This video is about an European toad winking.
Nel Appelmelk from the Netherlands made the video.
This video is about an European toad winking.
Nel Appelmelk from the Netherlands made the video.
This video is called The Carboniferous Period.
From the Carboniferous Forest Simulation site, where you can download this program:
Carboniferous Forest Simulation
A free, interactive realtime simulation places you into a time machine and enables you to take a walk through the overgrown jungle of ferns, tree-like clubmosses and giant insects our modern civilization was founded on.
The application is currently in alpha state. This means, that the application is not complete both technical and content-wise (for example plant descriptions and sound are not complete, and animals are still missing) and it may contain errors. Nevertheless, we decided to release it as early as possible to share the development progress with you. You can also track and discuss the progress in the interesting “Making of”-thread in The Fossil Forum.
In its final version, the application will be free for personal, museum and educational use, in its current alpha version it is only free for personal use.
Any feedback, hints and reviews by paleontologists, fossil specialists, game/simulation developers and any interested persons are highly appreciated!
Please note, that you will need a pretty tough computer to run the simulation. The minimum requirement is a 2.4 GHz Core I5 processor or similar, 4 GB of RAM and a 1GB 3D graphics card (at least Geforce 560TI or similar).
Pristimantis mutabilis: Scientists Discover Shape-Shifting Frog in Ecuador
Mar 24, 2015
Case Western Reserve University PhD student Katherine Krynak, naturalist Tim Krynak of Cleveland Metroparks’ Natural Resources Division, and their colleagues from the Universidad Indoamerica, the University of Kansas, and organization Tropical Herping, have described a unique species of frog from Reserva Las Gralarias, Pichincha, north-central Ecuador. According to the team, the new species – named Pristimantis mutabilis (mutable rainfrog) – changes skin texture in minutes, appearing to mimic the texture it sits on.
Pristimantis mutabilis, described in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, is believed to be the first amphibian known to have this shape-shifting capability.
It belongs to a large genus of approximately 470 frog species found in the southern Caribbean and in Central and South America from Honduras to northern Argentina and southern Brazil.
The scientists believe the ability to change skin texture to reflect its surroundings may enable Pristimantis mutabilis to help camouflage itself from birds and other predators.
Katherine and Tim Krynak originally spotted the small, spiny frog, nearly the width of a marble, sitting on a moss-covered leaf about a yard off the ground on a misty July night in 2009.
The scientists captured one specimen and tucked it into a cup with a lid before resuming their nightly search for wildlife. They nicknamed the frog ‘punk rocker‘ because of the thorn-like spines covering its body.
The next day, Katherine Krynak pulled the frog from the cup and set it on a smooth white sheet of plastic for Tim Krynak to photograph. “It wasn’t ‘punk’ – it was smooth-skinned,” they said.
The scientists found the frog shifts skin texture in a little more than 3 minutes. They then performed morphological and genetic analyses showing that the frog was a unique and undescribed species.
They also studied the frog’s calls, finding three songs the species uses, which differentiate them from relatives.
In addition, team members Dr Juan Guayasamin and Dr Carl Hutter discovered that Pristimantis sobetes – a previously known species of frog with similar markings but about twice the size of Pristimantis mutabilis – has the same trait when they placed a spiny specimen on a sheet and watched its skin turn smooth.
The team plans to continue surveying for Pristimantis mutabilis and to further document their behaviors, lifecycle and texture shifting, and estimate their population, all in effort to improve our knowledge and subsequent ability to conserve this paradigm shifting species. Further, they hope to discern whether more relatives have the ability to shift skin texture and if that trait comes from a common ancestor.
If Pristimantis mutabilis and P. sobetes are the only species within this branch of Pristimantis frogs to have this capability, they hope to learn whether they retained it from an ancestor while relatives did not, or whether the trait evolved independently in each species.
This video says about itself:
24 March 2015
From Associated Press:
Researchers Find Fossil of ‘Super Salamander’ Species
LONDON — Mar 24, 2015, 11:01 AM ET
Fossil remains of a previously unknown species of a crocodile-like “super salamander” that grew as long as a small car and was a top predator more than 200 million years ago have been found in southern Portugal, researchers announced Tuesday.
The species grew up to two meters (six feet) in length and lived in lakes and rivers, University of Edinburgh researchers said.
The team said the species, given the name Metoposaurus algarvensis, was part of a wider group of primitive amphibians that were widespread at the time but became extinct. They are the ancestors of modern amphibians such as frogs, and are believed by paleontologists to have lived at the same time the dinosaurs began their dominance.
Steve Brusatte of the University of Edinburgh’s School of GeoSciences, who led the study, said the new species, which had hundreds of sharp teeth, is “weird compared to anything today.”
The team says the find establishes that this group of amphibians lived in a more diverse geographic area than had been thought.
Andrew Milner, an expert on early amphibians at the Natural History Museum in London who was not involved in the study, said the find “is another piece of the picture.” The Portuguese site has “very good potential to give us more and different types of animal” from the Upper Triassic period, he added.
The dig in Portugal began in 2009 and took several years. The “super salamander” bones were uncovered in a half-meter thick layer of rock in a hillside that is “chock-full” of bones, Brusatte said. The team hopes to raise funds to continue excavating the site.
See also here.
The scientific description of this newly discovered species is here.
This 2011 is about a Bay Lycian salamander, an endangered species from Turkey.
From Wildlife Extra:
15 animal species have the lowest chance for survival
Climbing rats, seabirds and tropical gophers are among the 15 animal species that are at the absolute greatest risk of becoming extinct very soon. Expertise and money is needed to save them and other highly threatened species.
A new study shows that a subset of highly threatened species – in this case 841 – can be saved from extinction for about $1.3 billion a year. However, for 15 of them the chances of conservation success are really low.
The study published in Current Biology concludes that a subset of 841 endangered animal species can be saved, but only if conservation efforts are implemented immediately and with an investment of an estimated US $1.3 billion annually to ensure the species’ habitat protection and management.
Researchers, led by Assistant Prof. Dalia A. Conde from University of Southern Denmark and Prof. John E Fa from Imperial College, developed a “conservation opportunity index” using measurable indicators to quantify the possibility of achieving successful conservation.
To estimate the opportunities to conserve these species the researchers considered:
1. Opportunities of protecting its remaining habitats, which are restricted to single sites. Important factors are costs, political stability, and probability of urbanization.
2. The possibility to establish protected insurance populations in zoos: Important factors are costs and breeding expertise.
The researchers computed the cost of, and opportunities for, conserving 841 species of mammals, reptiles, birds and amphibians listed by the Alliance for Zero Extinction (AZE) as restricted to single sites and categorized as Endangered or Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List.
“AZE sites are arguably the most irreplaceable category of important biodiversity conservation sites,” said Dr. Dalia A. Conde, lead author on the paper and Assistant Professor at the Max-Planck Odense Center at the University of Southern Denmark, adding:
“Conservation opportunity evaluations like ours show the urgency of implementing management actions before it is too late. However, it is imperative to rationally determine actions for species that we found to have the lowest chances of successful habitat and zoo conservation actions.”
While the study indicated that 39% of the species scored high for conservation opportunities, it also showed that at least 15 AZE species are in imminent danger of extinction given their low conservation opportunity index (see list below).
The estimated total cost to conserve the 841 animal species in their natural habitats was calculated to be over US$1 billion total per year. The estimated annual cost for complementary management in zoos was US$160 million.
“Although the cost seems high, safeguarding these species is essential if we want to reduce the extinction rate by 2020,” said Prof. Hugh Possingham from The University of Queensland, adding:
“When compared to global government spending on other sectors – e.g., US defense spending, which is more than 500 times greater, an investment in protecting high biodiversity value sites is minor.”
Prof. John E. Fa said, “Our exercise gives us hope for saving many highly endangered species from extinction, but actions need to be taken immediately and, for species restricted to one location, an integrative conservation approach is needed.”
The paper stated the importance of integrating protection of the places these particular species inhabit with complementary zoo insurance population programmes.
According to Dr. Onnie Byers, Chair of the IUCN SSC Conservation Breeding Specialist Group, “The question is not one of protecting a species in the wild or in zoos. The One Plan approach – effective integration of planning, and the optimal use of limited resources, across the spectrum of management from wild to zoo – is essential if we are to have a hope of achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.”
Dr. Nate Flesness, Scientific Director of the International Species Information System, stressed “We want to thank the more than 800 zoos in 87 countries which contribute animal and collection data to the International Species Information System, where the assembled global data enables strategic conservation studies like this.”
Dr. Markus Gusset of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums added “Actions that range from habitat protection to the establishment of insurance populations in zoos will be needed if we want to increase the chances of species’ survival.”
The 15 species with the lowest chances for survival in the wild and in zoos are:
1. Bay Lycian salamander, Lyciasalamandra billae, Turkey.
2. Perereca Bokermannohyla izecksohni, Brazil.
3. Campo Grande tree frog, Hypsiboas dulcimer, Brazil.
4. Santa Cruz dwarf frog, Physalaemus soaresi, Brazil.
5. Zorro bubble-nest frog, Pseudophilautus zorro, Sri Lanka.
6. Allobates juanii, Colombia.
1. Ash’s lark, Mirafra ashi, Somalia.
2. Tahiti monarch, Pomarea nigra, French Polynesia.
3. Zino’s petrel, Pterodroma madeira, Madeira.
4. Mascarene petrel, Pseudobulweria aterrima, Reunion Island.
5. Wilkins’s finch, Nesospiza wilkinsi, Tristan da Cunha.
6. Amsterdam albatross, Diomedea amsterdamensis, New Amsterdam (Amsterdam Island).
Their low chance for survival is due to at least two of the following factors:
High probability of its habitat becoming urbanized
Political instability in the site
High costs of habitat protection and management.
The opportunity of establishing an insurance population in zoos for these 15 species is low, due to high costs or lack of breeding expertise for the species.
This is a video about a male smooth newt, preparing for the mating season which will start at the end of March.
Jos van Zijl from the Netherlands made the video.
This is a video about a male moor frog in the Netherlands.
It has its blueish mating season skin.
The video is by smuldershans.