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A little about Playa Zipolite, The Beach of the Dead . . .

Playa Zipolite, Oaxaca, Southern Mexico, on the Pacific Ocean. A little bit about my favorite little get-away on this small world of ours.

Zipolite, a sweaty 30-minute walk west from Puerto Angel, brings you to Playa Zipolite and another world. The feeling here is 1970's - Led Zep, Marley, and scruffy gringos.

A long, long time ago, Zipolite beach was usually visited by the Zapotecans...who made it a magical place. They came to visit Zipolite to meditate, or just to rest.

Recently, this beach has begun to receive day-trippers from Puerto Angel and Puerto Escondido, giving it a more TOURISTY feel than before.

Most people come here for the novelty of the nude beach, yoga, turtles, seafood, surf, meditation, vegetarians, discos, party, to get burnt by the sun, or to see how long they can stretch their skinny budget.

I post WWW Oaxaca, Mexico, Zipolite and areas nearby information. Also general budget, backpacker, surfer, off the beaten path, Mexico and beyond, information.

REMEMBER: Everyone is welcome at Zipolite.

ivan

ZIPO TV

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Scientists Just Discovered Three Adorably Tiny New Salamanders Gizmodo UK Thorius papaloae, a species from a montane cloud forest of northern Oaxaca, was described in 2001. Thorius salamanders have exaggerated, almost ...

Scientists Just Discovered Three Adorably Tiny New Salamanders
Thorius papaloae, a species from a montane cloud forest of northern Oaxaca, was described in 2001. Thorius salamanders have exaggerated, almost ...

Scientists Just Discovered Three Adorably Tiny New Salamanders

By Maddie Stone on  at 
A team of biologists has just named three new salamanders in the genus Thorius; the tiniest tailed tetrapods known to science. Smaller than a matchstick, these creatures are as strange as they are adorable, their miniaturised anatomy pushing the boundaries of what natural selection can produce. Tragically, all three species appear to be edging toward extinction.
Thorius pinicolaThorius longicaudus, and Thorius tlaxiacus are the subject of a new scientific paper published today in the open-access journal Peer-J. Found high in the montane cloud forests of Oaxaca, Mexico, the three new species join the ranks of twenty six other members of the Thorius genus thanks to a decades-long study that included field surveys, DNA sequencing, digital imaging, and statistical analysis of the wee critters’ anatomy.

Thorius papaloae, a species from a montane cloud forest of northern Oaxaca, was described in 2001.
Thorius salamanders have exaggerated, almost absurd proportions. Like other New World tropical salamanders, they’ve got enormous projectile tongues, which shoot out to a distance of up to half the length of the body to catch insects. To make way for the tongue, the rest of the creature’s tiny head is extremely reduced in size, with some skull bones missing entirely.

Photomicrograph of Thorius pennatulus. Bones are stained red and cartilage stained blue. The entire head is 3 mm long.
Thorius salamanders are also well-endowed in the reproductive department. As Harvard University biologist and study co-author James Hanken explained to Gizmodo, adults need to maintain a minimum size of ovaries and testes in order to produce enough eggs and sperm. “As a result, the gonads occupy a relatively large proportion of the total body volume,” he wrote in an email. “In some females, much more than half the volume of the trunk is occupied by yolky eggs inside the oviducts; the rest of the visceral organs are pushed aside.”

Digital x-ray of Thorius longicaudus.
Because of their oversized tongues, ovaries and testes, biologists have affectionately nicknamed Thorius the “tongue-flipping gonad” of salamanders.
Unfortunately, even as we continue to discover new species of this remarkable genus, Thorius salamanders are rapidly disappearing, paralleling the global decline in amphibians of all shapes and sizes. “It’s very hard to say definitively what’s causing their decline,” Hanken said, noting that habitat destruction, pesticide poisoning and climate change are all likely factors. We also can’t rule out the possibility that the deadly chytrid fungus which has decimated other amphibian populations in central and south America has infected Thorius, too.
“There is no simple solution, but there are longterm solutions: lessen and hopefully stop global warming and other climate change, preserve large tracts of forest, eliminate dangerous pesticides and herbicides,” Hanken said.
Those are big challenges—but if the plight of these tiny salamanders doesn’t make you want to help the planet, I don’t know what will.

Thorius longicaudus, one of three newly described species.

Thorius narisovalis.

Thorius papaloae.


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ivan