Vertebrate animal evolution, new study


This video says about itself:

22 January 2016

The evolution of fish began about 530 million years ago during the Cambrian explosion. Early fish from the fossil record are represented by a group of small, jawless, armoured fish known as ostracoderms. Jawless fish lineages are mostly extinct. An extant clade, the lampreys, may approximate ancient pre-jawed fish. The first jaws are found in Placoderm fossils. The diversity of jawed vertebrates may indicate the evolutionary advantage of a jawed mouth. It is unclear if the advantage of a hinged jaw is greater biting force, improved respiration, or a combination of factors. The evolution of fish is not studied as a single event since fish do not represent a monophyletic group but a paraphyletic one (by exclusion of the tetrapods).

From the University of Konstanz in Germany:

Evolutionary biologists solve puzzle of evolutionary relationships among vertebrates

July 24, 2017

Using the largest and most informative molecular phylogenetic dataset ever analysed, evolutionary biologists were able to construct a new phylogenetic tree of jawed vertebrates. This new tree resolves several key relationships that have remained controversial, including the identification of lungfishes as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates. The evolution of jawed vertebrates is part of our own history since humans belong to the tetrapods more specifically we are mammals, or, even more specifically, primates. The study utilised a novel set of newly developed analyses for building and reconstructing, large-scale genomic datasets. In the future, this method might also be used to reconstruct the evolutionary relationships among other enigmatic groups of organisms that await resolution. The research was done as part of a large collaborative work between several laboratories, with evolutionary biologists Dr Iker Irisarri and Professor Axel Meyer from the University of Konstanz among the principal investigators. Their research results will be published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution at Monday, 24 July 2017.

Fishes, amphibians, mammals, snakes, turtles, lizards, crocodiles and birds are all groups of animals that include thousands of species and are morphologically very different from each other. These animal lineages show huge differences in species richness, life history, behaviour and many other aspects of their biology. Notwithstanding these differences, they all possess a backbone and jaws. Since their origin about 470 million years ago, jawed vertebrates have diversified extraordinarily: they include more than 68,000 described species, not counting those that went extinct. Some of them evolved key innovations that enabled their ancestors during the Devonian age to leave water and conquer terrestrial environments on all continents. They even learned to fly more than once.

The evolution of jawed vertebrates is also part of our own history as humans. Understanding the evolutionary relationships between jawed vertebrates has thus been one of the major unsolved puzzles in biology. Despite decades of investigations, attempting to determine how some of these animal groups are related to each other has remained difficult. Estimating a robust tree that depicts evolutionary relationships is the first requirement for understanding the evolution, and also of jawed vertebrates. Their history includes astonishing examples of repeated evolution such as flight (in birds and bats) and echolocation (bats and whales). However, such convergences can only be recognised if the relationships among organisms are estimated with confidence.

The study reconstructs a new phylogenetic tree of jawed vertebrates using the largest and most informative dataset ever analysed. A total of 7,189 genes from 100 species are employed, providing one million nucleotides each to retrace their evolutionary history. Inferring evolutionary relationships by means of statistical methods could be viewed as “molecular archaeology,” as the signals left by evolution in the DNA of our genomes are used to reconstruct events that happened millions of years ago.

The new tree of jawed vertebrates resolves several key relationships that have remained controversial despite decades of research, including the identification of lungfishes as the closest living relatives of land vertebrates, the close association of turtles with crocodilians and birds (the Archosaurs), or the relationships among amphibian groups (salamanders, frogs, caecilians) (supporting the Batrachia hypothesis). The phylogenetic tree was time-calibrated using fossils as anchors, which allowed testing of temporal relationship of diversification with major geological events. For example, two major groups of birds and mammals had been hypothesised to have diversified as a consequence of the extinction of dinosaurs (67 million years ago). The new study invalidates this hypothesis by showing that both groups are in fact much older.

The strength of the study is a novel set of approaches for analysing new, large-scale genomic datasets. The newly developed analytical pipeline solves the most important challenges posed by the new genomic-scale data set and could thus be used to reconstruct the evolutionary relationship of other enigmatic groups of organisms that await resolution.

Malaysian seagrass, important for dugongs, fish


This video says aout itself:

Dugongs Eating, Swimming, and Serving as Seagrass “Mascots” | One Minute Dive with Pew

18 February 2015

Perhaps best known for inspiring mermaid folklore in the Pacific, the rotund, graceful dugongs—close relatives of manatees—are stars of Malaysia’s shallow ocean meadows. See dugongs eating and swimming. Plus, learn more facts about the unique relationship between vulnerable coastlines and these loveable, but critically endangered, seagrass “mascots.”

As a developing nation, Malaysia’s coast is undergoing rapid, large-scale development, putting pressure on the region’s sensitive seagrass meadows and the many animals that call them home. Seagrass beds are essential to the survival of a wide variety of species. But no other animals are more directly dependent on these meadows than the dugong, which have developed unique adaptations to seagrass life over the centuries.

This Pacific cousin to the manatee is critically endangered in Malaysia, and it relies solely on seagrass for its food and habitat. Pew marine fellow Louisa Ponnampalam is working off the coast of Johor, Malaysia, to identify habitats that are crucial for one of the country’s last remaining populations of dugongs.

From the University of Malaya in Malaysia:

Seagrass meadows: Critical habitats for juvenile fish and dugongs in the east coast Johor islands

July 21, 2017

Scientists at University of Malaya, Malaysia, have found that the seagrass meadows in Johor harbor three times more juvenile fish than coral reefs. They also found that the dugong herds there prefer certain types of meadows over others.

Seagrass, the world’s oldest living thing, is a marine flowering plant that forms vast underwater meadows throughout all the oceans of the world, except in the Antarctic. These flowering plants first appeared in fossil records 100 million years ago and are the key to the survival of our seas, by providing oxygen, filtering out pollutants and bacteria, and capturing large stores of carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate warming. Despite these, seagrasses do not enjoy as high a public profile as coral reefs and mangroves. A team of researchers at the University of Malaya is motivated to raise the profile of seagrass by studying how these plants contribute to something that is naturally compelling to most people — as a rich, productive habitat and a source of food.

The researchers began their project by documenting the types and numbers of fish life in the seagrass meadows around the islands of Johor, and did the same in coral reefs as a way of juxtaposing the two ecosystems. The usual way of doing this kind of study is to drag a trawl net to dredge up all the marine life on the sea-bed. However, the researchers wanted to avoid destructive sampling as they were working in marine parks. As such, GoPro underwater cameras were deployed in a series of 2 x 2 m plots within the seagrass beds and coral reefs to view the types of fishes that visited the ecosystems, and how they utilized the space. The method was painstaking, because it took roughly one day to collect just three samples in the field, and they needed at least sixty! After eighteen months of sampling across different seasons and locations, Nina Ho Ann Jin, MSc student of the project, found three times more juvenile fishes than adult fishes in the seagrass video recordings. She also noted that fishes in the seagrass meadows spent most of their time feeding, while those in the adjacent coral reefs were more occupied by defending their territory. Clearly, the two ecosystems have very different roles from the viewpoint of the average fish: seagrasses are nursery and feeding areas, whereas coral reefs are the home of adult fish. These two ecosystems complement each other in supporting the survival needs of marine organisms at different parts of their life cycle. Thus, seagrasses are no less important than coral reefs in providing us with marine resources, and deserve much more public attention than they have currently received.

Recently, the researchers turned their attention to studying the feeding ecology of dugongs because they depend almost entirely on seagrass as a food source. These shy ‘sea cows’ have great popular appeal, and by showing the public how closely linked their fates are with that of their seagrass habitats, the profile for seagrass conservation is also raised. There is a thriving dugong population in the researchers’ long-term study area in the Johor islands. The researchers tracked the feeding patterns of dugongs by mapping out their feeding trails across different seasons. Feeding trails are sinuous, bare tracks left behind by dugongs when they graze by ripping the seagrass up from the roots upward. Using the geographical approach, Harris Heng Wei Khang, MPhil student, was able to identify dugong feeding hotspots within the meadows, where dugongs return to feed on preferentially over and over again. Harris Heng is now focusing on finding out why these locations are preferred over others, and has a hypothesis that plant nutrient content may be the key factor. As a result of this work, the researchers’ local NGO collaborator has been able to zone the meadows for different levels of protection, based on whether the dugongs use them consistently as feeding grounds or not. This information has also been used to present a persuasive case for establishing a State-sanctioned dugong sanctuary in the area.

New sunfish species discovered


This video says about itself:

20 July 2017

A completely new species of Bali sunfish population in Indonesia.

But when I started my PhD doing population studies on Bali sunfish in Indonesia, I did not expect to discover a completely new species. What started as a side project turned into a four-year treasure hunt, flying thousands of miles to track the evidence with the help of dozens of people. As part of my PhD research, I analyzed more than 150 DNA samples of sunfish. Genetic sequencing revealed four distinct species: Masturus lanceolatus, Mola mola, Mola ramsayi and a fourth that did not fit any known species.

A new species had been hiding in sight for centuries, so we ended up calling it Mola tecta: the deceptive hatter. But back then, in 2013, we did not even know what they were like. All we had were skin samples containing the mysterious DNA. The next step was to try to figure out what these fish might look like. Superficially, all sunfish look the same ie slightly odd. Their bodies are flat and rigid except for their fins. They have no tail; And as they grow larger they usually develop odd punches on the head, chin and nose.

So I started looking for sunfish photos, especially on social networks, looking for something different. I also spent a lot of time establishing a network of people across Australia and New Zealand that could alert me every time a sunfish was found. I finally got a break in 2014. Observers from the fisheries in New Zealand and Australia sent me pictures of sunfish they found in the sea, usually just a fin in the water. But on one occasion they took a small fish on board to free it from a fishing line, and got a brilliant picture of it all along with a genetic sample. This fish had a small structure in its back fin which I had never seen in a sunfish before. Just when I wondered if this was a characteristic of the species, I hit the jackpot when four fish were stranded at one time on the same beach in New Zealand.

See also here.

From the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society:

Hiding in broad daylight: molecular and morphological data reveal a new ocean sunfish species (Tetraodontiformes: Molidae) that has eluded recognition

19 July 2017

Abstract

The taxonomy of the ocean sunfishes (Molidae) has a complicated history. Currently, three genera and four species are recognized, including two in the genus Mola (M. mola and M. ramsayi).

In 2009, a genetic study revealed a potential third species, Mola species C, in Southeast Australian waters. Concentrating on this region, we obtained samples and morphological data from 27 Mola sp. C specimens, genetically confirmed the existence of this species (mtDNA D-loop and cytochrome c oxidase 1), and established its morphology across a size spectrum of 50–242 cm total length. Mola sp. C is diagnosed by clavus meristics [15–17 fin rays (13–15 principal, 2 minor), 5–7 ossicles, paraxial ossicles separate], clavus morphology (prominent smooth band back-fold, rounded clavus edge with an indent), and body scale morphology (raised conical midpoints, non-branching).

This species does not develop a protruding snout, or swollen dorso- or ventrolateral ridges. Body proportions remain similar with growth. A review of the historic literature revealed that Mola sp. C is a new, hitherto undescribed species, M. tecta, which we describe and diagnose, and that it is the first proposed addition to the genus Mola in 125 years. Its core distribution is likely in the temperate waters of the Southern Hemisphere.

Night heron catches perch


This 18 July 2017 video is about a night heron catching a small perch.

Paul Dijkman in the Netherlands made this video.

Bamboo sharks, how they eat


This video from the Philippines says about itself:

Release of Bamboo Sharks or Chiloscyllium plagiosum in Cala

27 May 2012

A project of the Manila Ocean Park and partners. It is the release of 2nd generation aquarium reared CHILOSCYLLIIUM PLAGIOSUM.

From Brown University in the USA:

To swallow food, some sharks shrug their shoulders

July 18, 2017

Summary: Sophisticated X-ray imaging technology has allowed scientists to see that to keep food moving down toward the digestive tract, bamboo sharks use their shoulders to create suction.

Sharks don’t have tongues to move food through their mouths, so instead some use their… shoulders?

So say scientists who used a sophisticated X-ray movie technology to see, for the first time, that bamboo sharks swing their shoulders internally when they eat.

By pulling their “shoulder girdle” back, the sharks create the suction needed to draw food through the back of the mouth and further into the digestive tract, said Ariel Camp, a postdoctoral researcher at Brown University and lead author of the research published in Proceedings B, a Royal Society journal.

“They have this long pharynx, and they have to keep food moving down it,” Camp said. “We think this is part of a ‘hydrodynamic tongue.’ Sharks and fishes that don’t have a tongue control the motion of fluid within their mouths to manipulate food.”

That means bamboo sharks (Chiloscyllium plagiosum) use their shoulders, composed of a U-shaped girdle of cartilage and various attached muscles, for feeding as well as to control the front-most fins for locomotion, wrote Camp and colleagues from Brown, the University of Alaska at Anchorage and the University of Illinois.

To make the observations, Camp and colleagues used a technology developed at Brown called X-ray Reconstruction of Moving Morphology (XROMM). The system combines CT scans of the skeleton with high-speed, high-resolution X-ray movies, aided by tiny implanted metal markers, to create precise visualizations of how bones and muscles move within animals and people. In the study, the team used XROMM to watch three bamboo sharks feast on pieces of squid and herring.

Bamboo sharks are among several species of shark (and many other fish as well) that use suction to slurp up prey, for instance out of rocky crevices or the silt of the sea floor, Camp said. By opening their mouths widely and quickly, sometimes using muscles deep in their bodies, fish can create the suction needed to draw prey into their mouths.

But many scientists had suspected that the shoulder girdle played no role in shark suction-feeding. It’s not connected directly to the jaws or anything else in the head. While sharks use their pectoral fins to swim and even to position themselves over prey with something akin to a walking motion, the shoulder girdle was presumed to be still during feeding.

With the XROMM, however, the scientists could see inside the sharks as they fed and measured a surprising swing in the shoulder girdle of all three sharks tested. Just a fraction of a second after the mouth closed, the cartilage quickly rotated backward (from head to tail) by about 11 degrees.

Though this study only involved bamboo sharks, Camp said she suspects that other suction-feeding sharks also move their shoulders in this way. She further hypothesized that the research may help scientists inch toward answering the question of how the shoulder girdle evolved in sharks, and other fish, in the first place. The way fish skeletal structure evolved, for instance, can help explain how some creatures eventually became capable of making it to land.

“The girdle shows up [in the fossil record], around the time that jaws evolved,” Camp said. “We aren’t sure exactly what structures it evolved from or how that happened. Part of understanding that history is understanding what were the functions this structure had to carry out.”

Apparently it was eating as well as moving.

In addition to Camp, the paper’s other authors are Cheryl Wilga of the University of Alaska at Anchorage, Bradley Scott of the University of Illinois and Elizabeth Brainerd of Brown University. Wilga and Scott were at the University of Rhode Island when they collected the XROMM data at Brown.

The National Science Foundation (grants 1655756 and ISO1354189) and the University of Alaska at Anchorage funded the research.

See also here.

USA: Trump‘s frequent visits to Mar-a-Lago are also bad for sharks.

Fukushima radiation problems in Japan


This video says about itself:

Radioactive Salmon Discovered in Canada Linked to Fukushima Nuclear Contamination

22 December 2016

A team of research scientists from the University of Victoria in Canada discovered radioactive salmon due to Fukushima nuclear contamination.

Researchers at the Fukushima InFORM project in Canada, led by University of Victoria chemical oceanographer Jay Cullen, said they sampled a sockeye salmon from Okanagan Lake in British Columbia that tested positive for cesium 134.

This finding comes after seaborne cesium 123, which is thought to be an indicator of nuclear contamination from Fukushima, was detected on the West Coast of the United States this month.

It’s the first time Canadian experts confirmed the news that radioactive plume has made its way across the Pacific to America’s West Coast from the demolished Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in eastern Japan.

Cullen with his research team as well as 600 volunteers started their research on the Fukushima nuclear contamination in 2014 and have collected fish and seawater samples.

Cesium 134 is called the “footprint of Fukushima” because of its fast rate of decay. With a half life of only 2.06 years, there are few other places the dangerous and carcinogenic isotope could have originated.

“In 2015, we collected an individual fish that we could detect artificial radioactivity in the fish itself. This contrasts with almost all the other fish we’ve collected on the order of about 400 fish over those three years where we were unable to actually detect any artificial radionuclides in the individuals. In this particular one, we can detect cesium-137 which is artificial, a man made radio nuclide, and so we decided to have a more careful look to see if some of that contamination was related to Fukushima. The way that we do that is to look for cesium-134 and that isotope has a relatively short half life of two years, and if we see cesium-134 in a fish today, we know that it has been affected by Fukushima. When we count for longer, we can see smaller and smaller amounts of radioactivity,” said Jay Cullen, professor of the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences with the University of Victoria.

It is important to note that airborne radioactive fallout from the initial explosion and meltdowns at Fukushima in 2011 reached the USA and Canada within days, and circled the globe falling out wherever the currents and precipitation carried it – mostly to places unknown to this day.

More here.

US sailors who ‘fell sick from Fukushima radiation’ allowed to sue Japan, nuclear plant operator — The Telegraph: here.

From Kyodo news agency in Japan:

Fukushima’s tritiated water to be dumped into sea, Tepco chief says

July 14, 2017

Despite the objections of local fishermen, the tritium-tainted water stored at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant will be dumped into the sea, a top official at Tokyo Electric says.

“The decision has already been made,” Takashi Kawamura, chairman of Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc., said in a recent interview with the media. …

As of July 6, about 777,000 tons were stored in about 580 tanks at the Fukushima plant, which is quickly running out of space.

Tepco’s decision has local fishermen worried that their livelihood is at risk because the radioactive material will further mar public perceptions about the safety of their catches.

Kawamura’s remarks are the first by the utility’s management on the sensitive matter. Since the March 2011 meltdowns were brought under control, the Fukushima No. 1 plant has been generating tons of toxic water that has been filling up hundreds of tanks at the tsunami-hit plant.

Kawamura’s comments came at a time when a government panel is still debating how to deal with the tritium issue, including whether to dump it all into sea.

Saying its next move is contingent on the panel’s decision, Kawamura hinted in the interview that Tepco will wait for the government’s decision before actually releasing the tainted water into the sea.

“We cannot keep going if we do not have the support of the state” as well as Fukushima Prefecture and other stakeholders, he said. …

But fishermen who make their livelihoods from sea life near the plant are opposed to the releases because of how the potential ramifications will affect their lives. …

Tachiya, of the cooperative that includes fishermen from the towns of Futaba and Okuma, which host the plant, took a swipe at Tepco’s decision, saying there has been “no explanation whatsoever from Tepco to local residents.”

On March 11, 2011, a tsunami inundated the six-reactor plant, situated 10 meters above sea level, and flooded the power supply, causing a station blackout. The cooling systems of reactors 1, 2 and 3 were thus crippled, leading to core meltdowns that became the world’s worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

Water is being constantly injected into the leaking reactors to keep the molten fuel cool, creating tons of extremely toxic water 24/7. Although it is filtered through a complex processing system, extracting the tritium is virtually impossible.

Fishermen express fury as Fukushima plant set to release radioactive material into ocean — The Telegraph: here.

” It’ll be a tough journey – previous robots sent in to the ruined nuclear reactor didn’t make it back. … ” View BBC News’ photo essay on Toshiba’s newest swimming robot, a “little sunfish” that is hoped to withstand off-the-charts radiation levels in Fukushima Daiichi’s wrecked containment vessel: here.

Or will this mechanical ‘little sunfish‘ fare as badly as living fish in the Pacific Ocean off Fukushima?

This video says about itself:

Japan’s Homeless Recruited to Clean Up Fukushima Radioactive Hotspots

30 December 2013

It is five o’clock in the morning and close to freezing point in Sendai, 360 kilometres (200 miles) north of Tokyo.

For those living rough, this station is one of the warmest places to sleep, however, their refuge is also a recruiting ground for labour brokers. The men in Sendai Station are potential labourers who can be dispatched to contractors in Japan’s nuclear disaster zone for a bounty of $100 a head.

Shizuya Nishiyama, who is 57, has been homeless for a year and sleeps on a cardboard box, next to a shop window in Sendai station.

Twice Nishiyama says he has been recruited to scrub down radioactive hotpots in Fukushima, 80 kilometres (50 miles) to the south.

“We’re an easy target for recruiters. We turn up here with all our bags, wheeling them around and around the station and we’re easy to spot,” Nishiyama said as the first passengers of the day hurried to their trains.

Nishiyama’s first employer in Sendai offered him $90 a day for his first job clearing tsunami debris unrelated to the Fukushima site. However, he was made to pay as much as $50 a day for food and lodging. He also was not paid on the days he was unable to work. On those days, though, he would still be charged for room and board. He decided he was better off living on the street than going into debt.

“They say to us: ‘Are you looking for work? Are you hungry?’ And if we haven’t eaten anything, they then offer to find us a job,” Nishiyama added.

Almost three years ago, a massive earthquake and tsunami levelled villages across Japan’s northeast coast and set off multiple meltdowns at the Fukushima nuclear plant. Today, the most ambitious radiation clean-up ever attempted is running behind schedule. The effort is being dogged by both a lack of oversight and a shortage of workers, according to a Reuters analysis of contracts and interviews with dozens of those involved.

In Sendai, the largest city on Japan’s tsunami-devastated northeast coast, homeless people like Nishiyama have flocked here in the hope of finding reconstruction work in the disaster zone.

Activists have said that those jobs are increasingly hard to find. Now more than 300 people live rough in Sendai, twice as many as before the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

For companies operating near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, that has presented an opportunity.

“There’s this problem where workers are reaching their radiation limits in Fukushima, and are not allowed to continue working. There’s actually an overall shortage of people available to do those dangerous jobs. So it’s to make up that shortfall that homeless people are now being made to risk their lives,” said Yasuhiro Aoki, a Baptist pastor and head of a support group for Sendai’s homeless.

The shortage of those willing and available to take on dirty and dangerous jobs in Fukushima has not pushed wages higher, workers, lawyers and volunteers said.

Responsibility for monitoring the hiring, safety records and suitability of hundreds of small firms involved in Fukushima’s decontamination rests with the top contractors, including Kajima Corp, Taisei Corp and Shimizu Corp, officials said.

As a practical matter, however, many of the construction companies involved in the clean-up say it is impossible to monitor what is happening on the ground because of the multiple layers of contracts for each job that keep the top contractors removed from those doing the work.

Wage data provided by police in one investigated case showed that after deductions for food and lodging, workers were left with an hourly rate of about $6, just below the minimum wage equal to about $6.50 per hour in Fukushima. Some of the homeless men ended up in debt after fees for food and housing were deducted, police said.

Aoki explained the homeless people’s situation further.

“Without any information about potential dangers, many homeless people are just put into dormitories – and the fees for lodging and food automatically docked from their wages. Then, at the end of the month, they’re left with no pay at all,” Aoki said.

Former wrestling promoter Seiji Sasa, 67 has recruited Sendai’s homeless for more than two decades.

He said he earns about 100 dollars for every introduction, and many of his recent hires are likely to end up in a radioactive workplace but that he didn’t ask questions.

“I don’t ask any questions, that’s not my job. I just find people and send them to work. I send them and get money in exchange. That’s it. I don’t get involved in what happens after that,” Sasa said.

“As a broker, it’s thanks to homeless people that I’ve been able to eat. I introduce them to work, receive money in return, and make my living. If what I did killed homeless people, then I’d be out of a job,” he added.

For Nishiyama, radiation is the last thing on his mind. He just wants to make it through the winter and prepare his cardboard box against the cold of the nights to come.

This Reuters report forgets to mention that recruiting these homeless people as nuclear radiation cannon fodder is done by Yakuza gangsters. This other Reuters report does mention that.

From Kyodo news agency in Japan:

Radiation levels exceeding state-set limit found on grounds of five Chiba schools

Jun 13, 2017

Radiation levels exceeding the government-set safety limit of 0.23 microsieverts per hour have been detected on the grounds of five schools in the city of Kashiwa, Chiba Prefecture, the prefectural board of education said Monday.

Between late April and mid-May, the board officials detected radiation levels of up to 0.72 microsieverts per hour in certain areas of the schools, including Kashiwa High School and Kashiwa Chuo High School. The areas — including soil near a school swimming pool and drainage gutters — are not frequented by students, but the board closed them off and will work to quickly decontaminate them, the officials said.

Kashiwa has been one of the areas with high radiation readings since the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings Inc.’s Fukushima No. 1 power plant.

According to NHK, the board of education had been checking the soil on the school premises in Kashiwa after radiation levels beyond the state limit were detected in shrubbery near the city’s public gymnasium. The board will announce the results of radiation tests at other schools in the prefecture around the end of July, NHK reported.

Radioactively-hot particles detected in dusts and soils from Northern Japan by combination of gamma spectrometry, autoradiography, and SEM/EDS analysis and implications in radiation risk assessment — Marco Kaltofen, Arnie Gundersen, ScienceDirect: here.

Radioactive hot particles still afloat throughout Japan six years after Fukushima meltdowns — BuzzFlash: here.

Increases in perinatal mortality in prefectures contaminated by the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident in Japan — U.S. National Library of Medicine: here.

Flying fish video


This video says about itself:

Flying Fish Picked Off From Above And Below – The Hunt – BBC Earth

12 July 2017

Flying fish can make powerful, self-propelled leaps out of water into air, where their long, wing-like fins enable gliding flight for considerable distances. It appears these flying fish are in a no win situation, picked off above the surface by frigatebirds and devoured underwater by the dorado.