Science topic

Natural History - Science topic

A former branch of knowledge embracing the study, description, and classification of natural objects (as animals, plants, and minerals) and thus including the modern sciences of zoology, botany, and mineralogy insofar as they existed at that time. In the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries it was much used for the generalized pursuit of certain areas of science. (Webster, 3d ed; from Dr. James H. Cassedy, NLM History of Medicine Division)
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A few years go I photographed a fossil palaemonid(?), Aeger tiluparius, at the British Museum of Natural History. Does anyone know the age of that fossil or species?
Thanks.
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Thanks for those comments Christian Klug Christian and Martin Schmieder. For the record, attached is the specimen in the British Museum.
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Dear all,
I'm currently writing a concept for the future of our own natural history collection and I'm thinking a lot about the question, what material future scientists might need and what should thus be collected now. When you read through the strategic collection plans of other museums, you'll notice that most of them just continue to collect what they've always collected: who collected butterflies in the past, continues to collect butterflies, who collected birds, continues to collect those and so on. As most of you will know, this results in biased collections: some taxonomic groups are only represented by a small number of specimens while other groups (e.g. coleoptera, lepidoptera) are overrepresented. Wouldn't it be good to open up completely new collection sections in one's own Institution (e.g. unattractive, hard to preserve animals, parasites), rather than only sticking to what has always been collected? I'm really interested in your opinions and literature recommendations!
Best regards, Stefan
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To Bara Mouslim: I think this is exactly what should not happen because you do not need a natural history museum for that (virtual shows, genetic research).
I cannot really answer the initial question of this discussion but I wish to make the following point: many museum collections harbour an incredibly large amount of unidentified material (from old expeditions, for instance). These should be worked up with priority and museums need resources for that.
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Hi all, I'm looking for a good pdf file of this reference, texte and atlas : Renier,A., Stockmans, F., Demanet,F., Van Straelen,V., 1938. Flore et Faune Houillères de la Belgique. Introduction à l'étude du Terrain Houiller. Publication of Musée Royale d 'Histoire Naturelle de Belgique, Flora Atlas Pls.1-105, pp. 60-91. May someone has this bibliography and can share it ! Cordially and stay healthy! Bruno
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Devonian and Carboniferous dendroid graptolites from Belgium and their significance for the taxonomy of the Dendroidea
and
19th International Congress on the Carboniferous and
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Dear all,
High beurocracy hihly complicate field ecolocial and evolutionary research nowadays. Nearly all tropical countries (maybe all?) requires research permit for performitng research and in a lot of countries is permit the costliest and the most difficult part of expedition (of course, now the most problematic is coronavirus and regulations, but my qousteion is about standart world). I plan perfrom research in tropical countries (where is high diversity of Ceratina bees which I study) but I do nod need specific location (natural history of these bees is almost unknown in all tropics). Therefore, one of the most important factor for effectivity of this research is how easy is leaglly way for performing of this research (including export of genetic material). Although obtaining of permits is generally difficult, one of fundamental features of the world is that variability exists, therefore I soppose, that some countries will be easier than others.
The important parametres for me are: 1) general rules: if will be possible perform research and export samples in areas outside protected areas, it will be optimal (this situtatiopn is e.g. in Czech republic, my home country, but I do know any tropcal country where it is trues). 2) beurocracy: only small paperwork and speed processes (until three months). Optimal if together is issued research also export permit 3) price: permits somewhere are per thousantds dollars, somewhere cheaper, proably also exists countris without application fee. Until thousand dollars is relatively ok for me. 4) necessity of local collaborator (i am generally not against local collaborator, but for effective collaboration there must be shared research interest, not only duty given by law).
Note: I know webpage Skeptical moth (https://www.theskepticalmoth.com/collecting-permits/) where are some information. Although this webpage is useful, I will try open here another discussion, because it can help to perform research effectively me and I hope that also others
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Indonesia’s archipelago comprises approximately 17,000 islands, of which around 990 are permanently inhabited. There are 7 major biogeographic regions in Indonesia, centered on the major islands and their surrounding seas. Conservation International considers Indonesia to be one of the 17 “megadiverse” countries, with 2 of the world’s 25 “hotspots”, 18 World Wildlife Fund’s “Global 200” ecoregions and 24 of Bird Life International’s “Endemic Bird Areas”. It also possesses 10% of the world’s flowering species (estimated 25,000 flowering plants, 55% endemic) and ranks as one of the world’s centers for agrobiodiversity of plant cultivars and domesticated livestock. For fauna diversity, about 12% of the world’s mammals (515 species) occur in Indonesia, ranking it second, after Brazil, at the global level. About 16% of the world’s reptiles (781 species) and 35 species of primate place Indonesia fourth in the world. Further, 17% of the total species of birds (1,592 species) and 270 species of amphibians place Indonesia in the fifth and sixth ranks, respectively, in the world.
Indonesia has 566 national parks covering 36,069,368.04 million ha which consist of 490 terrestrial protected areas (22,540,170.38 ha) and 76 marine protected areas (13,529,197.66 ha). The terrestrial protected areas include 43 National Parks, 239 Nature Reserves, 70 Game Reserves, 13 Hunting Parks, 22 Grand Forest Parks, and 103 Nature Tourism Parks. Marine protected areas comprise 4,589,006.10 ha which are managed by the local government. Forests in Indonesia cover 88,495,000 ha and have rich biodiversity, particularly lowland forests.
It is estimated that 40 million Indonesians living in rural areas rely on biodiversity for their subsistence needs. Wetland ecosystems in small islands such as mangrove, coral reef, and sea grass plain are important for local communities, especially traditional fishermen. According to a survey conducted in 2006, only 27% of mangrove in Indonesia is in good condition, 48% in slightly damaged condition and 23% in damaged condition. The broader sea grass plain in Indonesia is estimated to reach 30,000 km2, 10% of which has been damaged. The damaged rate of coral reefs in Indonesia reached 40% in 2006, mainly caused by destructive fishing practices.
The list of species threatened by extinction includes 140 species of birds, 63 species of mammals and 21 species of reptiles. Indonesia has 728 conserved species which consist of 130 mammals, 390 birds, 48 reptiles, 8 fish, 20 butterflies, 12 molluscs, and 9 crustacea.
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I´m working at the Natural History Museum of Santiago de Cuba and I´m looking for the best fee collection management software for both zoological and botanical collections. We want no just have our collection properly organize but also make it visible through the world. I´ve been hearing about Specify, Symbiota and Biota and I´m not sure which one is the most efficient or if there is any other who can be better.
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I'd say Biota, wich is one the most used software in Mexico for collection management, as far as I know.
I have been using Paradox and it works really good for me.
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Hello, I am interested in learning about the natural history and domestication of Humulus lupulus.
I have been unable to find any papers on this subject, so I am wondering if anybody could recommend any books or papers on this subject.
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Please have a look at this useful RG link.
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I'm interested in working on museum collections for my thesis. However, the common problem I encounter in my study organisms (I work on marine fishes) is that specimens are sometimes not well-prepared (i.e., fins are not spread out enough) or are sometimes contorted. Is there a way to somewhat "relax" AKA soften preserved animals, particularly in wet collections? I've read somewhere about soaking them in water to hydrate their tissues, but I can't confirm if that method is actually used by museum workers in zoological collection. Thanks a bunch!
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I found a couple of discussions you may find useful.
Rehydrating fish specimens
Rehydrating invertebrate specimens
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I´m working at the Natural History Museum of Santiago de Cuba and I´m looking for the best fee collection management software for both zoological and botanical collections. We want no just have our collection properly organize but also make it visible through the world. I´ve been hearing about Specify, Symbiota and Biota and I´m not sure which one is the most efficient or if there is any other who can be better.
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I would also recommend Specify, which is used today here at the Zoology Museum of USP, in São Paulo, Brazil. I'm also still learning about many of its functionalities, but it is fairly customizable, and one can get a lot of help in the foruns and blogs in the site that Lynn shared the link.
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Hi all,
I am wondering if there was anyone interested in have a look at a draft of a follow up paper to my (and James Maclaurin's) 2016 paper 'The Value of Phylogenetic Diversity'. I am working on it just now. It would be good to get someone working on this project to have a look as it should be relevant. Here is the abstract.
Preserving the Tree of Life
Abstract
Biodiversity is a key concept in the biological sciences. While it has its origin in conservation biology it has become useful across multiple biological disciplines as a means to describe biological variation. It remains, however, unclear what particular biological units the concept refers to. There are currently multiple accounts of which biological features constitute biodiversity and how these are to be measured. I draw from the species concept debate to argue for a particular set of desiderata for “biodiversity” that is both principled and coheres with the concept’s use. Given these desiderata biodiversity should be understood as referring to difference quantified in terms of the phylogenetic structure of lineages, also known as the tree of life.
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I realise I never followed this up with the published paper. Here it is for anyone who is interested.
Lean, C. H. (2017). Biodiversity Realism: Preserving the tree of life. Biology & Philosophy, 32(6), 1083-1103.
Cheers,
Chris
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As a natural history in manuscript submissions, receiving rejection letters is a potential for the peer review process.
After the initial "shock" or refractory period, that is hopefully brief, persistence would be your best choice!
Besides taking the reviewers' comments into consideration:
In your expert opinion; what is the best next step?
Would you resubmit the paper to a journal in the same scope?
Is a major restructuring beneficial?
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Work to enhance it based on the reviewer notes.
Liqaa
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I have looked all over the internet just to find the old archives of BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society) but I was not able to find the oldest ones rather than earlier volumes. I want to see the oldest sightings of few bird species in India. So kindly suggest me where I can get those archives online or else how can I get those archives for my work for which I will be privileged.
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Thank you so much Michael Uebel Sir
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Recently many researchers in the Hungarian Natural History Museum and in other collections uses craniometry with or without mtDNA studies on their same samples. The problem with this, the connection between these two methologies is still debated and good be seen some personal opinion to sort out all these, because it is basically affects the accuracy of scietific results of present Anthropological studies.
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Osteologists in our organisation use craniometry along with other measurements to determine sex and age of the human skeletal material from our various cemetery sites ranging from Roman to 19th century. The costs involved for using mtDNA are prohibitive, given the hundreds of burials being excavated and retained in the museum for research purposes and the costs of curation. Only in special cases, when an unusual burial/group is unearthed is there some additional medium used to determine possible origination (is that what you are asking?).
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Hello everybody, I am performing a statistical analysis about the natural history of a particular lesion, but I need to calculate the cumulative incidence of the increasing in size of that lesion... how can I do that with spss ?
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Thank you to everybody for the answers!
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Are the activities in the area of environmental protection, natural ecosystems and biodiversity undertaken in your country sufficient or should the expenditure for these purposes be increased?
Please reply
Best wishes
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Govt. should give equal funding to env. sector like defense --becoz it regulates our survival
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Looking for a copy of Upper Paleozoic Anomalodesmatan Bivalvia by Morris, Dickins, and Astafieva-Urgaitis (1991) Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Geology), 47(1):51-100. Any assistance would be greatly appreciated. I need it for a paper I am writing on Mississippian bivalves.
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A fulltext is available in the Biodiversity Heritage Library:
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Hello/Hola!
I'm looking for information about Ctenosaura flavidorsalis and C. macrolopha (natural history, ecology, etc.). Can you please suggest relevant literature?
Estoy buscando información sobre Ctenosaura flavidorsalis y C. macrolopha (historia natural, ecología, etc.). ¿Me podrían recomendar literatura relevante por favor?
Thank you/Gracias!
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As a starting point you could go to Giant Lizards: The definitive guide to the natural history, care, and breeding of monitors, iguanas, and other large lizards by Sprackland (TFH Publications, NJ). There are species accounts and numerous references.
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Hello,
I am looking for bone or hair samples of mammals, preferably from one area covering a time period, the longer the better. Individuals collected from forest environments where differences in mast production occur would be perfect. Does someone know collections in Europe that meet some of this features?
If not, maybe you know some tool (exept for GBIF) where I could browse nature history collections?
Greetings,
Piotr
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There is a mammal collection at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History as shown below.
"Ms. McLaren, of Pittsburgh, is the collection manager in the section of mammals at The Carnegie Museum of Natural History ..."
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At this very moment (2 September; 22h00, local time), the National Museum (MN, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), one of the most important museums of natural history in the world, is burning in flames.
In addition to the exhibitions open to the public, the MN housed some of the largest and most important scientific collections existing in Brazil. The collections of biological items included thousands of types (insects, reptiles, birds, mammals, plants, etc.).
To the taxonomists (and other colleagues): You could say how many specimens (mainly types) collected or described by you were deposited in MN? And to what taxonomic groups (family or above) these specimens belonged?
[In 2016, a coup d’état turned Brazil in a country with no future. Now, in his final months at the head of the Government, the President Michel Temer wants also to ensure that the country erase its own past.]
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I appreciate colleagues for the comments and for the suggestions.
The Brazilian press (newspapers etc.) is biased and shallow and I don’t take it too seriously. On the other hand, article published yesterday (4/9) in The Guardian had the following title: ‘Brazil National Museum: as much as 90% of collection destroyed in fire.’ At the moment, two considerations must be made: (i) this percentage should vary greatly among the different sectors of the institution (from 0% to 100% of loss); and (ii) the fact is that no one yet knows the extent of the losses.
I don’t work in the National Museum (MN) and I don’t even live in the city of Rio de Janeiro. However, a friend of mine who works at the MN sent me today (5/9) some enlightening information (especially about the biological collections), as can be read below:
(1) The so-called Imperial Palace housed most of the collections of the MN. In this building were, among others, the Department of Entomology (except part of Diptera) and part of the collections of mollusks and arachnids. Total loss: collections of insects, including several hundreds of types (e.g., about 1.300 beetle holotypes), in addition to the collections of mollusks and arachnids (but 80% of the types of mollusks have been preserved, because they were in a building annex). The departments of Geology & Paleontology and Anthropology also stayed in this main building. Total loss: the collection of Egyptian relicts (e.g., mummies) and the social anthropology library. However, some items (e.g., meteorites) are being found and collected. The building still housed an electron microscope.
(2) Outside the Palace are the following sectors: the central library; the departments of Vertebrates and of Botany; a small part of Archaeology and some laboratories of invertebrates. All are preserved.
(3) An annex to the Palace (‘Annex Alípio de Miranda Ribeiro’) was preserved. In this building are part of the the sector of dipterology and the collections of invertebrates (except mollusks and arachnids).
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A recent analysis made on Cerambycids sold by a local seller as collected in "Saraburi" during the late 80s years revealed that they are all Malayan or even Bornean species.
Moreover, the collection dates correspond to a season where no insect can be found on flowers in southern Thailand.
The "impossibility" to find such species in Saraburi is confirmed by the fact that Chrysomelidae collected in Saraburi in the 50s years  (Kimoto & Gressitt, 1979; 1981) does not include Bornean species, but only Indo-Chinese ones.
This problem concerns many species recorded as new for Thailand and even new species, whose original locality is "Saraburi".
The same problem can also concern all other group of insects subject to commercial trade, with patent biogeographic and/or taxonomic dramatic consequences..
Do you have further informations?
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Sabine Steinke is the wife of Hilmar Lehmann. They lived in Saraburi/Nakhon Rachasima area back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. They were dealing in insects, and I should say that their data should be treated with some suspicion.
As for Chiang Mai, which is where I have lived for more than 30 years, sometimes well-meaning Japanese collectors have given local catchers specimens from elsewhere as a gift, and of course they just take them to the dealers in town but don't tell them how they obtained them, so the dealers assume they caught them in the forest. I know of another instance where a researcher bought specimens from a dealer in Chiang Mai back in 1966 and recently these became type specimens of a non-existant new subspecies from northwestern Thailand. Unfortunately the dealer must have obtained these from eastern Thailand and not told the buyer, who assumed they came from Chiang Mai, but that species does not occur in NW Thailand at all.
One time a dealer called me asking why one of their collectors from Wiang Papao brought a specimen of Graphium phidias (an Annamese Mts species) in for sale. After some checking I found out that a Lao collector visited from Sam Neua, where the species can be found, and brought one with him as a gift. Of course this species does not occur anywhere near Thailand, it is only found on the mountains bordering Laos and Vietnam.
I am sure this can happen in many parts of the world, and caution should be exercised with data of all specimens. In fact even data of old museum specimens may be suspect, as sometimes it was falsified to protect the origin of valuable commercial material, as well as the issue mentioned above for the origin of very old material.
A more recent problem occurred with a recently deceased Chinese insect dealer who lived in Vientiane and used to sell specimens with false data in order to either sell more of them or sell them at an increased profit. I may be alluding to the same person as Michael Geiser above. This rogue dealer was well known for selling many different types of insects with false data, and unfortunately in future museum researchers will not be able to distinguish such specimens from those with reliable data. An Australian dealer once sent me some specimens of 2 species supposedly collected in Laos that he was suspicious about which came from this Chinese dealer. From the phenotype they clearly came from Sichuan. Those species do not actually occur in Laos at all, but the Chinese dealer was selling them for 5 times the price of the same specimens at source.
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I would like to have comments and articles, the role of time in every step of life, the basics starting from Molecular life. The time limit for human embryo and other creatures, the molecular spin has a fixed time in order to develop differently and ultimately to an embryo and again in a certain time frame specialization occurs naturally in a fixed time and also in our lab work, for instance, PCR have cycles of specific time minutes and seconds. Our life cycles come to an end, we all have a sort of biological clock in every step, so I would like to have comments and articles which can enlighten me in detail about the role of time in life.
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When you make a statement that space and time are non-existent, you nullify the 2 important components (SPACE/TIME)in understanding the universe and all its expressions. Those opinions are restrictive at the very least, either in understanding the evolutionary model of the universe, or the creation model of the universe , or by way of how science models attempts to interprete observable phenomenon of LIFE, lifeforms and physical/biochemical dynamics and biological interactions that involves TIME to be observed and interpreted, and make sense.
The 3rd component in fact- MATTER is just as critically important, IF you want to prove anything within the realm and vastness of life in this BIG UNIVERSE.
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I am working on a project about the Space Center and can't find this information
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Writing as a former New Yorker...I think they wanted to modernize the systems; the old planetarium, though wonderful, was built in the 1930s, I think. Also, as you are based in the New School, why don't you just contact the museum archives?
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any geological explanation of this mountain? this photo was taken by me four years back. there are several myths and stories told by locals about this mysterious cave and mountain.
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If this is a cave then the dominant risk is limestone. Volcanics (i.e., pumice) would only be present as higher rock units, if present at all. Dissolution of the limestone and cave formation is a normal aspect of karst landscapes.
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When I studied at the Museum of Natural history in the Department of Mamalogy and later took coures at the Museum in Human Anthropology under Various curators, I realized that they had not much interest in feet and esepecially foot pathology?HEY DID KNOW FOOT ANATOMY BUT NOT HOW IT ELATED TO FOOT PATHOLOGY
I FEEL THAT ANY WORK IN THIS AREAS WOULD BE REWARDING
SINCERELY,
Steven LevitzDPM
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J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1905;s2-3:105-136.
PHIL. HOFFMANN
THE FEET OF BAREFOOTED AND SHOE-WEARING PEOPLES
CONCLUSIONS DRAWN FROM A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF
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Bonjour,
j’aimerais bien savoir à ce que on peut considérer les secteur machinisme agricole comme une filière 
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Je ne connais pas le theme.
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Dear BIOMEX
Has anyone ever try to rear insect in zero-gravity in order to explore insect as food for human / long-term space journey?
Thanks, Good luck - Greg
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 On November 16, 2009 three monarch caterpillars from Monarch Watch lifted off with the space shuttle Atlantis (STS-129), destined for the International Space Station. Thousands of "Monarchs in Space" participants raised monarchs in the classroom or at home and watched as the monarchs on the ISS completed their development and emerged as adult butterflies - the first monarchs in space! 
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Many taxonomic complexes still remain biological enigma.in some cases electron microscopy has been helpful to some extent,while chemotaxonmy proved to be of little help.At this juncture came the  molecular taxonomy which ignited much hope in classical taxonomists but due to extremely high cost of equipments involved in it,it is out of reach to a large group of classical taxonomists.Further, it seems that no significant contribution could be achieved so far,with the use of this technique.
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It is true that molecular taxomonic work is still out of reach many taxonomists but in my  opinion it would be incorrect to say that no significant contribution could be achieved with the use of this technique so far. There has been many a taxonomic rearrangements proposed as outcome of molecular studies and one of them is on legumes (see TAXON 66 (1) • February 2017: 44–77). However, it is of individual choice whether to follow these classifications or not, but so far as I know  majority of the plant taxonomists are presently  following these classifications.
I think only experts of particular taxonomic groups can say how effective it is  in solving taxonomic complexities in phanerogams.
 
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A catastrophy is an anthropic interpretation of an event which categorises it as essentially destructive.  Naturally occurring 'catastrophes' however are clearly responsible for, in fact are an essential element of evolution in both biological and social contexts.  
Major bio-evolutionary changes have been facilitated by natural 'catastrophes' such as trap volcanos or comet/meteorite impacts.  Similarly societal evolution has been precipated by similar events such as a comet strike around 12,800 years ago.
Does catastrophism provide a mechanism for understanding and as such is it a science in its own right? 
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Catastrophy is one of the examples of (environmental/ physical/ chemical/ biological) change. The study of the causes and consequences of (environmental/ physical/ chemical/ biological) change is explored in different scientific fields.
Because catastrophe is not more than an interpretation, science would take the risk to consider it as a science per se?  
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Since cladistics and then cladism were born in Western Germany and then developped in English-speaking Western countries, I am interested in the perception of this classificatory philosophy in the former Soviet Union before 1991 and then in its successor states.
I make a carefull distinction between the methodology of tree reconstruction called cladistics, and the dogma that all taxa must be holophyletic called cladism. I do not want to discuss whether cladism is right or wrong here, I am only interested in the perception of scientists in these countries (now and historically).
I am interested in your own testimonies, but I am also interested in historical papers I could read since I didn't find anything myself.
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It is a very interesting – and still underexplored – research topic. Generally, the Soviet taxonomists were rather hostile towards cladism (= phylogenetic systematics). Hennig’s classical book on foundations of cladistics is still not translated into Russian, and the first benevolent surveys of this taxonomic phylosophy did not appear in the USSR until the late 1980s. Of course, now the situation is quite another. Cladistic methodology is accepted by anybody who wants to use it, and it is almost impossible to find a theoretical paper written in Russian to reject cladism as a ‘wrong’ methodology. However, most taxonomists of old generations are still working within pre-Hennigian paradygm. But I would like to place your question in a wider context. Generally speaking, any attitude towards cladism concerned with a problem: “should phylogeny be taken as a foundation of the system?” I have to note that there was a long tradition of decoupling taxonomy and phylogeny on theoretical basis in the Russian taxonomy. As long ago as in the 1920s, some prominent systematists of Russia insisted that the phylogeny cannot serve as the basis of a system. I mean chiefly zoologists since I am not very familiar with the works of Russian botanists on this subject. Some of these Russian authors who rejected phylogeny published not only in Russian. I’d recommend you to read two papers of Eugene Smirnov, a very interesting Russian theorist of taxonomy:Smirnoff E.S. 1924. Probleme der exakten Systematik und Wege zu ihrer Lösung. Zoologischer Anzeiger, 61: 1-14.
Smirnov E.S. 1925. The theory of type and the natural system. Ztschr. indukt. Abstannmungs- und Vererbungsiehre, 37: 28-66.
These texts contains explanation why the ‘phylogenetic taxonomy’ is wrong (according to Smirnov).
Another prominent Russian author of that time, Vladimir Beklemishev, also insisted that systematics must not use phylogenetic data at all. Unfortunately, his theoretical views were not published in language other than Russian.
Concerning the post-Hennigian time, the most articulated theoretical work aimed to bring arguments against cladism is:
Skarlato O.S., Starobogatov Ya.I. 1974. Phylogenetics and the building of a natural system. Trudy Zoologicheskogo Instituta AN SSSR, 43: 30-46. (in Russian only).
Discussing Hennig (1950), the authors conclude that his attempt to reform taxonomy “leads to a complete elimination of taxonomy as a scientific discipline” (Skarlato & Starobogatov, 1974: 32). I may add that Starobogatov was among the most influential theorist of taxonomy in USSR, and his methodological views have been read widely.
Well, it is a top of iceberg, of course. If you like to get more information about the Russian theoretical taxonomy (very peculiar and very interesting if to view it in comparison with the Western European thinking), please ask me more. I am sure that the hostility towards cladism in the Soviet taxonomic community has deep philosophical roots and cannot be viewed as a over-simmplified picture of ideological confrontational between ‘East’ and ‘West’.
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i am in need of photographic key of aquatic insects and if anyone among you have it please suggest me  the name . 
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Looking for a specific key for Indian freshwater Macrobenthos?
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Mother Nature has the awesome R&D laboratory of her own. She has invented time-tested and trusted algorithms, optimized structures, designs, processes, tools, techniques, means and measures that humans can only try to emulate and imitate, but hardly reach that level of optimization. Living organisms are all unique by some way or other, the structures of cellular organization, the architecture of biogenic structures and substances generate wonder! The lotus's surface, bee hive, spiders silk, jet propulsion in cuttle fish, biological batteries, bioluminescence, aerodynamics, hydrostatics, ultrasonics, are few among thousands of awe-inspiring things! Beyond individual levels some ecosystems also present before us exquisite examples of efficiency, sufficiency, resilience and innovation. Mother Nature naturally can be our "model, measure and mentor" in creating new inventions and solving problems that humanity is facing and struggling with. I invite some interesting and illuminating discussions that will be expected to last long...........
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I cannot agree less with you. Nature has been like the furnace that produces algorithms and systems tested well with the heat of time. Even today, most of the systems developed are inspired directly from nature itself. Take the sonar technology from bats, the concept of a streamlined body from birds, neural networks from the very structure of our brains, and much more. We have always been inspired by nature and still seek. Nature has always been like the library of ideas where people go for ideas and inspiration, be it Leonardo Da Vinci or Vincent Van Gogh.
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I am attempting to see if or how the two phenomenon of a 28 day, 13 moon calendar system and the equinoxes, along with solstices can work in conjunction to each other.
I am seeking individuals in the field of astro physics that I may pose a couple of basic questions?
Allow me to reword the question.
Of me investigation for better understanding. I noted that the 28 day 13 moon cycle creates a negative day (losses a day) in relation to the solar equinoxes,  solstices cycle. Is this so?
I am seeking individuals in the field of astro physics that I may pose a couple of basic questions?. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/post/I_am_seeking_individuals_in_the_field_of_astro_physics_that_I_may_pose_a_couple_of_basic_questions#58dd49f296b7e450237885db [accessed Mar 30, 2017].
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For all intents and purposes, the length of a year and the length of the moon's orbit are random numbers and there is zero connection between them. As James said, there is absolutely no reason the two cycles should be synchronized in any way.
Please do not say "creates a negative day" or "loses a day". You are just inventing confusion that shouldn't be there. You just have two cycles (moon orbit, Earth orbit) that are not integer multiples. This is not hard to understand, and you do not need 6 years of astrophysics to understand this. What you need to understand is simply that the length of Earth's orbit and the length of the moon's orbit are basically random values that come out of planet formation.
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I just went through online and found that only one species of Owl (Short-eared Owl) have been recorded from Maldives. Is it true? Does any one have any information on this to verify this?
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 Some interesting references as follows:
Avibase- The world bird database might help:
Protected birds of Maldives
Click on Poster PDF.  
If there are only one species of owl, it should be added to the list of protected birds in Maldives- i.e the poster list given-So what is the owl population dynamic there? 
It is already on the IUCN list of endangered species -
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My name is SUsan Smith and I have been identified incorrectly ....could you fix this?  I am attached to a number of papers dealing with Telomeres and this has nothing to do with me.
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Yes you remove the publications following the instructions given above. Next time  when RG asks you to accept publications by Susan Smith check for the titles of the publications. If those are yours, then only say yes, otherwise no. Another Susan cannot upload her papers in your contributions.
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Cultural aspect of Myxomycetes? what exactly is the cultural aspect?
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cultural aspects means  maintain (tissue cells, bacteria, etc.) in conditions suitable for growth. "several investigators have attempted to culture biliary cells"
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Just some theoretical thougts:
Stock (2014) theoretically represents scenario in: “What if, 65 million years ago, the asteroid didn't hit Earth and the dinosaur extinction didn't happen?”. But imagine that the progressive group of raptors did survive and evolve… (see the famous sculpture by Dale Russell and Ron Seguin of the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa). I have never found in internet any connection of the crazy conspiracy theory about the “Reptilians rule the world” and the possibility that these creatures has aborigine, Earth origin.
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There is a related Star Trek Voyager episode, Distant Origin.
The Voth is a nomadic spacefaring species that originates
from hadrosaurs on old earth. Many million years ago they
decided to leave earth. Our heroes from Star Trek meet
them but the Voth have no interest in contact because
their true origin contradicts their ideology. Only a brave
Voth scientist wants to publish the newly found facts.
The Voth government forces him to revoke like Galilei
and he is forced to change his discipline from
paleology to metallurgy.
If there ever existed smart dinosaurs comparable to
Australopithecines we would have found bones with
cutmarks because on the top of the food chain are
usually carnivores. Only a global lava flood from
cosmic impacts could destroy really all traces.
Regards,
Joachim
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Does anyone could suggest me a good reference regarding the plants preferred by dragonflies?
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This is a difficult question to answer because the nymphs of dragonflies are predatory and so are apparently plant-independent.  However, you will need to consider the plants which create the structure in which the nymphs live - either to hide from predators themselves or in which to lurk whilst waiting for a prey species to come sufficiently close to capture.  You might also wish to consider the emergent plants, so that the final instar of the nymphal stage can crawl out of the water and metamorphose into the imago.  Which plants do the imagos prefer whilst sunning themselves or awaiting the chance to capture their own (flying) prey.  And finally, do the females have any preferences when depositing their eggs, either directly into water or into the much stiller water amongst plant communities.  Clearly, there is much to think about in the relationship between plants and dragonflies.
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That fires may emit "sparks" is clear, but what of the sparks that can be witnessed while removing a woolen garment on a cold evening or after shuffling across a carpeted room and reaching for a metal object?  There don't even appear to be early references to the phenomenon we identify as static electric sparks.  Any mention in a text or letter qualifies.
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Thank you again.
I appreciate your taking the time....
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The Sunburst Lichen Xanthoria parietina can be prolific in air has high levels of ammonia or NOx. In Manchester UK it is closely associated with the Greater Manchester Air Quality Management Area AQMA for NOx, and can be in great abundant on tree trunks and fallen twiglets. In Manchester colonies of this prominent lichen can sometimes be seen on Google Earth in street view. The images show 4 examples, 2 in Mosley Rd in Fallowfield, 1 in Piccadilly Gardens next to an electric tram, and 1 in the middle of the dual carraigeway in Kingsway in Burnage.
Has anyone else seen colonies of the NOx junky Sunburst Lichen on Google Earth? Any comments, ideas welcome! Robin
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Ken - we are probably on the same page in seeking species that serve as meaningful bioindicators of particular impacts of myriads of human activities.For instance, the impact of air pollution in industrial cities being mapped by a) lichen species as bioindicators of the intensity and type of air pollution, including lichen deserts and b) melanic forms of many species of invertebrates such as the Peppered Moth attributable to black carbon pollution.   You can of course also use humans as indicators of severity of air pollution in terms of attributable deaths and attributable morbidity. In Mongolia I have used prevalence of dental fluorosis as an indicator of leaching of fluorite from the upper few metres of soil due to presence of extreme Ca ion depletion and resultant servere Na ion alkalinity that leaches fluorspar veins. There are plenty more examples, but we also need bioindicators of flora and fauna, in addition to noting direct impacts by humans and on humans. Bioindicators also help understand changes in ecosystems due to direct or indirect activity, as well as long-term changes not necessarily due to human activity.  Rolling back the clock to pre-history, as a palaeontologist and stratigrapher I am familiar with the importance of the fossil record and the evidence of palaeobioindicators of eustatic and isostatic sea level changes, climate changes, continental drift, volcanic impacts on ecosystems (e.g. tonstein horizons), paleoequators and obliquity (e.g. growth rings in corals), mass extinctions.... ....and so the list continues.
Paleobioindicators also suggest that we are, at least in high latitudes, overdue for another ice age, as the paleoindicators (marine foraminifera, interglacial forests etc) show that we have had numerous ice ages including several in human history.
In summary, we need bioindicators that indicate natural and anthropological changes. Dodos are paleobioindicators of human impacts of the past, but reveal little about current impacts other than flightless birds require islands or deserts to survive against predators human or otherwise, for instance ostrich eggs are common in he Gobi desert but the ostrichs are gone, and moas are no more in New Zealand.
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I have a fairly large collection of buprestids from Connecticut. Most of them are one of about 6 or 7 species, with smaller numbers of rarer species. So I'm wondering, what interesting things can you do with that many individuals of one species? They are all pinned and labeled.
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@Jakub: Did you mean Fluctuating asymmetry?
I have not seen this before (either spelling), so if I have it wrong could you please provide some reference as a start. A simple google search was not helpful.
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There are different strong activities from the sun which could cause different radiation on the earth, but may be also from the far away space- if yes, there is this possiblitiy than there is perhaps for example  an explanation for some animals and theire problems in earlier times - if for exampel this short bigger amount of radiation is only in a part of the earth and not all animals from this specis- for examples bees, could have got problems from it. May be with this thinking one could try to explain some nature and biological events from earlier times as for example historical bee dying.
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 Hi, thanks very much, that was good and interesting and helpful, Sincerly, Eva Dust
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I have dead insects specimens stored in 95% EtOH that I need to ship to Mexico. I see that I might need a USFWS permit (probably don't because these are not commercial insects) to ship from here but is there anything I need to get approved by the Mexican authorities? I also see that there are restrictions on shipping dangerous substances but if they are in small amounts of liquid it is fine although there are specific protocols to follow.
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Mexico has ratified Nagoya. The CBD provides information on national focal point etc. where you can get more information (hopefully) https://www.cbd.int/countries/default.shtml?country=mx
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We are doing a three-part TV series about the natural history of the Andes, and I am trying to find some background information here.
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Sorry my RG did not work mobile...
Did you think about the overkill hypothesis? There are view large mammals on the total American continents, not only in the Andes.
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Hello, where can I find the following papers by Alexander Tornquist:
TORNQUIST, A: 1910 Der baltische Bernstein ; Einleitung in das Verständnis der Kgl. Bernsteinsammlung des Geologischen Instituts in Königsberg i. Pr. - 25 S., mit Abb. u. Ktn., Berlin (Borntraeger).
TORNQUIST A 1910 Die in der Königl. Universitäts-Bernsteinsammlung eingeführte Konservierungsmethode für Bernsteineinschlüsse. - Schriften der Physikalisch-ökonomischen Gesellschaft zu Königsberg in Preußen 51: 243-247, Königsberg?
Thank you, gratefully acknowledged!
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Addendum ... Sorry, I was in a hurry ... And of course I've attached the requested paper no. 1 NOT no. 2 ... Mike
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During my education and early working years I was greatly influenced by the books written by field naturalists like Edward Wilson, George Schaller and Alan Rabinowitz - great stories of travel, adventure and natural history. But who are the new writers in this field?
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Not sure if you'd call him a naturalist proper, but Wade Davis did some excellent books on travel, adventure and nature. My favorite is One River.
Not exactly new, but Redmond O’Hanlon's Congo Journey is worth mentioning.
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Help:
Could you provide me some origin morphological description data on "Clavulinopsis miyabeana" from Imai's paper?
Reference
Imai, S. 1930. On the Clavariaceae of Japan. II. Trans. Sapporo Nat. Hist. Soc., Vol.XI, P.70-77
Imai, S. 1955.  Mycological Flora of Japan. Basidiomycetes 2(4): 95
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Dear Dr. Jan
It doesn't really matter!  Thanks for your valuable message!
Best
Gang
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There is a great trend in modeling species ecological features and meta-analysis relying on occurrence information from databases. Every single database report survey gaps and sampling bias. In the opposite direction, there isn't much space for publication of basic species list. Despite the importance of reliable information on species occurrence, it is treated as minor and even despised some circles.
I've been looking for species records in Atlantic Rainforest and decided to filter only using information actually published. It was a shock to see the small percentage that remained. Also using this filter I couldn't use reliable records from colleagues (and my own). Wondering about it and talking to colleagues the answer is that it is never a priority and the outcome as impact factor do not worth the effort. I wonder:
Where to publish this basic, raw and yet essential information?
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Nice and fairly simple, focused on this problem. 
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All I need is some archive photo of few entomologist for research purpose.  
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THANK YOU!!!! :)))
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I will be very thankful to anyone who can send such a photo to me. It would be great to have an assembled (mounted) skeleton of this species.
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Dear Laith,
I've sent you the paper to your researchgate mail. You should see the notification on the upper right courner of the screen.
Regards,
Aleš
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I observed an interesting phenomenon in the Rain Forest of Western Ghat, India. The male fly usually waits, for a long time, sometimes for hours, inside the flower and it defends its little territory against other males, actively. When a female fly comes in, it starts its elaborate dancing. I read a bit about Hawaiian Drosophila's mating behavior, where they defend leaf surface (if I am not wrong). But I never came across any literature where insects are using flower as a site for male display and competition     (lek). It poses interesting questions like "how long the male should wait inside a flower?" (If it waits too long in the "wrong" flower, then it will be in "trouble" and if it is too impatient then also, I guess. So there should be an optimum). Does anybody have any suggestion, information, thought or reference to share?
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The D. elegans is a digital photo by my field assistant Takao in Iriomotejima.
I've collected the specimens and identified them.  I'm an entomolgist with emphasis on drosophilidae.
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Natural history, flora, fauna.
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Try the National Audubon Society Nature Guide Series.  I think each book in the series was produced by an ecologist with expertise in the "biome" detailed by the book, e.g., North American deserts, grasslands, western forests, etc.  They were published in softback during the 1980s and 1990s, I think, and may be readily available used.  There is also the more recent (2012) "Wetland Habitats of North America" published by University of California Press, which covers all coastal, riverine, lake, bog and other wetland habitats in detail.  There is also the "Status and Trends of the Nation's Biological Resources" available online from the U.S. Geological Survey: http://www.nwrc.usgs.gov/sandt/.
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When I was in high school Bohr's atom of shells, s and p orbitals was introduced in chemistry. Realization was automatic that the world was explained according to theory that was verified by experiment. Through college and graduate school, looking for more complete explanation, theory is challanged but it is not brought to question "what is an electron or proton, if they have mass but are visible only in the sense that they emit light energy as photons that also have mass, "spots of light in orbit around nuclei?, the atom a solar system in minature"? Physicists will say this is not the picture they have evolved, but all that remains is the image of equations on a chalkboard, at best 'the image of things of a particle nature in alteration with things of a light nature'. Can a pieced-together stepwise reality of this nature be accepted? In the Feyman quote below pieces are added that can break any of the established laws "they are not directly observeable" or affect "causality". In this same meaning though neither electrons, protons, photons or atoms are observable and their causal effects are but a matter of humanly constructed theory and similarly based experimental apparatus. The possibility exists that theory and theory based apparatus entail one another and all that might be gotten is that the real universe is identical in this respect...i.e. existence entails the experienced universe and visa-verse.
"You found out in the last lecture that light doesn't go only in straight lines; now, you find out that it doesn't go only at the speed of light! It may surprise you that there is an amplitude for a photon to go at speeds faster or slower than the conventional speed, c." These virtual photons, however, do not violate causality or special relativity, as they are not directly observable and information cannot be transmitted causally in the theory." (from "Varying c in quantum theory" http://www.researchgate.net/go.Deref.html?url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FVariable_speed_of_light)
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... Our research tried to describe (from a visual artist’s point of view) natural
creation and yet it has reached a dead end since we faced an eternal and unresolved problem. We argue that when a problem has no proven solution then it might be part of a bigger issue that needs another approach. In our opinion though, this problem is
hiding something more than a failure to reach precise results.
Although we respect the prevailing notion, we state clearly that the π measurement is right but the way it is measured is arbitrary because nature has its own proportional standard of measurement. Until today, we may have not evaluated the problem properly.
The constant ratio might make more sense than an accurate measurement. We measure with our own quantitative measures and we ignore or don’t give weight to the default quality proportion of nature.
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Do you have any experience with big history/ universal history exhibitions as well as courses for high school classes, especially:
- comparison of natural and cultural processes which work at different time scales (from years to billions of years)
- look at historical events (e.g. political turnovers, economical crises) from different points of view, i.e. study of written reports vs natural archives/ scientific data
- evolution as a (meta)concept that includes biological evolution, but also evolution of the universe, planetary evolution, abiogenesis, cultural evolution, evolution of mind
- answer to the question whether and to what degree history is determined by changes in environmental conditions (e.g. climatic forcing)
- transition from humans as minor constituents of land ecosystems to humans as ecosystem modellers and from early artefacts to written language
BTW: Is "big history" already out of fashion due to certain weak points (i.e. re-introduction of anthropocentrism and historicism into scientific discourse)?
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"Big History" as an exhibition or educational concept indeed works well on a high school level.  In the U.S., the Mount Rushmore National Memorial has served as a source of multiple educational concepts in many U.S. high schools. That memorial, situated in Keystone, South Dakota, consists of four busts, 18 meters high each, of four major U.S. presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln. These busts were artistically blasted by T.N.T. out of a mountainside by Gutzon Borglum and 400 workers.  These particular presidents could symbolize the birth, growth, development, and conservation of the U.S.  Hence the monument could teach historical events on a grand scale. Moreover, numerous animals and plants lodge in and on the monument, and could provide study of the ecosystem.  
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Fermented food will have some amount of alcoholic content. In a natural setting, ethanol might be ingested during frugivory and there is quite some literature with respect to alcohol consumption on elephants and bats. There seems to be lesser on birds. Has anyone observed this behavior themselves?  
Some interesting notes on this topic are: 
Mazeh, S., Korine, C., Pinshow, B., & Dudley, R. (2008). The influence of ethanol on feeding in the frugivorous yellow-vented bulbul (Pycnonotus xanthopygos). Behavioural processes, 77(3), 369-375.
Stephen, L. J., & Walley, W. J. (2000). Alcohol intoxication contributing to mortality in Bohemian waxwings and a pine grosbeak. Blue Jay, 58(1), 33-35.
Dennis, J. V. (1987). If you drink, don’t fly: Fermented fruit and sap can inebriate birds. Birder’s World. 1:15-19.
Though I am still trying to get copies of these the titles are pretty interesting. A rather interesting behavior that came to my attention during a recent discussion with a colleague. Would like to read your comments on this. 
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I worked at a wildlife diagnostics lab and we would see cedar waxwing deaths associated with eating fermented fruit off of trees. These were typically presumptive diagnoses based on an esophagus full of fermented berries. Confirming the cause of death was often not practical because it is very difficult to confirm ethanol post mortem. Often the proximal cause of death was trauma, likely due to flying into trees or buildings, but we would sometimes see cases where there were no overt signs of trauma suggesting they may ingest enough ethanol to die from the poisoning itself. Difficult to say for certain, however. I believe its been documented or at least suggested as a cause of death in other passerines as well.
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Using such quantitative functional trait to have a proxy of insect flight dispersion (for ecological questions) would allow us to complement and refine some ideas on insect functional composition ...especially when working in super diverse tropical environments with huge lack of natural history informations on many insect taxa.
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That is precisely where the flight muscles are located. You should have a look at: Greenleaf, S. S., N. M. Williams, R. Winfree, and C. Kremen. 2007. Bee foraging ranges and their relationship to body size. Oecologia 153:589–596.
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Natural History museums traditionally try to amass as many species from as many locations as possible. Given their research focus on systematics and biogeography, this strategy ensures the highest information density of their holdings. However, museum collections are used more and more for purposes that require "ecological" sampling--e.g., following evolutionary change through time or obtaining histories of species abundances.
Such aims require different collection strategies. Specifically, the preservation of large series of the commonest species is valuable for such purposes. Faced with space limitations, however, museums tend to refuse or even dispose of such bulk collections, giving priority to prized samples of rarer species, and thereby maximizing the diversity represented by their collections.
NOTE ADDED 26th JULY, 2014:
Many thanks to all who gave responses to my question. It was encouraging to see that many colleagues are grappling with the same problem and have formed various opinions, depending on their background, scientific philosophy, and views on museum management. Over the next few weeks, I will try to compile a summary of these responses.
NOTE ADDED 23rd APRIL, 2015:
On the basis of this discussion, we published the attached letter in TREE on this subject. 
Menno Schilthuizen
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Keeping large series of common species is important for natural history museums for several reasons. Sample sizes sufficient for taxonomic purposes often are not large enough for statistical significance in ecological studies. For example, the thousands of specimens of Nucella lapillus that H. S. Colton collected on islands in the Gulf of Maine are preserved at my institution. They seemed excessive--until Fisher et al. (2009, linked) used them to show a significant size increase over since the 1920s. We also have the Crampton collection of Partula, vouchers for his evolutionary studies, in some cases with hundreds of specimens per species. At the time we accessioned them, the species were common; now some are extinct and cannot be studied without museum collections. And, as has been pointed out above in this thread, common species sometimes turn out to be species complexes.By preserving large series, museums allow questions to be addressed that were not anticipated at the time the specimens were preserved.
 
 
 
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I'm especially interested on the effects of forest fragmentation and patch size on forest dwelling species such as Platystictidae species.
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MONTEIRO-JÚNIOR, C.S. ; Juen, L. ; HAMADA, N. . Effects of urbanization on stream habitats and associated adult dragonfly and damselfly communities in central Brazilian Amazonia. Landscape and Urban Planning, v. 127, p. 28-40, 2014.
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I working with tarantulas and have few specimens collected by location, some are different species (most). I would like to work with some diversity index but most use many samples of individuals of the same species, in my case, I have
1-2 individuals per species per location usually, 5 maximum.
Any advice?
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Gracias a todos.
Jose Jimenez: No cuento con replicas espaciales temporales, por desgracia solo son organismos provenientes de una unica salida a las distintas zonas de colecta. Muchasgracias por la informacion, la revisare.
Michael Reuscher: Thanks for the advice, I had planned to use both, but I was very concerned by the number of individuals, but now that you mention it, maybe I can base it on presence absence .
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This question does not ask for answers from law, social anthropology, or psychology.
What are the convincing arguments for and against monogamy or polygyny in terms of biological and human evolution?
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Dear André,
The behaviour you mentioned in case of challitrichid monogamous monkeys can be found as a useful evolutionary technique practised also by women. One can learn it as an example in psychological textbooks. However, the unfaithfulness of such a female is difficult to prove. This is a strange situation because infidelity of the female is a success as she can get the “best” genes (from the “lover”) and the best care (from the permanent companion). Of course, the permanent companion has but costs when caring the offspring of a foreigner. The lover male has got also an advantage: an offspring without care. However, regarding human conditions this behaviour may have some risks.
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It concerns plant, microbial and/or animal communities. This hypothesis arises from trophic, symbiotic and signalling relationships having evolved to ensure the stability of terrestrial and marine ecosystems. I think that if we are able to discern discontinuities along transects when and where the environment is continuously changing, then this would prove the existence of ecological attractors. Species, when dispersing in a heterogeneous environment, are attracted to places where they can benefit from positive interactions with other species with which they share complementary functional traits. This results in dynamically stable communities. When the environment changes (for instance in the course of global warming) there is a redistribution, species having to find new places. Some can do it, some others cannot, or can do it at a slower rate, depending on their dispersal rate. Best data would be transects (whether marine or terrestrial) with a fine resolution (in order to test for the apparence of biotic discontinuities along a continuously changing abiotic environment) and, if possible (for testing the second part of the hypothesis), repeatedly sampled in time.
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Dear Ulfert,
Yes I know that you have found such discontinuities in the composition of annelid communities (be sure that all your publications are well-known to me). You are one of the few soil animal scientists to have search (and given) evidence that discontinuities exist in the composition of communities and do not results from a priori classificatory systems. However, more remains to be done in this respect, in particular along spatially delimited environmental gradients, i.e; transects. Imagine (as I have the feeling it be true, based on my own field experience) that you pass abruptly from a given community composition to another while environmental conditions change monotonously. This would be a nice demonstration of the existence of ecological attractors at community level, no? There is a dearth of literature (mostly theoretical) on the matter, but nothing definitely demonstrative, to my opinion.
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I am trying to develop this concept in the present. What do we work on in each case? What methodologies do we use?
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I'm sure you'll get some more responses, but I'll give you my basic summaries of these terms.
Natural history is often described as the study of organisms in their environment with the goal of understanding how the organisms' interactions with their natural surroundings influence their behavior, forms, function, and abundance. Natural history can help us to understand an organism's evolutionary history and ecological interactions.
Life history is the study of organism reproductive strategies and traits. In a sense, life history is a subset of natural history focused on understanding how different reproductive strategies might influence fecundity overtime which has ultimate consequences for evolution. Examples of life history traits include age of first reproduction, lifespan, and number vs size of offspring.
The life cycle of species is the full suite of stages and forms an organisms goes through over its lifespan. Life cycles can be an important influence on life history strategies but the study of life cycles does not have to be focused on understanding organism fecundity.
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Butterfly wing-printing, i.e. the use of the scales of butterflies wings to color the drawings of butterflies is a rare technique present by several authors. The first reference to the technique was possibly made by George Edwards in his "A Receipt for taking the Figures of Butterflies on thin Gummed Paper " (1770). After this few works are known to use this technique. An anonymous (A.M.C.) would publish in 1880 the "A Guide to Nature-Printing. Butterflies and Moths", Sherman Denton would publish in 1900 the "As Nature Shows Them: Moths and Butterflies of the United States, East of the Rocky Mountains: with over 400 Photographic Illustrations in the Text and Many Transfers of Species from Life" and already in the mid twentieth century C. F. Cowan would publish a very small paper about the history of the process. In the collections of the Lisbon Museum of Natural History I found one book of Brazilian butterflies from circa 1790 made by this method, and I would like to know if in other museums or private collections there exist any other similar works from this period.
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I would contact someone in the British Natural History Museum in London as their library collections, and particularly books dealing with butterflies and moths, are likely the most comprehensive in the world. You might try Ian Kitching or Thomas Simmonsen - both knowledgeable, working Lepidopterists.
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Job descriptions for new hires at colleges and universities rarely include desired expertise in natural history or field ecology. Are we then missing a basic, foundational skill set to pass on to new students? Or, do such skills lack relevance with the trajectories of environmental research, grants and funding opportunities?
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I am very concerned that anyone feels compelled to ask this question, but you are right that the increasingly reductionist approaches in biology are focusing students away from fundamental essential skills. But the question comes in the wake of two recent and important books raising these concerns: Richard Louv's seminal work 'Last Child in the Woods' and Carol Yoon's 'Naming Nature'. Put these books together and you have your answer. I am increasingly dismayed by the ignorance of university students, even biology students, who cannot name five native bird species. I can't see much future for an ecologist who can map a genome but can't tell a bluebird from a bluebottle! Isn't this all due to the funding criteria for science?
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History of science usually give us some interesting information not only about the life and work of naturalists, but also quite specific and unique data about their investigations, collections, specimens, etc. How do you think that this data can contribute for actual problems and investigations? I'm opened to all type of answers, from museology to biodiversity conservation.
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Hello --
The above comments provide a nice example of how, as French philosopher Auguste Comte (1798-1857) wrote, "To understand a science it is necessary to know its history." (from "Positive Philosophy").