Panda fossils found in Hainan island

This video says about itself:

Giant pandas at play in the rescue centre of WoLong China. October 2007

Reuters reports:

Chinese archaeologists have found fossils that prove pandas once roamed what is now the southern Chinese island of Hainan, state media said on Wednesday.

The 400,000-year-old fossils, mostly of teeth, showed the tropical island was once connected to the Chinese mainland, the Xinhua news agency cited Huang Wanbo, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as saying.

The fossils were found last year in a quarry, Huang said.

The giant panda is one of the world’s most endangered species and is found only in China.

Red pandas: here.


127 Madagascar bird songs on new CD

This video says about itself:

Two White-breasted Mesites in Ankarafantsika National Park in northwest Madagascar.

From the BBC:

Madagascar birds burst into song

Rarely-heard recordings of birdsong from the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar have been compiled and released by the British Library.

The 127 Madagascar birds featured on its new CD include threatened species such as the long-tailed ground-roller and Benson’s rock thrush.

Conservationists prize the island for its unique species, notably lemurs.

But deforestation and destruction of other habitats is taking many towards the brink of extinction.

Most of the bird recordings have never before been published.

Among the unusual calls are the drumming sounds of a Madagascar snipe, the screeching alarm of the red-capped coua, and the “rattle and whistle” duet of the white-throated oxylabes.

The call of the red-shouldered vanga was recorded in 1997 on the occasion of the species’ first reported observation in the wild.

The British Library Sound Archive compiled its CD with the environment group Conservation International which is heavily involved in projects aiming to conserve Madagascar’s unique biological legacy.

Crested toad tadpoles going back to Puerto Rico

This video from the USA says about itself:

In December of 2006, the Central Park Zoo reared and released 450 Puerto Rican Crested Toad tadpoles in a man made pond in Puerto Rico’s Guanica State Forest.

From the Miami Herald in the USA:

Metrozoo tadpoles sent to breed in Puerto Rico


Posted on Tue, Dec. 04, 2007


Several hundred Puerto Rican crested toad tadpoles hatched at Miami Metrozoo last week are making a big leap in survival of the amphibian.

The tadpoles will be boarding a plane Tuesday, en route for Puerto Rico, where biologists hope they will repopulate the dying species.

In 2004, the Miami-Dade zoo got six toads as part of a captive breeding program. At the time, there were fewer than 250 of the Puerto Rican crested toads in the wild. It’s the only toad native to Puerto Rico.

Frogs battle to survive as climate change takes its toll: here.

Kihansi Spray Toad in Tanzania: here.

The Bronx Zoo has a put a most unusual frog on display: the Kihansi spray toad. For one thing, the Kihansi spray toad survived on only 5 acres in the Kihansi gorge in Tanzania, adapted to the areas’ unique and constant mist from the gorge and a waterfall. For another, female Kihansi spray toads give birth to live young, instead of laying eggs. Finally, the Kihansi spray toad is extinct—at least in the wild: here.

One hundred Kihansi Spray Toads have been flown to their native Tanzania after a close brush with extinction, reports the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS): here.

Chinese dinosaurs exhibited in the Netherlands


According to Dutch news agency ANP, there will be an exhibition of dinosaurs from China, at the Natural History Museum in Maastricht.

The exhibition at the museum will be from 9 February till 27 April 2008.

ANP says (translated):

Apart from four big skeletons, like a 26 meter long Mamenchisaurus, also smaller fossils, dinosaur eggs, nests and tracks will be on show. This will be the first time that those fossils will be on show in Europe.

“Thanks to those finds from China, we are getting a clearer picture of our own Maastricht dinosaur, of which we only know small loose bones”, according to a local authority spokesperson. The Maastricht dinosaur will be on show for the first time ever. Its skeleton is being reconstructed right now.

Marsupial mammal from the age of dinosaurs, Maastrichtidelphys: here.

Cover-up of US women soldiers’ deaths in Iraq

This video is called US trained Ethiopian soldiers rape poor Somali women.

It says about itself:

Sister Hodan, a human rights activist presents the deadly consequences of the Ethiopian invasion in Somalia. The illegal Ethiopian invasion and occupation of Somalia caused rape, massacre, indiscriminate shelling of civilian neighborhoods, mass displacement of half million people. It is another Darfur.

By Marjorie Cohn at Feminist Law Professors blog in the USA:

Cover-up of Women Soldiers’ Deaths

On March 8, 2007, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! broadcast the testimony of former Abu Ghraib commander Col. Janis Karpinski as she responded to my questioning at a January 2006 war crimes commission in New York. Karpinski said American women soldiers in Iraq who had to go outside to use the latrine at night were raped by male soldiers. They stopped drinking water after 4:00 in the afternoon to avoid having to urinate. But in the 120-degree heat, some died of dehydration. Then, Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez ordered that dehydration not be listed as the cause of death. See my article, “Military Hides Cause of Women Soldiers’ Deaths,” … for more details on this shocking cover-up.

Rep. Harman: Military Woman “More Likely to Be Raped by a Fellow Soldier Than Killed by Enemy Fire”: here.