Fun Fact Friday!

This weeks #FactFriday is focusing on the European sturgeon, Acipenser sturio.

This fish species is classed as critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to overfishing, poaching, water pollution and destruction of their habitat.

The sturgeon is a large fish with an elongated body and flattened snout with recognisable plates along it’s body. They can grow up to 6 metres and weigh a whopping 400kg, part of their reason for decline is due to their long juvenile phase, they don’t reach sexual maturity until 20 years and can live for over 100 years.

They are found along most European coastlines, and being anadromous, migrate to inland rivers to breed. However, despite this being their distribution, there is only 1 freshwater river left in which they are known to spawn – the Garonne river basin in France.

They feed on molluscs and crustaceans and locate them using barbells on the front of their mouths

Interesting fact: sturgeons are the only species that have diamond shaped pupils!

No photo description available.
No photo description available.

Butterfly Talk Tomorrow @ 7pm!

Tune in tomorrow to hear Anthony from Butterfly Conservation Scotland give a talk on ‘Butterflies & how we can help them?’.

There will also be potential volunteering opportunities discussed in advance of the new butterfly recording season!! The zoom link for this event is posted in the facebook group. If you can’t access facebook, not a problem. Just shoot us a message at guzoosoc@gmail.com for the zoom information!

See you then to hear some amazing facts about butterflies!

Fun Fact Friday!

This week, for #FactFriday we are looking at the Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata) !

This bird is Europe’s largest wader and is instantly recognizable by it’s mottled brown upperparts, long legs and a long, downcurved bill. It’s also known as the “whaup” in Scots.

The diet of the Eurasian curlew consists of worms, shellfish and other invertebrates. In the summer they can most commonly be found in upland moors, bogs and wet grassland.

They have high site fidelity, meaning curlew pairs will return to the same area to breed every year. At the end of their breeding season they then head towards the coast and large estuaries where they overwinter.

The UK population of this wader accounts for over one quarter of the global breeding population. However the UK has seen declines of 65% in our national population since the 1970’s and it is now classified as near threatened. Low productivity (chicks don’t hatch/ survive to fledge) is thought to be main cause of UK decline which has been attributed to predation and a reduction in quality of breeding habitat. For this reason the Eurasian curlew is now widely acknowledged to be the UK’s highest bird conservation priority.

They have THE best call of all the waders- definitely worth a listen on YouTube!

May be an image of bird and nature
May be an image of bird

Grad Talk tonight at @ 6pm!

We’ll be hosting several recent Glasgow MFB/ Zoology graduates to hear about their current jobs in the field, and their advice on finding jobs after graduating! Some of their roles include;

  • Marine biologist on a coral reef restoration project in Kenya
  • Coordinator at the Atlantic Whale and Dolphin Foundation in Tenerife
  • Project manager at a conservation centre in Thailand
  • Head marine biologist for COMO hotel group, Maldives
  • MSc Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology student at Glasgow

There’ll be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and pick some brains! Most of the grads also took part in Exploration Society expeditions, so if any students have an interest in those, then they can find out more info and ask any questions.

It’s sure to be a really interesting talk so we’re hoping to see students from all year groups attending! More info can be found on our Facebook – Glasgow University Sea Society, or University of Glasgow Zoological Society

The Zoom link for the talks can be accessed here:

Topic: Sea Society Graduate Talk 2021

https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/5818338669?pwd=akF2OFROU2xFZmFxampjVlFMTllVQT09

Meeting ID: 581 833 8669

Passcode: gradtalk21

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Fun Fact Friday!

This #factfriday we are fueling your insect knowledge with facts about the comma butterfly (Polygonia c-album).

Once only found in the south of England, this butterfly has colonised huge areas of the UK over the past 50 years and now breeds right up to central Scotland.

Their wings are scalloped and are commonly referred to as anglewing butterflies. They have brownish-orange wings with black marks when unfolded. When folded, they resemble a dead leaf and have a white curve on the underside which looks like a comma, hence their name.

Comma caterpillars are camouflaged to resemble bird droppings and are designed to keep predators away.

They have a flexible life cycle and, depending on the weather, some spring and early summer caterpillars develop into butterflies that go straight into hibernation. Others become adults that breed straight away and give rise to a new generation in the autumn.

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May be an image of nature and indoor

Graduate Talks @ 6pm on 18th of February

We’ll be hosting several recent Glasgow MFB/ Zoology graduates to hear about their current jobs in the field, and their advice on finding jobs after graduating! Some of their roles include;

  • Marine biologist on a coral reef restoration project in Kenya
  • Coordinator at the Atlantic Whale and Dolphin Foundation in Tenerife
  • Project manager at a conservation centre in Thailand
  • Head marine biologist for COMO hotel group, Maldives
  • MSc Quantitative Methods in Biodiversity, Conservation and Epidemiology student at Glasgow

There’ll be plenty of opportunities to ask questions and pick some brains! Most of the grads also took part in Exploration Society expeditions, so if any students have an interest in those, then they can find out more info and ask any questions.

It’s sure to be a really interesting talk so we’re hoping to see students from all year groups attending! More info can be found on our Facebook – Glasgow University Sea Society, or University of Glasgow Zoological Society

The Zoom link for the talks can be accessed here:

Topic: Sea Society Graduate Talk 2021

https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/5818338669?pwd=akF2OFROU2xFZmFxampjVlFMTllVQT09

Meeting ID: 581 833 8669

Passcode: gradtalk21

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Fun Fact Friday!

FactFriday next up is the harbour seal (Phoca vitulina) also known as the common seal

The harbour seal is the smaller of the two seal species found in Scotland. They can be distinguished between the grey seal by it’s smaller size, shorter head and more dog-like profile.

They generally feed on fish, but also eat squids, whelks, crabs and mussels. Their average lifespan is 20-30 years.

Harbour seals normally stay underwater for 5-10 minutes when diving for prey. Their blood contains more haemoglobin than ours, allowing them to store more oxygen in the bloodstream.

They limit their oxygen use by decreasing their heart rate to 15 beats a minute and diverting blood away from the skin and intestines, to keep the brain and heart functioning.

May be an image of food and body of water

Craig Nisbit (BugLife) Talk Tonight @ 7pm

Craig Nisbet, Conservation Officer for Biglife is giving a talk on ‘Pollinators, B-Lines and FIT Counts’.

Craig will be covering the important work that Buglife do with a particular focus on the importance of pollinators, FIT counts and B-Lines. Given ongoing lock down restrictions, opportunities to get involved at present are limited, but FIT counts are something that people can participate in even in isolation. There’ll be lots of time for questions after the talk too.

If you’re keen to find out more before the talk, the Buglife YouTube channel has a range of recorded workshops that have taken place over the last couple of months featuring talks from specialists in a range of fields including beetles, spiders, lepidoptera and INNS.

https://www.youtube.com/c/buglife

Hope to see you there!

Talk Tomorrow @ 7pm!

Tomorrow’s ZooSoc event is “Pollinators, B-lines and FIT Counts” from Buglife, it will be super interesting and all about their current projects and how you can get involved from home doing your own insect surveys!

Here’s the Zoom details:Time: Feb 4, 2021 07:00 PM LondonJoin Zoom Meeting

https://uofglasgow.zoom.us/j/5386280762

Meeting ID: 538 628 0762Hope to see lots of you there!

https://fb.me/e/3bY8kM6WV