Ancient hominin Lucy died by fall from tree


This video says about itself:

Lucy fell from a tree 3.18 million years ago

29 August 2016

Lucy died after falling from a tree, new research suggests. Lucy is a 3.18-million-year-old specimen of Australopithecus afarensis considered one of the oldest and most complete fossil hominins, an erect-walking human ancestor.

From Nature:

Perimortem fractures in Lucy suggest mortality from fall out of tall tree

Published online 29 August 2016

The Pliocene fossil ‘Lucy’ (Australopithecus afarensis) was discovered in the Afar region of Ethiopia in 1974 and is among the oldest and most complete fossil hominin skeletons discovered.

Here we propose, on the basis of close study of her skeleton, that her cause of death was a vertical deceleration event or impact following a fall from considerable height that produced compressive and hinge (greenstick) fractures in multiple skeletal elements. Impacts that are so severe as to cause concomitant fractures usually also damage internal organs; together, these injuries are hypothesized to have caused her death.

Lucy has been at the centre of a vigorous debate about the role, if any, of arboreal locomotion in early human evolution. It is therefore ironic that her death can be attributed to injuries resulting from a fall, probably out of a tall tree, thus offering unusual evidence for the presence of arborealism in this species.

Tim White, a paleoanthropologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has studied Lucy and other Australopithecus fossils, and he doesn’t think there is enough evidence to say how Lucy died. “Most, if not all of the breaks appear to be the result of geological processes well after the time of death,” he tells NPR’s Christopher Joyce. “Fossilization makes bones brittle, and when fossils are embedded in sediment they are often cracked, crushed, and distorted”: here.

Fossil autopsy claims Lucy fell from tree. Disputed analysis says early hominid broke multiple bones: here.

Brown thrasher molting in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Brown Thrasher Molting – Bald Headed Songbird Season

26 August 2016

Late summer is bald bird or molting season. First time I’ve seen the normally aloof and well-groomed Thrasher in such a state. It will only last a few weeks.

A feather is a “dead” structure, analogous to hair or nails in humans and made of the same basic ingredient, the protein keratin. This means that when they get damaged, feathers can’t heal themselves—they have to be completely replaced. This replacement of all or some of the feathers is called molt. In addition to providing a new set of healthy feathers, molts often provide a new look to the bird’s plumage—new colors or patterns that can indicate the bird’s age, sex, or the season of the year.

Molt is extremely variable. Observed patterns can vary by species, by individual, from year to year, and by individual feathers on the same bird. Molts can be either complete, in which the bird replaces every one of its feathers over the same molt period; or partial, in which the bird replaces only some of its feathers (for example, flight feathers or body feathers).

Molt keeps birds in top flying condition by replacing feathers that have become worn or damaged with completely new feathers. However, if a bird loses an entire feather, that feather will begin growing back immediately rather than waiting for the next molt. (This is why people clip the flight feathers of captive birds rather than plucking them out).

Molting occurs in response to a mixture of hormonal changes brought about by seasonal changes. The entire process is complex and many questions remain regarding how the process is controlled. A basic understanding of molting patterns can be a useful aid in identifying many species and in determining their age.

Flowers and insects of Voorne island


This 28 August 2016 video is about flowers, hoverflies, dragonflies and other insects at the Beerenplaat nature reserve on Voorne island in the Netherlands.

Austrian butterflies on video


This video shows a sooty copper butterfly in the Pitztal valley in Austria.

This video shows a sooty copper butterfly, subalpinus subspecies, in the Pitztal valley in Austria.

Northern cardinal fledgling video


This video from the USA says about itself:

28 August 2016

Newly fledged Northern Cardinal is still being fed by the parents while learning what food is good to eat by trial and error. This is the second brood for these Cardinals – by leaving the nest in late August the young will have plenty of time to be ready for winter. Blue Jays, Woodpeckers and Cardinals all have had two broods this year.

Biggest Daubenton’s bats colony found


This video shows Daubenton’s bats at the Kapellbrücke bridge in Lucerne in Switzerland in 2007.

Research has found out that the biggest Daubenton’s bats colony in the Netherlands is in the church of Metslawier village in Friesland province: 270 bats.

These animals eat mainly moths and mosquitoes.