Melchior van Tweel made this video in his garden in the Netherlands.
Originally posted on North African Birds:
Mouslim, B., Merzoug, S. E., Rassim, K., Bouslama, Z., & Houhamdi, M. (2014). Aspects of the breeding ecology of the Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio in the wetland complex of Guerbes-Sanhadja, north-east Algeria. Ostrich 85(2): 185-191.
PDF disponible maintenant sur African Journals online.
The Purple Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio is a common rail that previously was little investigated in North Africa. From 2011 to 2013, its breeding ecology was studied at two natural wetlands in north-east Algeria, namely Garaet Hadj Tahar and Garaet Messaoussa. Numbers of Purple Swamphens at both localities peaked in late April and early May. Egg-laying started in early March, whereas hatching started in late March. Peak egg-laying took place in late March and early April, and peak hatching from mid-April to early May. There were significant differences in the size and weight of eggs between years and localities. The mean clutch size was 2.75…
View original 67 more words
This is a video, filmed mostly under water, of young mute swans feeding in the Netherlands.
Marjo Steffen made the video.
This video from Britain is called Dogwhelk adaptation on an exposed shore.
Translated from Ecomare museum in the Netherlands:
Dogwhelks returned – 25-11-14
In the Westerschelde estuary for the first time since more than 20 years ago a dogwhelk has been found. This says researcher Mark Faasse in Bionieuws of this month. “It was more or less by accident that I suddenly saw a dogwhelk. Very special.” He later also saw egg capsules and young snails. That indicates that the population has been present for several years. Marco estimates that now at the site in Flushing a few thousand to tens of thousands of these snails live.
The dogwhelk almost disappeared from Dutch waters because of the chemical tributyltin. This substance was in anti-fouling paints to prevent growth of plants and animals to the hulls of ships. However, the stuff had also impact on dogwhelks. Female animals developed male sexual characteristics, so they could not mate. This caused dogwhelks to almost become extinct in the Netherlands.
Now that the chemical tributyltin is prohibited, things seems to get better slowly for these predatory snails. They now come back more often to the dikes and piers on the shores of the North Sea. In the Oosterschelde dogwhelks had been observed already again, especially in places where there is a lot of wash. In the Westerschelde it took a little longer. Researcher Mark Faasse indicates that there is much international shipping in the Westerschelde and there also was a factory producing tributyltin. “Closer to the former factory the snail has not recovered,” he says in Bionieuws. “But the first observation shows in any case that a ban still has a great effect within a reasonable time.”
Dogwhelks are fearsome predatory animals. They mainly eat barnacles. Using an acid which the dogwhelk secretes and its raspy tongue it makes a hole in the house of his prey, after which it is helpless at the mercy of its attacker.
This video is called Feeding a Vulture – Vultures: Beauty in the Beast – Natural World – BBC Two.
From Wildlife Extra:
A super-gut allows vultures to eat disgusting carcasses
Vultures are able to eat rotting carcasses covered in bacteria that could kill other creatures because their super-digestive tract is able to kill, or tolerate, dangerous bacteria like Clostridia, Fuso- and Anthrax-bacteria without ill-effects, a new study has found.
Co-author Michael Roggenbuck from University of Copenhagen explains: “Our results show there has been strong adaptation in vultures when it comes to dealing with the toxic bacteria they digest. On one hand vultures have developed an extremely tough digestive system, which simply acts to destroy the majority of the dangerous bacteria they ingest.
“On the other hand, vultures also appear to have developed a tolerance towards some of the deadly bacteria — species that would kill other animals actively seem to flourish in the vulture lower intestine.”
The scientists investigated the DNA of bacteria living on the face and gut of 50 turkey and black vultures from the USA and found the facial skin of vultures contained DNA from 528 different types of micro-organisms, whereas DNA from only 76 types of micro-organisms were found in the gut, meaning a staggering 452 have been got rid of along the way.
“Apparently something radical happens to the bacteria ingested during passage through their digestive system,” says fellow co-author Lars Hestbjerg Hansen from Aarhus University in Denmark.
Gary Graves of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History observed: “The avian microbiome is terra incognita but it is not unreasonable to suppose that the relationship between birds and their microbes has been as important in avian evolution as the development of powered flight and song.”
See also here.