3 thoughts on “Pacific atolls “grow back” after being wiped out by typhoon in 1905 – BBC – in the “I would never have thought so” category”

  1. OT, but a follow on from the Goldfield’s record rains last month.

    A MAJOR bird breeding spectacle is underway in Western Australia’s Goldfields region for the first time in almost 20 years.
    Thousands of banded stilts, a species of nomadic wading bird, have abandoned wetlands around the WA coast and flocked to Lake Ballard, about 150km north of Kalgoorlie, after some areas of the vast and usually dry salt lake received an entire year’s rainfall in just a few days.

    The birds await such infrequent events to breed en masse.

    “Banded stilts somehow know it has rained and arrive within days. Here they feast on abundant brine shrimp and build thousands of nests on tiny islands,” Reece Pedler from Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology said.
    The last major banded stilt breeding event in the Goldfields was in 1995, after Cyclone Bobby dumped hundreds of millimetres of rain.

    Department of Parks and Wildlife Goldfields regional manager Ian Kealley said the rains had created a rare opportunity for researchers to tag the stilts with satellite trackers so their breeding patterns could be monitored.
    Researchers are also interested to see if the stilts move between western and eastern Australia, Mr Pedler said.

  2. Many moons ago at the Australian Museum I was priviliged to read a first edition of Darwin’s “Coral Reefs” etc. I realized for the first time that each of his editions were different. As new data came in over the years he carefully revised his case before publishing again – as many did in those days of yore.

    I also came to appreciate his genius in that he deduced his theory before ever seeing an atoll. He had to wait until HMB Beagle reached Cocos before doing so. The Beagle failed to spot one in the Pacific.

    And, of course Darwin’s notions have been debunked by modern workers who I doubt have ever read his book or, if they did, manage to understand it. Darwin’s theory merely describes what happens during an atoll’s growth. He never found an underlying mechanism of how or why it happens – and says so.

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