Nautilus Conservation in the News

Discussion in 'Marine Conservation' started by gjbarord, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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  2. SteveM

    SteveM Blue Ring Registered

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    Thanks for posting.

    Isn't it odd how these journalists invariably perpetuate the belief that Nautilus migrates in the water column via rapid change of chamber pressure? The allusion to Jules Verne's Nautilus just won't go away it would seem. I assume that the journalist did not consult Ward on that point…

    The statement that scientists believe purported Nautilus pearls to be fraudulent is a blatant untruth, and seemingly paranoid. This is an area in which I am working (to confirm or refute—makes no difference) and there are plenty of reputable scientists interested in the subject given the unequalled complexity of the Nautilus shell. There is simply nothing definitive at the moment, although present indications are more positive than negative.
     
  3. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    I see your point about the buoyancy regulation but I think the author does a good job not to state too much. He doesn't really say that nautiluses change their buoyancy to move up and down. He could have added a sentence or two in their stating that nautiluses maintain neutral buoyancy through chamber regulation.... But for a NY Times article I am content with his wording.

    I am a little confused about your last sentence, about indications being more positive than negative? Regarding the existence of the nautilus pearl, it is clear to me from my field research in August that many of the supposed nautilus pearls are indeed fake and do not come from nautilus. At this point, I disagree that confirming or refuting the existence of nautilus pearls makes no difference. With so much pressure already being placed on the populations, if a paper were to come out clearly stating the existence of nautilus pearls then that could mean a whole new pressure on the nautilus populations. I agree that the idea of nautilus pearls is very intriguing and would be very interesting to look at from a scientific point of view, but the ramifications that a paper like that could bring could be devastating.

    Greg
     
  4. SteveM

    SteveM Blue Ring Registered

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    Greg

    Thanks for the chance to clarify. The difference in outcome to which I refer is motivation, i.e. it would be equally worthwhile for conservation causes to disprove the several pearls already documented as Nautilus by highly reputable gemological laboratories (and thus among the rarest such objects in the world) as it would be of scientific interest to confirm their biomineral origin.

    It is not becoming of science to stick its collective head in the sand, but that appears to be the case currently among Nautilus conservationists on the pearl issue.

    Regarding natural pearls in general, first one must not assume that Nautilus pearls are so intrinsically valuable that there would be any sort of rush. What we are looking at has little if any jewelry application. Even if it did, you need look no farther than the Bahamas for a truly valuable and beautiful pearl, Strombus Gigas (queen conch), which is the joy of every Wall Street maven's teenaged daughter and priced through the stratosphere. Yet we continue to enjoy conch fritters and conch chowder throughout the Caribbean.

    Professor Ward sent me photos of the 'pearls' you were viewing in the Philippines, and they were not comparable or of the sort that are the subject of pertinent ongoing shell microstructure investigations.
     
  5. SteveM

    SteveM Blue Ring Registered

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    My last post did not address this. The specimens that are being studied are composed of an aragonite microstructure that cannot be explained, as it is known to exist only in extant Triblidiida (monoplacophora) and in the Cambrian fossil record. That's the intrigue…goes to molluscan phylogeny and the early evolution of successively stronger shell materials leading to nacre. Who wouldn't want to know WHAT mollusk produced those pearls, even if not (naut) Nautilus?
     
  6. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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  7. SteveM

    SteveM Blue Ring Registered

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    Well, let's just say it's the same Nautilus, in the news again. Peter Ward on the warpath (and to boot, on the side of political correctness).

    Shell négociants on Cebu and in other important Indo-Pacific distribution centers testify that their number one outlet by far for Nautilus shells is the Asian furniture and accessories trade, hungry for mother-of-pearl.

    If Ward's sensationalism regarding American shell collectors and a horrifyingly threatening demand for 'Nautilus pearls' accelerates CITES listing for this heirloom creature, so much the better—although such listing may be largely ineffective in frustrating the actual shell demand.
     
  8. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Anyone in and around the Portland, Maine area should check out an awesome talk (if I say so myself) on all things related to the conservation status of nautiluses.

    Maybe a Mini-TONMOCON??

    Greg
     

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  9. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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  10. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Really nice coverage.

    Suggestion. On the YouTube video add captions to label the isopod and other critter and mention the depth.

    edit: I see that if you go to YouTube you mention the isopod but you can add captions right on the video since embedding does not show the YouTube text.
     
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  11. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks D! I'll definitely try that! I assume it's pretty easy to do?

    Greg
     
  12. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Very easy with any video editor (even the free ones) but I think (don't quote me) you can do it on the YouTube editor too.
     
  13. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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    Thanks! What FREE editors have you used?

    Greg
     
  14. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Option 1.
    Check out VideoPad editor. Install the trial and BE SURE TO DECLINE ALL THE OTHER SOFTWARE (some of it is actually pretty good but decline it). After you install it go to your control panel and select uninstall. Find the Video Pad Editor and double click. If the option is still there (it is on mine at version 3.02) you will see an option to downgrade to the free version. Select it and proceed. Try a small video file to be sure there are not stamps and that you can output HD quality. I have the paid version now and am not 100% sure what is in the free version. It is probably the best one out there if it is still really free. I use this sometimes but have mostly switched to another that is made by my image editing people (not free).

    Option 2.
    Sony has a cloud based application that is currently free. I've not used it but the overview looks promising.
     
  15. gjbarord

    gjbarord Sepia elegans Staff Member Moderator

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