Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amphibians, Species Extinction, or Just hop to a New Planet

Planet exampleImage via WikipediaLast night Im sitting at the dinner table flipping through my Costa Rican wildlife book trying to figure out what interesting topic about amphibians I could share with you about this morning on the blog. After reading you get to notice that amphibians is a delicate topic, literally. It seems that in our lifetime we all know of one that has gone extint if not more, most famously here in Costa Rica the Golden Toad which has not been seen since 1988 in MonteVerde.

I got up this morning and I was all ready to write about the Red-Eyed Tree Frog. I wanted to talk about its "startle coloration" which is when it blends in perfectly to the leaf it sleeps on during the day but if you wake it up it has enormous bright red eyes almost half the size of a penny. This is a defense method used to scare away its predator or atleast startle  them in what is called "startle coloration". The frog then takes one giant leap out of harms way.

Well that is in a nutshell what I had inmind to write about this morning and then I opened up my Yahoo homepage and it sent the mind for a little galaxy spin. The article on the Yahoo homepage was about a planet that has just been found that is perfectly suitable for life (just like Earth). The article was about how excited scientist are to have found this planet and how they really believe that "we now might not be alone" or atleast if there is not life on this planet now in a few million years there might be the conditions for life to develop because it has living conditions. The name of the planet is Gliese 581g and if you are around for another couple billion years you might want to put this on your list for a family vacation. As of now they say it will only take a few generations to get there.

 I think it was because I was reading all the troubles amphibians have to survive on Earth and the drastic changes our climate will have to make (which our human race will probably not make the sacrifices in their daily lives to save a bunch of frogs and salimanders) to save this species that made me really relate to the ending of this article.

The scientist who discovered this planet are quoted by saying "The low-energy dwarf star will live on for billions of years, much longer than our sun, they say. And that just increases the likelihood of life developing on the planet, the discoverers said." After reading this I could not help but think maybe the Golden Toad is not extinct it is just taking a few billion years off.

They are then quoted by saying about the new planet that "It is pretty hard to stop life once you give it the right conditions."

Well that is my random blog post for the week. Would love to hear what you think? 
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