“Distressingly normal corals”

Highly Allochthonous has an article, “Distressingly normal corals found in nuclear basins.” They’re talking about the hardier corals re-populating the atoll at Bikini.

lagoon corals at Bikini, former nuclear test site

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Super-raptors at Tetrapod Zoology

Haast’s eagle chasing moas

Darren Naish at Tetrapod Zoology gives us a run-down on some of the giant raptors that have developed in island ecosystems.

Key deer: island biodiversity

The Florida Keys are a series of islands off the tip of Florida in the southern U.S.

Today we stopped at the Key Deer Refuge on Pine Key and saw four or five Key deer. They are a half-scale variety of the white-tailed deer. This must be a young one; it looks no bigger than a dog.

The islands have protected the deer from predators and they have become smaller, which makes food and territory go farther. The Key deer are the smallest variety of Virginia white-tailed deer. They are found on about 20 of the small islands that make up the Keys, but in sizeable numbers only on two of them (Pine Key and No-Name Key). To combat inbreeding and help keep them viable, researchers have moved some deer from one island to another.

Earthquake hits Caribbean

A powerful earthquake shook the Caribbean islands at about 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The epicenter was deep, about 140 km down, which spread the shock a little and helps to prevent tsunamis. The strength has been upgraded from an estimated six-ish to 7.3. At that strength we’ll expect to see some broken glass, fallen shelves, perhaps structural damage, and injuries.

The epicenter was about 35 km south of Roseau, the capital of Dominica.

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