biology zoology blog goldfish environment

The worst Environment on Earth

Is the goldfish bowl the worst environment on Earth?

People have frequently asked me: “You have travelled all over the world and seen so much – which is the worst place for an animal to live?” What can I reply? A fish won’t last long on dry land; an earthworm would be very unhappy in the desert; a penguin would hate the tropical jungle, and a hummingbird might answer “Scotland”. Seriously, if you are adapted to a place or an environment, you’ll find that place to your liking; if not, you’ll curse it. —>—>

biology zoology blog soul animals

Soul-Searching

Soul-Searching: the frustrating search for something we assume to exist, but cannot find

I think I am correct when I claim that most people once in a while think of the soul and accept the concept that all living beings must have one. There is, however, no single organ or anatomical structure in any species that could be identified as the seat of the soul (even if René Descartes, the famous 17th-century French mathematician and philosopher, had thought he’d found it in the pineal gland of the brain). Since he was wrong and all others searching for the physical manifestation of the soul were unsuccessful, we, therefore, have to conclude that, if present at all, the soul must pervade an animal’s body totally. —>—>

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. —>—>