biology zoology insects pearl mussels

Pearl Mussels in Peril

Is there any help for pearl mussels?

We hear and read so much about plants and animal species being threatened by extinction, but not all species make headlines, like for instance the freshwater pearl mussel with the beautiful name Margaritifera margaritifera. Not only oysters and other marine molluscs produce pearls: the freshwater pearl mussel of the holarctic region on both sides of the Atlantic has for centuries yielded valuable wild pearls, too. But the times when these bog mussels were literally plastering the beds of fast flowing streams of areas poor in nutrients and calcium are nearly over – and that despite the fact that this animal can probably reach an age of 200 or even more years. —>—>

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biology zoology insects blog centipedes mother

It’s Not so Easy to be a Good Mother

But to earwigs, centipedes and leeches it comes natural to be a good mother

Nobody would deny that it is a heart-warming experience to see how mothers devote themselves to their children. But it is even more touching to witness how some of the so-called “lowly creatures” look after their young like, for example, spiders (and my blog on the Jamaica red-back spider, also known as the Black Widow, has already been written, but not yet made public), but also earwigs, centipedes and leeches; how they protect, defend, feed and clean the little ones. —>

Suspense

Suspense is a way of (arrested) Life

The idea that the earliest forms of life arrived on Earth from elsewhere in the universe and then “took off” here, is not mine. It is not even new and some learned “savants” subscribe to it. Hoyle and Wickramasinghe once suggested that this kind of “seeding” still occurs and life on Earth has a cosmic ancestry. Irrespective of whether that’s the case, let’s examine which multicellular organisms, now present on Earth, could perhaps survive space travel. —>