Friday, 30 April 2010
Yes, finally a day we can get excited about, it's Save the Frogs Day! Save the Frogs Day tries to create awareness to the threat to amphibian populations worldwide. We featured the Green Eyed Frog yesterday, one of the world's rarest animals, which is being wiped out by a harmful fungus but this is not the only frog facing extinction. In Ireland, our only frog, Rana temporaria, is a protected species but the use of pesticides and herbicides has a negative effect on their populations. According to the Save the Frogs website:
"Frog populations have been declining worldwide at unprecedented rates, and nearly one-third of the world’s amphibian species are threatened with extinction. Up to 200 species have completely disappeared since 1980, and this is NOT normal: amphibians naturally go extinct at a rate of only about one species every 250 years!!! Frog populations are faced with an onslaught of environmental problems, including pollution, infectious diseases, habitat loss, invasive species, climate change, and over-harvesting for the pet and food trades. Unless these problems are remedied, amphibian species will continue to disappear, resulting in irreversible consequences to the planet’s ecosystems and to humans."
Thursday, 29 April 2010
For more information and to see the complete list (and brilliant photos of the 12 rarest species) click here to visit the National Geographic website. (Photo above from National Geographic)"... a victim of the deadly chytrid fungus, the green-eyed frog (pictured) has plummeted to only a few hundred individuals in Costa Rica and Panama, according to the "Rarest of the Rare" report. Habitat lost to logging and deaths due to agricultural chemicals have dealt additional blows to the 2.5-inch-long (6.5-centimeter-long) frog. Breeding the amphibian in captivity may be the species' last hope, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society."
The government, along with Science Foundation Ireland (SFI), the national foundation for investment in scientific and engineering research, has pledged more than €25m to fund 27 science research projects over the next five years. Enterprise Minister Batt O'Keeffe made the annoucement saying it will help develop jobs for the "smart economy", his latest buzz word. The funding should benefit nearly 140 third-level researchers across Ireland in research areas ranging from health, energy, agriculture, environmental protection and telecommunications. Any funding in science is graciously welcomed and everyone hopes it will help create jobs, especially in the current economic climate. For more information click here.
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
Tuesday, 27 April 2010
Monday, 26 April 2010
Saturday, 24 April 2010
Friday, 23 April 2010
The Burmese Python is the 6th largest snake in the world, it is native to tropical areas of southern and south east Asia. They are found near water and they are semi aquatic, but can also be found in trees. They are normally 3.7 meters long, but some have been found to be up to 5.8 meters long. They are light coloured snakes with many brown blotches boarded in black down the back of the snake. The python is an excellent swimmer and needs a permanent source of water but it is normally found in grasslands, swamps, woodlands, jungles, and river valleys. They are excellent climbers and their tail helps them climb as it is prehensile.
Thursday, 22 April 2010
For more information on Earth Day 2010 and to find out what you can do, visit their website. By the way, Google have changed their logo in support of Earth Day, which is a little pointless and slightly hypocritical as Google is an extremely power hungry operation. It would have made more sense if they had changed their background display to black - thus conserving energy. The Guardian Newspaper reported last May that one Google plant in Oregan can use as much power as the city of Newcastle in one day. Click here to read the article.
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
"The rainbow boa's scientific name is Epicrates cenchria. It is known for its attractive iridescent sheen. They are found in South and Central America in countries such as Costa Rica, Venezula, Brazil, Ecuador, Peru and Paraguay to name a few. Despite requiring very specific humidity and heat conditions, this species is commonly found in the pet trade. During the 1980s and early 1990s, substantial numbers were exported from Surinam. Today, however, far fewer are exported and most offered for sale are captive bred. Younger specimens will often bite, but tend to calm down as they become more used to handling. I think a good name for the snake would be Jimmy."I think Jimmy the Snake sounds like a serious gangster! If you want to enter, please send your suggestions to this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or hand it on a piece of paper to Mr. Jones. Good luck. Entries close on Friday 30th April. Of course, readers from outside the school community are also free to suggest a name for our snake.
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
There was a great article in the farming section of the Irish Independent last week which pupils studying Agricultural Science might find useful. Written by Michael Gottstein, the article outlines how two parasites, nematodirus and coccidiosis, affect sheep and how they can be controlled. Below is an extract from the article but click here to read in full.
"In last week's article I outlined some of the nutritional aspects that affect lamb performance. Supplying sheep with adequate nutrients is key to achieving high levels of animal performance. But what if the sheep are unable to digest these nutrients? That's what happens when the sheep are carrying heavy parasite burdens. Once lambs start eating grass (around five weeks of age) they will start to come in contact with various parasites. These parasites live off the nutrients/ tissue in the lamb's digestive tract thereby reducing the amount of nutrients available to the lamb and in some cases causing damage to the digestive system of the lamb.Understanding which parasites cause the damage and how to control them is essential if lamb performance is to be optimised in the coming weeks.Many of this year's lamb crop will come in contact with two parasites that can cause severe illness and in some cases can even lead to the death of young lambs. The parasites that I am talking about are nematodirus and coccidiosis."
- RT @rmbyrne: 10 Sources of Educational Science Games http://bit.ly/cGbIp1
- Extreme Octopus Close-Up http://tinyurl.com/y5qpe8g
- Brilliant new science website from Nature Education - Scitable: http://tinyurl.com/y5ud3zp
- Why I love my iPhone and its apps! http://tinyurl.com/y3gejxq #iphone #apps #education
- RT @bbcscitech: A new species of leech, discovered by an international team of scientists: http://bit.ly/dfnMY3
- RT @physorg_com : NASA to Launch Robonaut 2 Robot to International Space Station - http://www.physorg.com/news190462414.html
- Did you vote for your greatest Irish scientist or inventor on Science.ie? Check out the results - http://bit.ly/bL03Al
- RT @EISpace: Up close with the planet hunters: http://bit.ly/cC47eu from @the_irish_times
- RT @guardiantech: Great photo of Space Shuttle Discovery http://bit.ly/dfNLGg
- RT @guardiantech: Volcanic ash: why it's bad for planes http://bit.ly/asTItT
- See all the Frog Blog's recommended iPhone Apps for science education so far: http://bit.ly/bu9qbz #apps #iPhone #education
- RT @ncteireland: RT @catherinecronin: RT @kylepace: Twitter in the Classroom Boosting Student Engagement http://bit.ly/aKurGG
- Nano, the next dimension: A great new video posted to the Frog Blog #video #nanotechnology www.frogblog.ie/2010/04/nano-next-dimension.html
- @sccenglish Ha! Brilliant. www.frogblog.ie just became http://5z8.info/horse-slaughter_k1i1e_blackmarket
- Some froggie news RT @bbcscitech: Tadpoles produce a sharp distress call when attacked http://bit.ly/dgCHOt
- The environmental cost of 3D - Billions and Billions of 3D Glasses: Will Biodegradable Frames Discourage Reuse?... http://bit.ly/cdoUdZ
- Finally! RT @guardianscience: How science became cool http://bit.ly/dbMxqt
- 'Irish Times' unveils iPhone app: http://bit.ly/9Mi682 from @the_irish_times
- RT @NASA: Apollo 13 launched 40 yrs ago today. Read about the mission http://go.usa.gov/iZs or rent the movie
- Discovery in the "Pitch, Roll" position- great shot: http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/imagegallery/image_feature_1634.html via #NASA_App
Monday, 19 April 2010
Saturday, 17 April 2010
|Image from Scitable|
Friday, 16 April 2010
Thursday, 15 April 2010
"THE MILKY Way galaxy may be littered with Earth-like planets, according to new research. Far from being a rarity, up to 20 per cent of stars similar to our Sun may be orbited by rocky, watery planets. And where there is water, can we assume there is life? Certainly the more Earth-like planets with water that can be found, the greater the likelihood that we might find one that harbours life. Research findings issued earlier this week at the Royal Astronomical Society’s national astronomy meeting in Glasgow suggest that we will identify endless numbers of potential homes should we ever have to leave Earth – provided of course we develop a way to reach them. The search for exoplanets, planets that orbit stars away from our own solar system, has been a popular subject for astronomers presenting findings at the Society’s 2010 meeting. And exoplanets also feature in research that appears this morning in the journal Nature about a new more sensitive method for finding distant planets. The discovery of new exoplanets has become a near daily occurrence – with 446 found as of last Tuesday – since the first was found in 1995. " Read more .....
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Monday, 12 April 2010
"Robert Boyle was your most popular choice, with almost two third (32.2%) of your votes. Next were the mathematician William Rowan Hamilton (21.2%) and Ernest Walton (17.8%), who won the Nobel Prize for smashing the atom."
|Screenshot from Speed Anatomy|
Saturday, 10 April 2010
Friday, 9 April 2010
Thursday, 8 April 2010
It's just weird! But the thoughts of a newly discovered mammal is very intriguing.
"A bizarre creature, dubbed the “oriental yeti”, has baffled scientists after emerging from ancient woodlands in remote central China. The hairless beast was trapped by hunters in Sichuan province after locals reported spotting what they thought was a bear. One hunter, Lu Chin, said: “It looks a bit like a bear but it doesn’t have any fur and it has a tail like a kangaroo. “It also does not sound like a bear — it has a voice like a cat and it is calling all the time — perhaps it is looking for the rest of its kind or maybe it's the last one. "There are local legends of a bear that used to be a man and some people think that’s what we caught," he added. Now stumped local animal experts have shipped the mystery beast to scientists in Beijing for DNA tests."
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Wild Journeys, RTÉ's most recent natural history series, promised to show us the remarkable migratory journeys of many of Ireland's native creatures - from the Humpback Whale to the Barnacle Goose. Aired over the past three Sundays, Wild Journeys brought these wonderful feats of nature into our sitting rooms, living up to their promise. Produced by Crossing the Line Films and shot in HD, this wonderful production certainly engaged my imagination. The excellent photography, along with the well structured narration, brought the stories to life (If being very critical, the narrator did not sound as passionate about the migrations as she should have and her voice has quite monotonous). The series was filmed over two years and engaged some of the country's top naturalists - their stories often as interesting as the animals. According to their brilliant website, Wild Journeys
"... features Ireland’s most heroic wildlife travelers and the incredible journeys they carry out every single year. From the 20,000 km flown annually by the Manx Shearwaters to the transatlantic voyages of our eels and salmon, ‘Wild Journeys’ follows these voyagers to the ends of the Earth, showing the extraordinary challenges they meet and the magnificent landscapes they visit en-route."
Monday, 5 April 2010
Saturday, 3 April 2010
Friday, 2 April 2010
The Forensic Scientist Blog has recently published their list of the 100 Best Websites for Science Teachers. Sadly, the Froggies didn't make it but here is the top five:
4. Extreme Science: Here you’ll find world records in natural science, including earth science and the plant and animal kingdom. There are also challenges, lessons, and loads more.
5. Federal Resources for Educational Excellence: Get free science teaching resources from the U.S. Department of Education. Science tools include those for applied, Earth, life, and physical sciences. There are also options in other subjects.
Click here to see the exhausted list.
Thursday, 1 April 2010
|Illustration by Matt Van Rooijen|
|John Edwards with the Giant Frog|