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When squid and insects rule...

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posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 05:43 AM
We are all currently noticing a large amount of fish and birds dying from some unknown reason.

It could be deliberate... it could be natural, either way there will be a massive impact on the worlds population of almost all species.

I'll leave to one side the conspiracy theories for a moment and focus on current issues and the possible impact of this depopulation.

First off we have the Humboldt squid. It is being found in waters that are way out of its normal hunting areas. These squid reproduce so fast and they eat almost everything, including each other.

I recently saw a documentary on these squid and their impact. I am unable to locate the actual video on the internet but I can give a brief account of what was said.

The squid were first curious of the divers with their cameras, but then the squid began to attack the divers and were trying to rip off the face masks and breathing aparatus fro the mouths of the divers. These squid seem to be highly intelligent, far beyond what we immediately perceive. They caught a female and strapped a camera to it and sent it back to sea. what was recorded was astonishing.

The female rejoined the squid shoal(school) and bergan to flash different colours.. as if it were trying to say something... the other squid were curious and kept their distance for a few moments..then, one by one, they came in closer to this female squid... and ripped it apart.. the camera then sank and you could see the remains of the female squid after the kill frenzy had occured and you could see the other squid going back to normal business.. It was as if they knew there was something odd and unusual about this one specific female.

These squid are taking over the seas population at an astonishing rate. Capable of breading at a rate similar to rats, able to change their diet at a moments notice.. One comment was that we will soon no longer have fish and chip shops.. instead we will have squid and chips... for there will be only squid left to fish..

A short video on some fishermen talking about these squid;

A growing mass of these hungry squid could have a large impact on some fish stocks, especially those that are already faltering. "They can eat pretty much all they want," Gilly says, noting that researchers have found a range of meals inside the squid, ranging from tiny krill to 40-centimeter-long hake—and even some salmon remains. Humboldts have even been known to eat each other. As evidence for their impact on U.S. fisheries continues to trickle in, their effect off in Chile, where the squid have been prevalent for much longer than most parts off the U.S. coast, has been more conspicuous: "There's very strong evidence that the squid expansion had a huge impact on the hake fisheries," says Field, who helped organize a symposium on the animal in 2007. "It looks like they're doing the same migration as hake, which concerns me.
....if the squids' range continues to expand, he adds: "I wouldn't rule out the potential for a huge impact."
Humboldt squid's core range used to extend from San Diego across the equator to northern Chile but now stretches from southern Alaska to Chile's southern tip.

Changes in climate, water stratification, wind patterns and currents in the Pacific might all be playing a role in expanding these hypoxic zones, Gilly explains. Despite their dreary name, these growing dead zones are likely boosting Humboldt squid numbers. In warmer water areas these low-oxygen zones often start 200 meters below the surface and extend in the water column down to about 1,000 meters. Off the coast of California, however, Gilly explains, these zones have historically started at a depth closer to 400 or 500 meters, making them much smaller. But in recent years, "that zone is getting bigger" and low oxygen areas have been growing closer to the surface off the coast of North America. Off Oregon, for example, many of the past summers have brought a new seasonal dead zone close to the coast.

This change has meant less livable ocean habitat for many creatures that depend on well-oxygenated water to survive. But for Humboldt squid the expansion of these dead zones has been a lifeline to new habitats. Gilly and his lab have discovered the squid can hang out hundreds of meters down in areas that hold as little as 10 percent of standard surface oxygen levels for a whole day. In fact, the squid do not just seem to tolerate these harsh aqueous climes, but they appear to actually "have an affinity for and favor" them, Gilly notes.

He has a friendly wager (for a six pack of beer) going with a scientist in Russia that the squid will make it to Kamchatka on Siberia's Pacific coast before the men die. With the growing low-oxygen zones under much of that part of the Pacific, "that pathway for them would seem to be there," Gilly says. "They seem to go wherever they want."

Estimates are up in the 10's of millions of these squid.. check this BBC page,
Apparently one diver had over 300 bites in one attack session. It's incredible to believe when the guy says that sharks can have 10 young in a lifetime, but these squid can have 20 million young in a lifetime.

We seriously do have to worry about these squid and our dying fish stocks.

Millions of killer giant squid are not only devouring vast amounts of fish they have even started attacking humans. Two Mexican fishermen were recently dragged from their boats and chewed so badly that their bodies could not be identified even by their own families. No wonder the giant squid are called “diablos rojos” – red devils.

Birds, on the other hand, are a completely different kettle of fish.. (excuse the pun).
With less birds we are going to see an increase in insects, especially flies and with all these dead fish and birds lying around, that's a whole lot more maggots and stench to worry about.

The Climatic Impact Indicator, which illustrates the impact of climate change on bird populations, has increased strongly in the past twenty years, coinciding with a period of rapid climatic warming in Europe. Potential links between changes in bird populations and ecosystem functioning and resilience are not well understood.

This from April 2010;

Some of Britain's best loved farmland birds are continuing to vanish at an alarming rate, according to a shocking new report. Official figures show that populations have plummeted by 11 per cent across England since the mid 1990s - and that once common species such as the starling, turtle dove and corn bunting are suffering the most. The South East has experienced the greatest losses, with numbers of farmland birds down by nearly a quarter in the last 15 years. Read more:

How Effective are Bird Predators in Controlling insect Populations? Further studies were now necessary to establish the effect bird predation has on populations of harmful forest insects. Torgersen assisted in devising an experiment to measure both bird and ant predation on the western spruce budworm. In this experiment, birds were excluded from some trees, ants from others, both birds and ants from others; and some trees were left exposed to both predator groups.3

He discovered that "either birds alone or ants alone were able to compensate [in reducing the survival rate of the spruce budworm], to a large extent, on trees from which the other group was excluded."3 In the absence of both birds and ants, however, any i "compensation [by any other predators 1 that occurred was trivial."4 At low densities, survival of the budworm on trees protected from both groups was ten to fifteen times higher than on trees' exposed to both predator groups. At higher densities survival on - protected trees was still two times higher.3 This study indicated that birds and ants were dominant controlling factors of budworm populations. Are birds more effective predators than ants?

Both groups have been frequently observed preying on all life stages of the budworm with the exception of egg masses, but ants seem to concentrate on the larger larvae and pupae. Since 2, birds can fly, they are able to catch "ballooning" larvae (larvae floating on strands of silk) and adult moths more efficiently than ground-dwelling ants.4 Birds are also more effective in foraging in the higher tree branches than ants.5 Some life of stages of the budworm occur during cola weather, and ants, being more affected by cold temperatures than birds, are less effective than birds during these times.4 However, it is very difficult to separate the effects of insectivorous birds from those of predacious ants, since both are present in the naturel forest environment. Birds and ants together play an important role in the population control of the western spruce budworm.

So are we going to witness massive global insect strikes on crops and food stocks?
Are GM crops partly to blame for the mass die off of birds?
Are the insects yet to adapt to GM crops?
Just how is all of this goping to affect the global population of every species?

edit on 5-1-2011 by Extralien because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 5 2011 @ 10:16 AM
More insects (getting to ridiculous numbers) mean the runt of the nest gets fed more. Which means more birds/[insert predator here].

After being terrified of a collapse of certain species leading to a full on ecological downfall for a very long time, it seems wherever I go, nature has everything figured out. It is the ultimate reset button which works every time - chaos. In one thousand years, the only thing left of us if civilisation ceased today would be our hard stonecraft. I have seen the windows of ancient cathedrals in europe 'flowing' to the base of the frame, the glass has stood for so long it has stayed true to its liquid form. Pitted, faceless gargoyles and damaged sandstone. Stained concrete buildings. Crumbling concrete and stones.

We are nature. And if we are out of balance we will correct ourselves one way or another.


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