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Japanese crabs eaten … Island

Japanese crabs ate ...  islandPeople living on the islands, threaten not only typhoons, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Marine creatures can destroy their homes. So, for example, recently off the coast of Japan microscopic cancers literally ate the whole island. This was just something for fifty years. Scientists believe that this is an example of the rapid erosion in the biological world.
Activity of animals is sometimes very destructive. There are many cases when the raging elephants overturned lamps, broken fence and pounded to splinters home. Birds are often the cause of the planes. Big fish and whales sometimes provoke the collapse of small boats. Freshwater crabs and clams undermine bridge supports, dams, thus causing their destruction.

Of course, such "acts of vandalism" by the animals bring significant damage to human activities. But you see, the whole planet such destruction is very low, particularly when compared with the acts of the same people. However, from time to time, "our younger brothers" can arrange enchanting destruction, which sometimes people are unable to.

For example, in Japan bregov small marine crustaceans, related to the order Isopoda (Isopoda) Almost totally destroyed … the whole island. It is an island Hoboro, which is near Hiroshima. Scientists have found that half a century countless hordes isopods sryli this plot of land in the ocean almost completely. Today's left of a small reef, barely visible on the surface.

Japanese crabs ate ...  islandInterestingly, back in 1928, the length of the island is 120 meters and its highest point stood at 21.9 m above sea level. Photographs taken between 1955 and 1965. shows that Hoboro had two rocky peaks, and that the highest of these was present vegetation. But the pictures in 2008 none of this anymore. Catches the eye, which is the highest peak almost completely disappeared, there was only a "hill" about 6 meters high. The second peak, as most of the island in general went under water. All vegetation (not very much, by the way, and thick) also had disappeared.

Late last year, it was reported that disappeared and 6-meter hill. Now, on the site of the island — a shapeless pile of stones, which, scientists project that ultimately will go under water by the end of 2011. It is fortunate that in this island there were no locals. True, Hiroshima fishermen who loved to rest near its shores, very saddened that Hoboro longer exists.

Studies have shown that the disappearance of the island — the result of the microscopic crustaceans, isopods, which in Japan is called "nanatsuba-kotsubumusi." The length of these animals does not exceed a few centimeters, but this does not mean that they can not afford to sweep away from the Earth whole island. The fact that they love to lay their eggs in cracks in the rocks. In order to get there, isopods with special substances that emit their salivary glands, which can dissolve the stones, "extend" their way. In the end, all the cliffs of the island were literally riddled with these hard-working people of the sea.

According to scientists, a role in this fatal event was the fact that the island was formed from volcanic tuff, in fact — compacted ash, which isopods cope easily. Also, from some point went kind of "chain reaction" — crustaceans, drilled in the rock a lot of tunnels, which became convenient to hide from predators. As a result, the number of isopods around the island has greatly increased, this has led to the fact that they were too strong for him to break down, and so on, for as long as the whole bank was not entirely Istocen these small marine animals. Here isopod rather helped typhoons — they cause huge waves without difficulty began to crumble became brittle rock.

Japanese crabs ate ...  islandThe case of Hoboro, according to researchers from the University of Hiroshima, "it is rare even for the world an example of biological erosion that occurred on such a large scale and in such a fast pace." He also shows how much can be devastating actions of hundreds of thousands of sea creatures, even if they are very small. Incidentally, among the inhabitants of the ocean isopods are not alone deserve the glory "nisprovergateley islands." Are engaged in other animals, such as starfish, which has a beautiful name "crown of thorns" (Acanthaster planci).

This star of the coral reefs of the Red Sea and the tropical Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is particularly abundant off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef. Akantaster — quite a large animal (body diameter — 50 cm) and very beautiful — its beams are covered with long dark needles (at the base of which, incidentally, are poisonous glands). So touched by his hands is not recommended.

Powered akantaster unfortunately only polyps of reef-building corals. Here's how: a foothold on the coral, it turns my stomach, covering his area equal to the area of his body. Allocated stomach digestive enzymes penetrate the pores limestone skeletons of coral polyps and converted into a nutrient broth, which then absorbs akantaster. He eats alone, and usually at night. However, lack of appetite is the animal is clearly not suffering — it is estimated that one star eats up to 13 m? corals in the year.

As a result of this activity akantastera destroys reefs and coral islands, atolls, which are left without builders are slowly beginning to crumble to pieces under the action of ocean waves. In the last century there was twice the number of flash akantasterov in the Great Barrier Reef. As a result, humanity was nearly lost this unique monument of nature. And dozens of small islands near the reef ceased.

Scientists still do not know why sometimes akantasterov suddenly became too much. First thought it was due to the decline in shellfish Charon (Charonia tritonis), Which are fed by adults, as well as Harlequin shrimp (Hymenocera picta), Destroy their eggs. However, later analysis of the drill core samples obtained at the Great Barrier Reef, has shown that the number of such jumps akantastera occurred in the past, that is, the phenomenon apparently is cyclical. However, one of the priority measures for the protection of coral reefs and islands from the destruction of "crown of thorns" was the introduction of a strict ban on the capture and sale of Charon.

So, as you can see, the inhabitants of the islands are threatened not only typhoons, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. Marine creatures can destroy their homes. Especially when they get a lot of …