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Communication of Coral Eating Starfish can save Coral Reefs: Scientists

This crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals

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Coral reefs can be prevented by understanding communication of starfish. VOA
  • The communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral
  • The crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals
  • The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish in Japan 

Tokyo, June 5, 2017: Japanese and Australian scientists have discovered the communication patterns of a species of starfish that feeds on coral.

This discovery, the scientists hope, will help in the preservation of the coral reefs as a single specimen of the crown-of-thorns starfish consumes up to 10 sq. metres of coral meat per year and is responsible for between 37 per cent to 99 per cent of the decrease in live coral cover, Efe news reported.

This crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) species is one of the few animals that can eat corals, Ken Baughman, one of the authors of the study by the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology, said on Monday.

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The presence of this species, referred to by the locals as onihitode or demon starfish, in the waters off the coast of the Japanese village of Onna in the Okinawa island was first reported in 1957.

A native of the Indo-Pacific region, this species is experiencing a boom in population that has resulted in tens of thousands to millions of starfish in population densities of 150,000 per sq.km.

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Normally, reefs only have a few, says Baughman, adding But in recent decades the population outbreaks have tripled.

Baughman’s team and Australian researchers analysed the starfish’s genome, which for the first time has been completely sequenced.

It is kind of like an instruction manual for how to build a starfish. We can better understand crown-of-thorns starfish biology and consequently its behaviour, Baughman explained. (IANS)

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Nearly 50% of Singles in Japan Have no Dating Prospects, Reveals Survey

The same study conducted five years earlier showed 38.7 per cent in disagreement and 22.3 per cent in agreement

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Online Dating.
Online Dating. Pixabay

Nearly 50 per cent of singles in Japan who wish to get married are unable to find a suitable partner, with 61.4 per cent of the group stating they are not doing anything to change the situation, a government survey revealed on Tuesday.

A lack of opportunity to meet an appropriate partner, or not having enough financial resources or ability to get along with the opposite sex are cited as major reasons in the outcome of the survey included in its annual report on Japan’s declining birth-rate that was approved by the Cabinet on Tuesday morning, reports Kyodo News Agency.

The survey of around 4,000 men and women aged between 20 to 40 years old, conducted last December, found that 46.8 per cent of the respondents have said that they cannot find a suitable partner despite a desire to tie the knot.

The outcome prompted the government to recognize the need to continue measures supporting marriage amid the country’s rapidly aging population.

online-dating
A man uses the dating app Tinder in New Delhi, India. (VOA)

A separate government survey released earlier this month showed the number of newborns in Japan hitting a record-low of 918,397 in 2018, staying below the 1 million mark for the third year in a row.

On Tuesday, the Cabinet also approved an annual report on children and young people, in which it showed that 48.5 per cent of 13- to 29-year-olds disagree that men should be the breadwinner while women stayed at home, while 14.6 per cent agreed, Kyodo reported.

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The results of an online survey with 1,134 respondents, carried out last November and December, reflect a shifting mindset among Japan’s youth.

The same study conducted five years earlier showed 38.7 per cent in disagreement and 22.3 per cent in agreement. (IANS)