New entoproct animals discoveries


This video says about itself:

Phylum Kamptozoa (Entoprocta)

30 July 2015

Also called nodding heads or goblet worms, Kamptozoans are tiny little sessile animals composed of a muscular stalk and a head with a crown of tentacles.

Translated from the Dutch Stichting ANEMOON marine biologists:

8 May 2016 – In biodiversity research for Rijkswaterstaat biologists in the North Sea have found four species new for the Netherlands of solitary entoproct animals. They are also the first species of this type of animal group found in Dutch coastal waters. Unfortunately, these Entoprocta are very small.

The four newly discovered species are Loxosomella compressa, Loxosomella harmeri, Loxosomella varians and Loxosomella phascolosomata.They are from 0.5 to 2.5 mm in size.

Dragonfly named after David Attenborough


This video from Britain says about itself:

Dragonfly Named After Attenborough! – #Attenborough90 – BBC

6 May 2016

To celebrate Sir David Attenborough‘s birthday one of the world’s most foremost dragonfly experts wanted to give him a special gift.

Watch the full program on BBC One 7pm Sunday 08/05/2016 UK.

How owls fly silently, video


This video from Britain about a barn owl says about itself:

Experiment! How Does An Owl Fly So Silently? – Super Powered Owls – BBC

29 April 2016

Using sensitive sound equipment the team try to find out how an owl can fly so silently compared to other birds.

Pre-dinosaur footprint discovery in Spain


This video about Spain is called Hiker gets the shock of his life after stumbling across 230 million-year-old [pre-]dinosaur footprint.

By Lee Moran:

Hiker Happens Upon Prehistoric Footprint Of 230-Million-Year-Old Reptile

The fossil features details of the dinosaur-like creature’s claw and skin.

05/03/2016 08:38 am ET

It’s a trek that they’ll never forget.

A hiker walking in hills near Barcelona, northeastern Spain, stumbled upon a fossilized footprint believed to belong to a reptile-like ancestor of the dinosaurs. The extinct creature, called Isochirotherium, roamed the Earth during the Middle Triassic period some 230 million years ago.

It’s the “best preserved print ever found in the Iberian Peninsula,” reports the Spanish news agency EFE.

Catalonia’s autonomous regional government confirmed the find on Monday. It was discovered near Olesa de Montserrat, 25 miles north of Barcelona, on Apr. 22.

Olesa de Montserrat town council made a plaster cast of the print, according to the local newspaper La Vanguardia. The regional Department of Culture’s archaeology and paleontology service is examining the fossilized print.

Eudald Mujal, a paleontologist at Barcelona’s Autonomous University, said it was “exceptionally well preserved” and even “retains details of claw and skin.”

He told The Local that the now Isochirotherium was part of the archosaur group of animals. They were “similar to crocodiles, of quadrupedal gait, but with longer limbs,” and a more erect posture Mujal, said. 

Beached narwhal investigated in Belgium


This 2012 video says about itself:

A narwhal‘s tusk makes it weird among whales. It’s actually a tooth that can reach 10 feet in length, and scientists have numerous theories about its powers and purpose.

From the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences:

Narwhal in the River Scheldt Probably Died of Starvation

03/05/2016

by Sigrid Maebe

On 27 April 2016, a dead narwhal was found in the river Scheldt, near the sluice of Wintam (Bornem). The autopsy revealed that the animal probably died of starvation. The narwhal is an arctic species that has never before been observed in Belgium.

An autopsy was carried out on the stranded narwhal in a joint effort by scientists of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences (RBINS), the University of Ghent and the University of Liège.

The advanced state of decomposition makes establishing a cause of death difficult. However, no traces of a ship collision were present. The emaciated condition and the out of range position (more than 100 km away from the sea, and many thousands of km from its home range), indicates a natural process of starvation. Narwhal normally eat fish, crustaceans and cephalopods.

No food remains were found in its stomach or intestine, but, in the stomach, a number of small plastic items and small pieces of eroded driftwood were found. These items are very common in the river Scheldt and are concentrated in certain areas. Their presence in the stomach of the narwhal would indicate that the dying animal had swallowed them in the river and not at sea. We speculate therefore that it had swum up the river, and had died there shortly afterwards. The autopsy also revealed a heart condition and possibly also a thyroid problem. Several examinations and tests have started, including genetic and parasite analyses.

The stranded narwhal was a juvenile male with a (body) length 3,04 m long and a girth of 1,81 m. The tusk protruded 0,7 m out of its body (it can be 3 m long in adult males). The narwhal weighed 290 kg which is more than 150 kg too light for an animal of this length.

This is the first record of a narwhal in Belgium. Only a handful of observations and strandings are known in Europe, including an animal that was killed in the (former) Zuiderzee (The Netherlands) in 1912. Narwhals usually stay north of the 70° North latitude, and their home range includes arctic waters of Russia, Greenland and Canada. This is probably the most southerly record from Europe.

The skeleton of the narwhal will be prepared, and will be taken up in the collection of RBINS. RBINS would like to thank all persons involved in the discovery, securing, transportation and study of this exceptional animal that was discovered in a very unusual location.

Mammoth fur, excrement in Dutch museum


This is a 29 April 2016 video from Naturalis museum in Leiden, the Netherlands. It shows pieces of woolly mammoth fur and excrement arriving in the collection, all the way from the permafrost in Siberia.

Rare fly discovered on Ameland island


Delia quadripila, photo Joke van Erkelens

Translated from the Leeuwarder Courant in the Netherlands:

25 April 2016

On the salt marsh on the east side of Ameland an insect has been found that had not previously been found in the Netherlands. It’s Delia quadripila, a fly from the Anthomyiidea family which had not yet been identified in the Benelux countries before. The larvae feed on the chlorophyll of sea sandwort, a rare marsh plant. The specimen was found by Theo Kiewiet on March 13 as a pupa and then hatched in Meppel by amateur entomologist Joke van Erkelens. At the Vennootkwelder salt marsh sandwiched between the Oerd and Kooikersduinen areas approximately 120 insect species have been observed.