New mushroom species discovery in the Netherlands

This video is about the Scleroderma polyrhizum fungus.

The Heiderijk site in the Netherlands reports that this autumn, a fungus species, new for the Netherlands, was discovered.

Between Molenhoek and Groesbeek, Scleroderma polyrhizum, the star earthball, was found.

Loch Ness Monster, plesiosaur or ‘log monster’?

This video is called How I Drew a 3D Loch Ness Monster.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Has the mystery of the ‘Log Ness Monster’ been solved?

Tom Bawden, environment editor

Friday 21 November 2014

A recent spate of Nessie sightings has flummoxed experts and locals alike.

After an unprecedented 18 months without a “confirmed sighting”, several people have come forward in the past few weeks with reports of mysterious beasts emerging from the waters of Loch Ness.

So, more than 80 years after the first modern sighting of Nessie, has the monster made a comeback?

Alas, the truth could be a little more mundane. The Woodland Trust conservation charity has come forward with an infuriatingly humdrum explanation – they’re just logs.

The charity claims that “deadfall” washed out by rivers from nearby Urquhart Bay Wood would explain the recent sightings – and possibly why the monster has been spotted so often in the past.

“Large amounts of wood flows out of the woodland through the two winding rivers that flow into Loch Ness each year, peaking when water is high in late autumn and spring.

“I think that some of that debris explains the long thin, sometimes stick-like, shapes seen,” said a spokesman for the trust.

Urquhart Bay Wood is effectively a “Nessie spawning ground”, according to the trust, which added that its trees perform a very useful function.

“Urquhart Bay is a really important wet woodland, made up of species such as ash, alder, rowan and willow. It’s one of very few intact floodplain woodlands remaining in the UK and has European importance. Challenges such as flooding, movement of the rivers and accumulation of woody debris make it an interesting place to manage,” the Woodland Trust spokesman said.

Sightings of the Loch Ness Monster date back to the 6th century and have often been explained away as being boats, waves made by boats, or other animals. The first modern sighting was in 1933, when a man called George Spicer and his wife saw “a most extraordinary form of animal” cross the road in front of their car.

One of the more intriguing explanations came in 2006, when Neil Clark, the curator of palaeontology at Glasgow University’s Hunterian Museum, concluded two years of research by linking Nessie sightings to elephants.

He said the theory made sense because the circuses that frequently visited Inverness in the past century would often stop on the banks of Loch Ness to give the animals a rest. The trunk and humps in the water would bear similarities to some of the most famous Nessie photographs.

“The circuses used to take the road up to Inverness and allow their animals to have a rest, swim about in the Loch and refresh themselves,” Dr Clark said at the time.

Rare mushroom discovery in the Netherlands

This is a video from Russia on Suillus fungi.

Translated from the Dutch Mycological Society:

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Mushrooms Working Group Drenthe found during an excursion the very rare Suillus flavidus fungus. The working group has regularly in recent years looked for Suillus flavidus but found none. However, the discovery came as a surprise to members. The Suillus flavidus was found in a nutrient low and skimpy mossy area near the Oude diep in Drijber. The fir tree with which Suillus flavidus lives in symbiosis had started to grow here spontaneously.

Little fly on mushroom, video

This video shows a fly on an amethyst deceiver mushroom.

The video was made in Amelisweerd woodland near Utrecht in the Netherlands, by Marieke van der Doef.

Dutch orchid research

This orchid video from Estonia says about itself:

28 October 2014

Hand pollination project of red helleborine (Cephalanthera rubra).

Translated from the Dutch botanists of the Werkgroep Europese Orchideeën:

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

In 2014, some members of the European Working Group Orchids did research into the occurrence of Cephalantheras, a rare group of orchids with dainty flowers, found mainly in South Limburg. Of Cephalanthera damasonium quite a few plants were found. Cephalanthera longifolia was found only at a few places. Disappointing was that Cephalanthera rubra was not found anywhere.

Origins of insects and flying

This video from the USA is called Evolution – Part 2 of 7 – Great Transformations (PBS Documentary).

From Wildlife Extra:

Insects were first to fly

Insects were the first type of living creature to develop wings and learn to fly, new research shows.

“Our research shows that insects originated at the same time as the earliest land-based plants, about 480 million years ago,” Director of CSIRO‘s Australian National Insect Collection and one of the authors on the paper David Yeates said.

“Then, about 400 million years ago, ancient ancestors of today’s dragonflies and mayflies were the first to develop wings – giving them the ability to fly long before any other animal could do so.

“This was at about the same time that land-based plants developed height, showing they were able to rapidly adapt to their changing environment.

The findings also confirm that while biodiversity crises led to mass extinction events in many other groups, such as dinosaurs, insects continued to survive and diversify by quickly adapting to new situations and opportunities that arose.

Lead researcher for the study, Professor Bernhard Misof from the Zoological Research Museum Alexander Koenig in Bonn, Germany, said that insects were the most species rich organisms on Earth.

“They are of immense ecological, economic and medical importance and affect our daily lives, from pollinating our crops to vectoring diseases,” Professor Misof said.

“We can only start to understand the enormous species richness and ecological importance of insects with a reliable reconstruction of how they are related.”

See also here.