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Animal | Vegetable | Mineral


Animal | Vegetable | Mineral

Exploring the Earth and Animal Sciences

Location: #science
Members: 57
Latest Activity: on Monday

Welcome to Animal | Vegetable | Mineral

I never cease to be awed by the splendor of the natural world, by the forces that shape the earth, and by the diversity and ingenuity of the life that populates it.

Animal | Vegetable | Mineral is a group where those who share this fascination can discuss the Earth and animal sciences of geology, volcanology, seismology, ecology, ethology, primatology, entymology—basically all the –ologies of the natural world. 

For general science, chemistry, genetics, or evolution, please post in the Science! group. For posts on animal rights and welfare, please post in Animal Care. For cosmology, please post in The Daily Cosmos. For green living, sustainability, and environmental activism, please post in the Green Atheists group.

Action Alert & Petition Thread
Beautiful Photographs of Animals & Nature
News Thread: Empathy and Reciprocity in Animals
The AVM Book Thread
The AVM Video Thread
Website Links: Conservation, Protection, and Advocacy


Discussion Forum

New species found in Australia

Started by Neal. Last reply by Neal Nov 3, 2013. 2 Replies

Cockatoos can pick complicated locks!

Started by Michel. Last reply by Neal Jul 11, 2013. 5 Replies

The intelligence of octopuses

Started by Adriana. Last reply by doone Jun 24, 2013. 3 Replies

Darwin's Frogs Are in Steep Decline

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Neal Jun 15, 2013. 1 Reply

How Dogs Help Protect Threatened Species

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Neal Jun 15, 2013. 1 Reply

The AVM Video Thread

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by doone Jun 12, 2013. 402 Replies

8 Awesome Octopus Facts for World Oceans Day

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by doone Jun 9, 2013. 1 Reply

Atlantic puffins in peril in US

Started by A Former Member Jun 8, 2013. 0 Replies

Plan lifts Lower 48 wolf protections

Started by A Former Member Jun 8, 2013. 0 Replies

Defenders of Wildlife

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Comment Wall


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Comment by Chris on Monday

I have no doubt that genetically modified Salmon are safe to eat, but serious doubts they are safe for the future of the species. When, which will happen they mate and pollute the wild salmon population what will happen for example during food shortages and oceanic changes?
Short term profit appears to exceed long term safety.

Genetically Engineered Salmon Approved for Consumption

Federal regulators on Thursday approved a genetically engineered salmon as fit for consumption, making it the first genetically altered animal to be cleared for American supermarkets and dinner tables.
The approval by the Food and Drug Administration caps a long struggle for AquaBounty Technologies, a small company that first approached the F.D.A. about approval in the 1990s. The agency made its initial determination that the fish would be safe to eat and for the environment more than five years ago.

The approval of the salmon has been fiercely opposed by some consumer and environmental groups, which have argued that the safety studies were inadequate and that wild salmon populations might be affected if the engineered fish were to escape into the oceans and rivers.

“This unfortunate, historic decision disregards the vast majority of consumers, many independent scientists, numerous members of Congress and salmon growers around the world, who have voiced strong opposition,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, said in a statement.

Within hours of the agency’s decision on Thursday, one consumer advocacy group, the Center for Food Safety, said it and other organizations would file a lawsuit challenging the approval.

The AquAdvantage salmon, as it is known, is an Atlantic salmon that has been genetically modified so that it grows to market size faster than a non-engineered farmed salmon, in as little as half the time.

“The F.D.A. has thoroughly analyzed and evaluated the data and information submitted by AquaBounty regarding the AquAdvantage salmon and determined that they have met the regulatory requirements for approval, including that food from the fish is safe to eat,” Bernadette Dunham, director of the agency’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said in a statement.

F.D.A. officials said on Thursday that the process took so long because it was the first approval of its kind. People involved in the application suspect that the Obama administration delayed approval because it was wary of a political backlash.

The officials said the fish would not have to be labeled as being genetically engineered, a policy consistent with its stance on foods made from genetically engineered crops. However, it issued draft guidance as to wording that companies could use to voluntarily label the salmon as genetically engineered or to label other salmon as not genetically engineered.

Despite the approval, it is likely to be at least two years before any of the salmon reaches supermarkets, and at first it will be in tiny amounts.

More Here

Comment by Chris on Thursday
Comment by Mrs.B on November 19, 2015 at 1:39am

Yes, that's a young doe & we didn't see mummy anywhere. I just used my cell phone to grab a couple of photos through the living room window while she was strolling through the yard. Didn't want to startle her by going out the front door to try to snap pics.

Comment by Stephen on November 19, 2015 at 1:32am

Mrs.B what is that, is it a deer it looks very small

Comment by Mrs.B on November 19, 2015 at 1:13am

Today's view of our front yard.......

Comment by Chris on October 30, 2015 at 1:02am


Bull Riding and breeding results in heartier breeds, unlike the cruelty of Bullfighting.

Comment by Chris on October 30, 2015 at 12:51am

Fear of Predators in Grasshoppers

The fear of predators in an ecosystem can have a vast impact on soil ecology, simply due to the stress they put upon their prey. Dror Hawlena, ecologist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and his colleagues, showed that when stressed grasshoppers died, they impact their environment by the chemical differences in their bodies, affecting how the surrounding dead plant material is broken down by soil microbes.

The scientists published their findings in the journal Scienceand were interested in organism ecology and biogeochemistry. This allowed them to make predictions about how food web structure affects nutrient cycling.

Other studies have shown the impact of stress on animals, which will eat more carbohydrates to meet their heightened energy requirements. This in turn leaves a chemical trace in the bodies of the stressed animals. The nitrogen-poor corpses affect the metabolism of soil microbes, causing bacteria that require nitrogen to falter in the production of their decomposing enzymes.

Hawlena and his team reared grasshoppers in field cages with predatory spiders that had their mouths glued shut. When the grasshoppers died, the remains were examined in a lab. The samples were then added to leaf litter to see how quickly plant material would decompose by soil microbes.

The overall indirect effect of this predatory stress on soil microbes is lasting, and the rate of decomposition was 200% less than in samples treated with non-stressed grasshoppers. Predators actually affect soil microbe communities and the cycling of nutrients in more ways than just eating their prey.

The effects of this cascade isn’t immediately obvious, but this paper is added to the growing number of studies that detail the knock-off effects that predation has on organisms in an ecosystem, including soil fertility, plant growth and nutrition.

It’s also hard to speculate how losing apex-level predators will affect soil ecology and biodiversity globally, but predators have a dramatic effect on the biogeochemical processes in ecosystems.

Comment by Chris on October 30, 2015 at 12:49am

This isn't the same as other life,

Trees, grass, aqua†ic life including amoebas and other living organisms communicate threats to their welbeing.

Question: Do Insects Feel Pain?

Scientists, animal rights activists, and biological ethicists have long debated this common question: do insects feel pain? It's not an easy question to answer. We can't know for certain what insects feel, so how do we know if insects feel pain?


Pain, by definition, requires a capacity for emotion.

Pain = an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage or described in terms of such damage.
– International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)

Pain is more than the stimulation of nerves. In fact, the IASP notes that patients can feel and report pain with no actual physical cause or stimulus. Pain is a subjective and emotional experience. Our response to unpleasant stimuli is influenced by our perceptions and past experiences.

The insect nervous system differs greatly from that of higher order animals.

Insects lack the neurological structures that translate a negative stimulus into an emotional experience. We have pain receptors (nocireceptors) that send signals through our spinal cord and to our brain. Within the brain, the thalamus directs these pain signals to different areas for interpretation. The cortex catalogues the source of the pain and compares it to pain we've experienced before. The limbic system controls our emotional response to pain, making us cry or react in anger. Insects don't have these structures, suggesting they don't process physical stimuli emotionally.

More Here

Comment by Stephen on October 28, 2015 at 1:52pm

Yes Mrs.B it is stupid but the Spanish Government wont ban it even though it is obviously cruel and hateful. But now the subsidy has stopped perhaps it will die a death of neglect. I do hope so. 

Comment by Mrs.B on October 28, 2015 at 1:41pm

Have always been against this stupidity.


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