Rare great Indian bustards seen


This video is called Great Indian Bustard Display.

From Wildlife Extra:

Critically Endangered Great Indian bustards spotted in India

Two Great Indian bustards seen in Karnataka

November 2012. There are thought to be just a few hundred Great Indian bustards left alive in India. They have suffered mostly from hunting and loss of their dry grassland habitat.

According to press reports in India, two Great Indian bustards were seen and photographed near a small village in Karnataka in an area where they haven’t been recorded for 10 years.

Click here to see the reports in The Hindu.

Great Indian Bustard sliding towards extinction – But it isn’t too late: here.

Sea snakes new discovery


This video, from the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, is called Shark Vs. Sea Snake.

From Wildlife Extra:

Identical sea snakes are 2 completely different species

Deadly sea snake has a doppelganger

November 2012. Scientists have discovered that the lethal beaked sea snake is actually two species with separate evolutions, which resulted in identical snakes. The University of Queensland’s Associate Professor Bryan Fry said the Australian and Asian beaked sea snakes were originally thought to be from the same species, however, in comparing their DNA, the research team had found these two snakes were unrelated.

Could have been a fatal mistake

“This mixup could have been medically catastrophic, since the CSL sea snake antivenom is made using the venom from the Asian snake based on the assumption that it was the same species,” Associate Professor Fry said.

“Luckily, the antivenom is not only very effective against the Australian new species but actually against all sea snakes since they all share a very stream-lined fish-specific venom.”

Convergent phenotypic evolution phenomenon

Associate Professor Fry said the finding was an example of a situation where two species evolved separately but ended up looking similar, known as the convergent phenotypic evolution phenomenon.

Associate Professor Fry said that the ‘beaked’ morphology of the species could be associated with the extremely specialised niche the snakes occupy, even though both species evolved from different ancestors and were not even close relatives. He added that the two species occupy the same specialised habitat of silt-filled shallows of tropical estuaries throughout the Asian and Australian regions.

Responsible for many deaths

These snakes are responsible for the majority of deaths and injuries to fishermen handling nets in these habitats.

New name

The Asian snake will retain the original name Enhydrina shistosa. Australian beaked sea snake has been given the scientific name [Enhydrina] zweifeli, which identifies the region in New Guinea where it is found. The new snake will be placed in a separate genus to the true Enhydrina genus in a follow up publication that will resolve the complex higher order relationships of sea snakes.

This finding was published in Molecular Phylogenetics & Evolution by Associate Professor Fry from UQ’s School of Biological Sciences and colleagues from the University of Adelaide.

This sea snake is unusual as it feeds exclusively on fish eggs: here.

Scottish Conservatives’ double cross logo


Scottish Conservative party old logo

Scottish Conservative party new logo

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Oblivious Scots Tories choose ‘double cross‘ for new logo

Sunday 25 November 2012

Incredulous Scots couldn’t believe their eyes today when the Scottish Conservatives unveiled their new “double cross” logo.

It replaces the tree adopted in 2006 when the party was trying to convince voters that it would pursue green policies.

The Westminster Tory government has largely shirked those commitments.

SNP MSP Kenneth Gibson said: “There’s something strangely appropriate in the Tories choosing a ‘double cross’ to represent whatever it is they stand for, but I’m not sure it’s what they were aiming for.”

He said that it was understandable the Scots Tories want to distance themselves from Westminster but “a leopard can’t change its spots.”

British government failing in ambition to be ‘greenest ever': here.

British Worcestershire wildlife photography competition


This video from Britain is called Avocet & chicks ~ Worcestershire Wildlife Trust ~ RSPB.

From Wildlife Extra:

Worcestershire wildlife photography competition launched – Get your photos into a wildlife calendar

November 2012. Photographers across Worcestershire are being invited to enter an annual photography competition to raise funds for wildlife.

Conservation charity, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust, is looking for photographs that reflect the diversity of our countryside and wildlife – from Hagley to Upton and Tenbury to Broadway. Winning photographs will feature in the Trust’s 2014 calendar.

Wendy Carter, communications manager for the Trust, explained “We’ve been running the competition for four years and we’re always really impressed by the talented photographers that enter.

“We usually get 150-200 photographs entered and, even though it’s already really difficult to choose winners, we’re hoping for many more photographs this year.”

The competition is normally only open for photographs taken on one of the Trust’s 70+ nature reserves. For the first time, however, the Trust is looking for images of wildlife and wild places across the whole county.

Wendy continued “We’re so lucky to live in such a beautiful county with some wonderful species of wildlife. And while our nature reserves are obviously great for wildlife, we realise that most people enjoy watching wildlife in their gardens, villages and local parks.

“Wherever people watch wildlife, we’d encourage them to have a camera handy to make sure they capture the action.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s a field of flowers dancing in the breeze, the struggle of wildlife trying to survive winter or adapt to a peopled environment, or a child’s first encounter with wildlife; we’re looking for striking and inspiring images of the wonder of Worcestershire’s natural world.”

Winning photos to appear in calendar

12 winning photographs will be featured as A4 images in the 2014 calendar, with one lucky photographer taking the prized front cover. Images are also considered for the Trust’s range of greetings and Christmas cards that are sold to raise money for conservation work across the county.

The calendars provide a much needed source of fundraising for the charity. At this time of year, sales of calendars and Christmas cards alone bring in £5000, all of which helps wildlife across Worcestershire.

The Trust also sell a range of virtual gifts, cards, guide books, identification charts and more – all suitable for Christmas presents and available from the Trust’s website.

Deadline April

“The deadline isn’t until April so there’s plenty of time to take the winning shot!

“We had to order an extra print run of last year’s calendar because it was so popular. We’re expecting another sell out this year so it’s a great opportunity for your photo to be seen throughout the county.”

The closing date is Monday 22nd April 2013 and entry forms can be downloaded here.

The 2013 calendar can be purchased from Lower Smite Farm or the Trust’s website www.worcswildlifetrust.co.uk/shop for £6.50. Winning images can be seen at the Trust’s Flickr Photostream.

Cards can also be purchased at Lower Smite Farm, Just for Pets stores across the county, Upton Snodsbury Village Shop and Post Office, Clive’s Fruit Farm (Upton upon Severn) and Brookside Farm Shop (Droitwich Spa).

Blog of the Year 2012 award, thanks Miss Marzipan!


Blog of the Year Award 2 star jpeg

Oh Miss Marzipan, you are so kind, to grace Dear Kitty. Some blog with the “Blog of the Year 2012″  Award.

It is the second time, the second star, for this award for this blog.

We really appreciate you thinking of us. If you have not met Miss Marzipan yet, then please check out her blog, with many fine recipes and other interesting stuff, here.

Meanwhile, still more bloggers were so kind to nominate this blog for the Blog of the Year 2012 award. Please, be patient; I WILL make blog posts about that :)

The “Blog of the Year” award is a little different from some other awards, because you accumulate stars.

Here are the ‘rules’ for this award:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Please include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award – http://thethoughtpalette.co.uk/our-awards/blog-of-the-year-2012-award/ and include these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

5 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience [I cannot join that group as I am not on Facebook].

6 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, then you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

For more information check the FAQ on The Thought Palette.

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I want to give this award to so many blog friends that I don’t know where to start. This time, I have not nominated as many blogs as last time (75 then!). I will very probably forget many deserving blogs. Please keep passing it on and keep the star shine going for blog years and years to come.

Here are my nominees, in no particular order:

1. Crystal Mountain Music Collective

2. dedicatedtothebest

3. Zooarcher

4. Ooggetuige

5. The Naturephile

6. Anarya Andir’s Blog ~ Scribbles, thoughts, and a few forgotten memories…

7. OFFCorporatecoast articles, essays and opinion from off the corporate coast

8. The Nahmias Cipher Report

9. SOY ASÍ Fotografía

10. UKbirdingtimeline