The red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) is native to portions of the United States
of America (USA) and adjacent northeastern Mexico. The bright and colorful hatchlings have long
been popular as pets globally but numerous individuals have been released into the wild stablishing populations in areas well outside their native range. As a result, slider turtles are now introduced worldwide on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica, and many temperate and tropical islands, including Japan. They are very successful at establishing breeding populations in a variety of habitats, even those in proximity to human development. Once established in large populations, they compete with native turtle species sometimes to the detriment of the latter. Tin toy turtles were popular in Japan for decades, and they were an important export item after World War II. From the 1920s to the 1950s, prior to the widespread establishment of slider populations in Japan, the toys were characterized by muted earth-tone colors representative of native species of Japanese turtles. After the 1950s, toy turtles exhibited brighter combinations of yellow, red and green more typical of slider turtles. This transition may reflect demand for more colorful toys by importing countries like the USA. Alternatively, the change was coincident with the importation of large numbers of colorful slider turtles to Japan via the pet trade and their subsequent establishment and numerical dominance in Japanese wetlands. This switch in toy turtle colors may reflect a cultural transition in awareness of what constitutes the appearance of a typical turtle in Japan. Sliders appear to have been accepted by Japanese consumers as a new cultural norm in the appearance of turtles, a case of art imitating life.
The Yamasaki fault zone comprises six left-lateral active faults including the Ohara, Hijima, Yasutomi, and Kuresakatouge faults. These faults, exclusive of the Hijima fault, have proved to reactivate during AD 868 Harima Earthquake. We explored three trenches across the Hijima fault at the Aoki district in Shiso City to reveal its late Holocene activity. Although no fault planes appeared at any trench sites, a buried creek outcropped at one of them. The radiocarbon dates of humic layers on the creek bottom show that the creek was constructed after 1,600 years ago. We also detected the deformed soil layers and cracks in the terrace deposits at another site caused by the strong motion during a large earthquake after 1,600 years ago. An old oral tradition in the Aoki district suggests that a fault pond appeared with a surface rapture by an ancient earthquake and then artificial creeks were dug to drain the pond water. The excavated creek, cracks, and deformed soil layers support the reality of the oral tradition. Because AD 868 Harima Earthquake is the only large earthquake since 1,600 years ago in the region, the Hijima fault possibly reactivated and produced the surface rapture during the earthquake.
In order to evaluate the effects of concentration of livestock in villages in Mongolia, we compared
the body weights of female sheep and goats of different management: a usual “nomadic herd” and an experimental “sedentary herd”. The body weights of the sheep increased from June, peaked in November/December, and declined until March-May. During the decline, the sedentary herd lost more weight than the nomadic herd. In goats, the sedentary herd was heavier at the start in June, but was caught up by the nomadic herd in July. In March of the next year, the nomadic herd became heavier than the sedentary herd. The results showed apparent negative effects of sedentary grazing on body weight of sheep and goats, and suggest the validity of traditional nomadic grazing. It seems an example of traditional ecological knowledge to avoid deterioration of the steppe by overgrazing.
The purpose of this study was to clarify the relationship between soil environment and the establishment and growth of Pinus densiflora in an early stage of revegetation after clear-cutting in P. densiflora forest of Futatabi Park in Mts. Rokko, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. A small area (400m2) of this Pinus forest was clear-cut in 2004. We showed that sites within the park could be divided into four main types according to the dominant species (P. densiflora, Rhus javanica var. roxburghii, Rubus microphyllus, and grasses) in the sixth year after clear-cutting (cutting off at the ground followed by removal of litter and surface soil from the forest floor). P. densiflora seedlings had established at each site, and the number of seedlings at two site types (Pinus and Rhus sites) was higher than at the other sites. Maximum capillary-water capacity of surface soil was highest at the Rhus sites and lowest at the Pinus sites. Seedling growth of P. densiflora was highest at the Rhus sites where the canopy layer of Rhus javanica var. roxburghii shaded P. densiflora seedlings.
Life history of a floating liverwort, Ricciocarpos natans (Ricciaceae, Hepatics), growing at irrigated
rice fileds, was observed twice a week from May 8th, 2014 to July 28th, 2014 in Shiga Prefecture,
Central Japan. Positions, numbers, and developing stages of antheridia, archegonia, and sporophytes of R. natans were recorded for every five thalli in a total of 23 observations. Antheridia were first found in 10 days after irrigation in the rice field, and production of antheridia continued by the end of July. On the other hand, archegonia were first found in late May. Fertilization was confirmed in the beginning of June and so on. Embryos rapidly grew and matured spores in black color were observed during the middle of June and the middle of July. It was confirmed that the dorsal grooves of thalli begin spreading with the development of reproductive organs, as well as sporophytes. Normal growth of sporophytes was significantly disturbed by shortage of water supply caused by artificial midsummer drainage in late June. We confirmed that sporophytes of R. natans could be produced even in autumn, but it was only under the accidental, exceptionally favorable conditions for production of sexual organs and fertilization.
Three species of early Kasimovian fusulines were obtained from erratic rock samples of brecciated
limestone contained in altered basic pyroclastic rocks along a small valley north of Kamiazahara,
Shingu-cho, Tatsuno City. They are thought to be derived from the Kozuki Formation of the Ultra-
Tamba Terrane. Obsoletes obsoletus, Protriticites cf. subschwagerinoides, and Quasifusulinoides sp. are described as the thirteenth of a series of descriptive works of Hyogo foraminifers.
Pre-Capitanian foraminiferal faunas are discriminated in 32 samples of limestone granules to
cobbles of erratic limestone conglomerates in the Miharaiyama area, Yabu, Hyogo. These limestone fragments are enclosed densely or sparsely within conglomerates of arenaceous matrix different from those of calcareous argillaceous matrix having the Lepidolina kumaensis fauna. They are thought to have been derived from the Middle Formation of the Permian Maizuru Group. Based on these foraminiferal assemblages, approximate age is determined or estimated in 20 samples including the ashkirian two ones previously thought to have been originated from the basal conglomerate of the Lower Triassic Yakuno Group overlying unconformably the Middle Formation of the Maizuru Group. These 20 samples are divided into eight groups of different ages, late Visean, late Serpukhovian to early Bashkirian, late Bashkirian, middle Moscovian, early Gzhelian, late Asselian, Artinskian, and late Wordian.