Fungi and jay


Today, to the nature reserve.

The Hericium erinaceum was still on the tree near the entrance. However, when I saw the fungus for the first time, it was white. Later, it became yellow. Now, it is dark brown. This species also occurs, rarely, in the eastern Netherlands; see also here.

Candlesnuff fungus on small tree trunks.

On the big tree, still porcelain mushrooms, and Meripilus giganteus.

A jay calling.

Murder charge for US Klansman


This video from Britain says about itself:

This is a clip of Steel Pulse playing “Ku Klux Klan” live at the Rainbow Theatre London, England September 18th, 1980. This was also included in the film Urgh! A Music War.

From British daily The Guardian:

Murder charge after woman dies at Ku Klux Klan-style initiation

* Dan Glaister
* Thursday November 13 2008

A member of a group linked to the Ku Klux Klan has been charged with murder following the death of an Oklahoma woman who was recruited via the internet, but subsequently tried to leave an initiation ceremony.

Police in Louisiana arrested the man, Raymond “Chuck” Foster, 44, and charged him with second-degree murder after finding the unidentified woman’s body in a remote area 60 miles north of New Orleans. Seven accomplices were arrested, five of them on charges of obstruction of justice.

According to the St Tammany parish sheriff’s department, the woman was shot in the head after saying she wanted to leave the ceremony. She had responded to a website asking for new recruits to the Dixie Brotherhood, also known as the Sons of Dixie, a previously unknown group.

The woman travelled from Oklahoma to Louisiana to meet the group. Her aim was to return to Oklahoma to recruit new members, police said. After several rituals, including a head-shaving, the woman went with eight others to a remote sand-bar campsite.

The initiation ceremony, a police spokesman said, principally involved lighting torches and “running around in the woods”.

But at some point the woman decided she wanted to leave, leading to an argument with Foster, during which he pushed her down and shot her with a .40-caliber handgun, police said.

Members of the group set fire to the woman’s belongings before dumping her body under brush several miles away.

However, authorities were alerted after Foster’s son and another member of the group went to a supermarket in the town of Bogalusa and asked how they could remove bloodstains from their clothes. The shop assistant recognised them and called police, who went to the scene and found five members of the group in the woods.

“The IQ level of this group is not impressive, to be kind,” Sheriff Jack Strain told a news conference, adding, “I can’t imagine anyone feeling endangered or at risk by any one of these kooks.”

Weapons, Ku Klux Klan flags, five white Klan uniforms and a black “imperial wizard” uniform were found at the campsite.

Marine plankton fossils discovered in amber


This video says about itself:

Powerful X-rays enable to make visible fossil insects enclosed in opaque pieces of amber. The 3-D renderings are accurate to a few micrometres and can be converted to 3-D prints of the animals.

From ScienceDaily:

Marine Plankton Found In Amber

(Nov. 12, 2008) — Marine microorganisms have been found in amber dating from the middle of the Cretaceous period. The fossils were collected in Charente, in France.

This completely unexpected discovery will deepen our understanding of these lost marine species as well as providing precious data about the coastal environment of Western France during the Cretaceous.

This work was carried out by researchers at the Géosciences Rennes laboratory (CNRS/Université de Rennes 1), together with researchers from the Paléobiodiversité et Paléoenvironnement laboratory in Paris (CNRS/Muséum national d’histoire naturelle/Université Pierre et Marie Curie) and the Centre de Géochimie de la Surface in Strasbourg (CNRS/Université de Strasbourg 1). It was published in the 11 November 2008 issue of PNAS.

Amber is a fossil resin with a reputation for preserving even the most minute details of insects and other terrestrial arthropods (spiders, scorpions, mites) that lived in resiniferous trees. The forest-based provenance of amber in theory makes it impossible for marine animals to be trapped in the resin. Nonetheless, researchers from the Géosciences Rennes laboratory have discovered various inclusions of marine plankton in amber from the Mid-Cretaceous (100 to 98 million years BP).

These micro-organisms are found in just a few pieces of amber among the thousands that have been studied, but show a remarkable diversity: unicellular algae, mainly diatoms found in large numbers, traces of animal plankton, such as radiolaria and a foraminifer, spiny skeletons of sponges and of echinoderms.

Carried out together with researchers at the Muséum national d’histoire naturelle, the study of diatoms pushed back by 10 to 30 million years the known date for the appearance of certain marine forms of this type of algae.

See also here.

Billion-year Revision Of Plant Evolution Timeline May Stem From Discovery Of Lignin In Seaweed: here.

Riddle of the sexless rotifer solved, biologists say: here.