Thursday, 16 September 2010

Six Nature's Incredible Invasions – SuperSwarm

From the Seaweeds Invasion in China to the red crabs invasion in Cuba, 6 incredible superSwarm.

Evil Ant Invasion

It sounds like something out of a bad horror movie. Swarms of imported red fire ants—Brazilian insects with scarlet armor and a burning sting—have run rampant in parts of the United States, Australia and Taiwan, consuming small birds, felling livestock, and leaving painful welts on any human skin they contact.
This horror film may well have a sequel. The winged queen ants can fly up to 15 km to start a new colony—which means that eradication efforts will be ineffective. Says Dr. Richard Corlett, a Hong Kong University biodiversity expert, “There is no border patrol for ants.”

Seaweeds Invasion in China

It comes after hundreds of square kilometres off the city of Qingdao in Shandong province were taken over by an outbreak of a thick seaweed known as enteromorpha prolifera.
The first outbreaks, also know as green tides, were recorded in the 1970′s and occur mostly in Europe and South America. But since 2007 the phenomenon has been making an annual appearance in China’s Yellow Sea.
A 2008 outbreak of enteromorpha prolifera in China was the largest ever recorded in the world and covered over 600 square kilometres.
The weed has destroyed large swathes of the seabed in the Mediterranean over the past decade after escaping from an aquarium.
Growing at a rate of up to eight centimetres (3.5 inches) per day, the alga spreads like wildfire, depriving other plants and animals of vital sunlight and oxygen.

Crab Invasion

Annually more than 150 million red crabs migrates in order breed and release eggs into the water. The migration itself lasts up to 20 days. The period of eggs laying and breeding is spent in moist burrows and then, young generation of crabs, called megalopae (they are not more than 5 mm across) began another migration, this time from water to forests. Roads become covered with smelly smashed crabs but seafood-loving won’t touch them ,they contain a harmful toxin. On the other hand car owners must repair tires shredded by the sharp shells. Officials make efforts to protect the crabs by closing some roads and sidewalks to create “crab crossings.” In part, that’s because the great crab migrations have become an unusual tourist draw.

Turtle Invasion Grounds Flights At JFK

Airport Runway Temporarily Shut Down after at Least 78 Terrapins Crawled onto Tarmac. A runway at John F. Kennedy International Airport was shut down briefly ,months ago after at least 78 turtles emerged from a nearby bay and crawled onto the tarmac.
Grounds crews eventually rounded up the wayward reptiles and deposited them back in the brackish water farther from airport property, but not before the incident disrupted JFK’s flight schedule and contributed to delays that reached nearly 1 1/2 hours .

Silver Carp Invasion

In the US the Illinois River boils with leaping silver carp, an alien species that has hijacked the river, smashing into boats and injuring people.
Like most invasive species, the Asian carp was introduced with the hope of doing good. But now it’s like introducing piranhas to the Great Lakes.

Originally introduced to clean catfish ponds and in experiments to filter sewage, the creatures eventually escaped during floods in the 1990s and headed into adjoining rivers. Eventually, they reached the tributaries of the Mississippi River system, which includes the Missouri River, the Ohio River and the Illinois River.

There, they have wreaked havoc for years, destroying commercial fishing and damaging recreational water activities. Early last summer, a 22-year-old jet skier in the Illinois River had to be rescued by firefighters when he ran into a leaping fish that knocked him from his machine. In 2004, a woman nearly died after being knocked unconscious by a leaping fish while on her Jet Ski near Peoria.

Killer Bees Invasion

Years ago, killer bees attacked on an international football match in Costa Rica.
The origin of killer bees is a classic horror story. A group of scientists cross-bred the delicate European honey bee with the hardy African bee, hoping the new bee would survive the tropical climate. But the experiment went wrong. Sure, the new bee made honey, but it was also more aggressive and chased down intruders in larger swarms and for longer distances. Project Bee was put on hold until further notice. Then one day, an errant beekeeper accidentally released 26 hybrid queens. The new bees were survivors all right, and soon they spread from Brazil to California. A hive can launch 20,000 bees in 15 seconds – enough to kill you. And so they got their new nickname.

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