New species of gecko, skink found in Thailand

This video from Thailand says about itself: ‘Sacred catfish at Chiang Dao. The catfish are fed by the monks and cannot be eaten.’

From the Bangkok Post in Thailand of today:

New species of gecko, skink found

New species of gecko and skink were discovered in the forest of Chiang Dao mountain in Thailand’s northern province of Chiang Mai amid fears that forest fires might cause their extinction, a wildlife official said Wednesday.

Piyawan Niyomwan, a researcher of the National Park, Wildlife and Plant Conservation Department (DNP), said the new species were coincidentally caught in a trap, erected for the study of wild animals’ biological diversity.

Four brown skinks of the Tropidophorus sp. family, with scales on their heads, were longer than those of normal ones. Each of their bodies was five-cm long and the tails six-cm long.

“A new species of wild gecko, scientifically called Cyrtodactylus sp., with its alternated brown and yellow scaling body, was preliminarily confirmed as the world’s new gecko species,” said Piyawan.

She expressed concern that the newly-discovered animals would be at risk of extinction due to regular wildfire in the northern forest, adding that animal specialists would conduct further studies on the ecology, biology and behaviour of wild animals as there was not much information about the two new species so far.

The new species of gecko and skink were discovered during the DNP’s study project on Chiang Dao mountain since 2004. Among 321 other types of animals found on the mountain, 55 were mammals, 185 birds, 45 reptiles and 36 amphibians.

Golden gecko in India: here.

Australian skinks: here.

North American skinks: here.


Permian pelycosaurs may have cared for their young

This video from the USA is called Toddler reads dinosaur encyclopedia: ‘I’m also quite familiar with other prehistoric beasts such as the pterosaurs, plesiosaurs, & pelycosaurs’.

From Reuters:

Fossil shows parents doted 260 million years ago

LONDON – Parents have been doting over their offspring for a very, very long time, it seems. A South African fossil suggests pelycosaurs — intermediates between reptiles and mammals that lived in the Permian Period before the rise of dinosaurs — may have been caring parents 260 million years ago, scientists said on Wednesday.

Jennifer Botha-Brink of South Africa’s National Museum and colleagues found a fossilised group consisting of an adult pelycosaur and four juveniles arranged in a family group. The youngsters appear to be siblings.

At 260 million years old, this family predates the previously known oldest fossil evidence of parental care in terrestrial vertebrates by 140 million years, the researchers wrote in the Proceedings of the Royal Society.

Also from the Permian:

260 million-year-old reptiles from Russia possessed the first modern ears

The discovery of the first anatomically modern ear in a group of 260 million-year-old fossil reptiles significantly pushes back the date of the origin of an advanced sense of hearing, and suggests the first known adaptations to living in the dark.

More about this: here.

Cotylorhynchus was one of the strangest synapsid reptiles of the Pelycosauria order and lived in the middle Permian, about 285-260 million years ago, in the wide swamps of the southern part of North America. It was a herbivorous reptile, easy to distinguish by its enormous body with a very small head and a very short neck. These large dimensions weren’t determined by a huge layer of fat, but just by the width of its chest. Its name was given in 1962 by Everett Olson; it derives from the Greek and means “cup snout”.

Japanese Prime Minister Abe resigns as people oppose his pro Bush Afghanistan military policy

This video is about the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

A video from ‘Euro News’ TV (no longer present on the Internet) said:

Japan’s struggling Liberal Democrat government has suffered a new blow with the resignation of the defence minister after comments he made about the atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was already reeling after a scandal over mishandled pension records.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

The Japanese prime minister [Shinzo] Abe will resign. He steps down as he did not get enough support for prolonging the Japanese military mission in Afghanistan. At a press conference, he said that the hopes that someone else will succeed in that.

Abe has been prime minister for just one year. He wanted to break with the [constitutional] pacifist tradition of Japan, and to support the US government more actively. However, his government was plagued by scandals, and this summer his Liberal Democratic Party lost its majority in the senate.

The ex Foreign Affairs minister Aso is an important candidate to succeed Abe as prime minister.

See also here.

And here.

As for the official reason for those bloody wars in Afghanistan, Iraq (the Bush administration’s lies about non existent links between ultra Islamist Bin Laden and secularist-nationalist Saddam Hussein), after all those years, from Associated Press:

US still unsure where bin Laden is hiding, Negroponte says at Afghan ceremony to mark 9/11

Remember all those hundreds of thousands after hundreds of thousands Iraqi and Afghan civilians killed; not one of them being Bin Laden …

African American woman torturted and raped by US racists

This is a video of British reggae band Steel Pulse performing their song Ku Klux Klan; its lyrics are here.

From British daily The Guardian:

Six arrested after black woman is held captive and tortured

Sarah Knapton

Wednesday September 12, 2007

Six people arrested in connection with the abduction of a young black woman who was allegedly held and sexually assaulted for seven days may be charged under US race hate laws.

Megan Williams, 23, was discovered at a house near Charleston, West Virginia, on Saturday by police investigating an anonymous tip off. Officers believe she may have been lured to the house by a man she met on the internet.

Her captors allegedly beat, sexually assaulted, and stabbed her, repeatedly using a racial slur as they did so, according to her mother, Carmen Williams. She was forced to eat rat and dog faeces and drink from a toilet, according to the criminal complaint filed in the magistrates court.

The six people arrested include a mother and son and a mother and daughter and are all white.

Update: here.

Racism in the USA: here.