Magpie helps jackdaw escape from cat


This 13 May 2017 video shows a magpie helping a jackdaw escape from a cat.

Rick Scholtes from the Netherlands made this video.

Magpies and jackdaws may quarrel sometimes about food, but …

For the first time, researchers have observed that birds that fly actively and flap their wings save energy. Biologists have now shown that jackdaws minimize their energy consumption when they lift off and fly, because the feathers on their wing tips create several small vortices instead of a single large one. The discovery could potentially be applied within the aeronautical industry: here.

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Bobcats in North Carolina, USA


This video from North Carolina, USA says about itself:

13 May 2017

Bobcats have started showing up in the Bushnell night vision trail camera in Backyard North along with a few other lesser felines and some other large creatures. My goal: find the bobcats’ den and get some video.

Stopping cats from attacking birds


This video from Britain says about itself:

Save the Birds #PeckishCat

9 December 2013

Up to 55 million birds are killed by cats every year in the UK. So whether you are a cat lover or just want to protect your garden birds from cats, you can do your bit to help as well as having a little fun with our #PeckishCat video.

From BirdLife:

17 May 2017

Five neat tricks to keep your cat from attacking birds

In Canada, as in many countries, domestic cats are a major cause of garden bird mortality. But with a little adjustment, it’s possible to create an environment that is safer and healthier for felines and finches alike. BirdLife Partner Nature Canada’s Cats & Birds campaign shows you how.

By Alex Dale

For cat owners, is there a more comforting sound in the entire world than the satisfying ‘ker-chunk’ of the cat flap?

After hours of worrying what Tiddles has been up to while she roams around the neighbourhood, that reassuring clack-clack indicates that your beloved has finally returned to the warmth and safety of your home. But sometimes, she doesn’t return alone. Sometimes, to the horror of the owner, Tiddles bears in her teeth an unwanted gift – a dead (or worse, half-dead) garden bird.

Cats are born predators, so there’s no point in chastising them for doing something that comes naturally for them. Instead, owners have to accept that they are responsible for bringing a domesticated animal into their home and feeding it, and thus they are responsible for its actions.

Putting a bell on your cat’s collar is a simple and well-known way to limit the mischief your pet gets up to while it frolics outside, but Nature Canada (BirdLife Partner) suggests that cat owners should consider going further still, and wean their cats away from roaming around outdoors unsupervised altogether.

Sacrilege?  To many cat owners, putting limits on their pets’ freedom will seem exactly that. But, as Nature Canada’s Cats & Birds campaign is keen to impress on the Canadian public, reigning in your cat doesn’t just saves birds’ lives – it also helps keep your pet safe and healthy, too. “We partner with organizations such as the Canadian Federation of Humane Societies,” says Project Manager Sarah Cooper, “precisely because they’ve been recommending keeping cats from roaming unsupervised for years, purely for the well-being of the cats.”

The Cats & Birds initiative was set up to increase public awareness of the risks to cats and birds of the common practice of allowing cats to roam unsupervised. Outdoor cats are exposed to disease, vehicle collisions and scraps with other cats and wildlife, not to mention the risk of getting lost. Cats are more often abandoned by their owners, and there are twice as many cats as dogs in Canada’s shelters. While an estimated 30% of dogs are reclaimed by owners, the same can be said of less than 5% of cats. More than 17,000 cats were euthanized in Canada in 2015 because they could not find homes.

And that’s just the toll in the shelters. In 2012 alone, more than 1,300 dead cats were collected from the streets of Toronto, Ontario. That’s why author Margaret Atwood, (former co-chair of BirdLife’s Rare Birds Committee) published a graphic novel series in tandem with Nature Canada’s campaign. Atwood describes Angel Catbird as a “walking, talking carnivore’s dilemma” whose conflict – “do I save this baby robin, or do I eat it?” — illuminates both sides of the issue.’

All things considered, preventing your cat from going outside unsupervised seems a win-win situation – saving the lives of both birds and, potentially, Tiddles. But cats are notorious free spirits. Can they ever be convinced to embrace the indoor life? The answer is yes, and Nature Canada has five tips to help you get started.

Ancient saber-toothed cat skull discovery in Germany


This video says about itself:

12 August 2015

“Homotherium” is an extinct genus of machairodontine saber-toothed cats, often termed “scimitar-toothed cats”, that ranged from North America, South America, Eurasia, and Africa during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs.

It first became extinct in Africa some 1.5 million years ago. In Eurasia it survived until about 30,000 years ago. In South America it is only known from a few remains in the northern region, from the mid-Pleistocene. The most recent remains of Homotherium date to 28,000 years BP.

Homotherium” reached 1.1 m at the shoulder and weighed an estimated 150 [kilogram] – and was therefore about the size of a male African lion. Compared to some other machairodonts, like “Smilodon” or “Megantereon”, “Homotherium” had shorter upper canines, but they were flat, serrated and longer than those of any living cat. Incisors and lower canines formed a powerful puncturing and gripping device. Among living cats, only the tiger has such large incisors, which aid in lifting and carrying prey. The molars of “Homotherium” were rather weak and not adapted for bone crushing. The skull was longer than in “Smilodon” and had a well-developed crest, where muscles were attached to power the lower jaw. This jaw had down-turned forward flanges to protect the scimitars. Its large canine teeth were crenulated and designed for slashing rather than purely stabbing.

It had the general appearance of a cat, but some of its physical characteristics are rather unusual for a large cat. The limb proportions of “Homotherium” gave it a hyena-like appearance. The forelegs were elongated, while the hind quarters were rather squat with feet perhaps partially plantigrade, causing the back to slope towards the short tail. Features of the hind limbs indicate that this cat was moderately capable of leaping. The pelvic region, including the sacral vertebrae, was bear-like, as was the short tail composed of 13 vertebrae—about half the number of long-tailed cats.

From the Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum in Germany:

Skull of saber-toothed cat found almost complete

Third individual saber-toothed cat was discovered in Schöningen

April 12, 2017

Summary: An excavation team found the remains of a saber-toothed cat at the archeological site in Schöningen. An examination of the skull fragments revealed the animal to be a representative of the European saber-toothed cat, Homotherium latidens. The recent discovery constitutes the third example of this large predatory cat from Schöningen.

Led by scientists of the Senckenberg Research Institute and the University of Tübingen, the excavation team found the remains of a saber-toothed cat at the archeological site in Schöningen. An examination of the skull fragments at the Dutch University of Leiden revealed the animal to be a representative of the European saber-toothed cat, Homotherium latidens. The recent discovery constitutes the third example of this large predatory cat from Schöningen.

Long claws, razor-sharp, curved canine teeth and the size of a fully grown lion: the saber-toothed cat (Homotherium latidens) was a competitor as well as a dangerous predator that even posed a risk to the humans of its time. “In the course of our excavation in May 2015, we came across conspicuous bone fragments,” explains Dr. Jordi Serangeli, a scientist at the University of Tübingen and the excavation leader at the approximately 300,000-year-old archeological site, and he continues, “In total, there are three individuals of Homotherium present in these relatively young sediment layers.

Until the first discovery of a saber-toothed cat in 2012 at the Schöningen excavation site in Lower Saxony it had been assumed that the large cats were already extinct about 200,000 years earlier, i.e., around 500,000 years ago. “Our findings show that 300,000 years ago, the saber-toothed cats were not as rare as previously thought,” adds Serangeli.

During a restoration in 2016, André Ramcharan and Ivo Verheijen at the University of Leiden were able to reassemble the eleven bone fragments into an almost complete neurocranium. “We then compared the reconstructed skull with recent and already extinct species of large carnivores and were thus able to demonstrate that the remains represented the head of a European saber-toothed cat,” explains Professor Dr. Thijs van Kolfschoten of the University of Leiden.

The third saber-toothed cat specimen that was discovered offers a great potential: thanks to the excellent level of preservation at the Schöningen dig, the interior of the skull reflects the shape and structure of the Homotherium brain. By examining the detailed brain structures, the team of scientists hopes to gain insights into the visual and hearing abilities as well as the feeding habits of the large cats. “The third Homotherium from Schöningen is invaluable for our understanding of the European saber-toothed cat,” summarizes Professor Nicholas Conard of the Senckenberg Centre for Human Evolution and Palaeoenvironment and head of the Institute for Early Prehistory and Quaternary Ecology at the University of Tübingen.

In the near future the international team from the Schöningen project intends to publish the results of its interdisciplinary studies regarding the three saber-toothed cats discovered to date. “Moreover, we expect that future digs will produce additional Homotherium finds,” offers Serangeli as a preview.

The dig in Schöningen keeps a team of ten members employed full-time — and during the main excavation season, the team is joined by five to ten students, who support the scientific excavation. Worldwide, about 50 scientists from 30 institutions and a wide variety of disciplines are involved in researching the discoveries from Schöningen. The dig is financed by the State of Lower Saxony.

The spectacular new discovery is put on display for the public at the palaeon in Schöningen as part of the special exhibition “The Ice Age Huntress.” Thanks to the close cooperation between Senckenberg, the international partners and the der palaeon GmbH, it is possible to make spectacular scientific findings available to the public in a timely manner.

Turkeys circling dead cat video


This 3 March 2017 video from Massachusetts in the USA says about itself:

Why These Turkeys Circling A Dead Cat Remind Us How Amazing Nature Can Be

Jonathon Davis was on his way to work when he came upon the bizarre scene. A flock of more than 15 turkeys were filmed circling around a dead cat in the middle of a busy road Thursday outside Boston. Animal Planet‘s David Mizejewski spoke to Inside Edition about the awkward video. Davis posted the video on Twitter with the caption: “These turkeys trying to give this cat its tenth life” and it went viral in a flash. Some are calling it a “death dance.”

Good Iberian lynx news


This 2016 video is called Iberian Lynx | Full Documentary.

From the Olive Press in Spain:

Endangered Iberian lynxes making comeback in Spain

A total of 440 Iberian lynxes are thought to have been living in the country in 2016, up from 404 the previous year

By Chloe Glover (Reporter)

21 Jan, 2017

AN ENDANGERED big cat is making a comeback in Spain.

A total of 440 Iberian lynxes are thought to have been living in the country in 2016, up from 404 the previous year.

The good news was revealed by Andalucia’s Junta, which is co-ordinating a national re-introduction programme.

It said the biggest concentration can now be found in the Montes de Toledo in Castilla La Mancha.

Numbers have also increased in the Andalusian zones of Guarrizas in Jaen and Guadalmellato in Cordoba.

Programme co-ordinators hope that figures will increase further this year when 40 lynxes will be released across five provinces.

Lynxes have been struggling to survive on their own due to a disease that is wiping out rabbits, their primary food source.

Cats and birds in the USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer

5 December 2016

Peter Marra, head of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, talks about the threats free-ranging cats pose to biodiversity and public health throughout the world, and proposes possible solutions to this thorny problem. Marra’s new book, Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer, covers mounting scientific evidence that in the U.S. alone, free-ranging cats are killing birds and other animals by the billions. For more information, see our FAQ page, Outdoor Cats And Their Effects On Birds.