‘Prehistoric frog ate dinosaurs’

This 2014 video about Beelzebufo ampinga is called Prehistoric News : Devil Frog had Spikes and Armor.

From Sci-News.com:

Giant Prehistoric Frogs Ate Small Dinosaurs, Claim Scientists

Sep 20, 2017

Exceptionally large individuals of Beelzebufo ampinga, an extinct species of frog that lived in Madagascar during the Late Cretaceous epoch, about 68 million years ago, were capable of eating small dinosaurs, according to an international research team led by California State Polytechnic University scientists.

This conclusion comes from a study of the bite force of extant South American horned frogs (genus Ceratophrys).

“Unlike the vast majority of frogs which have weak jaws and typically consume small prey, horned frogs ambush animals as large as themselves — including other frogs, snakes, and rodents,” explained co-author Dr. Marc Jones, from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum.

“And their powerful jaws play a critical role in grabbing and subduing the prey.”

Dr. Jones and co-authors from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia found that small horned frogs, with head width of about 1.8 inches (4.5 cm), can bite with a force of 30 newtons (N), or about 3 kg/6.6 lbs.

A scaling experiment, comparing bite force with head and body size, calculated that large horned frogs that are found in the tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests of South America, with a head width of up to 4 inches (10 cm), would have a bite force of almost 500 N. This is comparable to reptiles and mammals with a similar head size.

“This would feel like having 50 liters of water balanced on your fingertip,” explained lead author Professor Kristopher Lappin, of California State Polytechnic University.

“Many people find horned frogs hilarious because of their big heads and fat, round bodies,” said co-author Sean Wilcox, a PhD candidate at the University of California, Riverside.

“Yet, these predators have given us a rare opportunity to learn something more about the biology of a huge extinct frog.”

The team estimated the bite force of the extinct frog Beelzebufo ampinga may have had a bite up to 2,200 N, comparable to formidable mammalian predators such as wolves and female tigers.

“At this bite force, Beelzebufo ampinga would have been capable of subduing the small and juvenile dinosaurs that shared its environment,” Dr. Jones said.

“This is the first time bite force has been measured in a frog,” Professor Lappin said.

“And, speaking from experience, horned frogs have quite an impressive bite, and they tend not to let go.”

“The bite of a large Beelzebufo ampinga would have been remarkable, definitely not something I would want to experience firsthand.”

The study appears today in the journal Scientific Reports.

Dutch amateur footballers beat professional teams

This video is from the football ground of AVV Swift in Amsterdam today. Founded in 1910, they used to be a minor amateur outfit compared to bigger clubs in Amsterdam like Ajax which eventually became professional.

Today, AVV Swift played against Dutch Premier League professional team Vitesse from Arnhem in the first round of the Dutch football association cup tournament. Last season, Vitesse had won that cup.

However, today AVV Swift-Vitesse was still 0-0 after extra time. AVV Swift was better in the penalty shootout, 5-3. The video shows Swift’s decisive penalty shot, and the joy of their 1500 fans (ground sold out).

AVV Swift supporters celebrate, photo © ProShots

This photo shows the joy of Swift’s Romanian goalie Bogdan Constantin who had stopped the first Vitesse penalty shot, celebrating after the match with young supporters and an AVV Swift flag.

There were two more surprises by amateur teams in this first round.

In Noordwijkerhout, local amateur club VVSB has a history of beating professional teams in cup matches. Today, they were soon 0-1 down against professional club Telstar. Then, they got a red card, meaning they had only ten players left against 11 Telstar players. Still, they made four goals for a 4-1 victory. Three goals by Mohamed Osrouti, one by Tim de Rijk.

And in Groesbeek village, local amateurs Achilles’29 beat the NAC Breda professionals 4-3.

Already in Tuesday’s first round matches amateurs had beaten professionals twice.

The Kozakken Boys amateurs from Werkendam beat the De Graafschap professionals after extra time and penalty kicks.

GVVV from Veenendaal beat the FC Dordrecht professionals. The only goal was by Soufiane Laghmouch.

This 19 September 2017 video shows the supporters’ reaction after that winning goal.

Old barn owls don’t have hearing loss

This video says about itself:

What’s the secret to why barn owls don’t lose their hearing?

19 September 2017

Scientists conduct first hearing test of its kind.

Read more here.

By Helen Thompson, 7:05pm, September 19, 2017:

Old barn owls aren’t hard of hearing

Barn owl ears age well. Unlike other animals, the birds don’t suffer from hearing loss as a hallmark of aging, a new study suggests.

Beyond people, age-related hearing loss has been documented in mice, gerbils and chinchillas. Those deficits are linked to deterioration of the tiny hair cells that line the sensory layer of the eardrum. But some evidence hints that birds may not suffer from dips in hearing.

Bianca Krumm and her colleagues at the University of Oldenburg in Germany tested the ear sensitivity of seven barn owls (Tyto alba) grouped by age. There weren’t significant differences in what 2-year-old owls could hear versus those age 13 or older, suggesting the birds’ ears remain intact despite age, the researchers conclude September 20 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

While the exact mechanism for this apparent ear agelessness remains elusive, the researchers suspect that the birds must continuously regenerate sensory ear tissue — a process that wanes with age in other species.

Saving barn owls with poles along roads: here.

Building a barn owl nest box: here.

Hurricane Maria disaster in Puerto Rico

This video says about itself:

Hurricane Maria makes landfall in Puerto Rico

20 September 2017

A look at the devastating path of Hurricane Maria. Aerial footage shows the destruction on the island of Dominica where at least seven people have died. Graphics show where the category 4 storm is heading next.

From The Verge in the USA:

Hurricane Maria has left all of Puerto Rico without power

11,000 people are in shelters

By Angela Chen

Sep 20, 2017, 11:29am EDT

HURRICANE MARIA: TRACKING UPDATE for SEP 20th (Abaco, Bahamas): here.

By Rafael Azul:

Catastrophic Hurricane María heads for Puerto Rico

20 September 2017

Hurricane María was expected to begin hitting Puerto Rico head-on in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Not since 1928 has a more powerful hurricane struck the island nation.

Seventy-nine years ago, on September 13, 1928, Hurricane San Felipe 2 devastated Puerto Rico with winds of 160 miles per hour. María is the second Category 5 hurricane to affect Puerto Rico in recorded history. It is expected to hit Puerto Rico from the southeast with estimated wind speeds of 165 miles per hour.

An emergency has been declared across the island. Particularly hard hit will be the islands of Vieques and Culebra on the eastern side of the island, already reeling from Hurricane Irma. Directly in the path of the storm are Ponce, a city of 150,000 and Guayama, with 85,000 inhabitants. If, as expected, it continues on its current path, it will slice Puerto Rico diagonally, with a devastating impact on the mountains of the island, destroying the flower industry there.

There have been dire predictions that the cities in between Guayama and Ponce, such as Arroyo (population: 20,000) and Salinas (population: 32,000), will literally be wiped off the map. The storm surge is expected to raise water levels by six to nine feet near the center of the hurricane, which is predicted to bring 10 to 15 inches (25 to 38 centimeters) of rain across the islands, with more in isolated areas.

The devastation caused by San Felipe 2—at least 300 dead, the destruction of sugar and coffee plantations, the toppling of trees, the near total destruction of homes and buildings—gives an example of what may be in store this time.

On Monday, María smashed into Dominica (population 75,000) unleashing fierce winds and rain over the mountainous Antillean island, ripping the roofs of homes, including the prime minister’s residence. The prime minster, Roosevelt Skerrit, wrote on his Facebook page of “widespread devastation” and expressed his fear that there will be deaths from rain-fed landslides. “So far the winds have swept away the roofs of almost every person I have spoken to or otherwise made contact with,” reported the prime minister, appealing for emergency international aid.

María also struck the densely populated islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe, both French possessions (population 350,000 and 405,000 respectively). In Martinique at least two towns were left without water; 25,000 households have been left with no electricity. In Guadeloupe there are reports of flooded roads and homes as the rains continue.

Forecasters warned María could even intensify in its approach to Puerto Rico. The diameter of its “eye” has shrunk to 10 miles across. “María is developing the dreaded pinhole eye,” declared one. This signals that an extremely strong hurricane will become even stronger, according to Brian McNoldy, a hurricane expert from the University of Miami, comparing it to a spinning ice skater who brings her arms together to spin faster.

The popular mood in Puerto Rico is being described by media observers as desperate. There are still 70,000 people in towns that have been without electrical power for two weeks since the winds of Hurricane Irma. Roads are also damaged in the interior of the island, and hundreds are still in shelters since Irma. Neither the administration of Governor Ricardo Rosselló nor the US government have indicated any desire to mount anything but a minimal rescue operation.

Hector Pesquera, the public safety secretary, urged citizens to evacuate from the path of the storm, “otherwise you are going to die; I don’t know how to make this any clearer,” he declared. According to Pesquera it would be “suicide by hurricane” for citizens not to leave, particularly if they inhabit wooden structures. There are countless wooden houses along the hurricane’s path.

Despite all these warnings, as the hours count down, there is very little activity on the part of the Rosselló administration to help people flee, other than advise them to move in with relatives who live in sturdier homes. For those who cannot reach their relatives, or who don’t have any with secure homes, some 500 shelters are being provided that residents must reach on their own.

Rossello himself gave a cynical, fawning speech in English thanking President Trump for “his personal attention and the tremendous support that we have gotten from his administration in this process.”

“Before this hurricane season started, our island had been battered by a storm of fiscal and demographic challenges,” declared Rosselló, referring to Puerto Rico’s state of bankruptcy after defaulting on a $72 billion debt to Wall Street hedge and vulture funds, and to the continuing emigration of unemployed workers and professionals from the island.

Rosselló assured his audience that while major damage to Puerto Rico was “inevitable,” his government had done “everything within our power” to prepare for this hurricane. He praised the “resiliency” of all Puerto Ricans, their generosity towards Hurricane Irma’s victims on other islands, and called for prayers from all Americans.

In fact, Rosselló, Pesquera and the rest of Puerto Rico’s ruling elite have already washed their hands of any responsibility for actively evacuating people. The stage is being prepared to blame the victims of Hurricane María, those who are unable for whatever reason to move to safer buildings or to higher ground for whatever fate they suffer.

Puerto Rican officials assure that the 500 shelters are capable of receiving 133,000 and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide water and other supplies to those in shelters. At the same time, the governor has warned that power outages will occur that will “last some time,” due to the electric company’s heavily damaged infrastructure.

As with the fiscal “storm” that has battered Puerto Rico, neither Rosselló, the Puerto Rican ruling class, nor the Financial Control Board appointed on behalf of Wall Street, intend to take any responsibility for the collapsing infrastructure that prevented an adequate response to Hurricane Irma, and that now stands in the way of rescue and aid efforts in the face of this very catastrophic Hurricane María. The impact of Hurricane María undoubtedly will be followed by renewed calls for sacrifice and “resiliency” by Puerto Ricans to make sure that the profit interests of Wall Street are taken care of.

On Tuesday there were reports of price gouging in markets in response to the extra demand for emergency supplies, extra food and water. Many residents expect to remain incommunicado during the three or four days before they can expect help from first responders.

BLACKOUT Hurricane Maria, which slammed into Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm, has killed the power on the entire island. [HuffPost]

Dutch birds and bats, good news

This 2012 video is called Birds of Holland in the Spring – PIJNACKER – The Netherlands.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Five Dutch North Brabant province municipalities have committed to conservation of birds and bats. Breda, Den Bosch, Eindhoven, Helmond and Tilburg have agreed with BirdLife in the Netherlands, among other things, to increase the number of nesting places.

This video says about itself:

29 September 2016

Beautiful footage of beautiful mammals, all eighteen species of British bat are featured.

Bat brain signals illuminate navigation in the dark. With new tech, researchers track nerve cell activity as bats dodge and weave. By Amber Dance, 12:30pm, September 20, 2017.