This past summer, Steinhart Aquarium biologists (including Advanced Aquarist writers Richard Ross and Matt Wandell) traveled to the Philippines as part of the largest scientific expedition in the history of the California Academy of Sciences (CAS), discovering as many as 500 new species in this biological hotspot.
Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences have launched the most comprehensive scientific survey effort ever conducted in the Philippines, documenting both terrestrial and marine life forms from the tops of the highest mountains to the depths of the sea.
ABC7 local affiliate KGO-TV (San Francisco) aired an hour-long special on CAS’ great expedition. I highly recommend you find some time in the evening or weekend to watch this quality programming. It’s non-aquarist friendly, so invite family members to watch with you.
ABC7 aired a special called “Reefs to Rainforests: The Great Expedition” on Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011 at 10 p.m. The special took viewers on an expedition to the Philippines for a breathtaking look at one of the world’s richest and endangered biological hotspots, where Bay Area scientists and others believe they have found as many as 500 new species. You can watch the show in its entirety by clicking on the video player above, and you can read about each segment below.
Show synopsis: Scientists estimate 90 percent of the earth’s species have yet to be discovered, and some may be extinct before we even know they exist. ABC7 goes along with the California Academy of Sciences on the biggest expedition in its history, to the Philippines, a biological hotspot – extremely diverse and extremely threatened.
Scientists find 500 new species of life Bay Area scientists and their Filipino colleagues discover what they believe are as many as 500 new species – many colorful, poisonous and just plain weird. They explore coral reefs and rain forests, and reach out to the Filipino people with the help of a sea horse as an animal ambassador. Segment 1 (00:00 – 17:55)
New species of shark in a threatened eco-system The Philippine islands have some of the most diverse and important habitats on the planet, but they are facing serious environmental threats. Find out more about a nation with exotic charm, but serious growing pains. Also join Academy scientists as they look for sharks and discover a new species. Segment 2 (17:55 – 23:55)
Aquarium treasures and deep sea trawling California Academy of scientists bring back cool creatures for their Philippines aquarium exhibit, including an octopus never displayed before in the United States. Another academy team trawls the deep sea to find out what lives below where divers can go. Segment 3 (23:55 – 33:40)
Scientists find bugs and snakes and protect consumers Join scientists as they comb through a Philippines fish market, looking for DNA samples to help ensure American consumers are getting what they pay for when they buy fish. Another Academy team searches for insects and spiders – some dangerous and some with stunning beauty. Reptile and amphibian researchers make great finds in a pristine forest that almost no one is allowed to visit. Segment 4 (33:40 – 44:15)
It’s not too late: The Philippines eco-systems are in danger, but they are worth protecting. Academy scientists find reason for hope as ordinary citizens step up to protect their natural resources. Segment 5 (44:15 – 49:42)
I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.