New anglerfish species discovered in Indonesia


This video says about itself:

Giant Anglerfish (Antennarius commersoni), sometimes known as a frogfish, from Thailand’s Richelieu Rock and Burma’s Western Rocky Island.

After earlier new fish species today, one more new fish species.

From the University of Washington in the USA:

New fish has a face even Dale Chihuly could love

A fish that would rather crawl into crevices than swim, and that may be able to see in the same way that humans do, could represent an entirely unknown family of fishes, says a University of Washington fish expert.

The fish, sighted in Indonesian waters off Ambon Island, has tan- and peach-colored zebra-striping, and rippling folds of skin that obscure its fins, making it look like a glass sculpture that Dale Chihuly might have dreamed up. But far from being hard and brittle like glass, the bodies of these fist-sized fish are soft and pliable enough to slip and slide into narrow crevices of coral reefs. It’s probably part of the reason that they’ve typically gone unnoticed – until now.

The individuals are undoubtedly anglerfishes, says Ted Pietsch, a UW professor of aquatic and fishery sciences who has published 150 scholarly articles and several books on anglerfishes and is the world’s leading authority on them. In the last 50 years scientists have described only five new families of fishes and none of them were even remotely related to anglerfishes, Pietsch says.

Husband and wife Buck and Fitrie Randolph, with dive guide Toby Fadirsyair, found and photographed an individual Jan. 28 in Ambon harbor. A second adult has since been seen and two more – small, and obviously juveniles – were spotted March 26, off Ambon. One of the adults laid a mass of eggs, just spotted Tuesday.

The Randolphs are part-owners of Maluku Divers, a land-based dive facility in Ambon City. Toby Fadirsyair, who works for Maluku Divers, said he may have seen something similar 10 or 15 years ago but the coloring was different.

Reference books were consulted but nothing similar to the fish photographed in January was found. Seeking international fish experts eventually led them to Pietsch.

“As soon as I saw the photo I knew it had to be an anglerfish because of the leglike pectoral fins on its sides,” Pietsch says. “Only anglerfishes have crooked, leglike structures that they use to walk or crawl along the seafloor or other surfaces.”

Anglerfishes – also called by names like frogfishes and toadfishes – are found the world over and typically have lures growing from their foreheads that they wave or cause to wiggle in order to attract prey. Get too close to the lure and you’re lunch.

The newly found individuals have no lures so they seek their prey differently, burrowing themselves into crevices and cracks of coral reefs in search of food. …

When only a single fish had been sighted, Randolph and Andy Shorten, co-owner of Maluku Divers, kept the find quiet to protect the animal.

See also here. And here.

It was during the filming of the documentary series Blue Planet that the hairy angler was first discovered. Like many deep-sea fish, these creatures were new to science because of the great depths at which they live: here.

McCain admits “hundreds of thousands” Iraqi deaths


This video from the USA is called Bush/McCain Iraq/Iran.

From Crooks and Liars in the USA: Republican presidential candidate

McCain admits “hundreds of thousands” Iraqi deaths

By: SilentPatriot on Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008 at 6:45 AM – PDT

During the last two minutes or so of his interview with David Letterman Tuesday night, John McCain got asked some tough questions, including one about the grotesque number of Iraqis killed or displaced because of his Bush’s War.

Letterman: 4,000 American men and women soldiers dead since we went into Iraq. Another 30,000 wounded. Untold Iraqis dead. We rarely hear that number. What would that number be? A quarter of a million? Half a million?

McCain: It’s hard to make these estimates, but it’s in the hundreds of thousands, obviously.

That is still lower than the reliable estimates of over a million Iraqis dead. However, at least McCain admits here that the Bush administration’s far lower figures are not true.

McCain is on record about a hundred years of United States war in Iraq still to come. If, according to his estimate, five years of war have meant, say 300, 000 dead Iraqis, then 100 years of war will mean 6 million dead Iraqis. And 80,000 dead Unites States soldiers. Presumed that there will be no further escalation; like attacking Iran (see also here), etc. etc.

McCain voted against Martin Luther King day in 1983: here.

McCain bows to right wing, keeps GOP platform on same-sex marriage untouched: here.

Ecuador bans foreign military bases


This is a video from Ecuador about the INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE FOR THE ABOLITION OF FOREIGN MILITARY BASES; QUITO & MANTA, ECUADOR; MARCH 5 – 9, 2007; with as its soundtrack an Ecuadorian song against the US Manta base.

From the BBC:

Ecuadorian lawmakers have approved a constitutional change that would outlaw foreign military bases on its soil.

The approval throws into doubt the future of a key US base in the South American country.

The US has its only South American base in the town of Manta but its 10-year lease is up for renewal next year.

The lawmakers’ decision, if given final approval in a public vote, could signal the end of joint Ecuadorean and US efforts to fight drug cartels.

If the US Bush’s administration real motivation for the Manta base would really be to fight drug cartels: then why they don’t they use it to fight Colombian President Uribe, a major kingpin in the drug cartels according to United States governmental data? In fact, however, the US military use Manta base to help Uribe violate the sovereignty of Ecudor by killing people on its territory.

Ecuador is a land of peace; foreign military bases or foreign installations with military purpose will not be allowed,” read the amendment approved by the assembly, which is controlled by President Rafael Correa‘s Alianza Pais party.

Strained relations

The air base at Manta has great strategic value for the US military.

American officials say surveillance flights from Manta have led to more than half the illegal drug seizures in the region.

The coastal town also doubles up as a strategic look-out post for US forces monitoring warships heading north from the Middle East and Asia.

But Ecuador’s left-wing president Rafael Correa, a political ally of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, has said he would rather “cut off his arm” than allow the Americans to stay on at Manta.

The move to ban foreign bases in Ecuador was first proposed by the country’s constituent assembly last month.

It is one of several constitutional changes to be put to a national vote later in the year.

The dispute over the base comes during a period of strained relations between Ecuador and its neighbour Colombia – the US’s closest ally in the region.

Tension almost boiled over last month following a Colombian military raid inside Ecuador in which a top commander of the Colombian rebel group, Farc, was killed.

US soldiers in Suriname: here.

Dutch soldiers in Suriname: here.

US Navy resurrects Fourth Fleet to police Latin America: here.

John Lindsay-Poland, New America Media: “Under the auspices of the drug war, the United States is returning to its historical pattern of using Central America and the Caribbean for its own military and strategic purposes. Even as a growing chorus of voices throughout Latin America argue that military responses to drug trafficking are ineffective against the narcotics trade and exacerbate existing human rights abuses and official corruption, the U.S. military presence in the region is growing”: here.

Unequal women in United States films and media


This video from the USA says about itself:

See GTV student producer Sequoya brings Sojourner Truth alive. The “Ain’t I A Woman” speech is as poignant today as it was back in 1851.

From Women’s eNews in the USA:

On-Screen Sex Ratios Add Up to One Big Minus

Run Date: 04/02/08

By Lynn Ziegler
WeNews correspondent

There are more women on TV and film these days than decades ago. But media researchers say healthy on-screen representation is missing and Lynn Ziegler says the big picture has to change.

… the fact that women make up more than half the world’s population is not reflected on-screen. The male-female on-screen ratio is still only 1-in-3, up from a more dismal 1-in-5 two decades ago.

In a study presented at the conference of 13 top-grossing children’s films with female leads–produced between the mid-1930s through the 1990s and many of them from Disney–only one featured a character who wasn’t looking for “happily ever after” with a prince. Dorothy Gale, from “The Wizard of Oz“–the oldest movie in the bunch as it so happens–kept her eyes on a different prize: going home.

See also this cartoon.

Gender inequality in film is still disheartening: here.

Coral reef grows in Venice, Italy


This video is called Venice, Italy – August 3 2006.

From the Daily Telegraph in England:

Venice flood barrier blossoms into coral reef

By Malcolm Moore in Rome

Last Updated: 12:01am BST 02/04/2008

A coral reef has bloomed in the Adriatic Sea on the site where a tidal barrier is being constructed to protect Venice.

Marine biologists said the Mose project – a Thames Barrier-style defence around the Venetian lagoon – has proven an irresistible magnet to rare coral, fish and crustaceans.

They have discovered more than 150 different species, including the giant pen shell (Pinna Nobilis), an endangered bivalve that can grow up to 3ft long and is normally found in the warmer waters around Sardinia.

The reef, on the mile-long rock and cement barrier, has taken hold in just two years and is also being visited by the Dustbin-Lid jellyfish (Rhizostoma Octupus), the largest in the Mediterranean, which can measure up to 2ft across.

Andrea Rismondo, a marine biologist at the University of Padua said: “This barrier was built for an entirely different purpose. However, the structure has become an amazing meeting point for all sorts of fish, flora and fauna.”

He added that because of global warming, the waters around Venice can now host the sort of fish and coral that were previously found only in the southern Mediterranean or Red Sea.

New coral reef discovered near Taiwan: here.

Bikini corals recover from atomic blast; but not all species of them: here. See photos here.

Great Barrier Reef: here.

World-class protection boosts Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: here.

No-take marine reserves, in which fishing is completely banned, can lead to very rapid comebacks of the fish species most prized by commercial and recreational fisheries, reveals a new study of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef published in the June 24th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication: here.

De Wit has conducted studies at the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, where he and his colleagues have found four entirely new species of the Grania worm. One of them is the beautifully green-coloured Grania colorata: here.

Ten years to save Australia’s Great Barrier Reef: here.

Stylasterid corals: here.

New Coral Reefs Discovered in Iceland: here.

Coding Early Naturalists’ Accounts into Long-Term Fish Community Changes in the Adriatic Sea (1800–2000): here.

New fish species discovered in Indonesia and South America


This video is about Cichlasoma facetum (Chancito). It shows baby fishes hatching.

Several new fish species have been described recently.

See New bagrid catfish described from Borneo.

And, from Practical Fishkeeping:

A recent review of the chanchito cichlids of the Uruguay and Paraná river drainages (in Argentina, southern Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) has recognised eight species, four of which are described as new.

Lesser flamingo in Dutch nature reserve


This is a video about lesser flamingos at Lake Bogoria, Kenya.

From Dutch radio program Vroege Vogels:

2 April 2008 10:48

In nature reserve De Petten on Texel island, there is a lesser flamingo. The bird has been present already since early February in this area, owned by Natuurmonumenten. Wildlife rangers Eric Menkveld and Eckard Boot made this exciting discovery while putting a webcam recording the breeding of the [Sandwich] terns this spring there.

“Lesser flamingos originally live only in West Africa,” Eric Menkveld tells.

That should be East Africa.

The wildlife ranger says this bird is not a zoo escapee. “He is not banded, like zoo animals are.” According to Menkveld, the flamingo is doing fine. “The Petten are a salt water nature reserve on the land side of a dike, full of Palaemonidae shrimps and amphipods; he will be able to eat his fill.” …

With some luck, people will also be able to see the flamingo on the webcam here, put there to observe the Sandwich terns.

At the webcam site, go here and click on Flamingo op bezoek, to see the lesser flamingo, avocets, etc.