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Your Questions About How To Discover New Species

Ken asks…

How was growing plants discovered?

I have this question my teacher wants answered. It says the native Americans in Mexico discovered how to grow maize but how? Please answer as quick as you can I need it by tomorrow! Thanks in advance!

New Niche Finder answers:

You need to read “Guns, Germs and Steel” – it’s this question exactly – but if you need it tomorrow…. The Indians would eat the grass seed as they’d come across it – and over the centuries and millenniums, they bring this stuff home on their feet – and it would grow around where they lived.

Slowly they began to select for the type of seed they wanted to eat. Maybe they’d kill the plants they didn’t want and leave the ones that gave them the best seed to eat. And very slowly they developed corn – that’s how all crops were developed by man.

Everything we now eat – whether corn or wheat or peas or beans, barley and oats – it was all domesticated just like this before mankind could read and write. No major species has been domesticated since we learned to read and write. So you can thank your ancient ancestors who could neither read nor write for every bite of food you put in your mouth.

Donald asks…

What do you think of these amazing new sea creatures recently discovered?

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/technology/8398584/Lost-world-of-Antarctic-sea-life-thrives

Wow an octopus and some crabs! You guys I can’t believe this how incredible is that! I mean there’s thousands and thousands of species of octopus and crabs already but wow one more of each! Oh my God wow!

New Niche Finder answers:

Sucker! It’s a hoax, just like the moon landing.

Michael asks…

How do scienctist name a newly discovered animal?

My teacher told me they make up a name. Does that mean if I found a new species, that I could name it Hogan-hy-rite

New Niche Finder answers:

There is an International Code of Zoological Nomenclature governing the naming of an animal. There are also unofficial rules (naming it after yourself is bad form). The species trivial name has to match the generic name gramatically. Names can come from any language (look up Kogia). Names cannot be offensive or ridiculous. The Rules make up a small book.

There is a story about two entomologists who did not like one another. One, a Dr Dyer, found a new genus and species of beetle. He named the genus after the other entomologist. As both the beetle and the entomologist were rotund, the specific trivial name Dyer gave was “obesus”. The other entomologist (I forget his name so let’s call him Jones) did not care for Jonesia obesus as a name, so he waited until he too had a genus to describe and named it after Dyer in the usual way, by adding “-ia” to the honoree’s name. This gave “Dyeria”. [If this doesn’t make sense to you, say it aloud.]

The story is, no doubt, fiction as the names would violate the rules against offensive names.

George asks…

What are the new kinds of species found in the Rain Forest?

I’m curious because i want to see what these new species look like and learn about them!

New Niche Finder answers:

One recently discovered species in Brazil is the Lonomia moth. The caterpillar is the only one on Earth that can kill a human. Here is the Wikipedia page.

John asks…

What scientist discovered Los Glaciares National Park in Argentina?

Yes, this is homework. It’s actually for a project. But I really need help, because I have been looking all over the internet for who discovered the park, but I’m only finding dates, not a person. Please help.

New Niche Finder answers:

Date and history of establishment
The area was first protected by the provision of Decree No. 105.433 in 1937.
The national park was established on 28 April 1945 by Decree-Law 9.504.
Actual boundaries and zonation of the park were defined on 11 October 1971 by Law 19.292.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1981.
In 1986, more than 100 hectares (ha) were released to the small town El Chalten, in Lake Viedma sector. Http://www.eoearth.org/article/Los_Glaciares_National_Park,_Argentina#gen1 ——— Parque Nacional Los Glaciares is a national park in the Santa Cruz Province, in Argentine Patagonia. It comprises an area of 4459 km². In 1981 it was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The national park, created in 1937, is the second largest in Argentina. Its name refers to the giant ice cap in the Andes range that feeds 47 large glaciers, of which only 13 flow towards the Atlantic Ocean. The ice cap is the largest outside of Antarctica and Greenland. In other parts of the world, glaciers start at a height of at least 2,500 meters above mean sea level, but due to the size of the ice cap, these glaciers begin at only 1,500m, sliding down to 200m AMSL, eroding the surface of the mountains that support them.
Location Santa Cruz Province, Argentina
Area 4459 km²
Established 1937 Governing body Administración de Parques Nacionales
Geography Los Glaciares, of which 30% is covered by ice, can be divided in two parts, each corresponding with one of the two elongated big lakes partially contained by the Park. Lake Argentino, 1,466 km² and the largest in Argentina, is in the south, while Lake Viedma, 1,100 km², is in the north. Both lakes feed the Santa Cruz River that flows down to Puerto Santa Cruz on the Atlantic. Between the two halves is a non-touristic zone without lakes called Zona Centro.

The northern half consists of part of Viedma Lake, the Viedma Glacier and a few minor glaciers, and a number of mountains very popular among fans of climbing and trekking, including Mount Fitz Roy and Cerro Torre.

The southern part has, as well as a number of smaller ones, the major glaciers which flow into Lake Argentino: Perito Moreno Glacier, Upsala Glacier, and Spegazzini Glacier. Typical excursion boats travel between icebergs to visit Bahía Onelli, and the otherwise inaccessible Spegazzini and Upsala. The Perito Moreno is reachable by land.

Ecology The mountains hold most of the humidity from the Pacific Ocean, letting through only the ice coldness (annual average of 7.5 °C) and creating an arid steppe on the Argentine side of the range. This area is habitat for ñandúes, guanaco, cougar, and gray fox, the latter who has suffered from the invasion of the cattle industry and are endangered. The guanaco, while not endangered, has had a dramatic decline in historic population due to large scale grazing of livestock throughout much of Patagonia. There are over 1000 species of birds in the area (condors, eagles, and others), but only 100 have been registered. Between the ice and the Patagonian steppe there is a fertile area of forests composed mainly of lengas and guindos, but also ñires. Within these more hospitable areas also live huemul deer and Torrent Duck.

Human use.—Los Glaciares is a major attraction for international tourists, and has an annual budget of one million dollars (1994). Starting points of tours are the village of El Calafate at the shore of Lake Argentino but outside the park, where the park’s administration has its headquarters, and El Chaltén village in the northern part of the park, at the foot of the Fitz Roy. Other touristic points in the park include Lago del Desierto and Lago Roca.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Glaciares_National_Park

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