Sailfish video


This 17 May 2017 video says about itself:

Sailfish Are Master Hunters – Planet Earth – BBC Earth

Stunning footage of Sailfish three metres long closing in on prey. Ever the resourceful hunter, they will only use just enough energy to make their kill, never wasting a fin stroke. What is more remarkable is how they can change colour to warn their companions or confuse their prey.

Young Bermuda petrel visited by parent


This video from Bermuda says about itself:

Overnight Visit From Adult on Cahow Cam – May 18, 2017

It’s a full-belly Friday for the Bermuda Petrel chick thanks to a late night visit from this adult cahow on Thursday. Watch here as the two birds congregate in the burrow after reuniting in the nest tunnel. Over the next two weeks, the larger-than-life cahow chick will begin to shed its downy plumage and its first fresh set of flight feathers.

The Cahow Cam is a collaboration between the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Nonsuch Expeditions. You can watch the cam live here

and learn more about Nonsuch Island‘s environs (including the cahow) here.

A new study finds that birds who freely choose their own mates have more offspring than those which were paired up by researchers in a sort of avian ‘arranged marriage’ — findings that have far-reaching implications for conservation and captive breeding practices: here.

Greenfinch sings, video


This 19 May 2017 video shows a greenfinch singing in the orchard of Doorwerth castle in Gelderland province in the Netherlands.

Marijke Kemps made this video.

Swifts in Ireland, video


This video says about itself:

12 May 2017

The Swift is one of Ireland‘s most special migrant birds, visiting Irish towns and cities for just three months each summer to nest and raise their chicks. The rest of lives of the Swifts breeding in Ireland are spent entirely on the wing, high in the skies of Africa.

Small tortoiseshell caterpillars’ self-defence


This 19 May 2016 video shows a mass of small tortoiseshell caterpillars.

They are moving, in self-defence against enemies like parasitic wasps.

Lieke Kragt from the Netherlands made this video.

New damselfish species discovery


This video says about itself:

18 May 2017

Evolutionary biologist Giacomo Bernardi describes how he and his graduate students discovered a new species of damselfish (Altrichthys alelia) in the Philippines. The parental care behavior of Altrichthys is unusual. Among the hundreds of species of damselfish, only a few protect and care for their young. Most coral reef fish produce large numbers of young that disperse into the ocean as larvae.

From the University of California – Santa Cruz in the USA:

New coral reef fish species shows rare parental care behavior

Among the hundreds of species of damselfish, only a few protect and care for their young; a newly discovered species raises the number from three to four

May 18, 2017

Summary: The vast majority of coral reef fish produce large numbers of young that disperse into the ocean as larvae, drifting with the currents before settling down on a reef. A few reef fish, however, keep their broods on the reef, protecting the young until they are big enough to fend for themselves. On a recent trip to the Philippines, researchers discovered a new species of damselfish that exhibits this unusual parental care behavior.

The vast majority of coral reef fish produce large numbers of young that disperse into the ocean as larvae, drifting with the currents before settling down on a reef. Giacomo Bernardi, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UC Santa Cruz, studies reef fish that buck this trend and keep their broods on the reef, protecting the young until they are big enough to fend for themselves.

On a recent trip to the Philippines, Bernardi and his graduate students discovered a new species of damselfish that exhibits this unusual parental care behavior. Out of about 380 species of damselfish, only three brood-guarding species were known prior to this discovery. Bernardi’s team had gone to the Philippines to study two of them, both in the genus Altrichthys, that live in shallow water off the small island of Busuanga. On the last day of the trip, the researchers went snorkeling in a remote area on the other side of the island from their study site.

“Immediately, as soon as we went in the water, we saw that this was a different species,” Bernardi said. “It’s very unusual to see a coral reef fish guarding its babies, so it’s really cool when you see it.”

Genetic tests on the specimens they collected confirmed that it is a new species, which the researchers named Altrichthys alelia (Alelia’s damselfish, derived from the names of Bernardi’s children, Alessio and Amalia, who helped with his field research). A paper on the new species was published May 18 in the journal ZooKeys.

Parental care dramatically improves the chances of survival for the offspring. According to Bernardi, less than one percent of larvae that disperse into the ocean survive to settle back on a reef, whereas survival rates can be as high as 35 percent for the offspring of the Altrichthys species. Yet the parental care strategy remains rare among reef fish.

“It’s a huge fitness advantage, so why don’t they all do that? There must also be a huge disadvantage,” Bernardi said.

One big disadvantage is that the young are unable to colonize new sites far from the home reef of their parents. As a result, brood-guarding species (the technical term is “apelagic” species, because they don’t have a pelagic, ocean-going phase) tend to occur in highly restricted areas, which leaves them more vulnerable to extinction.

“I suspect that species evolve this strategy regularly, and they are successful until there is some change to the local habitat, and then the whole population gets wiped out,” Bernardi said. “These are very fragile species. The Banggai cardinalfish is one that was discovered just a few years ago in a small area in Indonesia, and it’s already on the endangered species list.”

Dutch Huys te Warmont nature reserve


This 2017 video is about Dutch Huys te Warmont nature reserve.