Raccoon in Canada video

This video from British Columbia, Canada says about itself:

Raccoon Vs Rock Crab – Blue Planet – BBC Earth

22 February 2017

On the coast of Vancouver Island, the changing tides have a fascinating impact on shallow sea life. Raccoons take full advantage of the low tide to enjoy a sea feast in the spring tides.

Canadian Great Bear Rainforest news

This video from Canada says about itself:

1 February 2016

It’s time to celebrate! After years of protest, followed by a decade of negotiations and planning, the Great Bear Rainforest Agreements are finally in place. Eighty-five per cent (3.1 million hectares) of the remote region’s coastal temperate rainforests are now permanently off-limits to industrial logging.

Anti-refugee hate crime in Canada

This video from Canada says about itself:

Vancouver Refugees Welcome! Rally Sept 6 2015

This shows one of the cross Canada series of rallies demanding [then still] Prime Minister Stephen Harper answer for the deaths of Ghalib Kurdi, five, and his three-year-old brother Alan.

Speakers and singers connect the multiple causes of the humanitarian crisis, including Canadian climate policy, with moving personal accounts.

Organizers say that Canada urgently needs to welcome refugees. There are almost 60 million displaced people around the globe this year, and over 45,000 people have died crossing borders since 2000.

Events are endorsed by No One Is Illegal, Council of Canadians, Justice for Migrant Workers, Greenpeace Canada, Ontario Coalition Against Poverty, UNIFOR Canada and others.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Canada: Trudeau slams gas attack on refugee welcome party

Monday 11th January 2016

CANADIAN Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has condemned a pepper spray attack on Syrian refugees in Vancouver that police said was a hate crime.

Police said the incident happened on Friday night at a “welcome night” gathering outside the Muslim Association of Canada Centre for newly arrived refugees.

A man wearing a white hoodie rode up on a bicycle and sprayed 15 to 30 people, police said.

One witness said that some victims’ eyes were so swollen they could not open them.

Vancouver Police Sergeant Randy Fincham said no-one had yet been arrested for the attack but that it was being provisionally treated as a hate crime.

“This isn’t who we are — and doesn’t reflect the warm welcome Canadians have offered,” Mr Trudeau posted on Twitter on Saturday.

POPE FRANCIS called for a bold and creative strategy yesterday to deal with global migration, insisting that Europe has the means and “moral responsibility” to welcome refugees without sacrificing security or culture: here.

National birds all over the world

This 2014 video is about the Steller’s jay, the national bird of British Columbia in Canada.

From BirdLife:

National Bird Day – time to take pride in your birds

By Adrian Long, Tue, 05/01/2016 – 17:18

Everyone has some sort of pride in his or her roots —family, city, area, nation— and for some it may be that birds are the means. National birds are flagships for shared values, which typifies the country, and which we have a duty to protect.

So, to celebrate National Bird Day here is a list of national or state birds from around the world. Although many nations have not yet taken the step of selecting a national bird, we have a long list here.

And what a menagerie it is!

The Common Loon Gavia immer is the national bird of Canada, each of whose states has its own bird (Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus for Alberta, Steller’s Jay Cyanocitta stelleri for British Columbia, Great Grey Owl Strix nebulosa for Manitoba, Black-capped Chickadee Poecile atricapilla for New Brunswick, Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica for Newfoundland, Gyrfalcon for the Northwest Territories, Osprey for Nova Scotia, Rock Ptarmigan Lagopus mutus for Nunavut, Blue Jay C. cristata for Prince Edward Island, Snowy Owl Nyctea scandica for Quebec, Sharp-tailed Grouse Tympanuchus phasianellus for Saskatchewan and Common Raven Corvus corax for Yukon)—Ontario double-dipping by having the Common Loon.

Bald Eagle is the national bird of the USA. The individual states prize several birds equally. Northern Cardinal Cardinalis cardinalis and Northern Mockingbird must be two of the most widely recognized birds in the USA, and they are the “official birds” of no fewer than twelve states between them—Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia for the former, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas for the latter. Also high as a common choice is Western Meadowlark Sturnella neglecta, claiming Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon and Wyoming, followed by American Robin Turdus migratorius for Connecticut, Michigan and Wisconsin, American Goldfinch Carduelis tristis for Iowa, New Jersey and Washington, Mountain Bluebird Sialia currucoides for Idaho and Nevada, Eastern Bluebird for Missouri and New York, and Black-capped Chickadee for Maine and Massachusetts. More ruggedly independent are Alabama with Northern Flicker Colaptes auratus, Alaska with Willow Ptarmigan Lagopus lagopus, Arizona Cactus Wren Campylorhynchus brunneicapillus, California California Quail Callipepla californica, Colorado Lark Bunting Calamospiza melanocorys, Delaware Blue Hen (chicken variety), DC Wood Thrush Hylocichla mustelina, Georgia Brown Thrasher Toxostoma rufum, Hawaii Nene Goose Branta sandvicensis, Louisiana Brown Pelican Pelecanus occidentalis, Maryland Baltimore Oriole Icterus galbula, Minnesota Common Loon, New Hampshire Purple Finch Carpodacus purpureus, New Mexico Greater Roadrunner, Oklahoma Scissor-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus forficatus, Pennsylvania Ruffed Grouse Bonasa umbellus, Rhode Island Rhode Island Red (chicken), South Carolina Carolina Wren Thryothorus ludovicianus, South Dakota Ring-necked Pheasant, Utah the rather inappropriately named California Gull Larus californicus and Vermont Hermit Thrush Catharus guttatus.

In the Caribbean both Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands have the Mourning Dove, Antigua & Barbuda the Magnificent Frigatebird Fregata magnificens, St Kitts & Nevis the Brown Pelican, both the Bahamas and Bonaire the Caribbean Flamingo Phoenicopterus ruber, Bermuda the White-tailed Tropicbird Phaethon lepturus, Cayman Islands the White-headed Amazon Amazona leucocephala, Jamaica the Red-billed Streamertail Trochilus polytmus, Cuba the Cuban Trogon Priotelus temnurus. On Hispaniola, the Hispaniolan Trogon Temnotrogon roseigaster is the “National Bird” of Haita and Palmchat Dulus dominicus of the Dominican Republic, while in Dominica it is the Imperial Amazon Amazona imperialis, Montserrat the Montserrat Oriole Icterus oberi, St Lucia and St Vincent the respective endemic amazons A. versicolor and A. guildingii, and Grenada the Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi. Puerto Rico, despite its huge struggle to save the Puerto Rican Amazon Amazona vittata, chooses the Puerto Rican Woodpecker Melanerpes portoricensis, while Trinidad & Tobago assigns the Scarlet Ibis to Trinidad and the Rufous-vented Chachalaca Ortalis ruficauda to Tobago.

Mexico chooses the Crested Caracara Caracara cheriway because in AD 1325 it gave the sign to commence work sought by the prospective founders of Tenochtitlán, the Aztec capital where Mexico City now stands. In Guatemala the title of national bird is held by the Resplendent Quetzal, in Honduras by the Yellow-naped Amazon Amazona auropalliata, in Belize by the Keel-billed Toucan Ramphastos sulfuratus, in Nicaragua by the Turquoise-browed Motmot Eumomota superciliosa and in Costa Rica by the Clay-coloured Thrush, something of which some of the country’s more permissive inhabitants may be extravagantly proud if ever they learn about the private life of this species. Panama goes for the all-powerful Harpy Eagle Harpia harpyja. Peru selects the Andean Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola peruviana and Paraguay the Bare-throated Bellbird Procnias nudicollis. In Brazil, a group of cagebird fanciers proposed the Rufous-bellied Thrush as the national bird, although they were ultimately thwarted by a counter-proposal for something more colourful, if less pleasant to listen to, the Golden Parakeet Guarouba guarouba. The Andean Condor is on the coat of arms of Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile! Argentina settles for the more modest but characterful Rufous Hornero Furnarius rufus, Venezuela chooses the Troupial Icterus icterus and Guyana the bizarre and wonderful Hoatzin Opisthocomus hoazin.

The Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa is the national bird of the Netherlands. The European Robin was voted the national bird of the United Kingdom in 2015. Iceland has the Gyrfalcon, Belgium the Kestrel Falco tinnunculus, Luxembourg the Goldcrest Regulus regulus, Denmark the Mute Swan Cygnus olor, France the cockerel, Germany and Lithuania the White Stork, Poland the Golden Eagle, Austria and Estonia the Barn Swallow, Latvia the Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba and Hungary the Great Bustard Otis tarda. Norway has the White-throated Dipper, Sweden the Common Blackbird, Finland the Whooper Swan and Malta the Blue Rock-thrush Monticola solitarius, while Turkey has, for some reason, the Redwing Turdus iliacus. Jordan has the Sinai Rosefinch Carpodacus sinoicus, Iraq and Pakistan the Chukar Alectoris chukar.

Africa has fewer crane species than Asia, but it makes better use of them. Nigeria has the Black Crowned Crane Balearica pavonina as its national bird, Uganda the Grey B. regulorum, with South Africa selecting the graceful Blue Crane Anthropoides paradisaea. Namibia has the Crimson-breasted Shrike Laniarius atrococcineus and Botswana the Lilac-breasted Roller Coracias caudata, while Zambia and Zimbabwe both plump for the African Fish-eagle Haliaeetus vocifer. Liberia chooses the Common Bulbul Pycnonotus barbatus, while São Tomé e Príncipe follow Trinidad & Tobago in democratically selecting a bird for each island, the Black Kite Milvus migrans for São Tomé and Grey Parrot Psittacus erithacus for Príncipe.

Pheasants naturally rank highly in the national birds of Asia. India has the Blue Peafowl, Sri Lanka the Sri Lanka Junglefowl Gallus lafayeti, Nepal the Himalayan Monal Lophophorus impejanus, Myanmar the Grey Peacock-pheasant Polyplecron bicalcaratum and Thailand the Siamese Fireback Lophura diardi, leaving Bangladesh rather out on a limb in South Asia with the Oriental Magpie-robin; moreover, Japan has the Ring-necked (“Green”) Pheasant and China, while not having a national bird itself, assigns its provinces Ningxia the Blue Eared-pheasant Crossoptilon auritum and Shanxi the Brown Eared-pheasant C. mantchuricum, while Shaanxi takes the Crested Ibis Nipponia nippon. Singapore has the Crimson Sunbird Aethopyga siparaja. The Rhinoceros Hornbill is the national emblem of the Malaysian State of Sarawak, and appears prominently on its coat of arms. In Indonesia, whose national bird is the Javan Hawk-eagle Spizaetus bartelsi, the Knobbed Hornbill Aceros cassidix is the emblem of South Sulawesi Province and the Helmeted Hornbill that of West Kalimantan Province. South Korea the Black-billed Magpie Pica pica. The Philippine Eagle is the symbol of the Philippines, the Kagu is that of New Caledonia. Papua New Guinea sports the Raggiana Bird-of-paradise Paradisaea raggiana. Australia has the Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae, with ACT having the Gang-gang Cockatoo Callocephalon fimbriatum, New South Wales Laughing Kookaburra Dacelo novaeguineae, Northern Territory Wedge-tailed Eagle Aquila audax, Queensland Brolga, South Australia White-backed Magpie Gymnorhina tibicen, Victoria Helmeted Honeyeater Lichenostomus melanops and Western Australia Black Swan Cygnus atratus; New Zealand of course has the Brown Kiwi Apteryx australis.

Ornithologist Georg Steller: here.

Ancient flightless bird discovery in Canada

This video from Yale University in the USA says about itself:

Science on Saturday: The Evolution of Birds: Why Birds are Dinosaurs

Science Saturdays is a special lecture series designed for families that brings the excitement of research and the passion of scientists to school-age children and adults. Each event involves a lecture by a Yale professor and engaging science demonstrations run by Yale college students. The lectures are free and open to the public and the topics explored are for kids in 7th grade and above. On October 8, 2005 the presentation was “The Evolution of Birds: Why Birds are Dinosaurs” by Richard Prum, Biologist.

From the Canadian Press:

New species of flightless bird discovered in fossil on Vancouver Island beach

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 01:57 AM EST

VICTORIA — A family out for a stroll on southern Vancouver Island stumbled upon the extraordinary fossilized remains of a 25-million-year-old flightless bird that has created a flap in the world of paleontology.

The fossil was in good enough condition for researchers to identify the animal as a new species of a plotopterid, a long-extinct penguin or cormorant-like bird never before found in Canada.

A collarbone from the bird was found inside a slab of rock on a Sooke, B.C., beach.

It’s only the second set of fossilized bird bones found on southern Vancouver Island since 1895, said bird expert Gary Kaiser of the Royal B.C. Museum.

Fossils of birds are extremely rare because the fragile and hollow bones don’t hold up to crushing weight, acidic soils and elements like other fossils do.

“They get broken up, crushed easily,” Kaiser said in an interview Tuesday. “The bones simply dissolve. They disappear.”

In this case, the sandstone and lack of acid in the water seemed to preserve the fossil, he said.

A father, daughter and son were out for a walk two years ago when they found the bone in a slab of rock that had fallen from the nearby cliffs, he said.

The daughter spotted the fossil. Her brother carried the slab off the beach, before the father brought it to the museum.

Next to a skull, the collarbone is the best bone to find because it sits at the shoulder where the wings function and where the collar blade, arm bone and sternum are attached.

“It is the most informative bone in a bird skeleton. It tells you more than anything else about what the bird does for a living,” Kaiser said.

The long, skinny bone wasn’t anything like he had ever seen before.

“Right away, I knew it was an unusual bone,” he said, noting that’s when he linked it to the plotopterid fossil.

Relatives of the bird have been found in Japan and in Oregon and California, but none has been as small.

“Of those several hundred birds, all but two of them are huge. I mean they’re birds that probably weighed 200 kilograms when they were alive and stood six-foot tall,” Kaiser said.

This animal was about the size of [a] cormorant.

Kaiser and his colleague Junya Wantanabe of Kyoto University named the bird Stemec suntokum because it’s a new species. The name means long-necked waterbird in the language of the T’Sou-Ke First Nation who live in the area.

Kaiser said he believes that if they had the fossil’s brain case the animal would look like a penguin, but an American man who studies plotopterids is convinced they are more like cormorants.

“It’s a bit of a fight, but not unusual in biology because there’s no way of telling,” he added.

The discovery announcing the new species has been published in the online journal Palaeontologia Electronica.

Hundreds of dinosaur footprints discovered in Canada

This video says about itself:

Dinosaur Discovery GalleryTumbler Ridge, British Columbia

21 April 2015

The gallery contains displays primarily focused on interpreting regional vertebrate palaeontology including material from B.C.’s two dinosaur excavations. There are also displays on dinosaur and other vertebrate tracks and traces which make up the vast majority of the terrestrial vertebrate record of western Canada. One of British Columbia’s best-kept secrets is the massive fossil record of Triassic marine fish and reptiles from this region. Our volunteers and scientists have collaborated to bring together an impressive and rapidly growing collection of specimens for ongoing scientific research and public interpretation here in the gallery.

Our recently expanded Dinosaur Discovery Gallery contains several new and enhanced palaeontology exhibits including a full-scale re-creation of a 100 million-year-old dinosaur track environment. An interactive theatre provides several presentation options for visitors to view and learn about the pre-history of the Peace Region of British Columbia.

From the Canadian Press:

B.C. dinosaur path tracks heyday of prehistoric beasts

Discovered dinosaur path 115 million years old

Sunday, April 26, 2015 1:00 am

Dirk Meissner

VICTORIA – A type of dinosaur Autobahn, with a riot of ancient footprints that are likely more than 100 million years old, has been discovered in northeastern British Columbia.

Hundreds of prints from extinct carnivores and herbivores are pressed into the flat, rocky surface spanning an area the size of three Canadian football fields, indicating the site was a major dinosaur thoroughfare.

Many of the three-toed prints at the site — located near Williston Lake about 1,500 kilometres northeast of Vancouver — closely resemble the Toronto Raptors logo.

“From what I saw there is at least a score or more of trackways, so 20-plus trackways of different animals,” said paleontologist Rich McCrea.

“We’re looking at a few hundred foot prints that were exposed when I visited the site. If it keeps up that density and we are able to peel back a bit of the surface and expand it by another 1,000 square metres we’re likely to find there are thousands of foot prints.”

McCrea is the curator of the Peace Region Paleontology Research Centre in Tumbler Ridge, B.C. He believes the dinosaur path has major potential as a world-class scientific and tourism site, but said he’s concerned the B.C. government’s approach to protecting and promoting dinosaur zones is somewhat prehistoric.

“It would be one of the top sites, unquestionably,” said McCrea, who’s part of a local crowdfunding campaign to raise $190,000 to research and promote the dinosaur track site. “It already looks like it’s going to be one of the biggest sites in Canada. That also means one of the biggest sites in the world.”

He said his visits to the secret site indicate the area was a major travel zone for the Allosaurus, a Jurassic Park look-alike, 8.5-metre-long, two-legged predator with a huge head and rows of teeth.

McCrea said the area is also ripe with tracks made by the Anklosaurus [sic; Ankylosaurus], a four-legged, nine-metre-long herbivore, that weighed almost 6,000 kilograms and was known for its distinctive armour-plated head and long, club-like tail.

He estimated those tracks are between 115 million and 117 million years old.

“This was still in the dinosaurs’ heyday,” said McCrea. “It’s kind of like the middle age of dinosaurs.”

He said he wants the area protected by the B.C. government, and he’s part of a pitch to create a Peace Country dinosaur tourist zone that rivals Alberta’s Royal Tyrrell Museum at Drumheller. McCrea envisions dinosaur tours to Tumbler Ridge, Williston Lake and the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum in nearby Wembley, Alta.

Last fall, Tumbler Ridge was designated as a UNESCO global geopark that recognizes geological heritage. The community converted a school into a dinosaur museum and repository for the dinosaurs fossils discovered in the area.

McCrea said he wants to see a tourist building overlooking the dinosaur trackway area at Williston Lake. A similar concept at China’s Zigong Dinosaur Museum attracts seven million people a year, he said.

Tumbler Ridge Liberal MLA Mike Bernier said he’s been trying to convince cabinet ministers that the area is an important asset and needs heritage and fossil protection policies.

“People go crazy when they see dinosaur bones and fossils. There’s something about it: the old Jurassic Park movie coming to life in your riding,” he said.

Bernier said he’s reviewing heritage protection laws from across North America and plans to submit a proposal to government this year.

B.C. Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson, whose ministry covers fossil protection, said he’s seen the Tumbler Ridge dinosaur site and has met with Bernier on strengthening the province’s fossil management.

Five years ago the government protected the world-renowned McAbee fossil beds near Cache Creek in B.C.’s Interior from professional fossil hunters and others who were mining the area for cat litter.

“We are looking at what legislative adjustments might be needed to be put in place,” said Thomson.

McCrea said Alberta and others have protected and profit from their fossil heritage, while B.C. remains behind the times.

“We’re missing out on all the opportunities, not just tourism and education, but also, how about just pride that the province itself is the custodian of all its natural resources,” he said.