Newly-discovered hermit crab species uses living coral as shells

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Green

Comments Off on Newly-discovered hermit crab species uses living coral as shells

For the first time ever, a hermit crab has been documented to have found its “forever” home. Off the coast of Japan , a new species of the crab has partnered with a living coral. The coral grows as the crab ages, which means it has no need to continue searching for a bigger shell to live in. Unlike its counterparts, this new species has a perfectly symmetrical body to fit the coral that grows with it. The discovery of the Diogenes heteropsammicola  is described in the journal PLOS ONE . This is the first species of hermit crab to live within “walking coral,” a free-living variety of coral that grows as tiny lumps on the sea floor. This relationship has been witnessed before, but usually between the peanut worm (or more formally, a sipunculan) and the living coral. Because the coral protects the worm and the worm carries the coral around the sea floor, it is considered to be a mutually beneficial partnership . Both species are in sync with each other, as their relationship has evolved for thousands of years. Related: How We Harvest Horseshoe Crab Blood to Save Human Lives As IFLScience points out, that makes this latest discovery even more amazing — and unusual. It is relatively unheard of for one species to diversify to include other organisms , such as the coral has done with the hermit crab. This is because the initial partnership often requires an extraordinary amount of specialization. Nonetheless, the coral has accepted the crab, likely because the crustacean carries the coral around the sea floor and prevents it from being covered in sediment. In turn, the coral protects the small creature. This is definitely an improvement upon hermit crabs adopting discarded bottles and pollution as their new homes. + PLOS ONE Via IFLScience Images via  Momoko Igawa,  Igawa et al. 2017

See the original post: 
Newly-discovered hermit crab species uses living coral as shells

3,000 new solar-powered homes in Arizona to be equipped with Sonnen batteries

October 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Comments Off on 3,000 new solar-powered homes in Arizona to be equipped with Sonnen batteries

Prescott, Arizona sees around 277 days of sunshine every year. Arizona-based house builder Mandalay Homes plans to take advantage of all that sunlight in 3,000 new homes to be built in the city, all equipped with rooftop solar panels and batteries from German company Sonnen GmbH . The price of the batteries will be included in the sale price of the homes. Mandalay Homes and Sonnen have partnered to allow homeowners to store extra solar power in Sonnen batteries that cost between $10,000 and $20,000 on their own. Sonnen and Mandalay Homes hope they can work out an arrangement so utilities will pay homeowners to use power stored in their batteries. According to Reuters, the 3,000 batteries, offering eight megawatt-hours of electricity , basically create a virtual power plant that could power around 5,000 homes for a day. Related: Wind and solar-powered Thunder Valley Regenerative Community rises in South Dakota Sonnen senior vice president Blake Richetta said even if utilities don’t purchase the energy, homeowners would save money since they won’t have to purchase as much power – if any – from the grid . There’s no firm agreement as of yet, although Mandalay and Sonnen have reportedly been in talks for a few months with Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project . A Salt River Project spokesperson told Reuters there aren’t any agreements in the works; Arizona Public Service declined to comment but did say batteries “can provide benefit to both our customers and the grid.” The Prescott community will be the first one like it in America, according to Sonnen and Mandalay. Reuters said in Germany, Sonnen has many such communities, but the idea is still fairly new in the United States. Mandalay Homes is a certified United States Department of Energy (DOE) ZERO Energy Ready Home builder, according to their website, and have earned multiple awards from the DOE for energy efficiency . There are around 1,000 Sonnen batteries in America right now, although the company hopes to increase that number to at least 20,000 by 2020, and deals such as the one with Mandalay Homes should help. + Mandalay Homes + Sonnen Via Reuters Images via Mandalay Homes Facebook and Sonnen GmbH

Read the original post:
3,000 new solar-powered homes in Arizona to be equipped with Sonnen batteries

Bad Behavior has blocked 1228 access attempts in the last 7 days.