The initiative aims to establish an effective strategy for climate change resilience in five coral reefs inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: the Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), the Lagoons of New Caledonia (France), the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System (Belize), the Ningaloo Coast, and the Great Barrier Reef (Australia).
The event brought together those who launched the initiative, and experts and managers of marine World Heritage sites to present the effects of climate change on their sites. Beyond the five sites concerned, the event also provided an opportunity to present a strategy to support all World Heritage sites’ adaptation to climate change.
“Coral reefs are the major witnesses of climate change,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay. “The health of our planet and the future of our humanity can be seen today in the poor condition of these reefs. Swift action is needed to reverse the trend and limit the rise in temperatures. Such action can only be undertaken on a global scale, and UNESCO presents the most appropriate platform to accelerate this effort.”
They were first documented in 1955 when more than a dozen unidentified animals were found beached on the coast of New Zealand. Compared with other types of orcas, these killer whales have a more rounded head, a narrower and more pointed dorsal fin, and a small white eyepatch.
The orcas were seen off the tip of southern Chile in January 2019. Type D killer whales live in the subantarctic, home to some of the world’s stormiest waters. This inhospitable environment, and the fact that they aren’t usually found near shore, makes them nearly impossible to study. The scientists expect lab results to show that the Type D killer whale is a new species, and the largest undescribed animal left on the planet.
Find out about the ancient mariners’ oldest known ancestor, how certain adaptations may have helped the reptiles survive, and the conservation efforts being made to save these creatures.
Humans have a relatively long lifespan with a maximum age of around 110 years. However, there are many other animals on earth which can live much, much longer than this.
These include certain reptiles, mammals, fish, and birds. The lifespan of animals is usually measured in terms of the average age that members of the species die at, rather than the oldest age they can reach.
#1 Immortal Jellyfish
This is one of, if not the only animal species on earth which never dies. Members of this species are able to turn themselves from an adult into a baby through a process known as “transdifferentiation”. The jellyfish then reproduces via asexual reproduction, creating hundreds of identical copies of itself, and therefore never dying – in theory!
#2 Ocean Quahog
This species of Arctic clam is the longest living species known to man. Many specimens of the shellfish have been collected that were over 400 years old. The oldest ever know died in captivity aged an incredible 507 years. It was collected during a scientific expedition, and may have lived even longer if left alone.
Sperm whales are only at the surface for about 15 or 20 minutes at a time, yet photographer Brian Skerry is able to capture beautiful moments of these giant undersea predators.
He experienced the rare opportunity to photograph a social gathering of six sperm whales near the eastern Caribbean island of Dominica. He witnessed fascinating behavior such as whales playfully biting each other, rolling around, and babysitting. This assignment made Skerry realize that sperm whales are complex animals that have identity and personality, and exhibit traits similar to human beings.
Equipped with a high-tech vision system which allows it to ‘see’ underwater, and operated using a smart tablet, RangerBot is the low-cost, autonomous robot concept that won the 2016 Google Impact Challenge People’s Choice prize, enabling QUT roboticists to develop innovative robotics technology into a real-life reef protector.
Launching RangerBot at Townsville’s Reef HQ Aquarium today, QUT Professor Matthew Dunbabin said after almost two years of research, development and testing, RangerBot’s industry-leading technology is now ready to be put through its paces by those working to monitor and protect the Reef.
This ‘Swiss army knife’-style robo reef protector, the RangerBot Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, will provide reef managers, researchers and community groups extra ‘hands and eyes’ in the water.