Prehistoric giant millipedes, video

This 23 January 2019 video says about itself:

Arthropleura: They Could Grow Larger Than A Man

Arthropleura (Greek for jointed ribs) is a genus of extinct millipede arthropods that lived in what is now northeastern North America and parts of Europe around 315 to 299 million years ago, during the late Carboniferous Period.

The larger species of the genus are the largest known land invertebrates of all time, and would have had few, if any, predators. Arthropleura species ranged in length from 0.3 to 2.3 metres (0.98 to 7.55 ft) and a width up to 50 centimetres (1.6 ft). Arthropleura was able to grow larger than modern arthropods, partly because of the greater partial pressure of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere at that time and because of the lack of large terrestrial vertebrate predators.

The flattened body of Arthropleura is composed of approximately 30 jointed segments, each of which was covered by two side plates and one center plate. The ratio of pairs of legs to body segments was approximately 8:6, similar to some present-day millipedes.

Contrary to earlier and popular beliefs, Arthropleura was not a predator but an herbivorous arthropod. Because none of the known fossils have the mouth preserved, scientists suppose that Arthropleura did not have strongly sclerotized and powerful mouth parts, because such would have been preserved at least in some of the fossils.

Some fossils have been found with lycopod fragments and pteridophyte spores in the gut and in associated coprolites. Fossilized footprints from Arthropleura have been found in many places. These appear as long, parallel rows of small prints, which show that it moved quickly across the forest floor, swerving to avoid obstacles, such as trees and rocks. Its tracks have the ichnotaxon name Diplichnites cuithensis. Tracks from Arthropleura up to 50 cm wide have been found at Joggins, Nova Scotia.

Arthropleura became extinct at the end of the Carboniferous period, when the moist climate began drying out, reducing the rainforests of the Carboniferous, and allowing the desertification characteristic of the Permian.


Dragonflies’ colours, new study

This 2014 video says about itself:

Sky Hunters, The World of the Dragonfly – The Secrets of Nature

They hover over ponds and pools and inhabit the banks of rivers and streams. With their dazzling metallic colours and unique ways of flying they are truly jewels of the air. This film presents dragonflies as they have never been seen before.

From Case Western Reserve University in the USA:

How male dragonflies adapt wing color to temperature

January 23, 2019

New research from Case Western Reserve University in how dragonflies may adapt their wing color to temperature differences might explain color variation in other animals, from lions to birds.

Further, the findings could also provide evolutionary biologists clues about whether rising global temperatures might adversely affect some species.

Michael Moore, a graduate biology student, and Ryan Martin, an assistant professor of biology, recently published their findings in the journal Ecology Letters.

“People have long been aware of variation in dragonfly wing color, but what we are showing in this new work is an overlooked environmental factor — how temperature affects coloration,” Martin said. “This could turn out to also determine some of the really cool extravagant traits we like to look at, such as coloration in birds.”

Their findings follow a two-year study that began with a hunch about how the wing color on male Blue Dasher dragonflies in the western United States was different from their counterparts in Northeast Ohio.

They reviewed vast amounts of dragonfly photographs compiled by citizen scientists on the website and then, with the help of graduate student Iulian Gherghel, cross-referenced that information with weather data.

“I went through 600 pictures from the couch to begin this research,” said Moore with a laugh. “After that, it was just mapping it with the corresponding environmental and weather data. It turns out that males in the hottest parts of North America have way less colorful wings, and we wanted to know why. ”

Dragonfly weightlifting and other experiments

But the research really took off in the summer of 2017 at the Case Western Reserve farm in Hunting Valley, Ohio, as Moore and Hathaway Brown high-school student Cassandra Lis chased down male dragonflies as they fought to defend their respective territories surrounding a pond.

Across a series of experiments, they then marked each male’s body with a series of colors for individual identification at the pond, colored some of their wings with a dark marker, and put the different groups through a weightlifting test to measure their strength.

The conclusion: The dragonflies with darker wings absorbed more heat from the sun, much like we do when wearing a dark shirt on a sunny day. That simple act caused the muscles of those cold-blooded dragonflies to warm more quickly, grow stronger and more successfully defend their territory or win females.

Findings may extend to other species

“Further tests, however, showed that, when temperatures were too hot, darker wings caused the dragonflies to overheat and fly poorly,” Moore said.

“These findings suggest that this poor flight would then cause those overheated males to lose the territorial battles and their mates, which in turn could be why males in the warmest parts of North America have adapted to produce less colorful wings.”

The study’s three main conclusions:

1, The dragonfly observations could help scientists explain how similar traits have evolved across the animal kingdom globally.

“We know, for example, that male lions with dark manes tend to overheat more, which translated into how mane size and darkness have evolved across Africa and Asia,” Moore said, citing previous scientific research.

“And if it’s happening in dragonflies and lions, two species separated by hundreds of millions years of evolution, it’s seems possible that it could be a pretty common pattern.”

2. Dragonflies with dark coloring — and other animals — could begin to overheat as global temperatures continue to rise if they can’t adapt quickly enough, or if they do adapt, might do so by losing their distinctive colors.

3. Because different dragonfly species, like many animal species, mate based on appearance, adaptation to rising global temperatures could lead to more interbreeding because of the confusion over color.

Dutch corporate Cold War fake news

This 2016 video from the USA is called Faux News (A Fox News Parody).

What is ‘fake news’? According to United States President Donald Trump, and to Donald Trump’s United States ambassadors, and to the European Union, it is news which they don’t like.

According to internet corporations like Google and Facebook, it is news which is pro-peace, ‘too liberal’ ‘too leftist’.

According to corporate media, it is news on small blogs and other web sites with no corporate or governmental links.

In reality, corporate media are often the purveyors of really ‘fake’ news. Eg, German daily Bildzeitung with its hoax on a supposed ‘sex mob’ of ‘criminal’ refugees. Or the ‘faux news’ of Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News, of Murdoch’s Sun daily and of other Murdoch media.

In the Netherlands, in 2014 it turned out that articles by Perdiep Ramesar in daily Trouw, sounding the alarm about supposedly dangerous Muslims, were fake.

More recently, the warmongering articles by Claas Relotius, journalist for German corporate media, turned out to be fictional.

Now, another case of Dutch corporate fake news. Peter Blasic, aka Peter Mertens, wrote hundreds of articles for right-wing media like Elsevier, HP/De Tijd and ThePostOnline. He was sacked three times for plagiarism, but then started all over again at other media.

On 23 January 2019, Dutch weekly De Groene Amsterdammer wrote an expose about Mr Blasic/Mertens.

A sample about a 2016 Blasic/Mertens article (translated):

[Blasic] reveals that Russia [supposedly] is stationing spies in the Netherlands who scour the graveyards ‘in search of reusable profiles preferably of young deceased children who have no life course that can be double checked’.

British police spies certainly stole identities of dead children. Maybe Russian spies do so as well, maybe they don’t. The fiction disguised as journalism by Mr Blasic/Mertens certainly does not prove anything.

In 2017, Blasic/Mertens did fake interviews with non-existent jihadists joining the war in Syria.

Yet more:

For a story in which Dutch people [supposedly] flee to Panama to escape Islamization and migrants, he [Blasic/Mertens] speaks with entrepreneur Frank Ewals: ‘The Netherlands has too many foreigners and since the refugee crisis Europe is even more confronted with a Muslim invasion. The whole of Europe is going to hell.’ The South Holland couple Mark and Monique share the same opinion: “We felt threatened and so we left for Central America.’ Another story adorns the Revu cover with the text: ‘Russia is recruiting in our gyms, about the Russian military intelligence service that is trying to recruit young athletes in the Netherlands through special martial arts clubs’.

Unfortunately for Mertens/Blasic, De Groene Amsterdammer found out that ‘entrepreneur and refugee to Panama Frank Ewals’ does not exist. Neither do ‘Mark and Monique’. Neither do the ‘Russian spy gyms in the Netherlands’.

Neither does ‘psychologist Simon Janssen’, supposedly interviewed by Mertens/Blasic about men suffering from domestic violence by their wives. Neither does ‘Ron Bouman’ supposedly interviewed by Mertens/Blasic about criminal gangs consisting of feminist girls.

Donald Trump’s war on transgender people, continued

This 23 January 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

ACLU: Trump’s Anti-Trans Ban Has No Military Justification, Is Driven by Animus & Discrimination

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court revived President Donald Trump’s plan to ban transgender people from serving in the U.S. military. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court lifted two lower court rulings that had blocked the ban from going into effect on constitutional grounds. Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissented. A third injunction remains in place for now. We speak to Chase Strangio, staff attorney at the ACLU, which is challenging the Trump administration’s ban on servicemembers who are transgender.

Nuthatch at the feeder

This video from Britain is called Nuthatch Bird Song and Nature Sounds – Birds Singing – One Hour of Beautiful Nuthatches.

After 22 January 2019 at the Oude Buisse Heide nature reserve came 23 January.

A nuthatch at the feeder for the first time. It drove away a great tit. After the nuthatch flew away, a blue tit at the feeder. And a robin under it.