Ornithomimosaur, Therizinosaur and Oviraptorosaur dinosaurs


This 22 January 2020 video is called Dinosaurs X: TheropodaOrnithomimosaurs, Therizinosaurs and Oviraptorosaurs.

Sectarian attempted murder of Irish folk musicians


This 11 June 2020 video about Ireland is called The Wolfe Tones’ rebel song Come Out Ye Black And Tans hits number one on UK iTunes charts.

This 2017 folk music video is called The Wolfe Tones – Come Out Ye Black And Tans.

This blog has noted before that German secret police targets punk rock music. And that British police targets punk rock music. And that British police bans rock band Babyshambles because some parts of their songs are slow and others are fast. And that British police ban Jamaican music.

However, ‘targeting’ sometimes goes further than spying or banning. Sometimes, it is targeting for murder.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Irish rebel musicians Wolfe Tones targeted by loyalist paramilitaries linked to British intelligence

IRISH rebel musicians the Wolfe Tones have said that they escaped a planned attack by a notorious loyalist paramilitary group backed by British intelligence services in the 1970s.

Singer Brian Warfield explained that before playing a gig in 1975 the band were told their lives were at risk from the Glenanne Gang — a group of police officers, serving British soldiers and members of the Ulster Volunteer Force responsible for about 120 deaths between 1972 and 1980.

The concert was at a Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) club outside Kileel in County Down. The band were told by the GAA committee not to go for a pre-concert drink in the pub as “the RUC and the UDR were drinking in the front bar.”

“After the gig I came out and the organisers said to me: ‘You can’t go home [by] the main road,’ Mr Warfield said on the Blindboy podcast.

“I said: ‘Why is that?’ and he said: ‘Because there is a blockade waiting for you down there’.”

The concert organisers instead took the band over the mountains of Mourne, whence they made their way back to Dublin.

“The day we got back to Dublin the [police’s] special branch said that the Wolfe Tones were not to go north again, that our lives were in danger.

“I believe that the Glenanne Gang were drinking in that front bar … getting locked out of their mind, ready to pick up the Wolfe Tones on the way home.”

In July 1975 members of the Miami Showband — one of Ireland’s biggest bands — were gunned down after a bomb attack at a bogus roadblock went wrong.

Lead singer Fran O’Toole, guitarist Tony Geraghty and trumpeter Brian McCoy were killed, along with two members of the Glenanne Gang: Harris Boyle and Wesley Somerville, who died when their bomb exploded prematurely.

Walking sharks discovery off Australia


This 20 January 2020 video is called New species of walking shark found in Indonesia.

From the University of Queensland in Australia:

Walking sharks discovered in the tropics

January 21, 2020

Four new species of tropical sharks that use their fins to walk are causing a stir in waters off northern Australia and New Guinea.

While that might strike fear into the hearts of some people, University of Queensland researchers say the only creatures with cause to worry are small fish and invertebrates.

The walking sharks were discovered during a 12-year study with Conservation International, the CSIRO, Florida Museum of Natural History, the Indonesian Institute of Sciences and Indonesian Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries.

UQ’s Dr Christine Dudgeon said the ornately patterned sharks were the top predator on reefs during low tides when they used their fins to walk in very shallow water.

“At less than a metre long on average, walking sharks present no threat to people but their ability to withstand low oxygen environments and walk on their fins gives them a remarkable edge over their prey of small crustaceans and molluscs,” Dr Dudgeon said.

“These unique features are not shared with their closest relatives the bamboo sharks or more distant relatives in the carpet shark order including wobbegongs and whale sharks.

The four new species almost doubled the total number of known walking sharks to nine.

Dr Dudgeon said they live in coastal waters around northern Australia and the island of New Guinea, and occupy their own separate region.

“We estimated the connection between the species based on comparisons between their mitochondrial DNA which is passed down through the maternal lineage. This DNA codes for the mitochondria which are the parts of cells that transform oxygen and nutrients from food into energy for cells,” Dr Dudgeon said.

“Data suggests the new species evolved after the sharks moved away from their original population, became genetically isolated in new areas and developed into new species,” she said.

“They may have moved by swimming or walking on their fins, but it’s also possible they ‘hitched’ a ride on reefs moving westward across the top of New Guinea, about two million years ago.

“We believe there are more walking shark species still waiting to be discovered.”

Dr Dudgeon said future research would help researchers to better understand why the region was home to some of the greatest marine biodiversity on the planet.

Prehistoric giant straight-tusked elephants, new research


This 2017 video says about itself:

Palaeoloxodon namadicus || The largest elephant recorded so far

Palaeoloxodon namadicus or the Asian straight-tusked elephant was a species of prehistoric elephant that ranged throughout Pleistocene Asia, from India (where it was first discovered) to Japan. It is a descendant of the straight-tusked elephant.

Some authorities regard it to be a subspecies of Palaeoloxodon antiquus, the straight-tusked elephant, due to extreme similarities of the tusks. Their skull structure was different from that of a modern elephant.

P. namadicus is thought to have died out around 24,000 years ago, near the end of the Pleistocene.

Several studies have attempted to estimate the size of the Asian straight-tusked elephants, as well as other prehistoric proboscideans, usually using comparisons of thigh bone length and knowledge of relative growth rates to estimate the size of incomplete skeletons.

One partial skeleton found in India in 1905 had thigh bones that likely measured 165 centimetres (5.41 ft) when complete, suggesting a total shoulder height of 4.5 metres (14.8 ft) for this individual elephant.

Two partial thigh bones were found in the 19th century and would have measured 160 cm (5.2 ft) when complete.

A fragment from the same locality was said to be almost a quarter larger; volumetric analysis then yields a size estimate of 5.2 metres (17.1 ft) tall at the shoulder and 22 tonnes (24.3 short tons) in weight. This would make P. namadicus the largest land mammal known, surpassing the largest indricotheres.

From the University of Bristol in England:

A chronicle of giant straight-tusked elephants

January 21, 2020

About 800,000 years ago, the giant straight-tusked elephant Palaeoloxodon migrated out of Africa and became widespread across Europe and Asia.

It divided into many species, with distinct types in Japan, Central Asia and Europe — even some dwarf forms as large as a small donkey on some Mediterranean islands.

In a new study by scientists in Spain, Italy and the UK, including University of Bristol PhD student Hanwen Zhang, published in the journal Quaternary Science Reviews, some order has been brought into our understanding of all these species.

The most intriguing feature of the straight-tusked elephant, apart from its absolutely enormous size, is the massive, headband-like crest on the skull roof which projects down the forehead. When the celebrated Victorian Scottish geologist Hugh Falconer studied the first fossil skull of Palaeoloxodon found in India, he remarked that the head seemed ‘so grotesquely constructed that it looks the caricature of an elephant’s head in a periwig’.

For a long time, palaeontologists thought that the European species, Palaeoloxodon antiquus, had a rather slenderly built skull roof crest; whereas the Indian species Palaeoloxodon namadicus is characterised by an extremely robust skull crest that extends near to the base of the trunk from the top of the skull.

But some Palaeoloxodon skulls, found in Italy and Germany, with almost the same exaggerated skull crest as the Indian form, led a few experts into suspecting these might all be single species.

Hanwen Zhang, who is based in Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, said: “Just like modern elephants, Palaeoloxodon went through six sets of teeth in their lifetimes. This means we can tell the age of any individual with confidence by looking at its fossilised teeth.

“When we looked at a series of skulls from Italy, Germany and India, we found a consistent pattern: the skull crest developed from being very small, not protruding beyond the forehead in juveniles to being larger and more protruding in young adults, eventually becoming very stout in aged adults.”

The study’s lead author, Asier Larramendi, an independent researcher from Spain, added: “As I plotted various skull and limb bone measurements for these incredible prehistoric elephants, it became clear that the Indian Palaeoloxodon form a distinct group from the European ones; even in European skulls with quite pronounced crests, the skull roof never becomes as thickened as in the Indian specimens.

“This tells us we once had two separate species of these enormous elephants in Europe and India.

“Besides the funky skull roof crest, the head of the straight-tusked elephant is also remarkable for being huge, the largest of any elephant ever — some 4.5 feet from the top of the skull roof to the base of the tusk sheaths!

“Therefore, the skull crest probably evolved to provide additional attachment areas for extra neck muscles, so the animal did not fall on its head.”

Hanwen Zhang said: “Having gotten to the bottom of the antiquus/namadicus problem, it then became apparent that other fossil skull materials found in Asia and East Africa represent distinct, possibly more evolutionarily conservative species of Palaeoloxodon.

“Even in fully mature adults with the last set of teeth in place, the skull roof crest remains comparatively unpronounced. This is the case with the earliest Palaeoloxodon from Africa, some Asian species retained this condition.”

North Sea, foam and oystercatchers


Pier, Schoorl 20 January 2020

After 19 January 2019 in the Schoorlse Duinen nature reserve came 20 January. At beach pole #29, as this Lensbaby photo shows, a jetty protrudes into the North Sea.

Early in the morning, a chaffinch and a great tit.

A buzzard flies across the path.

On and near beach pole #29, about 15 oystercatchers. A sanderling. A black-headed gull.

Foam, Schoorl 20 January 2020

Lots of foam on the beach, as this Lensbaby photo shows.

Oystercatchers, Schoorl 20 January 2020

Later, in the rosy sunset light, the oystercatchers are still present.

Oystercatchers, Schoorl beach, 20 January 2020