Tallest penguin discovery in Antarctica

This video is called Giant Penguin Fossil Reconstructed in New Zealand.

From AFP news agency today:

Giant penguin fossils found in Antarctica

7 hours ago

BUENOS AIRES — Argentine experts have discovered the fossils of a two-meter (6.5 foot) tall penguin that lived in Antarctica 34 million years ago.

Paleontologists with the Natural Sciences Museum of La Plata province, where the capital Buenos Aires is located, said the remains were found on the icy southern continent.

“This is the largest penguin known to date in terms of height and body mass,” said researcher Carolina Acosta, who noted that the record had been held by emperor penguins, which reach heights of 1.2 meters (4 feet) tall.

Lead researcher Marcelo Reguero added that the find, announced Tuesday, will “allow for a more intensive and complex study of the ancestors of modern penguins.”

In its next expedition to Antarctica, during the region’s summer, the team will seek additional fossils of the newly discovered species, as well as information about its anatomy and how the giant penguin might have moved.

Previous finds from prehistoric penguins indicated they did not sport the iconic black and white feathers the birds are known for today, but had reddish-brown and gray plumage.


Protected woodcock eaten illegally on Dutch TV

This is a video about a woodcock nest.

The woodcock is a protected bird in the Netherlands. It is illegal to hunt this species.

Nevertheless, last Tuesday 20 November, Dutch TV showed cook Robert Kranenborg and another cook cooking a woodcock.

Translated from Dutch news site Blik op nieuws today:

BirdLife in the Netherlands gets many angry responses to the TV show De Wereld Draait Door where yesterday during the broadcast a woodcock was prepared. BirdLife in the Netherlands agrees with this anger. This kind of elitist media items creates the impression that the consumption of protected birds is supposedly normal,” BirdLife in the Netherlands says.

“This may contribute to illegal hunting, which in this program was encouraged openly. Moreover, during the show the cook stated that hunters on their own ground are supposedly allowed to shoot woodcocks. That is completely untrue. The woodcock is fully protected everywhere in the Netherlands, “says BirdLife in the Netherlands. …

Robert Kranenborg also said that he had prepared such a bird illegally. Without anyone reacting to that on TV.

Woodcocks really need protection. I am a keen wirdwatcher, but I have seen a live woodcock only once in the Netherlands. And once, a dead woodcock, which had flown against a building during migration. I brought it to the natural history museum, where it still is.

Questions in parliament on the woodcocks in the TV show: here.

The American Woodcock’s Love Song at 300 Feet: here.

Blog of the Year 2012 award, thanks dogdaz!

Blog of the Year Award 1 star jpeg

Oh dogdaz, you are so kind, to grace Dear Kitty. Some blog with the “Blog of the Year 2012″  Award. We really appreciate you thinking of us. If you have not met dogdaz yet, then please check out the blog here.

The “Blog of the Year” award is a little different from some other awards, because you accumulate stars.

Here are the ‘rules’ for this award:

1 Select the blog(s) you think deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2 Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award.

3 Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them.

4 You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience [I cannot join that group as I am not on Facebook].

5 As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

Yes – that’s right – there are stars to collect!

Unlike other awards which you can only add to your blog once – this award is different!

When you begin you will receive the ‘1 star’ award – and every time you are given the award by another blog – you can add another star!

There are a total of 6 stars to collect.

Which means that you can check out your favourite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, then you can still bestow it on them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!


I want to give this award to so many blog friends that I don’t know where to start. Even though this time I have nominated many more blogs than on earlier occasions, I will very probably forget many deserving blogs. Please keep passing it on and keep the star shine going for blog years and years to come.

Here are my nominees, in no particular order:

1. Valerie Davies

2.  cindyknoke

3. PhotoBotos

4. Առլեն Շահվերդյան. հեղինակային բլոգ-կայք

5. On The Road Book Club

6. European Scientist and Journalist

7. yarnwuseleien

8. schtiel

9. Voyage en éphémère

10. Russel Ray Photos

11. Live simply, travel lightly, love passionately & don’t forget to breathe

12. deeacalinescu

13. dragoscalinescu

14. natycalinescu

15. tomsimard

16. Silly Reflections

17. Denisa Aricescu

18. JoëlleWrites

19. dou dou

20. Annette J Dunlea Irish Author’s Literary Blog

21. Cristian Lisandru

22. Geanina Lisandru

23. Digging History

24. toemail

25. Miss Marzipan

26. Canadian Hiking Photography

27. ExploreDreamDiscover Talks

28. MisBehaved Woman

29. Mirrored Images Photography

30. Paradise

31. Animal Sciences..Serving Humanity


33. addgrainonearth

34. Green Living London

35. bafricabotswana

36 slicethelife

37. L’amore e forte come la morte


39. Milners Blog

40. SageDoyle~ A Sort of Blog

41. YESCuba: Jamaicans in Solidarity with Cuba

42. petit4chocolatier

43. Zeebra Designs & Destinations ~ An Artist’s Eyes Never Rest

44. My Scribbles

45. Science on the Land

46. Thoughts

47. garyschollmeier

48. mothergrogan

49 Schwein gehabt?

50. Ann Novek–With the Sky as the Ceiling and the Heart Outdoors

51. Wine And Roses From Outer Space

52. El Gringo Picante

53. Muhammed Muhsin Varikkodan

54. Ratzone’s Blog

55. Le Superkikke

56. metaretriever2

57. Traveling to Tangier, Morocco

58. Tracie Louise Photography

59. Rental Mobil Kebayoran Baru

57. Belle Grove Plantation

58. marina kanavaki

59. Adirondack Images and Tales

60. semplici frammenti

61. Il mio giornale di bordo

62. OnePointSafety.com

63. cancerkillingrecipe

64. Bucket List Publications

65. advocatemmmohan aksharaalu

66. The Tale Of My Heart

67. talainsphotographyblog

68. BeeCee

69. Cristian Mihai

70. The History Vault

71. mysuccessisyoursuccess

72. TeMeMi

73. The World Of Alexander The Great

74. G.E. Gallas

75. Colddeadheart’s Blog

New Zealand eagles

This video is called Girl killed by Giant Haast’s Eagle of New Zealand in 1000 AD.

From 10,000 Birds blog:

New Zealand’s Other Eagle

By Duncan

November 21, 2012

While New Zealand is famous for its endemic oddities, once upon a time New Zealand also had many birds from groups and families that are no longer found here. There were once two species of goose, a merganser, and a pair of raven species. More curious was the owlet-nightjar, an already obscure group to begin with, but made all the more astonishing by virtue of its flightless and ground living lifestyle. The mysterious piopio were recently recognized for what they were, New Zealand’s representatives from the oriole family. And eagles. New Zealand had eagles.

Today, by way of birds of prey New Zealand is somewhat deficient, having a small and attractive falcon and a floppy-winged harrier, and that’s about it. Once upon a time there was a much larger forest harrier, Forbes’ Harrier, and the all-time ultimate bird-of-prey, the Haast’s Eagle. This massive eagle, with a wingspan on up to 2.6 metres, was the largest eagle to grace the world, alive or dead. The species was likely large enough to pose a threat to people, and given its predisposition to attacking two legged creatures, namely moa, it is likely that it may well have prior to its extinction.

There was, for a time, another eagle, but you don’t hear much about it. It’s a curious story, and I’ll relate it here. The other New Zealand eagle was also one described from the fossil record, from the collections of the very same Henry Forbes that the harrier was named after. In the 1950s bones collected by Forbes were identified as being of an unknown species of sea-eagle, and since they were from the Chatham Islands the species was described as the Chatham Island Sea Eagle, Haliaeetus australis. Right from the beginning the species was something of a mystery. The bones of t species were not at all what you’d expect from a New Zealand eagle, resembling the Bald Eagle of America rather than the much closer White-bellied Sea Eagle of Australia. Indeed, while one scientist ascribed the species to an entirely new genus, another commented that it was “not [distinguishable] from the Alaskan race of the Bald Eagle”.

So what was this unique bird of prey? Here’s a hint, no other bones of a sea-eagle where ever found in the Chathams, and Forbes is known to have collected midden material from British Columbia. Yes, the Chatham Island Sea Eagle was just a Bald Eagle, collected in America and misidentified due to poor record keeping.

So why have you never heard of New Zealand’s other eagle? Well, it’s hard to say, but is it impossible that the whole thing was, well, kind of embarrassing?

Hitler’s holocaust in the Soviet Union, photos

From TIME magazine in the USA:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

By Simon Shuster

World War II Through Soviet Jewish Eyes

Grief, Kerch, Crimea, January 1942

Grief, Kerch, Crimea, January 1942

One of the earliest Holocaust liberation photographs, Grief was originally a news photograph that circulated widely in the Soviet press throughout 1942. At the time it was taken, the photographer, Dmitrii Baltermants, was documenting Nazi atrocities for a traumatized Soviet population. Soviet wire services sent the image around the world, but few news outlets picked it up, fearing that the photograph was Soviet propaganda. The image re-appeared in the 1960s, when the Soviet Union began remembering World War II, or the Great Patriotic War as it was known there, as the great triumph of Communism.

In 2003, a young American historian named David Shneer was conducting 
research in Moscow when he heard about an exhibition of photographs called Women at War. At the time, displaying photography on gallery walls was still a fairly novel concept for Russia, and the exhibit was
 not meant to be a blockbuster. To get inside, Shneer found that he had 
to ring a doorbell at a nondescript building, at which point a raspy 
voice came over the intercom and demanded: “Who are you? What do you 
want?” But the images inside astounded him.

Not only had they been taken with incredible skill—arranging light
 and form in a way that would put to shame many of today’s war 
photographers—but they were from the Soviet battlefields of World
 War II, which made the surnames of their authors seem all the more
 strange. About four out of five of them, Shneer noticed, were Jewish
 surnames. “How is it possible,” he thought, “that a bunch of Jews, who
 are supposed to be oppressed by the Soviet Union, are the ones charged 
with photographing the war?”

As delicately as he could, Shneer put the question to one of the curators, who in typical Moscow style had a glass of wine in one hand
 and a cigarette in the other. “She looked at me like I’m an idiot and 
said, ‘Yes, the photographers were all Jewish.’” It turned out she was 
the granddaughter of one of them, Arkady Shaykhet, and their 
conversation that day is what led to the exhibit that opened on
 Nov. 16 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in New York City. It has the
 same title as the book Shneer wrote from his research—Through
 Soviet Jewish Eyes: Photography, War and the Holocaust.

The show explores the way World War II was covered in the pages of
 Soviet newspapers such as Pravda, casting light on a side of the Holocaust that often gets short shrift in western history books. The 
genocide against the Jews, usually associated with images of Nazi 
death camps and gas chambers, was also perpetrated through mass 
shootings across Eastern Europe. Later termed the “Holocaust by 
Bullets,” it took more Jewish lives than the concentration camps, says Shneer, and it was documented most poignantly by the Jewish 
photographers of the Soviet press.

Although none of them are still alive to tell their story, Shneer spent the better part of a decade tracking down their relatives in 
Moscow and collecting nearly 200 works from their family archives. The
 prints were often no bigger than a pack of cigarettes, taken with 
beat-up cameras and two roles of film allotted for each battle. There
 are more faceless soldiers in these frames than intimate portraits of victims, and the most common theme is emptiness, at once bleak and monumental. But given their historical context, what seems most 
striking is the duality that runs through the lives and works of these 
photographers. On the one hand, these are works of Soviet propaganda,
 glorifying the Red Army in the tradition of socialist realism. “They 
needed photos of nurses doing good work on the home front, patriotic
 soldiers conquering territory,” says Shneer. “And their Jewishness rarely appears in that kind of material.”

But it does appear when they go off assignment to explore the Jewish
 ghettos in places like Ukraine and Hungary. There they found survivors 
living among the ruins of Europe, the yellow Stars of David on their 
overcoats still marking them for death. In the Budapest ghetto, the photographer Evgenii Khaldei found the corpses of his fellow Jews strewn about the floor of a gutted shop, a scrap of butcher paper covering the face of a man whose body lies in the doorway. Images like
 this did not appear in the mainstream Soviet press, but they were
 published in Eynikayt, or Unity, the Yiddish-language newspaper of the USSR. “We have this image in our heads that Jewishness was completely suppressed in the Soviet Union,” says Shneer. “But that’s really a
 post-war image of the country.”