Swedish birds on a cold January day

This video is about Swedish birds on a cold January day near Västerås city.

Featuring mallards, a young grey heron, a little grebe, a kingfisher, and starlngs.

Fiddler crabs’ eyes help against predators

This 2016 video is called Fiddler crab dance.

From the University of Bristol in England:

Separate polarization and brightness channels give crabs the edge over predators

August 21, 2019

Fiddler crabs see the polarisation of light and this gives them the edge when it comes to spotting potentials threats, such as a rival crab or a predator. Now researchers at the University of Bristol have begun to unravel how this information is processed within the crab’s brain. The study, published in Science Advances today [Wednesday 21 August], has discovered that when detecting approaching objects, fiddler crabs separate polarisation and brightness information.

The key advantage of this method is that the separate visual channels provide a greater range of information for the crab. The research also suggests that when it comes to detecting predators’, polarisation can provide a more reliable source of information than brightness.

The researchers from the Ecology of Vision Group in the School of Biological Sciences tested how crabs responded to visual stimuli presented on a special computer monitor developed by the lab. By changing the polarisation and brightness of the stimuli the researchers were able to test whether certain combinations of polarisation and brightness appeared to cancel each other out.

Sam Smithers, PhD student in the School of Biological Sciences and one of the authors, said: “If you look through Polaroid sunglasses at the sky, you will notice that the brightness changes when you tilt your head. This is because the light from the sky is polarised and your sunglasses allow you to see differences in polarisation as differences in brightness.”

“For our experiments we tested whether fiddler crabs see the same effect. However, we discovered that the crabs detect polarisation in a completely different way to this and polarisation has no effect on how the crabs detect the brightness of a scene.”

The next step for the research team is to find out what happens to the brightness and polarisation information deeper in the brain. This will help them to understand how and when polarisation and colour information provide a visual advantage to the viewer.

The new study is about the fiddler crab species Afruca tangeri.

New spinosaur, new stegosaur discovered

This 21 August 2019 video says about itself:

A New Spinosaur & A New Stegosaur Discovered – 7 Days of Science

This week we had some pretty awesome palaeontology news with two new species of non-avian dinosaurs being named!

The scientific description of the new stegosaur species is here.

Pro-Trump neo-nazi arrested in Florida, USA

This 20 August 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Pro-Trump Neo-Nazi ARRESTED

The Young Turks’ Emma Vigeland breaks down the news that a Trump supporter, who also happens to be a big Hitler fan, was arrested for threatening a Hispanic woman in Miami.

The details are gruesome. And this is a part of a larger trend… which is terrifying.

Good beewolf news from Texel island

This August 2017 video says about itself:

A short story on the European Beewolf wasp (Philanthus triangulum) showing how it preys on others and what it does to improve the success of its offspring. Shot on heathland.

Wildlife warden Huib Koel reports today from Texel island in the Netherlands:

The beewolves on Texel are doing well

The tourists are not the only ones who enjoy the summer temperatures on Texel, also the solitary beewolves – a species of wasp that is not dangerous to humans – benefit from the heat. The bird watchers at De Slufter discovered more than a hundred nests at the end of last month alongside the bike path at the Zanddijk dunes. Last year the counter stopped at around thirty heaps of sand made by the beewolves. Beewolves catch honey bees as food for their young.

At De Slufter, the beewolves do not have to fly far, because every year a beekeeper puts his hives with tens of thousands of honey bees very close to the nest location of the beewolves. His honey bees get nectar from the flowering sea lavender in De Slufter, but several hundred honey bees end their lives in the wolves’ nest. …

Rare species discovered

This year the bird watchers discovered another insect that keeps a close eye on the activities of the bee wolves. An insect with fantastic green and red shiny, metallic colours. It is one of the most beautiful insects in the Netherlands: an emerald wasp with the scientific name Hedychrum rutilans of less than a centimeter in size. It is a rare wasp species, although it has been observed more frequently in recent years – just like the beewolves. It is the only emerald wasp that targets beewolves. Other jewel wasps have other victims. … She tries to deposit her egg in the beewolf’s nest. According to the EIS research agency of Naturalis, this is the seventh observation of this jewel wasp on Texel.

Hedychrum rutilans