Big dinosaur age crocodile Deinosuchus


This July 2019 video says about itself:

Deinosuchus Animation Preview

Locomotion and behavioral extrapolations of large crocodilian, genotype Deinosuchus. Highly dangerous aquatic predator.

From ScienceDaily:

New study confirms the power of Deinosuchus and its ‘teeth the size of bananas’

August 10, 2020

A new study, revisiting fossil specimens from the enormous crocodylian, Deinosuchus, has confirmed that the beast had teeth “the size of bananas,” capable to take down even the very largest of dinosaurs.

And, it wasn’t alone!

The research, published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, also reveals various kinds of “terror crocodile.” Two species, entitled Deinosuchus hatcheri and Deinosuchus riograndensis lived in the west of America, ranging from Montana to northern Mexico. Another, Deinosuchus schwimmeri, lived along the Atlantic coastal plain from New Jersey to Mississippi. At the time, North America was cut in half by a shallow sea extending from the Arctic Ocean south to the present-day Gulf of Mexico.

Ranging in up to 33 feet in length Deinosuchus, though, has been known to be one of the largest, if not the largest, crocodylian genera ever in existence. It was the largest predator in its ecosystem, outweighing even the largest predatory dinosaurs living alongside them between 75 and 82 million years ago.

From previous studies of cranial remains and bite marks on dinosaur fossil bones, paleontologists have long speculated that the massive beasts preyed on dinosaurs.

Now this new study, led by Dr Adam Cossette sheds new light on the monstrous creature and has further confirmed that it most certainly had the head size and crushing jaw strength to do just that.

“Deinosuchus was a giant that must have terrorized dinosaurs that came to the water’s edge to drink,” says Dr Cossette, from the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at Arkansas State University. “Until now, the complete animal was unknown. These new specimens we’ve examined reveal a bizarre, monstrous predator with teeth the size of bananas.”

Co-author Stephanie Drumheller-Horton, a paleontologist at the University of Tennessee, added: “Deinosuchus seems to have been an opportunistic predator, and given that it was so enormous, almost everything in its habitat was on the menu.”

“We actually have multiple examples of bite marks made by D. riograndensis and a species newly described in this study, D. schwimmeri, on turtle shells and dinosaur bones.”

In spite of the genus’s name, which means “terror crocodile,” they were actually more closely related to alligators. Based on its enormous skull, it looked like neither an alligator nor a crocodile. Its snout was long and broad, but inflated at the front around the nose in a way not seen in any other crocodylian, living or extinct. The reason for its enlarged nose is unknown.

“It was a strange animal,” says Brochu. “It shows that crocodylians are not ‘living fossils’ that haven’t changed since the age of dinosaurs. They’ve evolved just as dynamically as any other group.”

Deinosuchus disappeared before the main mass extinction at the end of the age of dinosaurs (Meozoic). The reason for its extinction remains unknown. From here, the authors call for me studies to further understand Deinosuchus.

“It had two large holes are present at the tip of the snout in front of the nose,” Dr Cossette says.

“These holes are unique to Deinosuchus and we do not know what they were for, further research down the line will hopefully help us unpick this mystery and we can learn further about this incredible creature.”

Coronavirus disaster in Trump´s USA, Britain continues


This 12 June 2020 video about COVID’19 in the USA says about itself

Are We About to See Another Dangerous Spike?

NEW YORK’S NURSING HOME COVID-19 DEATH TOLL IS CLOAKED IN SECRECY New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. Unlike every other state with major outbreaks, New York only counts residents who died on nursing home property and not those who were transported to hospitals and died there. That statistic that could add thousands to the state’s official care home death toll of just over 6,600. But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures. [AP]

WILL AMERICA LET COVID-19 BECOME THE NEXT HIV? Over the last two months, coronavirus cases have surged in the most marginalized neighborhoods of the poorest states. Latinx people account for 18% of the population but 33% of infections. Black Americans are nearly twice as likely to die and three times more likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Prisoners, farmworkers and meatpackers — all of whom are disproportionately likely to be poor and minorities — have the highest infection rates. For many epidemiologists, this pattern has a tragic precursor: HIV. [HuffPost]

BIG 10 CANCELS FALL FOOTBALL SEASON The Big Ten presidents voted 12-2 to not play this fall, according to longtime sports personality Dan Patrick. Patrick said that the two schools in the league that voted to play football this fall were the University of Nebraska and the University of Iowa. “The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made,” Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said. [HuffPost]

How the pandemic revealed Britain’s national illness.

How crickets help Japanese orchids


This 2013 video is called Orchid Flower – Tropical Orchidaceae. Taxonomy: Apostasioideae Subfamily.

From Kobe University in Japan:

An ancient association? Crickets disperse seeds of early-diverging orchid Apostasia nipponica

August 10, 2020

Associate Professor SUETSUGU Kenji (Kobe University Graduate School of Science) presents evidence of the apparently unusual seed dispersal system by crickets and camel crickets in Apostasia nipponica (Apostasioideae), acknowledged as an early-diverging lineage of Orchidaceae. These findings were published on August 11 in the online edition of Evolution Letters.

Seed dispersal is a key evolutionary process and a central theme in terrestrial plant ecology. Animal-mediated seed dispersal, most frequently by birds and mammals, benefits seed plants by ensuring efficient and directional transfer of seeds without relying on random abiotic factors such as wind and water. Seed dispersal by animals is generally a coevolved mutualistic relationship in which a plant surrounds its seeds with an edible, nutritious fruit as a good food for animals that consume it. Birds and mammals are the most important seed dispersers, but a wide variety of other animals, including turtles and fish, can transport viable seeds. However, the importance of seed dispersal by invertebrates has received comparatively little attention. Therefore, discoveries of uncommon mechanisms of seed dispersal by invertebrates such as wetas, beetles and slugs usually evoke public curiosity toward animal-plant mutualisms.

Unlike most plants, all of the >25,000 species of orchids are heterotrophic in their early life history stages, obtaining resources from fungi before the production of photosynthetic leaves. Orchid seeds, therefore, contain minimal energy reserves and are numerous and dust-like, which maximizes the chance of a successful encounter with fungi in the substrate. Despite considerable interest in the ways by which orchid flowers are pollinated, little attention has been paid to how their seeds are dispersed, owing to the dogma that wind dispersal is their predominant strategy. Orchid seeds are very small and extremely light, and are produced in large numbers. These seeds do not possess an endosperm but instead usually have large internal air spaces that allow them to float in the air column. In addition, orchid seeds are usually winged or filiform, evolved to be potentially carried by air currents. Furthermore, most orchid seeds have thin papery coats formed by a single layer of non-lignified dead cells. It has been thought that these fragile thin seed coats cannot withstand the digestive fluids of animals, in contrast to the thick seed coats in indehiscent fruits, which are considered an adaptation for endozoochory.

However, it is noteworthy that the subfamily Apostasioideae commonly has indehiscent fruits with hard, crustose black seed coats. Apostasioids are the earliest-diverging subfamily of orchids and consist of only two genera (Apostasia and Neuwiedia), with only ~20 species distributed in southeastern Asia, Japan, and northern Australia. All Apostasia and most Neuwiedia species investigated to date are known to possess berries with hard seed coats. Apostasioids are also well known for several unique traits, such as a non-resupinate flower with an actinomorphic perianth and pollen grains that do not form pollinia. These have been considered ancestral characteristics in orchids, given that they are similar to those found in the members of Hypoxidaceae (which is closely related to Orchidaceae) family. Similarly, the presence of an indehiscent fruit with a thick seed coat, found in most Apostasia and Neuwiedia species can be an ancestral trait in orchids.

Here Suetsugu has studied the Apostasia nipponica (Apostasioideae) seed dispersal system in the forest understory of the warm-temperate forests on Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. Consequently, Suetsugu presents the evidence for seed dispersal by crickets and camel crickets in A. nipponica. Similar results were obtained in different years, indicating that this interaction is likely stable, at least in the investigated site. It probably constitutes a mutualism, wherein both partners benefit from the association — orthopteran visitors obtain nutrients from the pulp and A. nipponica achieves dispersal of seeds from the parent plants. The seeds of A. nipponica are coated with lignified tissue that likely protects the seeds as they pass through the digestive tract of crickets and camel crickets. Although neither the cricket nor camel cricket can fly, they potentially transport the seeds long distances owing to their remarkable jumping abilities. Despite the traditional view that the minute, dust-like, and wind-dispersed orchid seeds can travel long distances, both genetic and experimental research has indicated that orchids have limited dispersal ability; orchid seeds often fall close to the maternal plant (within a few meters), particularly in understory species. Given that A. nipponica fruits are produced close to the ground in dark understory environments where the wind speed is low, seed dispersal by crickets is probably a successful strategy for this orchid.

Orchid seeds lack a definitive fossil record due to their extremely minute size. Therefore, the interaction described here provides some important clues as to the animals that may have participated in the seed dispersal of the ancestors of orchids. Given that the origin of crickets and camel crickets precedes the evolution of orchids, they are among the candidates for seed dispersers of the ancestors of extant orchids. Owing to many plesiomorphic characteristics and the earliest-diverging phylogenetic position, members of Apostasioideae have been extensively studied to understand their floral structure, taxonomy, biogeography, and genome. However, there is still a lack of information regarding seed dispersal in the subfamily. Therefore, Suetsugu has documented the animal-mediated seed dispersal of Apostasioideae members for the first time. Whether seed dispersal by animals (and particularly by orthopteran fruit feeders) is common in these orchids warrants further investigation. It is possible that this method of dispersal is an ancestral trait in Apostasioideae, given that indehiscent fruits with a hard seed coat are common within the clade. Further research, such as an ancestral character-state reconstruction analysis of more data on the seed dispersal systems of other apostasioids, can provide deeper insights into the early evolution of the seed dispersal system in Orchidaceae.

COVID-19 kills singer Trini Lopez


This music video from the USA is called Trini Lopez – If I Had A Hammer (1963) – HD.

The lyrics are:

If I had a hammer
I’d hammer in the morning
I’d hammer in the evening
All over this land

I’d hammer out danger
I’d hammer out a warning
I’d hammer about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All over this land

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh

If I had a bell
I’d ring it in the morning
I’d ring it in the evening
All over this land

I’d ring out danger
I’d ring out a warning
I’d ring about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh

If I had a song
I’d sing it in the morning
I’d sing it in the evening
All over this land

I’d sing out danger
I’d sing out a warning, yeah
I’d sing out about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Ooh, ooh ooh
Ooh, ooh

Now, I’ve got a hammer
And I’ve got a bell
And I’ve got a song to sing
All over this land

It’s the hammer of justice
It’s the bell of freedom, yeah
It’s the song about the love between my brothers and my sisters
All, all over this land

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

All over this land
Ooh, all over this land
Hee, all over this land, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

All over this land
Hee, all over this land

The song was written in 1949 by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays to support progressive movements in the USA.

It was sung a lot during 1960s demonstrations for civil rights and against the Vietnam war.

Today, Dutch NOS TV reports (translated):

In a hospital in California, the US American singer and guitarist Trini Lopez (83) has died. Lopez, the son of Mexican migrants, had his greatest successes in the 1960s with If I Had a Hammer, Lemon Tree and La Bamba.

According to his business partner, musician Joe Chavira, Lopez died of Covid-19 in a hospital in Palm Springs, California. Chavira says he had just recorded a song with Lopez intended to raise money for food banks, where people affected by the corona crisis can go to.

Lopez, the son of Mexican migrants, grew up in Dallas, Texas. His family was short on money, so Lopez was unable to finish high school. His life changed when his father gave him a second-hand guitar and taught him to play it.

Pink catfish discovered in Venezuelan cave


This 10 August 2020 video from Venezuela says about itself:

Pink Catfish Discovered In Mountain Cave | The Dark: Nature’s Nighttime World | BBC Earth

This tiny pink catfish is a welcome surprise for the team. It has never seen daylight or an ocean. The crew inspect it closely and document their discovery.