New sponge species discovery in the Pacific


This video from California in the USA says about itself:

Four new species of carnivorous sponges: Adapting to life in the deep sea

14 April 2014

This video describes four new species of carnivorous sponges from the Northeast Pacific Ocean that were discovered by MBARI scientists. Carnivorous feeding in sponges is an adaption to the food poor deep-sea environment, where filter feeding — the typical way sponges feed — is energetically expensive. Instead, these sponges trap small crustaceans with microscopic hooks. Once trapped, sponge cells mobilize, engulf the prey, and rapidly digest it. In addition to consuming small crustacean prey, one of these species appears to be consuming methane-oxidizing chemosynthetic bacteria.

For more information visit here.

From Wildlife Extra:

Four new species of killer sponges discovered

April 2014: Four new species of carnivorous (killer) sponges living on the deep seafloor, from the Pacific Northwest to Baja California have been discovered by scientists from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute.

It was only discovered that some sponges are carnivorous about 20 years ago. Unlike other sponges most carnivorous sponges do not have specialised cells called choancytes, whose whip-like tails move continuously to create a flow of water which brings food to the sponge. Therefore these sponges, explains lead marine biologist Lonny Lundsten “trap larger, more nutrient-dense organisms, like crustaceans, using beautiful and intricate microscopic hook.”

These animals look more like bare twigs or small shrubs covered with tiny hairs. But the hairs consist of tightly packed bundles of microscopic hooks that trap small animals such as shrimp-like amphipods. Once an animal becomes trapped, it takes only a few hours for sponge cells to begin engulfing and digesting it. After several days, all that is left is an empty shell.

The four new sponges are named as Asbestopluma monticola, (which was collected from the top of the extinct underwater volcano Davidson Seamount off the coast of central California), Asbestopluma rickets (named after the marine biologist Ed Ricketts), Cladorhiza caillieti, (found on recent lava flows along the Juan de Fuca Ridge, a volcanic ridge offshore of Vancouver Island), and Cladorhiza evae, which was found far to the south, in a newly discovered hydrothermal vent field along the Alarcon Rise, off the tip of Baja California.

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Journalists attacked in ‘new’ Ukraine


This video from Ukraine is called “Svobodovtsy” [members of the neo-nazi Svoboda party] beat journalist – the head of the National Television Company of Ukraine.

By Ryan Fletcher in Britain:

Journalists in firing line of Ukraine backlash

Thursday 17th April 2014

Unions and campaign groups called for an end to violence against journalists in Ukraine yesterday as the crisis marched towards civil war.

Russian reporters have been prevented from entering Ukraine, while local and international journalists have been harassed, abused, detained and had equipment seized.

News outlets have also been attacked and Russian language broadcasting signals have been disabled since February’s fascist-backed coup in Kiev, while eastern Ukrainians hostile to the new regime have targeted Western journalists.

National Union of Journalists assistant general secretary Seamus Dooley said escalating attacks on journalists were a “grave concern.”

He said: “The undermining of media freedom and the threat to the safety of media workers is unacceptable,” he said.

“It is vital that independent journalists are granted access to Ukraine and are given the freedom to report without intimidation or harassment.”

Attacks have been dished out by supporters of both Kiev’s coup government and pro-Russian activists.

The most recent reports have come from the east of the country where journalists are flocking to cover the stand-off between local people and Ukrainian troops.

Vice magazine photojournalist Frederick Paxton was attacked on Monday by masked men in the eastern city of Horlivka.

He posted on Twitter: “Covered pro-Russia supporters storming police station in Horlivka, after the takeover mob turned nasty, smashed up camera and cards.”

A BBC TV crew was threatened and had their equipment broken by crowds in the city of Slavyansk on Saturday.

Journalists have also been subject to reporting bans and heavy-handed treatment by Ukranian state officials.

At the Ukrainian border, journalists for Russia Today, the Kommersant newspaper and Forbes-Russia magazine reported that they had been refused access into the country.

That follows shocking scenes in Kiev last month when fascist MP Igor Miroshnichenko led an attack on the First National TV channel headquarters.

The channel’s head Oleksandr Panteleymonov was beaten and forced to read a letter of resignation live to camera.

International Federation of Journalists president Jim Boumelha demanded that both factions respect the rights of journalists to report on the conflict.

“We strongly condemn these blatant and underhand attempts to undermine media freedom,” he said.

“This abuse of media professionals covering events in Ukraine must end immediately.”

The Committee to Protect Journalists also condemned the spate of attacks.

CPD co-ordinator Nina Ogianova said: “The tension in eastern Ukraine is rife with danger for local and international journalists alike.

“All sides in the stand-off should respect the role of the news media and refrain from harassing, obstructing and attacking journalists.”

Ukraine: It is the US drive to expand eastwards which lies at the root of the crisis in the former Soviet republic, argues JEREMY CORBYN – and it’s time we talked to Russia: here.

Ukrainian soldiers refuse to fire on workers: here.

Ukrainian troops sent to the eastern part of the country have refused orders to suppress opposition to the right-wing imperialist-backed government in Kiev and instead handed over their weapons, including armored cars and tanks, to the popular movement there: here.

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Parrots and jays in Costa Rica


White-throated magpie jay, 19 March 2014

19 March 2014 in Costa Rica. After the morning, in the afternoon we left the Bajo del Toro area to go to the Arenal volcano region. There, we would see this white-throated magpie jay.

Before arriving there, we had seen many green iguanas at a bridge. A bare-throated night heron on the river bank.

A grey-lined hawk on a wire.

We continued to La Fortuna town. Its original name was El Borio. The name changed in 1968: an Arenal volcano eruption then killed many people, but El Borio was untouched. The new name is about the good fortune of the town during that eruption.

Until recently, Arenal was a working volcano, attracting many tourists and making the town touristy.

In the park in La Fortuna: red-billed pigeon and blue-gray tanager in a tree.

A great-tailed grackle flying.

A tropical kingbird on a wire.

We continued, seeing the white-throated magpie jay already mentioned.

A bit further, a white-fronted parrot in a tree.

Red-lored parrot, 19 March 2014

A red-lored parrot, feeding in another tree.

Crested guan, 19 March 2014

As we continued further, a crested guan.

A chestnut-mandibled toucan in yet another tree.

A white hawk flying.

Arenal volcano, 19 March 2014

The top of the Arenal volcano was covered in clouds.

Sunset, Costa Rica, 19 March 2014

Finally, a beautiful sunset near a bridge.

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