News bites from the natural world by Tom MacLaughlin. Posted on June 29, 2014, Sunday
It is estimated that thousands of wild civets are poached from the wild for coffee farms.
Tsunami model for Sabah
A TSUNAMI that occurred off the coast of Brunei, known as the Brunei Slide, has been modelled to show the affects of the waves on Brunei and East Malaysia.
During the first 15 minutes, the west coast of Western Sabah would have gotten waves of 24 metres, while Brunei and the Northeast Malaysia coast would have received waves of 14 metres and 17 metres respectively.
The research was conducted by Mui Fatt Chai and others from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM).
For more go to www.sciencedirect.com.
Rising of New Zealand
The islands of New Zealand split off from Antarctica about 80 million years ago during the Cretaceous Period.
New Zealand then became part of the sea floor only to rise again about 25 million years ago during the Oligiocene.
This ‘Moa Ark’ hypothesis has been challenged by some scientists as they feel that part of the land mass remained above water.
The discovery of A kinabalu from North Borneo and A rostralis from Norfolk Island, west Pacific, has led to the belief that at least part of the islands were above water during the entire period from when it was associated with Gondawana.
A kinabalu and A rostralis are mites and are thought to be associated with the New Zealand ones aeons ago.
For more go to www.mapress.com.
A civet eats coffee berries at a farm.
Coffee and civet cats
The most expensive coffee in the world (Kopi Luwak) has partially been digested by two civets (Palm Civet – Paradoruxsus hermaphroditus and Binturong – Arctictus binturong).
These two species have been kept in “inadequate conditions that result in a high rate of morbidity and mortality”.
It has been estimated that thousands of wild civets have been poached from the wild to maintain these farms.
This has reduced wild populations and this is of concern especially for Binturongs, as they categorised as being vulnerable to extinction.
In traditional farms, workers collect the expelled beans from beneath the coffee trees.
The writers of the article maintain that coffee beans produced and collected this way is mutually beneficial to the civets and human.
This method of production should not negatively affect wild populations.
For more go to http://journals.cambridge.org.
Some scientists have challenged the ‘Moa Ark’ hypothesis as they feel that part of the land mass remained above water.