Wednesday 3 March 2021

Climate Change Brings Back Prehistoric Plant and news of glowing sharks


Climate Change Brings Prehistoric Plant From 60 Million Years Ago Back to Life

It was 60 million years ago that the Cycad (Cycasrevoluta) plant, or Sago palm, grew naturally in the UK. But for the first time, botanists have been able to produce both male and female cones on Cycads grown outdoors. Native to Japan, these plants typically grow in warm temperate and subtropical regions. So why are they springing back up in the UK now? Climate change.Botanists at the Ventnor Botanic Gardens on the Isle of Wight first produced a male cone outdoors in 2012. But it was just last year that a female cone also appeared, making it possible for them to transfer pollen and generate seeds for the first time in millions of years. The Isle of Wight's microclimate—which makes it several degrees higher than the rest of the UK—is the ideal setting for these prehistoric plants. But their ability to thrive outdoors is an indication that the climate is transforming.

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I wonder what else may  re-appear with climate change?

In other news:

Scientists say they have found that three deepwater shark species living off New Zealand glow in the dark.The species were collected from the Chatham Rise - an area of ocean floor to the east of New Zealand - in January of last year, according to the study. One of them, the kitefin shark, is now the largest known luminous vertebrate and can reach up to 180cm (5ft 11in). Bioluminescence was also confirmed in the blackbelly lantern shark and southern lantern shark. The three species were already known to marine biologists but this is the first time that the phenomenon of bioluminescence - organisms emitting light - has been identified in them.

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New discoveries are always welcome and show how much is yet to be found in our seas.


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