Belgian king shoots elephants and deer


This video is called The Elephant Documentary.

Translated from Vroege Vogels radio in the Netherlands:

September 30, 2014 18:06

Again, the Belgian King Philip is under fire. He was first the subject of a public debate because he hunted elephants, now it’s because he wants to shoot sixty hinds. These animals run around in a field in the Ardennes that is his property. The Belgian authorities apparently have given him permission for that.

On Monday, the Belgian monarch, incognito, took a look in a gun shop to buy a new weapon. His visit, after it was recorded by a photographer, led to a stream of criticism.

Global awareness of animal welfare or not; Philip must and will organize his traditional hunts each year. Mid-October is the time, and his guest list consists entirely of family.

Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, 4 October


This video is called Global march for elephants and rhinos.

From Wildlife Extra:

The world stands up for rhinos and elephants

On Saturday 4th October, which is World Animal Day, the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos will take place and is set to be the biggest ever global movement on behalf of animals.

Thousands of people will take to the streets in 130 cities around the world to raise awareness of the plight faced by these critically endangered animals.

The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos will aim to achieve the implementation of tougher penalties for wildlife crime, a full worldwide ban on the trade of ivory and rhino horn, and the strengthening of law enforcement in consumer countries and range states. In addition, they will also make the demand that ivory and rhino shops and carving factories are shut down immediately.

A number of celebrities have supported the march with messages, including David Attenborough, Richard Branson, Jane Goodall, Stephen Fry, Damon Albarn, Bill Bailey, Twiggy, Joanna Lumley, and others.

The marches will take place in key cities across the US, South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. In the UK there will be marches in Bristol, Birmingham, and Edinburgh as well as in London.

Maria Mossman from Action4Elephants is co-organising the London march. She says: “We’re just ordinary people who care about these extraordinary animals. It would be devastating and criminal if elephants and rhinos went extinct within 20 years, but that is the frightening reality. It could happen. It will happen, if something isn’t done. The Global March for Elephants and Rhinos is a way for people around the world to show that we’re not going to accept it.”

Care for the Wild International will be supporting the event. The charity’s CEO Philip Mansbridge commented on the marches taking place around the world: “By backing the Global March for Elephants and Rhinos, we’re saying it’s not just our problem, it’s your problem. Everyone. Who among us wasn’t amazed the first time we saw a picture of an elephant or a rhino? But beyond the sentiment, these animals are vital to the planet, and it’s vital to us as a species that we save them, otherwise we’ve failed. So please take to the streets on October 4th to show that we all care.”

The London march starts at 1pm in Cavendish Square, and finishes at 3pm in Parliament Square.

For more information, see here and here.

Columbian mammoths’ red hair discovery


This video is called BBC: Columbian Mammoth, Death by Tar – Ice Age Death Trap.

From Smithsoniam.com in the USA:

Rare, Red Mammoth Hair Found on Californian Artichoke Farm

Columbian mammoths roamed Western North America thousands of years ago, and now we have a better idea of what they looked like

By Mary Beth Griggs

September 5, 2014

Columbian mammoths were redheads. Well, at least one Columbian mammoth was. Back in 2010, two brothers on an artichoke farm in California came across the bones of many prehistoric animals, including the remains of a 46-year-old mammoth with a small tuft of its hair still intact.

Archaeologist Mark Hylkema spoke to Western Digs about the find.

“What was particularly significant is that the hair was red,” Hylkema said. “It was the same color of my golden retriever.” “We can envision cattle on the landscape today,” he added. “Picture herds of red-colored mammoths.”

Hair from other mammoth species has been recovered, particularly from wooly mammoth remains, which have been found preserved in ice (also with a reddish-hued coat in some cases). But finding the hair of a Columbian Mammoth is a very rare occurrence, as they tended to live in more temperate climates, which don’t tend to preserve hair or tissue as well as more icy climates. A fact sheet about the Columbian mammoth published just a few years ago by the San Diego Zoo lists its pelage (fur) as unknown, because there just weren’t enough samples of hair to figure out what it would have looked like. Now, with this find, we have a better idea.

Researchers have recovered about 40 percent of the mammoth and many other creatures from the site, but many of the remains weren’t in good condition, unlike the remains found at the La Brea Tar Pits. Excavation of the site has stopped, but researchers are still working on the remains already recovered, and the mammoth discovery has obviously left an impression on the farmers, who began selling “Mammoth” brand artichokes after the big find.

North American mastodons and mammoths, new study


This video from the USA is about mastodons and mammoths.

From LiveScience:

Mammoths and Mastodons of the Ohio Valley Were Homebodies

By Laura Geggel, Staff Writer | July 28, 2014 01:55pm ET

People may imagine mammoths and mastodons as enormous beasts that roamed the vast North American continent more than 10,000 years ago. But the mammoths and mastodons of present-day southwestern Ohio and northwestern Kentucky were homebodies that tended to stay in one area, a new study finds.

The enamel on the animals’ molars gave researchers clues as to where the mammoths and mastodons lived throughout their lives and what they ate. They discovered that mammoths ate grasses and sedges, whereas mastodons preferred leaves from trees or shrubs. Mammoths favored areas near retreating ice sheets, where grasses were plentiful, and mastodons fed near forested spaces, the researchers said.

“I suspect that this was a pretty nice place to live, relatively speaking,” lead researcher Brooke Crowley, an assistant professor of geology and anthropology at the University of Cincinnati, said in a statement. “Our data suggest that animals probably had what they needed to survive here year-round.” [Image Gallery: Stunning Mammoth Unearthed]

Both animals, now extinct, likely came to North America across the Bering Strait land bridge that connected Alaska to Russia when sea levels were lower than they are today, Crowley told Live Science in an email.

Mammoths — which had teeth ideal for grinding grasses, as well as curved tusks and humped heads — are more closely related to elephants than mastodons are, Crowley said. Mammoths came to North America during the mid-Pleistocene Epoch, about 1 million years ago, she added.

Mastodons arrived much earlier. They had spread across America by the Pliocene Epoch, around 5 million years ago. Their molars were shaped to crush plants, such as leaves and woody stems, and they had long, straight tusks that could grow up to 16 feet (4.9 meters) long, Crowley said.

In the study, the researchers looked at the remnants of carbon, oxygen and strontium, a naturally occurring metal, in the enamel of molars from eight mammoths and four mastodons that lived in Ohio and Kentucky about 20,000 years ago.

The carbon analysis helped researchers learn about the animals’ diet, whereas the traces of oxygen told them about the general climate at the time. Strontium provides insights into how much the animal traveled as their molars developed. Researchers can look at the type of strontium within the enamel and determine where it came from by comparing it to local samples of strontium in the environment.

“Strontium reflects the bedrock geology of a location,” Crowley said. This means that if a local animal has traces of strontium in its tooth, researchers can deduce where that type of strontium came from in the area. “If an animal grows its tooth in one place and then moves elsewhere, the strontium in its tooth is going to reflect where it came from, not where it died,” she said.

Surprisingly, the researchers said, the strontium in the mammoth and mastodon teeth matched local water samples in 11 of the 12 mammals. Only one mastodon appeared to have traveled from another area before settling in the Ohio Valley.

The findings, however, only apply to the animals that lived in that region. “A mammoth in Florida did not behave the same as one in New York, Wyoming, California, Mexico or Ohio,” Crowley said.

The study was published July 16 in the journal Boreas.