The progressive dwindling of fossil resources, coupled with the drastic increase in oil prices, have sparked a feverish activity in search of alternatives based on renewable resources for the production of energy. Given the predominance of petroleum- and carbon-based chemistry for the manufacture of organic chemical commodities, a similar preoccupation has recently generated numerous initiatives aimed at replacing these fossil sources with renewable counterparts. In particular, major efforts are being conducted in the field of polymer science and technology to prepare macromolecular materials based on renewable resources. The concept of the bio-refinery, viz. the rational exploitation of the vegetable biomass in terms of the separation of its components and their utilisation as such, or after suitable chemical modifications, is thus gaining momentum and considerable financial backing from both the public and private sectors. This collection of chapters, each one written by internationally recognised experts in the corresponding field, covers in a comprehensive fashion all the major aspects related to the synthesis, characterization and properties of macromolecular materials prepared using renewable resources as such, or after appropriate modifications. Thus, monomers such as terpenes and furans, oligomers like rosin and tannins, and polymers ranging from cellulose to proteins and including macromolecules synthesized by microbes, are discussed with the purpose of showing the extraordinary variety of materials that can be prepared from their intelligent exploitation. Particular emphasis has been placed on recent advances and imminent perspectives, given the incessantly growing interest that this area is experiencing in both the scientific and technological realms.- Discusses bio-refining with explicit application to materials- Replete with examples of applications of the concept of sustainable development- Presents an impressive variety of novel macromolecular materials
Loligo gigas [now Dosidas gigas] - Humboldt Squid/Jumbo Squid
The Humboldt squid is among the largest of the squid, despite their lifespan of just under one year. Other giant squids have a lifespan estimated to be around five years at a minimum, and don’t reach their maximum size until near the end of their life. One of the major sources of food for Humboldt squid is other Humboldt squids, which is believed to contribute significantly to their fast growth.
All of the suckers of the Humboldt are ringed with sharp, flesh-tearing teeth, and when squid are feeding, they’ve been known to be very aggressive towards scuba divers. Outside of feeding time (generally dusk to dawn), the squid are generally non-aggressive creatures.
Like many squid, the Humboldt has chromatophores in its skin, allowing for rapid color changes. When they feed or are in distress (such as when they’re caught by fishers), they flash bright red. This led to one of their first colloquial names - El diablo rojo - the Red Devil.
Voyage dans l’Amerique Meridionale: Tome Neuvieme. Alcide d’Orbigny, 1847.
A sample of the diversity of life living around hydrothermal vents in the Pacific
Starting from the top and going down:
- A forest of of Giant Tube Worms (Riftia pachyptila)
- bordered by a thicket of their smaller cousins, the Jericho Worms (Tevnia Jerichonana).
- In the right top is an enlarged view of a Pompeii Worm (Alvinella pompejana), one of the most heat-tolerant multicellular animals. Pompeii worms, which live in thin-walled tubular dwellings along the sides of hydrothermal vents, can tolerate temperatures up to 176 degrees Fahrenheit.
- To the left is a Pacific Grenadier (Coryphaenoides acrolepis) a common deep-sea fish often found hunting and scavenging near vents.
- To the right is an Eelpout (Thermarces cerberus), the top predator of the vent ecosystem.
- Below the Jericho Worms is a field of Vent Mussels (Bathymodiolus thermophilus) interspersed with several giant, ivory-white Vesticomid Clams (Calyptogena magnifica)
- At the bottom of the picture is a Blue Mat, a field of tiny tubular dwellings— called lorica— secreted by folliculinid ciliates (Folliculinopsis sp.).
- In the middle of the mat is a magnified view of several of these ciliates with their arm-like peristomal feeding lobes extended.
- Crawling around the field of mussels and worms are several Vent Crabs (Bythograea thermydron) along with a Vent Octopus (Vulcanoctopus hydrothermalis), and a Yeti Crab (Kiwa hirsuta).
- In the lower left corner are several Deep-Sea Stauromedusae (Lucernaria janetae). Stauromedusae are jellyfish that permanently attach themselves to a hard substrate using a short stalk.
- Lastly on the bottom right is a Vent Dandelion (Thermopalia taraxaca), a colonial scavenger related to Portuguese Man-o-wars and other siphonophores.