Rembrandt monument by Jan Wolkers unveiled


From the Google cache.

Jan Wolkers on RembrandtThis time, searching with keyword ‘Rembrandt’, I at least found something about Rembrandt, unlike last time, when I found something on marsupials and dinosaurs …

Rembrandt monument by Jan Wolkers unveiled

Date: 10/27/05 at 6:43PM

Mood: Looking Playing: Painter man, by Creation

26 October 2005 was a very special day for Dutch author and sculptor Jan Wolkers.

The Rembrandt monument, made by Jan Wolkers for the famous seventeenth century painter, was unveiled then.

This was in the city of Leiden, where Rembrandt was born in 1605 (or 1606?); and where Jan Wolkers, born in Oegstgeest close to Leiden, had lived as well.

It was also Jan Wolkers’ eightieth birthday.

Finally, Wolkers’ new book was published that day.

American-European land bridge for dinosaurs and mammals


Prosaurolophus, a duck-billed dinosaur

From the Google cache.

The ‘big’ cache looks like exhausted. However, I still can find some old logs using keywords (not that those keywords are necessarily in the lost and found logs …)

US-European land bridge for dinosaurs and mammals

Date: 12/30/05 at 7:36PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: I’m a little dinosaur, by Jonathan Richman

From the Contra Costa Times (USA):

Fri, Dec. 30, 2005

Marsupial tooth find bolsters land bridge

By Jackie Burrell

MORAGA – The recent discovery of a 66-million-year-old marsupial tooth in the Netherlands provides fresh proof that a land bridge connected the North American and European continents during the age of dinosaurs.

St. Mary’s College dean of science Judd Case and his colleague James Martin say the 2-millimeter fossil, which belongs to a newly discovered, extinct species similar to an opossum, suggests that dinosaurs and small marsupials not only lived in Europe at the same time, but also traveled the same trans-Atlantic migration route from South Dakota to the Netherlands.

“Wow,” said Case. “It changes what we know.”

Taken together with other, recent finds of North American-type duck-bill dinosaurs and certain types of snakes in Northern Europe, it appears that animals used temporary land bridges to travel across the high polar latitudes 10 million years earlier than paleontologists had thought.

The tooth may be tiny, said Case, but it will have a major impact on scientists’ views of Cretaceous climate, geography and life.

Amateur collectors Roland Meuris and Frans Smet were looking for shark tooth fossils in a quarry near Maastricht, Netherlands, in 2002 when they came across an intriguing rock sample from the Cretaceous period.

When Smet spotted what he thought were mammal teeth, he contacted the nearby Natuurhistorisch Museum Maastricht, which specializes in fossils.

His timing was perfect. James Martin was researching marine reptiles in Maastricht when the museum’s fossil experts asked his opinion of the small, odd tooth.

The South Dakota paleontologist had collaborated frequently with Case on dig projects.

The pair made headlines last year with a spectacular Antarctic dinosaur find.

And last January, Case published a paper on a startling new North American find — 75-million-year-old opossum-like marsupial fossils that were 20 million years older than expected.

Martin knew exactly what he was looking at in Maastricht.

“He said, ‘Wow!’” Case remembered.

“He told me where it’s from and when it’s from, and I said, ‘Wow!’”

Maastrichtidelphys meurismetiThe Netherlands discovery — dubbed Maastrichtidelphys meurismeti to honor collectors Meuris and Smet — fills an intriguing gap in the fossil record.

Scientists have long known that dinosaurs and small mammals co-existed during the so-called Dinosaur Age, but fossilized mammal skeletons are rare.

Most primitive mammal studies rely on teeth.

Using scanning electron microscopy to examine surface details, scientists can identify species with a single tooth.

In this case, the upper molar belonged to the new marsupial species found in Canada, Montana, Wyoming and South Dakota — and now, the Netherlands.

But how did a mouse-sized creature cross the Atlantic Ocean?

Earth’s geography was very different back then, said Case.

The Atlantic was only half as wide. Sea levels were lower — and significantly lower at two points, around 71 and 67 million years ago.

And continents were connected. Case and Martin believe animals hopped from land mass to land mass above the 70-degree latitude line.

“Eastern Canada was attached to Greenland,” said Case.

“The Faroes were stuck on top of Great Britain and Great Britain was connected to the rest of Europe.

It had been felt that North American dinosaurs had made a one-time only entry into Europe — but no.”

The discovery of a North American marsupial and duck-billed dinosaurs in Maastricht indicates that the polar crossing was no chilly experiment, but a temperate migration path in a world filled with new, flowering plants.

“While the dinosaurs were munching on leaves, these little guys were probably eating insects and these new flowers,” said Case. “It’s co-evolution.”

Mien Minis-van de Geijn, ex director of the Maastricht museum, studied fossil sharks’ teeth.

THE ORIGIN OF AFRO-ARABIAN ‘DIDELPHIMORPHMARSUPIALS: here.

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Kestrel and great egrets


Peneireiro – Falco tinnunculus – Kestrel from Jose Viana on Vimeo.

Kestrel and great egrets

Date: 9/21/05 at 6:17PM

Today in the Westeinde nature reserve near Zoeterwoude.

A kestrel.

The kestrel hovers over the meadows, looking if it can find mice.

Two mute swans fly past.

Seven grey herons.

But … wait … they have three smaller, whiter relatives with them.

They are great egrets.

Here they stand between the cows and their bigger grey relatives. A rare sight in this country.

A bit further, in Stompwijk village, is an ostrich farm.

They have 11 ostriches there since 1998.

The eggs not sold for eating are sold to breeding businesses, who sell the chicks to other ostrich farms.

Later, in Weipoort: a great cormorant flies past.

In Cronesteyn park in Leiden, a pheasant.

Great egret

Bush on Iraq war echoes LBJ on Vietnam, 1967


Bush, Iraq war, and Vietnam, cartoon

From the Google cache.

From a time when George W Bush himself did not yet compare the Iraq war to the Vietnam war, as he does now.

Bush on Iraq war echoes LBJ on Vietnam, 1967

Linking: 12

Date: 9/21/05 at 7:18PM

Mood: Thinking Playing: War, by Edwin Starr

From Associated Press:

WASHINGTON Sep 21, 2005 — Bush officials bristle at the suggestion the war in Iraq might look anything like Vietnam.

Yet just as today’s anti-war protests recall memories of yesteryear, President Bush’s own words echo those of President Johnson in 1967, a pivotal year for the U.S. in Vietnam.

“America is committed to the defense of South Vietnam until an honorable peace can be negotiated,” Johnson told the Tennessee Legislature on March 15, 1967.

Despite the obstacles to victory, the president said, “We shall stay the course.”

After 14 Marines died in a roadside bombing on Aug. 3, Bush declared: “We will stay the course, we will complete the job in Iraq.

And the job is this: We’ll help the Iraqis develop a democracy.”

According to the BBC:

Former foreign secretary [Conservative] Sir Malcolm Rifkind has meanwhile called Iraq a bigger “disaster” than Vietnam.

Sir Malcolm said Tony Blair should resign as prime minister over the issue of Iraq as it was “widely recognised” he went to war “on a false prospectus“.

Fascist war propaganda in Italy in 1943, similar to in The NetherlandsThere is a parallel with not just 40 years, but also with 64 years ago.

The “doth protest too much”, as Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, style denials of any parallel between the Iraq and Vietnam wars remind me somewhat of November 1943 in the nazi occupied Netherlands.

Then, nazis put up posters everywhere with the slogan “1943 is not 1918″.

Indeed, in 1943 the German army did not yet suffer a final defeat like in 1918.

However, in 1945 the defeat would be much more devastating than in 1918.

Iraqi refugees today, January 2007: here.

Ex Bush supporter now against Iraq war: here.

Song ‘Superbird’ against Johnson’s Vietnam war: here.

Suriname: six new bird species found


Rufous winged antwren

From the Google cache.

Suriname: six new bird species found

Date: 9/3/05 at 10:13AM

At the Tafelberg in the Roraima mountains, an expedition by the National Herbarium of Suriname, and the National Zoological Collection of Suriname (NZCS), found six species of birds new to Suriname.

Two of them are antbirds: rufous winged antwren; see also here; and Venezuelan antvireo.

Two are swifts: white-chinned swift and white-tipped swift.

The velvet browed brilliant is a hummingbird.

The tepui greenlet is a songbird.

Also, a snake species new for Suriname was found.

The expedition research is not finished yet.

Source: here.

Antbird songs: here.

High-Pitched Notes during Vocal Contests Signal Genetic Diversity in Ocellated Antbirds: here.

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Caribbean: new lizard species found


Gonatodes daudini

Union island in the GrenadinesFrom the Google cache.

Meanwhile, we know that the name of the new lizard is Gonatodes daudini.

And there are pictures, like this one here.

Caribbean: new lizard species found

Date: 10/11/05 at 7:09AM

Playing: I’m a little dinosaur, by Jonathan Richman

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Oct 10, 2005 [ABC site] — What’s black, white, red and green all over? It’s something Avila University professor Robert Powell will announce sometime in December.

Powell, a biologist who has been at the Kansas City-based university for 30 years, and Robert Henderson, a curator at the Milwaukee Public Museum, have discovered a new species of lizard in the south Caribbean that Powell will get to name in the December issue of the Caribbean Journal of Science.

Powell, who recruits students from around the country each summer to take a research excursion with him to the Caribbean, found the new lizard in June after being tipped off about its existence.

The Rev. Bob de Silva, an amateur naturalist from St. Vincent who had visited Union Island, had been the only person to ever report seeing the geckolike lizard, and told Powell about it.

“It is indeed spectacular in its appearance,” Powell told The Kansas City Star by telephone from Guana Island in the British Virgin Islands, where he is studying other reptiles.

“The lizard is greenish with bright red, black and white spots that seem to jump out at you when he is placed against a plain background. But in its natural habitat, it is hard to see.”

Powell said the tiny lizard, which is about the size of a large caterpillar or half a cigarette, probably has been seen before and mistaken for a bug.

He said he was excited about his discovery, but his reaction was muted somewhat because he knew the lizard existed, and where to look for it.

“I scooped up a handful of leaves and debris, then carefully sifted through looking for the lizard,” Powell said.

“The hardest thing was holding it so as not to tear its soft skin.”

He said he isn’t sure, but thinks the lizard fits the criteria for an endangered species.

One of the still-nameless vertebrates has been preserved at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum.