Many baby crocodiles discovered in Egyptian mummy


Baby crocodiles discovered

From the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden):

Egyptian giant crocodile mummy is full of surprises

15 November 2016

The three-metre-long mummified Egyptian ‘giant crocodile’, one of the finest animal mummies in the Dutch National Museum of Antiquities (Rijksmuseum van Oudheden), turns out to be literally filled with surprises. Examination of detailed new 3D CT scans has led to the conclusion that, besides the two crocodiles previously spotted inside the wrappings, the mummy also contains dozens of individually wrapped baby crocodiles.

Exceptional discovery

This is an exceptional discovery: there are only a few known crocodile mummies of this kind anywhere in the world. Starting on 18 November, museum visitors can perform an interactive virtual autopsy on the crocodile mummy and the mummy of an Egyptian priest. On a large touch screen, they can examine the mummies layer by layer, learning about their age, physical features, and the mummification process. The amulets placed inside the linen wrappings with the mummies can also be examined in detail and from all sides in 3D.

Virtual autopsy in museum galleries

A new scan of the large crocodile mummy was recently performed at the Academic Medical Centre (AMC) in Amsterdam. An earlier CT scan in 1996 had shown that there are two juvenile crocodiles inside a mummy that looks like one large crocodile. The Swedish company Interspectral, which specializes in high-tech interactive 3D visualizations, has converted the results of the new scan into a spectacular 3D application and thus detected the dozens of baby crocodiles.

A reference to new life after death?

The museum’s Egyptologists suspect that the crocodiles of different ages were mummified together as a reference to the ancient Egyptian belief in rejuvenation and new life after death. Another possibility is that no large crocodiles were available at a time when they were needed as offerings to the gods. The mummy was given the shape of one large crocodile with various kinds of stuffing: bits of wood, wads of linen, plant stems, and rope.The ancient Egyptians mummified all sorts of animals, usually to pay homage to a particular deity that could manifest in animal form. For instance, crocodiles were offered to the god Sobek.

Museum’s curators excited about the find

The museum’s curators are excited about this remarkable find: “What was intended as a tool for museum visitors, has yet produced new scientific insights. When we started work on this project, we weren’t really expecting any new discoveries. After all, the mummy had already been scanned. It was a big surprise that so many baby crocodiles could be detected with high-tech 3D scans and this interactive visualization.”

South African waterbuck escapes from crocodile


This video from South Africa says about itself:

Waterbuck Escapes the Jaws of a Crocodile

30 August 2016

Amazing video of a waterbuck standing peacefully in the water, when suddenly it disappears under the water. We soon see that it is a crocodile trying its luck to get a meal. But the waterbuck manages to fight its way out his way out.

Video by: Wynand

Why birds nest near alligators and hawks


This video from the USA says about itself:

Black-chinned hummingbird nesting

8 June 2015

Tucson Arizona. April 24-June 03

Momma building a nest, incubating eggs, feeding young and babies fly off.

One day I was looking out my skinny slice of a bathroom window and I saw a pine tree that had some busy hummingbird activity. I tried to rig up and video from the bathroom window but the vantage point was not good.

I did not want to intrude or cause stress to the mother so from the ground with a tripod set at the highest setting I used a Canon Vixia video camera, 37x zoom, fixed focus and daylight white balance, sometimes I had to adjust the exposure. Using a 64GB card I set up the camera at dawn and just hit record and walked away. When the card was full in a few hours I transferred to a Mac using Final Cut Pro X and selected the clips. Mostly nothing was happening. When all was done the video timeline was about two hours and then I started to eliminate redundant. At thirteen minutes it is still too long but people who like hummingbirds enjoy every minute.

One early morning I found the nest empty as they had already left. I examined the ground below to see if they had fallen out of the nest but that was not the case.

Out of the corner of my eye I spied some bird movement and there was a baby hummingbird on an oleander branch being nurtured by mom. The other baby bird was not to be seen.

Momma often pecked at the baby on the branch— at the head and body trying to encourage flight. And eventually they were both gone. But during the day and the next day there was much flight amongst the pine tree and oleander. Flight training I assume.

I opted to detach and delete the ambient audio as it is near our pool pump and it was annoying.

From the NestWatch eNewsletter in the USA, May 2016:

The Predator Next Door

You might think that a nesting bird would want to be as far away from a predator as it could get and, generally speaking, that’s true. However, it could be very strategic to nest near a predator that is two or more steps above you in the food chain (i.e., your predators’ predator). In this way, some birds derive protection from larger, more aggressive species that keep generalist predators at bay. This phenomenon is called a protective nesting association. Here are two of our favorite examples of nest-protecting predators:

Alligators and Wading Birds

In the southeastern United States, researchers found that wading birds such as herons, egrets, ibises, storks, and spoonbills appear to seek out alligator-inhabited waters above which they can nest. The alligators keep away (or eat) nest predators such as opossums and raccoons, and they cannot climb trees to rob nests themselves. However, the alligators certainly claim any chicks that fall out of the nests from time to time, making it likely that they are also benefiting from their avian neighbors.

Hawks and Hummingbirds

Black-chinned Hummingbirds nesting in southeastern Arizona were found to cluster their nests around the nests of Northern Goshawks and Cooper’s Hawks. Both species of hawk prey on birds, but would not normally bother with something as small as a hummingbird. Researchers found that hummers that nested within 300 meters of the hawks were much more likely to successfully raise young than those that nested farther away.

At least 92 such associations have been documented so far. It is unclear whether the recipients of the protection actively seek out these “protectors,” or if they are simply recognizing that an area has fewer nest predators. Either way, it can pay off to have a formidable carnivore for a neighbor…as long as you fly under the radar.

Alligators, other wildlife in Florida, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Florida‘s Alligator Road – Jane’s Scenic Drive

17 apr. 2016

Unique Florida Eco-Tourism experience – Jane’s Scenic Drive in Fakahatchee Strand State Park. This mini-documentary takes a 22 mile drive through the primordial Florida swamp. Exotic plants, birds and wildlife. More information here and here.

Dwarf crocodile saved in Congo


This BBC video from Britain says about itself:

Baby Dwarf Crocodile Hatches in Maddie’s hands! – Earth Unplugged

31 December 2013

Maddie witnesses the birth of two beautiful West African Dwarf Crocodiles and helps them out of their egg shells.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Jaws of Life

February 9, 2016

This dwarf crocodile was rescued from the back of a motorbike by a team of eco-guards at a checkpoint outside Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. It had been bound and stuffed in an empty flour sack.

Dwarf crocodiles are partially protected under Congolese law, meaning special permits are required to hunt them, and hunting is restricted to certain areas and times.

The fisherman who caught this crocodile didn’t have a permit, so the crocodile was rescued.

The guards looked after it for several days until the next patrol was headed north. Then they carried the little crocodile upstream, deeper into the dense forest, and released it well beyond the fishing zone.

In general, crocodile meat is highly sought-after in this part of the world. As road networks expand in the north of the country, logging towns are springing up further into the forest. Their residents are increasingly reliant on bushmeat as a source of food.

Currently, two of the three local species of crocodile, the Nile crocodile and the slender snouted crocodile, are completely protected in the Congo. Little is known about the impact hunting is having on the other—the dwarf crocodile. Given its prevalence on the bushmeat market, its numbers may be falling.

To help, several checkpoints have been set up on logging roads surrounding the national park to deal with the expanding threats to wildlife.

Diver meets big crocodile, video


This video says about itself:

Diver Has Lucky Escape From Crocodile – Super Giant Animals – BBC

5 February 2016

The team follow a crocodile slide into the water to find out where it goes but when they come face to face with it how will they cope?

This was a Nile crocodile in the Okavango delta in Botswana.