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firenado

A “firenado” tears through a field in Chillicothe, Missouri on 3 May. Part fire, part tornado, this blazing twister was spotted by Missouri native Janae Copelin while she was out driving.

Source: TheGuardian

Photograph: Janae Copelin /Barcroft

Earth faces sixth ‘great extinction’

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…with 41% of amphibians set to go the way of the dodo

Analysis for prestigious Nature magazine sounds alarm on the way that human activity, from overfishing to agriculture, is forcing a vast number of species to vanish from the wild

A Tasmanian tiger in captivity, circa 1930, shortly before the species became extinct. Photograph: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images

A stark depiction of the threat hanging over the world’s mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other life forms has been published by the prestigious scientific journal, Nature. A special analysis carried out by the journal indicates that a staggering 41% of all amphibians on the planet now face extinction while 26% of mammal species and 13% of birds are similarly threatened.

Many species are already critically endangered and close to extinction, including the Sumatran elephant, Amur leopard and mountain gorilla. But also in danger of vanishing from the wild, it now appears, are animals that are currently rated as merely being endangered: bonobos, bluefin tuna and loggerhead turtles, for example.

In each case, the finger of blame points directly at human activities. The continuing spread of agriculture is destroying millions of hectares of wild habitats every year, leaving animals without homes, while the introduction of invasive species, often helped by humans, is also devastating native populations. At the same time, pollution and overfishing are destroying marine ecosystems.

“Habitat destruction, pollution or overfishing either kills off wild creatures and plants or leaves them badly weakened,” said Derek Tittensor, a marine ecologist at the World Conservation Monitoring Centre in Cambridge. “The trouble is that in coming decades, the additional threat of worsening climate change will become more and more pronounced and could then kill off these survivors.”

The problem, according to Nature, is exacerbated because of the huge gaps in scientists’ knowledge about the planet’s biodiversity. Estimates of the total number of species of animals, plants and fungi alive vary from 2 million to 50 million. In addition, estimates of current rates of species disappearances vary from 500 to 36,000 a year. “That is the real problem we face,” added Tittensor. “The scale of uncertainty is huge.”

In the end, however, the data indicate that the world is heading inexorably towards a mass extinction – which is defined as one involving a loss of 75% of species or more. This could arrive in less than a hundred years or could take a thousand, depending on extinction rates.

Source: TheGuardian Read more

A Real Photobomber

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Australia surfers ‘photobombed’ by spinner shark

Eyewitnesses said the shark leapt out of the water twice

Surfers at a competition in New South Wales were in for a surprise when they found themselves in the company of a large spinner shark.

Spectators saw the shark leaping in and out of the water near Coffs Harbour, close to the surfers and swimmers.

The moment was caught on camera by local resident Steph Bellamy, who said the shark “photobombed” her picture..

Source: BBCNews Read more

Giant fluorescent pink slug

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Kaputar_pink_slug

Triboniophorus aff. graeffei

Now on the endangered species list…

Awesome Photo

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16-glansBoeta

A starling coming in to land

Image credit: Boeta

Raindrops

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Today’s Forecast?

on thehomefrontandbeyond:

has rain ever been so beautiful

Originally posted on Live & Learn:

mushroom,photography


Source: Freedom

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Is it a bird, a plane or a wasp?

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Reblogged from: All downhill from here

Image credit: All downhill from here

Oddly enough, none of the above, check the original post on the link above.

I think it is an awesome beast.

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