African-Brazilian lesbian leftist Marielle Franco murdered

This video says about itself:

Marielle Franco, A Brave Voice Assassinated

15 March 2018

This 15 March 2018 video is called Brazilian Rights Activist Marielle Franco Assassinated.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Brazilians mourn murdered politician Marielle Franco
In several Brazilian cities, people went out into the streets to commemorate the murdered politician Marielle Franco. In Rio de Janeiro alone, tens of thousands of people were marching.

The 38-year-old Marielle Franco was a councilor in Rio. She was shot along with her driver on Wednesday in the center of the city.

The car they were in was fired at nine times from another car. Franco and the driver were instantly dead. A press officer who was also in the car was injured.

Political revenge

Franco was very popular in Brazil because she stood up for, among other causes, women’s rights and minorities. When she was shot at, she just returned from a meeting where people talked about the position of black women. …

She had been a city council member for the socialist party since 2016. Last month she was appointed chairwoman of a committee on the police deployment in the favelas [shantytowns] of Rio. She also grew up in one of the favelas.


Last month the Brazilian army took over the leadership of the police in Rio de Janeiro to stop the drug violence in the state. President Temer signed a decree for this. Franco was a fierce opponent of the measure.

According to her, the army had to be deployed not only against drug gangs but also against militias in the poor parts of Rio. The militias mainly consist of former soldiers and former police officers.

They are accused of intimidating the population in the fight against drug gangs. They are said to receive help from the army and the police. Franco brought the abuses to light.

A day before she was killed, Franco still tweeted about the violence in the Brazilian slums: “How many more people should die before this war ends?”

This video says about itself (translated from Brazilian Portuguese):

Marielle Franco’s vigil is marked by protests and tributes in Rio

Rio de Janeiro, March 15 (EFE). (Video by Reinaldo Amorim) – Thousands of people have called for justice and have cried out against the barbarism of violence on Thursday in an emotional tribute to PSOL [socialist party] council member and activist Marielle Franco, who was murdered the night before in downtown Rio de Janeiro. The bodies of Marielle and her accompanying driver, Anderson Pedro Gomes, were greeted by a crowd in the town hall, in the Cinelandia neighborhood, with shouts of “Marielle presente” and “Stop the military police” at the vigil.

People rally in Rio de Janeiro in memory of murdered councillor Mariella Franco Photo: Leo Correa/AP Photo


Wildlife fights back against Brazilian rainforest devastation

This video, in Portuguese, is called Bat Cave Brazil 2014. It shows also other rainforest animals, like a sloth and a snake.

From the University of Salford in England:

Species make comeback 30 years after rainforest devastation

February 28, 2018

Rainforest loss is fuelling a tsunami of tropical species extinctions. However, not all is doom and gloom.

A new study, conducted in the Brazilian Amazon, suggests that ecological cataclysms prompted by the fragmentation of the forest can be reverted by the regeneration of secondary forests, offering a beacon of hope for tropical forest biodiversity across the world.

The international team of researchers found that species strongly associated with primary forest were heavily depleted after 15 years of man-made disruption including the burning and clearing of forest stands.

However, 30 years down the line, and with the regeneration of secondary regrowth, many of the species that had abandoned the area had made a comeback.

“If you compare the time periods, it is apparent that taking a long-term view is paramount to uncovering the complexity of biodiversity in human-modified landscapes”, said senior researcher Dr Christoph Meyer, lecturer in global ecology and conservation at the University of Salford.

The study measured the impacts of forest break-up of 50 species of bat (approx. 6,000 animals).

Bats comprise roughly one fifth of all mammal species and display wide variation in foraging behaviour and habitat use, making them an excellent model group for the research.

“The responses exhibited by bats offer important insights into the responses of other taxonomic groups”, says Ricardo Rocha, lead author of the study from the University of Lisbon.

“The recovery that we have documented mirrors the patterns observed for beetle and bird communities within the Amazon.

“These parallel trends reinforce the idea that the benefits of forest regeneration are widespread, and suggest that habitat restoration can ameliorate some of the harm inflicted by humans on tropical wildlife”, he adds.

The results of the current study contrast with the catastrophic faunal declines observed during a similar time window in rodent communities in the ‘forest islands’ of the Chiew Larn reservoir in Thailand.

“The recovery observed at the Amazon was mostly due to the recolonization of previously deforested areas and forest fragments by old-growth specialist bats. This recolonization is likely attributable to an increased diversity and abundance of food resources in areas now occupied by secondary forest, fulfilling the energetic requirements of a larger set of species”, explains Rocha.

However, the short-term nature of most studies has substantially impaired the capacity of researchers to properly capture the intricate time-related complexities associated with the effects of forest fragmentation on wildlife.

The Amazon study was conducted at the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, jointly run by the Smithsonian Institute and the Brazilian Institute for Research in the Amazon.

Brazilian caecilian amphibian, new study

This February 2017 video, recorded in Costa Rica, says about itself:

On this episode of Breaking Trail, Coyote discovers the most bizarre creature he’s ever found, a Caecilian! Wait a what?! A Caecilian, while at first glance looks exactly like a giant earthworm, is actually an amphibian more closely related to salamanders. It’s definitely NOT a worm.

These subterranean crawlies live in the loose soils and substrate all over the world. They are very elusive and almost never seen by humans, so even though the rain forced the camera crew to take shelter Coyote just had to share this amazing encounter with the Coyote Pack! Get ready to see one of the rarest creatures we will ever show you! HUGE THANKS to Brian Kubicki for the epic drone footage and for hosting the crew at this location! To visit his amazing amphibian reserve check out his website for details.

From Utah State University in the USA:

Playing both ends: Amphibian adapted to varied evolutionary pressures

February 23, 2018

Summary: Caecilian, Siphonops annulatus, a limbless amphibian found throughout Brazil, has a concentration of enlarged mucous glands in its head region and a concentration of enlarged poison glands in its posterior region. These concentration appear to have evolved from different selective pressures: the ability to tunnel into the ground and to defend oneself from predators.

Caecilians are serpent-like creatures, but they’re not snakes or giant worms. The limbless amphibians, related to frogs and salamanders, favor tropical climates of Africa, Asia and the Americas. Most live in burrows of their own making; some are aquatic.

With colleagues from Brazil, Utah State University ecologist Edmund “Butch” Brodie, Jr. reports caecilians feature greatly enlarged poison glands at each end of their bodies, which appear to have evolved from different selective pressures — the ability to tunnel into the ground and to defend oneself from predators.

Brodie, along with Carlos Jared, Pedro Luiz Mailho-Fontana, Rafael Marques-Porto, Juliana Mozer Sciani, Daniel Carvalho Pimenta, and Marta Maria Antoniazzi of São Paulo’s Butantan Institute, published findings in the Feb. 23, 2018, issue of Scientific Reports.

The team’s research, supported by the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development, focuses on Siphonops annulatus, a caecilian species found throughout Brazil.

“My Brazilian colleagues noticed the burrows made by this species were lined with a shiny, slick substance”, says Brodie, professor in USU’s Department of Biology and the USU Ecology Center. “We didn’t think it was a secretion from the poison glands, so we decided to investigate.”

The Brazilian caecilian, grayish in color and measuring about 18 inches in length, is a surprisingly rapid burrower, he says.

“When caecilians burrow, they force their snouts into the ground and essentially dive into the soil,” Brodie says.

As suspected, the team discovered all the skin glands in the serpentine creatures’ head region were greatly enlarged, tightly packed mucous glands — not poison ones. The slippery lubrication enables the caecilians’ rapid, subterranean escape from predators, especially coral snakes.

“We know of no other amphibian with this high concentration of mucous glands”. Brodie says. “In other terrestrial amphibians, mucous is mainly related to the uptake of oxygen. Here, in caecilians, it’s obviously used in locomotion.”

Examination of the caecilians revealed further information. The mucous glands extend throughout the amphibians’ body, in gradually reduced concentration, and give way to poison glands concentrated in the tail.

“The poison glands, resulting from a different selective pressure, provide another defense from predators”, Brodie says. “In addition to chemical defense, the tail acts as a ‘plug’, blocking the tunnel and further deterring predators.”

The eccentric amphibian, Brodie and colleagues write, is “really a box of surprises.”

Brazilian beetles threatened by climate change

This 2014 video says about itself:

Macraspis bivittata (Scarabaeidae – Rutelinae – Rutelini) scarabs or scarab beetles, Santo Amaro da Imperatriz, Santa Catarina, Brazil.

From the University of York in England:

Tropical beetles face extinction threat

October 17, 2017

Climate change is putting many tropical high altitude beetles at risk of extinction, warn an international team of scientists.

Research by the University of York, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and the Federal University of Goiás has found that two plant-eating beetle groups — weevils and leaf beetles — are particularly vulnerable to climate change.

The researchers surveyed a number of insect groups at different altitudes in the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest, an area known for its high diversity of plant and animal species.

They found that a large proportion of species, mostly from the diverse herbivorous beetle groups, are only found at higher altitude. This puts these species at high risk of extinction as they have nowhere to go when the climate gets warmer.

Dr Peter Mayhew, of the University of York’s Department of Biology, one of the investigators, said: “Previous research has shown that species are moving uphill as the climate warms and that tropical mountain species may be particularly vulnerable because they will become restricted to smaller and smaller areas in a warming planet.

“Our study showed that the most diverse herbivorous beetle groups — the weevils and leaf beetles — are highly specialised to high altitudes, which means their favoured temperatures may disappear in a warmer world. This puts them at high risk of extinction.”

The study was carried out in the Serra dos Órgãos National Park in the state of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and the results published in the journal Insect Conservation and Diversity.

Insects make up the most diverse group of species in rainforests, but until now little was known about how various insects might be affected by climate change.

Professor Margarete Macedo, one of the research leaders at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), said: “Almost nothing is known about elevational specialisation in tropical rainforest insects and our aim was to see how different insect groups varied. This in turn may indicate their risk of extinction from climate change.”

The researchers sampled 697 species of insects, using many different trapping techniques such as sticky traps, pitfall traps and tent-like ‘Malaise’ traps. They discovered that 32 per cent of the species sampled were only found in the highest vegetation zones.

Dr Vivian Flinte, from UFRJ, did much of the collecting, sorting and identification. She said: “It has been a huge team effort over many years to get the data we have now, but we have only just skimmed the surface of what is out there.”

Dr Mayhew added: “Even though the area we studied is in a national park, the species in it are not protected from climate change. Because most of these species are poorly known, their extinction may largely go undocumented, but we will have lost them nonetheless. It makes it all the more important to limit future climate change as much as possible.”