the bird’s call whilst trying to record the call of another type of owl.

That other owl species was the pallid scops owl. The new owl species’ call differed as well from a relative, also present in Oman, the Hume’s tawny owl.

After repeated trips to the remote site, he and a colleague – naturalist and photographer Arnoud van den Berg – captured photographs of the bird.

They have published their observations in the journal Dutch Birding.

Mr Robb’s first recordings of the bird’s unfamiliar hoot were a serendipitous discovery in March of this year.

“I was listening through my headphones, when I suddenly heard something completely different [to the owl species I was there to record],” he told BBC News.

“I know the other Arabian owl sounds quite well, and this was clearly something that didn’t fit.”

The bird call expert said he had a “good inkling straight away that this could be something new”.

“I even phoned a colleague a few minutes later and said, ‘I think I’ve just discovered a new species of owl.”

Mr Robb, who is involved in an international project called the Sound Approach, which aims to catalogue and understand bird sound, analysed the owls’ call in detail.

This revealed that the bird was most likely to belong to a genus, or group of species, known as Strix.

Dr Wesley Hochachka from Cornell University’s lab of ornithology commented that, in the last few decades, it had become “more accepted by ornithologists, particularly in tropical areas, that new species are being discovered based on distinctively different vocalisations”.

The team plans to gather DNA evidence from the owl’s feathers in order to confirm their find genetically.

But Prof Ian Newton, a bird expert from the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said he found the evidence that the team had already provided convincing.

“Based on the recordings of songs and calls and on the good-quality photographs, I was also convinced that it should be placed within the genus Strix, which also contains the Tawny Owl of Britain and Europe,” he told BBC News.

Mr Robb said he hoped eventually to name the new species the Omani owl, in honour of the Omani people.

“One of the reasons we’ve gone through this process of describing and confirming this as a new species so quickly is to get conservation for this owl as soon as possible,” he explained to BBC News.

“Conservation can only start when this species is accepted and given some official status.”

He hopes to return to Oman later this year in to learn more about the owl, its habitat and its behaviour.

So far, he and and his colleagues have found only seven of the birds in a single wadi in the remote, mountainous area of Oman.

“This suggests that it’s a very rare creature indeed,” he told BBC News.

More about this, including sound recordings of the owl calling, is here.

Dutch TV program Vroege Vogels writes about this (translated):

The last new [bird] species, discovered in the Middle East, were the Arabian Scops Owl (Otus pamelae) and the Arabian Magpie (Pica asirensis), both described in 1937 but discovered in 1936.

See also here.