Luminescent amphibians, new research


The ability to glow in a range of colors from green to yellow when exposed to blue light is common among amphibians like this green Pacman frog (Ceratophrys cranwelli), a new study reports. Photo J. Lamb, M. Davis

The ability to glow in a range of colors from green to yellow when exposed to blue light is common among amphibians like this green Pacman frog (Ceratophrys cranwelli), a new study reports.

By Erin Garcia de Jesus, February 27, 2020 at 11:00 am:

Glowing frogs and salamanders may be surprisingly common

Blue and UV light can make patterns invisible to humans in natural light appear on amphibians

Many animals — from marine species like fish to corals and land creatures like penguins and parrots — have a hidden skill: gleaming blue, green or red under certain kinds of light (SN: 11/17/17). But when it comes to amphibians, experts knew of only one salamander and three frogs that fluoresced — until now.

Jennifer Lamb and Matthew Davis, biologists at St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, shone blue or ultraviolet light on 32 species of amphibians, including salamanders, frogs and the wormlike caecilian, at varying life stages. To their surprise, all lit up, turning brilliant shades ranging from green to yellow, the researchers report February 27 in Scientific Reports.

The effect was strongest under blue light. Among all four-legged creatures, the ability to absorb higher-energy blue light and emit lower-energy green light had previously been documented only in marine turtles. The new finding suggests that biofluorescence is widespread among amphibians.

Different species glow in different patterns, the team found. Some, such as the eastern tiger salamander (Ambystoma tigrinum), reveal strips or blotches of color. In others, like the marbled salamander (A. opacum), bones and parts of their undersides light up.

Although the researchers didn’t test the mechanisms that amphibians use to glow, the animals may rely on fluorescent proteins or pigment-containing cells. Multiple mechanisms would hint that the ability evolved independently in different species, rather than being passed down by an ancient ancestor of modern amphibians.

Biofluorescence may help salamanders and frogs find one another in low light: Their eyes contain cells that are especially sensitive to green or blue light (SN: 4/3/17). Scientists could also harness the amphibians’ ability, using special lights to search for the animals during biodiversity surveys — particularly for those creatures that blend into their surroundings or hide in piles of leaves. Lamb already has hints that might work. As she’s prowled her family’s woods at night with blue light in hand, she’s spotted the telltale glow.

Butterflies’ relationship with ants


This 29 February 2020 video says about itself:

Why did the butterfly go to the ant’s den? The alliance of butterflies and ants

The probability of becoming a butterfly after the process of egg, larva and pupa is less than 1%. The surroundings are full of numerous enemies of butterflies. Butterflies are allied with ants, the enemies of insects, to survive.

The process of the birth of a butterfly through eggs, larvae and chrysalis is a dramatic story.

Biden wins South Carolina, Sanders still frontrunner


This 29 February 2020 video about the USA says about itself:

Joe Biden Wins South Carolina Primary, but Bernie Sanders is Still the Frontrunner

Earlier tonight, Joe Biden was projected to be the big winner of the South Carolina primary, with Bernie Sanders in a clear but distant second place. No one else appears to be viable for delegates. Many in the media in sources like MSNBC and CNN are suggesting that this is a sign of change in the campaign, but the fundamental reality is that Bernie Sanders remains the national frontrunner for the 2020 Democratic nomination and the favourite for a strong Super Tuesday result.

Biden had concentrated all his fossil fuel corporate donated money and campaigning on relatively small South Carolina; after he had lost the three previous primary elections; and a fourth defeat would have been the end of his campaign. It worked for him; there. But how will that work in big states like Texas and California this Tuesday, the Super Tuesday in primary elections?

This 29 February 2020 video from the USA is called SHOCK: Biden Hasn’t Campaigned In ANY Super Tuesday States.

Somali, Afghan refugees stranded at Turkish-Greek border


This 29 February 2020 video says about itself:

Somali, Afghan migrants left stranded on Greek-Turkish border

Greece beefed up security measures as it tried
to stop a new wave of migrants from entering the European Union.

“We came from land, we had a dead end, we tried different types and different ways but, unfortunately, for four days in the forest and tonight we decided and all our friends to come on the road. We tried to call UN or other organizations but unfortunately, our mobiles have no charge”, an unnamed Afghan migrant said.

Earlier, Turkey had said it would no longer hold these migrants back.

According to Greek officials, almost 1,200 people gathered on the Turkish side of the border late Friday and have tried to push through locked gates.

Some managed to cut holes in the border fence close to the crossing … But they were repulsed with tear gas and stun grenades.

A police officer told the Associated Press that there was mounting pressure along the 200-kilometre land border from migrants trying to force their way through and groups were constantly being repulsed.

THE TRAPPING of refugees in the Aegean islands and on the Greek-Turkish border exposes the “barbarism” of the “imperialist” EU and Nato, Greek trade unionists said today. The All-Workers Militant Front (Pame), which represents 415,000 workers in Greece, said that the two organisations were responsible for destroying countries, uprooting their people and then trapping them in prisons. Earlier this week a Syrian man was shot dead and refugees were tear-gassed and beaten on the Greece-Turkey border after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he would flood Europe with refugees: here.

An appellate panel of the International Criminal Court (ICC) ruled Thursday that an investigation leading to the potential prosecution of US officials for war crimes during Washington’s nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan can move forward: here.