Monday, March 22, 2010


Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) is a monkey with long arms and reddish hair sometimes brown, classified in the category of great apes. It is endemic to the island of Borneo and Sumatra. This species is threatened by habitat loss. The term "monkey" has also been used to describe him but he was considered too old.

Origin and Genetic

Orang Utan very interesting views of the genetic and biological study of human evolution. Because they are members of the superfamily of hominoids primates, but has a genetic diversity richer than other great apes. Not having "genetic barrier" is contrary to African species.

Orangutan karyotype is diploid with 2n = 48 chromosomes, like all the other great apes, but humans. Genome size of two subspecies of orangutans comparable to humans. Date of divergence of the human lineage is estimated to occur approximately 12-14 million years ago. Orangutan placed as a species in the mid-point in the evolution of primates. They have started to deviate the human line at approximately 25 million years ago. According to Chen and Li in 2001, the karyotype of the orangutan's closest to the common ancestor of hominoids humans and great apes. In accordance with the criteria adopted, they will have 3 to 4% of the genetic differences with humans.

Both in Kalimantan and Sumatra, orangutans reduction associated with more extensive reduction of rain forest that is habitat for the orangutan. The average size of an orangutan is 1,10-1,40 m to 40-80 kg. The size of an adult male of about 1.40 m and weighing over 82 kg. People can live 30-40 years.

Pregnancy lasts for 245 days. Orangutans spend most of his time in the trees, looking for food. He ate mostly fruit, young shoots, bark, small vertebrates, bird eggs and insects. Every night, the orangutan to build a new nest and perched between 12 and 18 feet above the ground.


Like apes, orangutans are also very intelligent. In the mid-1990s, the orangutan population has been observed using tools dant regularly fed. This has been shown previously in chimpanzees by Jane Goodall in the 1960s.

An article in Science magazine in 2003 gave evidence of orangutan culture recently, experiments conducted by German researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig has helped highlight the intellectual capacity of the orangutan. Researchers presented to 5-year-old female orangutan 7, 11, 17 and 32 years, from the local zoo. A single large nut inserted into a vertical transparent tube length and stick on the wall, which filled with water.

Surface water in the tube is too low for the Orang Utan can get nuts with their fingers. A container of water available to them in the room. The orangutans quickly realized that by taking water into their mouths to spit in the tube, they will raise the water level and can take and eat peanuts. It takes an average of 9 minutes for them to do in the first experiment and subsequent experiments Orangutan takes only 30 seconds for them to take and eat the bias was nuts.


Orang Utan man out for much of their lives, and communicate through strong cries, heard her screams until a radius of 1 km. It also screams to mark their territory and to call the Orang Utan woman. Orang Utan woman never lonely because they accompany their children until the age of three and a half years. Orang Utan full attention to youth. Orangutan births are rare because it happens once every 8 years. Male sexual maturity between the ages of 7 and 10 years.

Orangutans do not seem to have a special season for reproduction. The orangutan is monogamy. Researchers generally believe that the agonistic behavior of this (build a relationship of domination and / or competition) or for party games in which young people learn and test their sexuality.

Orangutan population is calculated by IUCN between 45 000 and 69 000 people in Kalimantan and Sumatra 6000.

Threats and Protection

The survival of orangutans in the wild is threatened by increased human activities, especially deforestation, silviculture industry (or the exploitation of timber exploitation), quarry, development of plants to produce biofuel. and agriculture (especially for the production of coconut oil is then converted into biodiesel).

Some of the young orangutans are also captured to be sold illegally by poachers who often kill the mother to steal her baby. On the black market, sold a small monkey with ease.

Approximately 80 percent of orangutan habitat has been cleared for 20 years. Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society (Society for Wildlife Rescue) states that most populations of wild orangutans will be extinct worldwide in the next ten years, except for hunting and habitat destruction can be arrested. With a loss of 1 000 people every year, their number fell from 12 000 in 1993 to 6 000 individuals today. Eleven years ago, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) developed a number 800 orang-utans in Sabah and 5 000 in the world without the census.

WWF works with local governments and other organizations for the conservation of nature: the goal is to expand the area of protected areas and creating new ones, where hunting and logging are prohibited. WWF is also helping the authorities to enforce the laws that severely limit trade in live orangutans and derivatives of this primate.

Center for Orang Utan conservation is key:
• In Indonesia:
o Kutai National Park and Tanjung Putting National Park in Borneo.
o Sanctuary at Bukit Lawang in the Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra.
• In Malaysia (both on the island of Borneo):
o Semenggok Sarawak
o Sepilok near Sandakan in Sabah is an orangutan rehabilitation center which is open to tourists

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The Dead Sea is a lake that lies on the region between Israel, the Palestinian Authority area and Jordan. Covering an area of approximately 810 km2 and its area is at a height of 417.5 m below sea level which is the lowest point on the surface of the earth. Sea water salinity in the earth's surface varies between 2 to 4% while the salinity of the Dead Sea is 27.5%. No fish and sea grass that can survive in such conditions, this is the reason why his name is called the Dead Sea. But in reality, however, the Dead Sea, is not really dead, several types of such microscopic plankton Organism, bacteria and halophilic Halobacteria and others could live here.

Millions of years of evaporation have caused the Dead Sea is more salty and more dense than sea or ocean in this world and the salt concentration of more than eight times from the sea and the ocean is the salt concentration reaches 330-340 grams per liter of seawater.

In some areas of the Dead Sea, as in the south of the basin is a shallow area of water evaporation is highest in the region srhingga amount of dissolved salts and reach saturation point and crystallizes, and today is estimated at 44 billion ton.

Water from the Dead Sea garammya concentration is very different from the normal sea salinity others. Magnesium Chloride and Sodium Chloride is a major component of the Dead Sea water is rich in minerals, which is believed to cure rheumatism and estoeporosis. The density of water from the Dead Sea is 1240 kg.m3 so that people can float without any problems on the surface of the water.

Rainfall decline started there were about 40 000 years ago, has resulted in very high evaporation. In the last fifty years, the Dead Sea has lost a third of its territory. Cause other than the very high evaporation of 300 million cubic meters of water annually, is also due to increased exploitation of the Jordan River, which is the only source of fresh water that flows into the Dead Sea.

One solution is to make a canal from the Dead Sea (called "peace line"), to the Red Sea, a distance of approximately 180 kilometers. This solution was conceived in 1902 by Theodor Herzl, but kanalnya made from Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and the distance is closer. The making of this canal was already planned several times, one of the underground channels projects, the first stone laying by Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel's prime minister, but the project was suspended and abandoned the idea of making kanal in 1985.

After that in 1993, making the plan a canal project was started up again with the involvement of the Palestinian Authority and Jordan. The plan is to pump water from the Red Sea to the mountains near the height of the Gulf of Aqaba location is 600 meters above the Dead Sea. Namely by creating a channel along the 184 km, where the channel or canal along the 134 km is entering Jordanian territory. But some environmental organizations are serious doubts about this solution, even fear a negative impact on ecosystems.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Toba is a lake that has a length of 100 km and 30 km wide and is located in the northern island of Sumatra, Indonesia.

Lake Toba was formed by the eruption of a "Supervolcano" a very terrible and there hundreds of thousands of years ago. Eruption "Supervolcano" which last occurred in approximately 75,000 years ago. According to Bill Rose and Craig Chesne from Michigan Technological University eruption that occurred circa 75,000 years ago it was caused by tectonic earthquake of 8.0 magnitude and approximately 2800 Km3 material removed from the bowels of the earth where a 2000 Km3 material falling into the ignimbrite 800 Km3 land and materials in the form of volcanic ash blown into the air. The incident lasted for almost 2 week. Resulting in a large sulfur emissions and emissions are then reacted with water vapor and clouds forming sulfuric acid coat around the world. When the temperature of the world lasted about 6 degrees Celsius and causing the ice age that lasted a millennium.

As a result of the eruption 'Supervolcano "then formed a huge caldera. After that the caldera was filled by water, created Lake Toba. Then the surface of the caldera partly lifted up because of enormous pressure from the remaining magma eruption "Supervolcano". Formed an island that is now known by the name of Samosir Island.

According to Professor Ambrose volcanic caldera which is now Lake Toba in Sumatra, erupted with a force three thousand times greater than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the United States in 1980. This causes a decrease in the average temperature of about 3-3,5 ° C for several years. And can result in a reduction of more than 15 ° C in temperate climates. This radical change of environment is the cause of what has been called a "barrier" of people in various species of hominids that existed then.

Geological evidence unique structure formed by volcanic ash at 75,000 years ago, glaciological evidence and evidence from analysis of marine deposits from the same period and modeling, reasonable accreditation from Toba catastrophe theory. Genetic elements such as mitochondria studies show that all humans alive today, although obviously they vary, are descended from a small group of several thousand people who lived in East Africa. Using the average rate of genetic mutation, some geneticists have found that this small group living in a period coinciding with the Toba catastrophe.

According to this theory, humans, after Toba, will spread again when the climate and other factors permit. Starting from Africa, they migrated to Indochina and Australia and then to the Fertile Crescent and the Middle East. The route of migration creates population centers in Uzbekistan, Afghanistan and India. The differences of skin color appears, due to varying levels of melanin are adjusted to local variations in the intensity of UV light. Europe is inhabited by migrants from Central Asia at the end of the last Ice Age gradually.

In supporting the theory of "generation Toba" in general and the origin, the unity of human culture is observed through the analysis of language, humans based on cosmogony and myths. All languages have a common origin, which tend to confirm the study of human myths, where we find themes similar, based on the structure of the legal culture archetypes. The Wurm glaciation began at around -70 000 Supervolcano explosion (-75 000). This fact indicates that the volcanic eruption is a major event and trigger climate change that does not end there 11 000 years.

In contrast to this theory, archaeological discoveries recently in South India showed that although human activities do not seem to be so disturbed over this period. 500 stone tools show the continuity of traditional techniques have been found, which tends to show that there is no destruction of genetic evolution or extinction

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a type of lizard found on the island of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang and Gili Dasami in central Indonesia. Varanidae family members, it is the largest lizard species are still living with an average length of 2 to 3 meters and weighing about 70 kg. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they eat as they hunt prey including invertebrates, birds and mammals.

Mating occurs between May and June and eggs are laid in September. About twenty eggs are stored in abandoned nests and incubated for seven to eight months. It takes about three to five years for the dragon to reach adulthood and can live for fifty years. They are among the few vertebrate parthenogenesis, which is the way in which reproductive female Komodo telurmnya placed somewhere, while the brother was not there. However, parthenogenesis is found in other lizards.

Komodo discovered by Western scientists in 1910. Large size and a horrible reputation made popular fast dragon at the zoo. Komodo dragon in Indonesia are protected by law and made a national park, Komodo National Park is established to help protect them.

Evolution of the Komodo dragon lizard starts in Asia, who emigrated to Australia which occurred about 40 million years ago. At about 15 million years ago there was a collision between continental Australia and South-East Asia that resulted formed what is now called the Indonesian archipelago. It is estimated that the Komodo dragon appears there are about 4 million years ago, and differentiate themselves from their ancestors in Australia and expansion of territory to the island of Timor in the east. A significant decrease in sea surface in the last ice age and isolated on an island when the sea level has risen

In the wild, adult Komodo dragon usually weighs around 70 pounds, though specimens in captivity are often more severe. Komodo dragons have a tail as long as his body, and saliva that often colored blood, because her teeth almost entirely covered by gingival tissue that is naturally torn as when eating an animal. This creates an ideal culture for the bacteria that live in the mouth. It also has a very long yellow forked tongue. End of each leg there is a long curved claws.

Komodo less sensitive hearing / sharp despite having prominent ears. And could only hear between 400 and 2000 Hz. We even thought he was deaf when a study on the subject have shown that he has no reaction to sound or voices whispering half aloud. This theory is undermined when an employee of the London Zoo, Joan Proctor trained a specimen out of the park to feed his voice, even when he could not see.

This could see up to 300 meters, but because the retina contains only cones, Komodo dragons are only able to see colors for visual buruk.Komodo also use his tongue to detect taste and olfactory stimuli, like other reptiles, the vomeronasal organ or Jacobson's organ, which means that the step This will help in the dark. With the help of a good wind and swung his head from side to side when walking, komodo can detect the location of the carcass 4 and even up to 9.5 km from a distance.

Komodo dragons are always known by the islanders who call landline or speaker Crocodile. The existence of komodo reported for the first time in the early twentieth century by two Dutch fishermen, Ald├ęgon Kock and the man who, during a trip to Indonesia.

In 1910, another fisherman reported to the governor of the region, Lieutenant Van Steyn Hensbroek from Dutch colonial rule, about the rumors of hooligan presence in this region. Knowledge has become widespread after 1912, when Peter Ouwens, director of the Zoological Museum at Bogor in Java, published an article on the subject after receiving photos and dragon skin from Van Steyn Hensbroek lieutenant and two other specimens from a collector. Later expeditions organizations to Komodo Island by W. Douglas Burden in 1926. He returned with 12 preserved specimens and two animal .. This expedition was the inspiration behind the movie King Kong in 1933. Three of the specimens of the expedition is still stored at the American Museum of Natural History.