New hammerhead shark species discovery in Belize


This video says about itself:

5 February 2017

Scientists have discovered a new population of miniature sharks off the coast of Belize. The bonnethead, a small species of hammerhead shark, can be found in many spots around the Caribbean. However, the new shark is an entirely different species based on large genetic differences between them and other bonnetheads. Bonnethead sharks are commercially fished in the United States, throughout the Caribbean and in South America. The recording of the new shark was reportedly made during a 2016 shark tagging expedition.

From The Reporter in Belize:

New hammerhead shark species found in Belize

Posted by The Reporter newspaper on February 9, 2017 at 10:42 am

By Benjamin Flowers

Shark researchers have discovered a new species of shark in Belize.

Researchers from Florida International University (FIU) were conducting DNA sequencing on bonnet head sharks, a species of hammer head sharks, when they made the discovery.

The bonnet head shark is found in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States; however, the DNA of the species found in Belize did not match that of the bonnet heads found anywhere else. The bonnet heads found in Belize, which have yet to be named, have the same physical appearance as its counterparts within the region, but have large genetic differences.

Evaluating the DNA analysis conducted by Andrew Fields from Stony Brook University, FIU researchers estimated that the bonnet head sharks around the nation stopped interbreeding with those from Mexico, the United States and the Bahamas several million years ago.

Demian Chapman, lead researcher on the team that made the discovery, said that the find raises concerns about the sustainability measures in place to keep the species from extinction. While the bonnet head is ranked at “Least Concern” for extinction risk by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the union made the classification assuming there was a single species of bonnet head.

“Now we have to define the range of each of these species individually and assess them independently against where the potential threats are,” Chapman said.

Chapman who is currently leading a shark survey project called Global Finprint, believes that the discovery could be the door way to finding even more new species of sharks.

Global Finprint is an initiative seeking to determine the cause for the decreasing number of sharks and rays.

Geert Wilders’ anti-Moroccan racism


Wilders cartoon

In this Dutch Geert Wilders cartoon, the signposts say ‘To the right’, ‘Further to the right’, and, finally as he falls into the abyss ‘FPÖ‘ (the Austrian far-right party, founded by ex-members of Hitler’s nazi party, with which Wilders cooperates now).

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Muslims condemn Wilders for calling Moroccans ‘scum’

Monday 20th February 2017

MUSLIM groups in the Netherlands slammed far-right leader Geert Wilders’s latest racist outburst against Moroccan immigrants yesterday.

The Party for Freedom leader, who hopes to become prime minister in the March 15 general election, made the comments at his first campaign rally in the town of Spijkenisse on Saturday.

He promised to crack down on “Moroccan scum,” whom he claimed the authorities allowed to “run riot.” “

Not all are scum, but there is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe,” Mr Wilders said, surrounded by a heavy police escort.

“If you want to regain your country, if you want to make the Netherlands for the people of the Netherlands, your own home, again, then you can only vote for one party.”

Umbrella group Contact Organ Muslims and Government director Ebubekir Ozture called Mr Wilders’s comments “reprehensible,” but added Moroccans and Muslims were used to his racist rhetoric.

Mr Wilders was convicted in absentia last year of hate speech for a talk he gave before the 2014 local elections.

He asked the audience if they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the country, to which they chanted “Fewer!” — and he replied “I’ll take care of it.”

Abdou Menebhi of the Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Migration and Development, who made one of many complaints about the 2014 speech, said: “Wilders is not going to stop.

“He is still spreading hate and discriminating against Moroccans and Muslims.”

Walnut orb-weaver spider, European Spider of the Year


This video is called Spider ID: Walnut Orb-Weaver.

The walnut orb-weaver spider has been named European Spider of the Year 2017.

Deutsche Welle radio in Germany writes about it:

Germany’s arachnologists put their focus on this cute creature: Many of us have likely met the walnut orb-weaver spider at some point – around the garden or house. It loves to dwell in old masonry or in the bark of old trees or dead wood. Its cobwebs are large and beautiful: up to 50 inches in diameter.

Britain against Trump update


This video from England says about itself:

30 January 2017

The StandUpToTrump rally at London’s Whitehall on Monday 30th January 2017 drew tens of thousands of people, protesting against Donald Trump’s ban against Muslims entering (or re-entering) the USA.

By Steve Sweeney in Britain:

Huge call to stand up to Trump‘s proposed visit

Monday 20th February 2017

Rally at Westminster as MPs debate May’s invitation to the billionaire bigot

TENS of thousands will demonstrate against Donald Trump tonight to coincide with a debate in Parliament on the US president’s state visit.

The debate has been prompted by a staggering 1.8 million-name petition demanding Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation to the billionaire bigot be scrapped in the wake of his so-called “Muslim ban.”

MPs, Muslim organisations and campaign groups will join the protest, with events planned across the country in conjunction with migrants rights group One Day Without Us.

One Day Without Us spokeswoman Fizza Qureshi said: “Migrants are not a drain on our society and not bargaining chips in negotiations: they are people with lives, who make a huge contribution to Britain.”

On Saturday hundreds attended a national organising summit as the Stand Up to Trump coalition vowed to stop the state visit.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn told the gathering: “Donald Trump was elected president of the United States by attacking women, by attacking Muslims, by abusing Mexicans and Mexico and threatening to build a wall.

Our Prime Minister rushed over there to see him and has refused to answer my questions about the future of US healthcare companies and their relationship with our NHS.”

Mr Corbyn repeated his call for the state visit to be cancelled.

He said: “This is about the kind of world we want to live in. This is about peace, justice and democracy.”

NUT East London secretary Alex Kenny warned: “It is Muslim children in our classrooms that feel afraid since Trump’s election. It is Muslim children that feel targeted.”

National Union of Students spokeswoman Barbara Ntumy said: “I’m not a Mexican. I’m not a Muslim. But if you want to get to them, you’ve got to get through me.”

And Campaign Against Climate Change spokeswoman Suzanne Jeffries warned: “Trump is a threat to the planet.”

With rumours that Mr Trump’s visit may be switched from London to the Midlands, Birmingham NUT member Bridget Parsons warned: “Fox News said that Birmingham is a no-go area for non-Muslims.

We must make it a no-go area for Trump.”

But she warned against dividing the movement over Brexit: “We want one organisation. We want Leavers and Remainers united.”

Tonight’s demonstration will take place in Parliament Square from 6pm.

Great knot video


This video is about the Siberian bird species great knot.

Bird paintings by Aert Schouman exhibited


This 17 February 2017 Dutch video is about an exhibition in Dordrecht of bird paintings by Aert Schouman (1710-1792).

Among his works are big oil paintings for the walls of Prince William V‘s palace in The Hague.

Now, these paintings are usually in Huis ten Bosch royal palace in The Hague. However, that palace is being reconstructed (which costs lots of taxpayers’ money). So, from now till September 2017, there is an exhibition of Schouman’s work in the Dordrechts Museum in Dordrecht.

Biologists have helped with this exhibition as the birds depicted are from many countries and Schouman often did not know which exact species he depicted.