Spider web from dinosaur age discovered


This video says about itself:

A team of British researchers have been rebuilding fossils of 300-million year old spiders using computer 3-D technology- they say they are providing a clearer picture of how some extinct species once lived on early Earth.

From the BBC:

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Spider web confirmed as ‘oldest’

Spider webs encased in amber which were discovered on an East Sussex beach have been confirmed by scientists as being the world’s oldest on record.

The amber, which was found in Bexhill by fossil hunter Jamie Hiscocks and his brother Jonathan, dates back 140 million years to the Cretaceous period.

Professor Martin Brasier said they were the earliest webs to be incorporated into the fossil record.

He has published his findings in the Journal of the Geological Society.

Professor Brasier, who is a palaeobiologist at the University of Oxford, said: “This amber is very rare. It comes from the very base of the Cretaceous, which makes it one of the oldest ambers anywhere to have inclusions in it.”

‘Sticky droplets’

He added: “These spiders are distinctive and leave little sticky droplets along the spider web threads to trap prey.

“We actually have the sticky droplets preserved within the amber. These turn out to be the earliest webs that have ever been incorporated in the fossil record to our knowledge.”

His studies revealed that the spider that spun the web is related to the modern day orb-web or garden spider.

Scientists think the web became trapped in conifer resin after a forest fire and then became fossilised inside the resulting amber.

Mr Hiscocks and his brother also found the fossilised remains of an Iguanodon jaw bone on the coastline.

Extreme Behavioral Adjustments by an Orb-Web Spider to Restricted Spaces: here.

The brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, has a bad and largely undeserved reputation. Across the U.S., people fear the bite of this spider, believing it is an aggressive attacker and certain to cause devastating necrotic wounds. Research on brown recluse spiders has proven these assertions to be false: here.

European garden spider: here.

How spiders fix their webs: Adhesion can vary depending on surface: here.

Did Caterpillars Starve Dinosaurs to Death? Here.

Pondskater and long-tailed tits


This video says about itself:

Pond skater. Gerris sp. feeding on ants that have fallen from bushes and are trapped in the surface tension. Also close up view of adult and nymph.

Today, in the brook in the botanical garden, a pondskater.

Just outside the garden, a group of long-tailed tits.

The immature stages of the genus Trepobates (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Gerridae): here.

February 2010. A new report reveals that 80% of ponds in the British countryside are in a ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ condition. In England and Wales, the study also shows that the condition of ponds has got worse since 1996: here.

Hondurans celebrate return of Zelaya to presidency


In this Associated Press video, Hondurans celebrate the probable return of democratically elected president Zelaya to office.

See also here. And here. And here. And here. And here.

US Labour Secretary Hilda Solis and former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos are set to arrive in Tegucigalpa tomorrow as part of a commission that is to monitor the creation of a power-sharing government in Honduras: here.

The leadership of Honduras’s Congress has met to begin consideration of an accord that could reinstate ousted President Manuel Zelaya, but they failed to set a date for bringing the issue to the floor: here.