Santa Cruz

The Energy for a New Crawl—Galápagos Tortoises Feast on Invasive Plants for a New Foraging Technique

When it comes to invasive flora, most conservation ecologists know that the ramifications that come with these primary producers often appear much higher in the food chain. Some animals are unequipped to utilize the plants for food, while others simply find the energy spent foraging for it is far too much for the energy gained. And it’s a dynamic that often leads some species to coevolve. But looking into one of the first Darwinian subjects, Galápagos Giant Tortoises, some researchers have found that the unique species may be getting far more out of the invasive flora than they once thought—enough to even change their foraging behavior altogether.
Hopkin's Rose

Is Climate Change To Blame for These Blooming Pink Nudibranchs?

While they be fun to look at, a new sight in northern California tide pools are causing quite a bit of concern as the shades of oceanic blue are filled with one-inch blotches of hot pink. The culprits, known as Hopkin’s Rose Nudibranch (Okenia rosacea), are sea slugs common to the warmer waters of southern California. But as water temperatures shift, researchers fear that their migration further up the coast may be a sign of what’s to come.
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