Small girl finds Ice-Age rhinoceros


This video says about itself:

A short video introducing belemnites which were extinct cousins of the squid, octopus and cuttlefish.

From the British Broadcasting Corporation:

Ice-Age rhinoceros remains found

The remains of an Ice Age rhinoceros have been unearthed by a five-year-old girl at a Gloucestershire water park.

Emelia Fawbert found the fossilised carcass at the Cotswold Water Park near Cirencester during a fossil hunt.

Emelia and her father James, 33, from Bussage, near Stroud, dug up the atlas vertebra of the woolly rhino which roamed the area about 50,000 years ago.

Emelia was among a group of fossil hunters searching a freshly-excavated gravel pit at the park on 26 October.

‘Protective covering’

The atlas vertebra, which once supported the head of the animal had been sticking up through the clay which was exposed by the gravel excavations.

The pair used a trowel to dig the bone from the mud. It has now been sealed in a special protective covering before being donated to a museum.

The hunt, involving 75 people, also unearthed the leg bone and vertebra from an Ice Age deer and belemnites, the remains of squid-like creatures from the Jurassic period, some 150m years ago.

Emelia, who wants to become a palaeontologist, had joined the fossil hunt for the first time.

It was organised by the Cotswold Water Park Society and led by Swindon palaeontologist Dr Neville Hollingworth who also found the remains of a woolly rhinoceros in a gravel pit near Swindon in 2004.

See also here.

Ice Age Beasts In Europe: Migration Of The Woolly Rhinoceros Earlier Than Assumed: here.

Woolly Rhinoceros Discovery Is Oldest in Europe: here.

Poaching boom is once again threatening the world’s rhinos: here.

October 2010. An illegal rhino horn was confiscated by officers from the UK Border Agency at Manchester Airport in June, 2009. The horn had been hidden in a fake antique figure by antique dealer Donald Allison. Once discovered, investigators contacted wildlife forensic scientists to analyse fragments in order to confirm the species of animal it was from and identify which zoo rhino had been targeted: here.

Darwin, Galapagos mockingbirds, evolution


This is a Galapagos Islands mocking bird video.

From the BBC:

Darwin’s specimens go on display

Two mockingbirds, which are said to have helped Charles Darwin develop his theory on evolution, are to go on public display for the first time.

The specimens, gathered by Darwin from the Galapagos, are said to be the “catalyst” for his transmutation theory – how one species changes into another.

A variety of differences between the specimens led to him questioning the “stability of species”.

The birds will go on show at London’s Natural History Museum next week.

The mockingbirds will feature in an exhibition dedicated to the pioneering work of the naturalist, which is part of Darwin200, a national programme of events running throughout 2009, celebrating the 200th anniversary of his birth.

“What is fantastic about these two birds is that visitors will be able to see for themselves the crucial differences that Darwin saw,” said Jo Cooper, the museum’s bird curator.

The mockingbirds were collected during Darwin’s five-year voyage on board HMS Beagle, which was captained by Robert FitzRoy.

‘Common ancestor’

One of the birds was captured on the island of Floreana, while the other was gathered from another Galapagos island, which is now called San Cristobal.

As a result of an earlier visit, Darwin knew that there was only one species of mockingbird in South America, yet he found a different species on each of the islands in the Pacific Ocean archipelago he visited.

From this, he reasoned that all mockingbirds in the world had descended from a common ancestor, because they shared a number of similarities with each other.

This ultimately led Darwin to the conclusion that all organisms on Earth had common ancestors.

US missiles kill Pakistanis


This video is about a Pakistani‘s journalist condemning U.S. missile attacks on his side of the Afghan border.

From Associated Press:

Suspected US missile strikes continue in Pakistan

Friday, 7 November 2008

A suspected US missile strike killed at least eight people in a Pakistani village close to the Afghan border today.

The cross-border attack took place in Kam Sam village in the North Waziristan region, a stronghold of Taliban and al-Qa’ida militants blamed for attacks on US troops in Afghanistan and rising violence within Pakistan.

One Pakistani security official said 10 people died. Another put the toll at eight. The identity of the victims was not clear and it was not immediately possible to reconcile the differing tallies.

US aerial drones are believed to have carried out at least 18 missile strikes in Pakistan since August, angering the country’s civil and military leaders, as well as many of its 170 million people.

The attack was the first since the installation of General David Petraeus as head of US Central Command last week, giving him overall command of the wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Pakistani leaders said they told Gen. Petraeus to stop the cross-border strikes when he visited the country earlier this week. He said he would “take on board” what they said, but gave no promise the attacks would stop.

US missiles strike deeper inside Pakistan: here.

Whitehall kept in dark over strike that may have killed British fugitive. Officials deny prior knowledge of ‘unilateral’ missile attack in Pakistan’s tribal area: here.

Lebanese bird lovers


This video says about itself:

Imperial Eagle (Aquila heliaca) Juvenile Filmed at Thumamah, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia April 1993 using Canon EX1 Hi8 video-camera.

From BirdLife:

Migratory birds bridge water, culture and religion

07-11-2008

The wonder of bird migration recently united two communities separated by water, culture and religion. At an event coorganised by the Society for the Protection of Nature in Lebanon (SPNL; BirdLife in Lebanon), the people of Anjar and Kfar Zabad villages jointly celebrated the cultural importance of bird migration as part of BirdLife’s World Bird Festival.

The event was held at the Bekaa wetlands and marked the announcement of Hima Anjar, which will strengthen the existing Hima Kfar Zabad. Hima is a traditional Islamic system under which communities manage natural areas and protect them from over-exploitation. …

The Bekaa wetlands are part of the Syrian-African Great Rift Valley. The area includes the Kfar Zabad – Anjar Important Bird Area which supports several globally and regionally threatened bird species, such as Pallid Harrier Circus macrourus, Vulnerable Eastern Imperial Eagle Aquila heliaca, Vulnerable Lesser Kestrel Falco naumanni, and Vulnerable Syrian Serin Serinus syriacus.