Christ Grootzwagers made this video of Alpine salamanders mating.
This video says about itself:
The fossil of two froghopper insects in the act of mating has been uncovered by archaeologists in northeastern China after being buried for around 165 million years.
From World Science:
Bizarre parasite from Jurassic found
June 25, 2014
Courtesy of the University of Bonn and World Science staff
Researchers from the University of Bonn and from China have discovered a fossil fly larva with such a spectacular sucking apparatus, they have named it by the Chinese word for “bizarre.”
Around 165 million years ago, a spectacular parasite was at home in the freshwater lakes of present-day Inner Mongolia in China, researchers say. It was a juvenile fly with a thorax, or “chest,” formed entirely like a sucking plate.
With it, the animal could stick to salamanders and suck their blood with its mouthparts formed like a sting, according to scientists. To date no insect is known with a similar design. The international scientific team is now presenting its findings in the journal eLIFE.
The parasite, a long fly larva around two centimeters (a bit under an inch) long, had undergone extreme changes over the course of evolution, the researchers said. The head is tiny in comparison to the body, tube-shaped with piercer-like mouthparts at the front. The mid-body, or thorax, has been completely transformed underneath into a gigantic sucking plate; the hind-body, or abdomen, has caterpillar-like legs.
The research team believes that this unusual animal lived in a landscape with volcanoes and lakes what is now northeastern China around 165 million years ago. In this fresh water habitat, they say, the parasite crawled onto passing salamanders, attached itself with its sucking plate, and penetrated the thin skin of the amphibians in order to suck blood from them.
“The parasite lived the life of Reilly,” said paleontologist Jes Rust from the University of Bonn. This is because there were many salamanders in the lakes, as fossil finds at the same location near Ningcheng in Inner Mongolia (China) have shown. “There scientists had also found around 300,000 diverse and exceptionally preserved fossil insects,” said the Chinese scientist Bo Wang, a postdoctoral researcher in paleontology at the University of Bonn.
The larva, which has received the scientific name of Qiyia jurassica, however, was a quite unexpected find. “Qiyia” in Chinese means “bizarre”; “jurassica” refers to the Jurassic period to which the fossils belong. A fine-grained mudstone ensured the good state of preservation of the fossil.
After the birds and flowers on the biodiversity day on 31 May 2014, to small animals living in water. Like the flatworm on this photo. This worm was photographed on a small egg spoon with water on it. A macro lens was really necessary to photograph a tiny animal like this. Research still has to find out which flatworm species this is.
Many small animals were caught with a landing net in the ditch near the allotment gardens. Water is rather clean there, so much biodiversity.
And a saucer bug as well.
There were nymphs of various damselfly species.
Crustaceans were represented by an aquatic sowbug.
And mollusks by a common bladder snail.
Meanwhile, a reed warbler sang.
There were various, still small, common newt larvae.
Not in the ditch, but in reed beds along the ditch: a beetle species, Donacia vulgaris.
Edible frog sound.
A water mite. One of scores of species in this ditch.
Finally, a great silver water beetle larva.
After the research, all animals went back into the ditch.
This video from North America says about itself:
The barred tiger salamander may look cute, but to any insects passing by, it’s a deadly predator.
2014 will be the international Year of the Salamander.
In line with other countries, in 2014 all salamander species will be Dutch Amphibians of the Year.
Dutch 2014 various wildlife species of the year: here.
- Nell’s Blog (clappschamps.wordpress.com)
- Decline in hellbender salamanders linked to human activity (greenfudge.org)
- Giant Amphibians?! (wildatheart2013.wordpress.com)
- California Giant Salamander (itech104samsam.wordpress.com)
- The Salamanders Were Out Today (queenofwildcalifornia.wordpress.com)
- The Mighty Amphibians Group (bwfieldbiology.wordpress.com)
- Spotted Salamander (lizaschim.wordpress.com)
9 December 2013. To the botanical garden orchid collection.
We met Ed de Vogel at the recently restored hothouse complex of the botanical garden. The banana plants were flowering.
Eleven plant species are named after De Vogel. also two species of seashells; which he studied before specializing in botany.
He said that now, about 3000 New Guinea orchid species are known. Maybe still a thousand species there are unknown yet.
De Vogel estimates that, all over the world, there are about 30,000 orchid species; a higher estimate than Wikipedia, which estimates, at least today, “between 21,950 and 26,049″ species. De Vogel’s estimate makes orchids the biggest flowering plant family; more numerous than Asteraceae.
Most orchids are epiphytes, growing on shrubs, or high in trees. A minority, including all species native to the Netherlands, grow on ground level.
One of the species in the hothouses is Grammatophyllum speciosum, the biggest orchid species in the world.
A bit further, a related species: Dendrobium spectabile.
In all the botanical garden hothouses together, there are about 3000 orchid species; some not yet described. Mainly from South East Asia; making Leiden botanical garden the garden with most South East Asian orchids in the world.
Bulbophyllum medusae is flowering. Various orchids flower in the hothouses throughout the year; never all at once.
Dendrobium victoria-reginae is originally from the Philippines. It was named after Queen Victoria of England.
In a small aquarium in the non-accessible part of the building, many small fish. And three axolotl salamanders: two whitish, one brownish. Will they be exhibited in a bigger aquarium, visible for the public, again, like before the reconstruction of the hothouses. Yes, says Ed de Vogel.
This video says about itself:
Axolotl salamanders continue to intrigue researchers
15 June 2011
Students and professors at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois are studying axolotl salamanders. They are trying to discover why some of the salamanders appear to hold air in their lungs while continuing to get oxygen through their gills. The lungs full of air make the salamanders float to the surface, and the students call them “Floaters.”
- Botanical garden orchids, parakeets and jays (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- New orchid species discoveries on Azores volcano (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Rarest Orchid Species Rediscovered! Recognized After 173 Years (designntrend.com)
- Orchids in Ceramic Art (firingtheimagination.wordpress.com)