Common basilisk, variegated squirrel quarrel in Panama


This video from Panama says about itself:

Common Basilisk Takes Food From Variegated Squirrel – Aug 16, 2019

A Variegated Squirrel and a Common Basilisk were eating at the feeder in relative peace until the basilisk decided that it wanted the exact piece of fruit the squirrel was eating.

I saw both species in Costa Rica.

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African bats studied with satellite tags


This 2016 video says about itself:

Yellow Winged Bat (Lavia frons)

The beautiful Yellow Winged Bat. Common across East and West Africa in woodlands.

From the University of Helsinki in Finland:

Tiny GPS backpacks uncover the secret life of desert bats

August 16, 2019

A new study from the University of Helsinki using miniaturized satellite-based tags revealed that during drier periods desert bats must fly further and longer to fulfil their nightly needs. According to researchers this signals their struggle in facing dry periods.

Wildlife tracking has revolutionized the study of animal movement and their behavior. Yet, tracking small, flying animals such as desert bats remained challenging. Now a new generation of miniaturized satellite-based tags is allowing unique insights into the life of these mysterious mammals.

Researchers used 1 g GPS devices to reconstruct the movements of yellow-winged bats, one of two false vampire bats occurring in Africa and one of the few desert bats large enough to carrying this innovative technology. “GPS tags have seen up to now a limited use with insectivorous bats due to weight constraints and low success in data collection — we achieved great results in tracking such a light species,” says Irene Conenna, a PhD candidate at the University of Helsinki and the lead author of the study.

Future under the changing climate?

“Bats are some of the most successful desert mammals. Powered flight allows them to efficiently track scarce resources and their nocturnal lifestyle buffers them from the baking sun. However, they still struggle to find enough resources during the drier periods of the year,” says Ricardo Rocha, one of the co-authors of the paper.

The study was conducted in Sibiloi National Park, Northern Kenya, along the shores of Lake Turkana, the world’s largest desert lake. Researchers placed GPS loggers in 29 bats, 15 in the rainy season and 14 in the dry and, for one week. Their whereabouts were recorded every 30 to 60 minutes every night. This revealed that during dry periods bats used larger home ranges and had extended activity periods, potentially to compensate for a shortage in food resources.

Bats comprise roughly one fifth of all mammal species and deserts are home to over 150 bat species. They display wide variation in morphology, foraging behavior, and habitat use, making them an excellent indicator group for assessing how species respond to changes in their habitats. “The responses exhibited by bats offer important insights into the responses of other taxonomic groups,” explains Conenna. “These new miniaturized satellite-based tags now allow us to better understand how increased aridity affects bats foraging efficiency, leading us one step forward to understanding limits in aridity tolerance and impacts of climate change,” adds Conenna.

Deserts around the world are getting warmer and as they warm desert creatures need to cope with even harsher conditions. “Understanding how animals cope with seasonal changes is key to understand how they might react to the challenges in the horizon. New technological devices, such as miniaturized satellite-based loggers, go a long way to help us in this task”, adds Mar Cabeza, senior author of the study, University of Helsinki.

Jewish protesters against Trump’s ICE injured


This 16 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Guard Strikes ICE Protesters With Car

A correctional officer came dangerously close to running over protesters with his car. Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

“The protesters were sitting on the pavement to block staff from parking at a Rhode Island prison that works with Immigration and Customs Enforcement when a black pickup truck swerved toward them. The protesters shouted as the driver laid on the horn, and the truck briefly stopped.

And then, the driver hit the gas.

In a viral video captured by bystanders, the protesters screamed and jumped out of the way. Several were struck, according to organizers of the Wednesday night demonstration at the Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, R.I. Some were treated at a hospital, though none were severely injured.

“It was terrifying because we didn’t know what exactly his intention was”, Amy Anthony, a spokesperson for Never Again Action, a Jewish activist group that planned the protest, told The Washington Post. “It certainly appeared he was trying to hit us.”

By Trévon Austin in the USA:

Protesters pepper-sprayed outside Rhode Island ICE facility after officer drives truck into crowd

16 August 2019

An Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer was placed on administrative leave after driving his pickup truck through a group of Jewish protesters Wednesday night outside of the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility in Central Falls, Rhode Island. A 64-year-old man, identified by protesters as Jerry Belair, suffered a broken leg, internal bleeding and a possible back injury in the assault.

The suspended officer was identified in a statement released by the ICE facility as Captain Thomas Woodworth. Representatives would not confirm whether Woodworth was behind the wheel of the truck, but a video of the incident showed protesters shouting Woodworth’s name as they surrounded the vehicle.

The episode unfolded as Woodworth allegedly accelerated towards protesters sitting peacefully on the ground outside of the facility’s employee parking lot. The video shows a truck nearly ramming into a line of people while the driver honked his horn. The group of protesters stood and surrounded the vehicle, shouting “shame” at the truck driver. An individual also jumped into the truck’s cargo bed to try to dissuade the driver from moving. The driver then accelerated again before stopping shortly after and screaming is heard.

Soon after, police officers approached the scene and demanded the group move away from the truck while protesters chanted “The whole world is watching.” One of the officers claimed to be a federal official. After about 45 seconds, one agent is seen unleashing a cloud of pepper spray, causing the group to disperse. About a dozen people were treated for irritation due to pepper spray and one other went to the hospital for minor injuries.

The protest outside the facility was organized under the banner of the Never Again protest movement, which has drawn parallels between the Trump Administration’s treatment of migrants and that of the Jewish people during the Holocaust by the Nazis. Similar demonstrations organized by Jewish groups have been held outside ICE offices and detention centers nationally this summer.

Protesters have been at the Wyatt center since July, but they say it is the first time any of their demonstrations ended in violence.

The group released a statement Thursday, saying, “Last night we experienced a small example of the violence that ICE uses against our immigrant neighbors every day. As Jews, our families taught us the lessons of the Holocaust, and we promised that we would speak out and act if we ever saw a group of people being targeted, dehumanized, and rounded up.

“We are answering the call of our ancestors to sound the alarm: #NeverAgainIsNow. Every person in the United States needs to join the fight to close the concentration camps, shut down ICE, and secure permanent protection for all undocumented people in the U.S.”

J. Aaron Regunberg, a former Democratic state representative who has been participating in the demonstrations, reported in a statement on Facebook that local police at the scene declined to intervene on behalf of the protesters, arrest Woodworth, or even take witness statements from protesters.

“I also want to make very clear that literally dozens of us from tonight’s protest asked, clamored, demanded that the police take witness statements about the attack, and they actively refused to do so,” Regunberg wrote. “What kind of violence is someone like that willing to regularly unleash on powerless detainees, inside a prison where there are no cameras and no accountability?”

Rhode Island’s attorney general’s office and state police announced Thursday that an investigation would be opened into the attack.

By Ben Sales, Jewish Telegraph Agency, August 15, 2019:

Truck Drives Into Jewish Protestors At ICE Detention Center

(JTA) — A pickup truck drove into a row of Jewish protestors demonstrating at the street entrance to an ICE detention center in Rhode Island on Wednesday night. …

Protesters were then pepper-sprayed, according to people present at the protest.

Hundreds of Jewish protestors had gathered at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement center in Central Falls, and risked arrest by blocking the center’s entrance. The protest was the latest demonstration by Never Again Action, a new Jewish group protesting ICE and United States immigration policy by getting arrested at its detention facilities.

At around 9:45 p.m., according to an eyewitness and social media posts from the protest, a black pickup truck driving 10 to 15 miles per hour drove into a group of about 30 people who were sitting in a row and blocking the street that fed into the detention center’s parking lot.

Video of the incident shows people screaming and running as the car moves slowly into the crowd. The crowd then broke out into a chant of “The whole world is watching.” Protesters then surrounded the truck.

“The truck came in and people ran,” Lex Rofeberg, a protester who was not in the car’s path, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. …

A person taking video of the event said “Everybody is OK, thank you for asking. I don’t think anyone was hurt,” though the person later added that someone may have been hurt.

Never Again Action tweeted that the car belonged to a guard at the detention center.

“Oh my god”, the group tweeted. “An ICE Detention Center guard just drove their truck straight through a line of us sitting peacefully to block the parking lot. … still assessing the situation, police are moving in on us now.”

Minutes later, guards at the detention center pepper-sprayed the protesters.

“All of us who were in the vicinity caught some of the tear gas,” Rofeberg said.

“It was shocking, it was unexpected,” he added. “There’s some amount of risk when you go to an action like this. You don’t expect it to unfold like this.”

Forty Jews were arrested at a New York City protest against Amazon’s work with Immigration and Customs Enforcement; August 12, 2019, by Ben Sales.

American Jews Divided On Israel Are Uniting — In Anti-ICE ‘Never Again’ Protests; July 16, 2019. By Aiden Pink and Ari Feldman.

This 15 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

An ICE official runs over civilians, who are peacefully protesting. John Iadarola breaks it down on The Damage Report.

By Alyssa Fisher, August 15, 2019:

Several Hospitalized After Truck Drives Into Jewish ICE Protestors

Several people were taken to the hospital Wednesday evening after a pickup truck drove into a row of Jewish protestors blocking an entrance at an ICE detention center in Rhode Island.

Some injuries were caused by the truck and others from the affects of being pepper-sprayed by detention officials, said Matthew Harvey, a spokesperson for Never Again Providence who was at the protest.

Between 400 and 500 people gathered in an attempt to shut down the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement center in Central Falls. At about 9 p.m., the crowd thinned a little and moved to the entrance of the guard parking lot, coinciding with the center’s staff shift change. The protestors linked arms and continued chanting, singing and praying, Harvey said.

At about 9:45 p.m., a pickup truck swerved into the row of protestors. Some jumped up out of the way and others tried to block its process. The driver was in a detention center’s uniform, with a badge and walkie talkie, according to Harvey, and at one point he revved his engine. After a few minutes of idling, a few more officials arrived and pushed protestors. About half a dozen people were on the ground from being pepper-sprayed. EMT aids were on site to help until ambulances arrived.

Some left without being admitted, but others, like a man in his 70s who suffered a broken leg, stayed the night. Several told Harvey on Thursday that they still felt the effect of the pepper spray, and one person had to return to the hospital to seek treatment.

The group protested once before at Wyatt on July 2, which ended peacefully. On Wednesday night, the crowd was “shocked, horrified,” Harvey said, and left “shaken up and scared.” But he said it mostly heightened fears at the worse treatment the immigrants must be getting behind the center’s walls. The violence proved to him that the group is having an effect and is being seen as a threat.

“We’re not going to be deterred,” Harvey said. “We’ll be back.”

Facing Jewish Protest, ICE Detention Center Moves Public Meeting To Shabbat: here.

ICE off our buses: End Greyhound collaboration with ICE: here.

Ordovician age biodiversity increase, new study


This November 2017 video says about itself:

Climatic cooling during the Ordovician caused explosion of marine diversity

Read more here.

From Ohio University in the USA:

Early species developed much faster than previously thought

Landmark review of Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event

When Earth’s species were rapidly diversifying nearly 500 million years ago, that evolution was driven by complex factors including global cooling, more oxygen in the atmosphere, and more nutrients in the oceans. But it took a combination of many global environmental and tectonic changes occurring simultaneously and combining like building blocks to produce rapid diversification into new species, according to a new study by Dr. Alycia Stigall, Professor of Geological Sciences at Ohio University.

She and fellow researchers have narrowed in a specific time during an era known as the Ordovician Radiation, showing that new species actually developed rapidly during a much shorter time frame than previously thought. The Great Biodiversification Event where many new species developed, they argue, happened during the Darriwilian Stage about 465 million years ago. Their research, “Coordinated biotic and abiotic change during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event: Darriwilian assembly of early Paleozoic building blocks”, was published in Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology as part of a special issue they are editing on the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.

New datasets have allowed them to show that what previously looked like species development widespread over time and geography was actually a diversification pulse. Picture a world before the continents as we know them, when most of the land mass was south of the equator, with only small continents and islands in the vast oceans above the tropics. Then picture ice caps forming over the southern pole. As the ice caps form, the ocean recedes and local, isolated environments form around islands and in seas perched atop continents. In those shallow marine environments, new species develop.

Then picture the ice caps melting and the oceans rising again, with those new species riding the waves of global diversification to populate new regions. The cycle then repeats producing waves of new species and new dispersals.

Lighting the Spark of Diversification

The early evolution of animal life on Earth is a complex and fascinating subject. The Cambrian Explosion (between about 540 to 510 million years ago) produced a stunning array of body plans, but very few separate species of each, notes Stigall. But nearly 40 million years later, during the Ordovician Period, this situation changed, with a rapid radiation of species and genera during the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event.

The triggers of the GOBE and processes that promoted diversification have been subject to much debate, but most geoscientists haven’t fully considered how changes like global cooling or increased oxygenation would foster increased diversification.

A recent review paper by Stigall and an international team of collaborators attempts to provide clarity on these issues. For this study, Stigall teamed up with Cole Edwards (Appalachian State University), a sedimentary geochemist, and fellow paleontologists Christian Mac Ørum Rasmussen (University of Copenhagen) and Rebecca Freeman (University of Kentucky) to analyze how changes to the physical earth system during the Ordovician could have promoted this rapid increase in diversity.

In their paper, Stigall and colleagues demonstrate that the main pulse of diversification during the GOBE is temporally restricted and occurred in the Middle Ordovician Darriwilian Stage (about 465 million years ago). Many changes to the physical earth system, including oceanic cooling, increased nutrient availability, and increased atmospheric oxygen accumulate in the interval leading up to the Darriwilian.

These physical changes were necessary building blocks, but on their own were not enough to light the spark of diversification.

The missing ingredient was a method to alternately connect and isolate populations of species through cycles of vicariance and dispersal. That spark finally occurs in the Darriwilian Stage when ice caps form over the south pole of the Ordovician Earth. The waxing and waning of these ice sheets caused sea level to rise and fall (similar to the Pleistocene), which provided the alternate connection and disconnection needed to facilitate rapid diversity accumulation.

Stigall and her collaborators compared this to the assembly of building blocks required to pass a threshold.

2019 American barred owl nest webcam highlights


This 14 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

2019 Barred Owl Cam Season Highlights

Relive all the wonderful memories from the 2019 Wild Birds Unlimited Barred Owl cam!

Classic hooting calls announced the return of the owls to their rural Indiana nest box. “Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?”

In the following days, two white eggs appeared beneath the female. The male played the role of hunter while his mate tended to the eggs. As opportunistic predators, Barred Owls eat everything from small mammals to aquatic prey, like crayfish.

Incubation continued for 33 days before the eggs started hatching. The female quickly assumed her role as attentive mother to her downy duo.

Thanks to committed parents and plenty of food, “Fluff” and “Puff” began to grow and grow and grow.

At five weeks old, they were ready to leave the nest box with a bit of encouragement. “Fluff” fledged with confidence, while “Puff” was a bit reluctant. Good luck to our favorite owl family on the next stage! Thanks for watching and learning with us in 2019. See you next year!