Dutch local authority bans Monsanto’s Roundup


This video from the USA is called Dr. Huber Explains Problems with Monsanto‘s Roundup Ready GMO Alfalfa & Coexistence.

Dick de Vos, local councillor for the Party for the Animals in Leiden, the Netherlands, reports in an article about bumblebees, that Leiden local authority will ban the poisonous Roundup, made by Monsanto corporation, in 2015.

Mr de Vos says this is good news for bees, which die from Roundup; though the ban should have been earlier.

An earlier blog post on action against Roundup in Leiden is here.

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Underwater wildlife in a Dutch city


This video is about underwater wildlife research in Leiden, the Netherlands.

The city of Leiden is along the Rhine river, and has many canals as well.

Weekly Witte Weekblad reports about underwater wildlife in Leiden.

It includes two rare threatened fish species: eel and freshwater bullrout.

Other fish species: northern pike, common roach, bream, carp and tench.

Introduced species in Leiden include red swamp crayfish; and Orconectes limosus, another North American crayfish. And Chinese mitten crab.

Cumberland turtles and other turtles also occur in Leiden waters.

Here is a website about underwater wildlife research in Leiden.

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No werewolf in the Netherlands


This music video from California in the USA is called Jerry Garcia Band Performs “Werewolves of LondonHalloween ’92 Oakland.

These werewolves exist only in the song. And they don’t seem to exist in te Netherlands either.

Translated from dichtbij.nl in the Netherlands:

‘Werewolf’ in Zeeheldenbuurt probably fantasy

Nicolai Brannan, editor

24 January 2014

Leiden – The story of, maybe, a werewolf in the Zeeheldenbuurt neighbourhood in Leiden is probably made ​​up. Police have said this to the Leidsch Dagblad newspaper. Earlier this week there was a report ​​to the police that a person dressed as a werewolf scared ​​children.

The police assumes that the story was invented by a child with an active imagination.

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Five-year-old wins Tyrannosaurus rex imitation contest


Thijmen van den Eshof imitates a Tyrannosaurus rex (photo: pr/Dutch Photo Agency)

After a nine-year-old won the Dutch open red deer sound imitation championship, beating mostly much older contestants, now a still younger participant has won at imitating an even bigger and much older animal.

Translated from the Dutch site NieuwsVanHier:

Best T.rex roar imitator of the Netherlands

Last update: December 23, 2013 at 9:35

Leiden – Ten finalists were Saturday at Naturalis museum, for a battle about who was best at imitating a roaring T.rex.

Between the dinosaur skeletons the five-year-old Thijmen van den Eshof with his ferocious roar became the winner of this contest.

From the hands of biologist Freek Vonk he got a PlayStation 3 and a Wonder Book: Walking With Dinosaurs‘ prize packet.

Thijmen receives his prizes

This is a promotion video for the contest.

Orchids and axolotls in the botanical garden


This is a Dutch video about botanist Ed de Vogel, who discovered many orchids on New Guinea island.

9 December 2013. To the botanical garden orchid collection.

We met Ed de Vogel at the recently restored hothouse complex of the botanical garden. The banana plants were flowering.

Eleven plant species are named after De Vogel. also two species of seashells; which he studied before specializing in botany.

He said that now, about 3000 New Guinea orchid species are known. Maybe still a thousand species there are unknown yet.

De Vogel estimates that, all over the world, there are about 30,000 orchid species; a higher estimate than Wikipedia, which estimates, at least today, “between 21,950 and 26,049″ species. De Vogel’s estimate makes orchids the biggest flowering plant family; more numerous than Asteraceae.

Most orchids are epiphytes, growing on shrubs, or high in trees. A minority, including all species native to the Netherlands, grow on ground level.

One of the species in the hothouses is Grammatophyllum speciosum, the biggest orchid species in the world.

Other species here: Arundina graminifolia. And Dendrobium chrysopterum. Discovered only ten years ago; described then by De Vogel.

A bit further, a related species: Dendrobium spectabile.

In all the botanical garden hothouses together, there are about 3000 orchid species; some not yet described. Mainly from South East Asia; making Leiden botanical garden the garden with most South East Asian orchids in the world.

Bulbophyllum medusae is flowering. Various orchids flower in the hothouses throughout the year; never all at once.

In the hothouse, only accessible for scientific research, there are not only orchids, but pitcher plants as well: Nepenthes vogelii.

Dendrobium victoria-reginae is originally from the Philippines. It was named after Queen Victoria of England.

Chelonistele maximae-reginae is named after Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Recently, De Vogel described that new species.

In a small aquarium in the non-accessible part of the building, many small fish. And three axolotl salamanders: two whitish, one brownish. Will they be exhibited in a bigger aquarium, visible for the public, again, like before the reconstruction of the hothouses. Yes, says Ed de Vogel.

This video says about itself:

Axolotl salamanders continue to intrigue researchers

15 June 2011

Students and professors at Blackburn College in Carlinville, Illinois are studying axolotl salamanders. They are trying to discover why some of the salamanders appear to hold air in their lungs while continuing to get oxygen through their gills. The lungs full of air make the salamanders float to the surface, and the students call them “Floaters.”

Tyrannosaurus rex sound contest for children


This video is called Walking With Dinosaurs 3D Official Trailer #1 (2013) – CGI Movie HD.

In the Netherlands, there are not only contests in imitating red deer sounds.

There are also contests in imitating sounds of animals which became extinct long ago, and about which we can only guess how they sounded.

Another difference with the red deer contest is that this dinosaur sound contest is for young people only.

Translated from Witte Weekblad weekly in the Netherlands:

Looking for best T. rex roar

December 5, 2013

LeidenNaturalis museum and the most popular Dutch biologist Freek Vonk along with Sony PlayStation are trying to find the person with the most terrifying T. rex roar. On the site tientjevoortrex.nl children until 16 December can submit their version of a T. rex roar and have a chance to participate in the finals on Saturday, December 21 at Naturalis museum in Leiden. In this way, Naturalis calls attention to the T. Rex unearthed in Montana which they want to bring to the Netherlands.

Led by Freek Vonk, the ten best players will roar against each other between the real dinosaur skeletons during the finals on December 21, 2013 at Naturalis museum. The jury, including dinosaur expert Anne Ripper, will judge the roaring. The winner will take home a gigantic PlayStation 3 prize with of course the game Wonder Book: Walking With Dinosaurs. There will be on that day a PlayStation Game Lounge as well, where visitors will be able to try out this game.

France: Not only just any dinosaur. As you quietly walk without bothering anyone on one of your morning ballades in the city magique, suddenly it appears — not out of the corner of your eye, but smack flat across your entire vision field — a life-size replica of the scarily famous Tyrannosaurus-Rex. Certainly more frightening when it was full of fleas (fleas?), teeth and fur, but now just lying in state in the most beautiful of locations, on the bank of the river Seine, in Paris: here.

Nelson Mandela in the Netherlands, video


In 1999, Leiden University in the Netherlands bestowed an honorary doctorate to Nelson Mandela. This video is about it.

Tropical butterflies to botanical garden


This video says about itself:

Short mini film about the Otago museum tropical butterfly house, Dunedin, New Zealand.

The botanical garden of Leiden in the Netherlands has won a prize.

This makes it possible for them to bring tropical butterflies to their Victoria amazonica hothouse.

The butterflies will start flying there in the spring of 2014.

Tyrannosaurus rex to museum by crowdfunding?


This Dutch video is about discovering Tyrannosaurus rex fossils in Montana, USA.

Naturalis Biodiversity Center in Leiden in the Netherlands writes (translated):

Help us to get the T. rex to the Netherlands!

In Montana, U.S.A., we made an incredible discovery: we unearthed a Tyrannosaurus rex! We desperately want to get this huge fearsome carnivore to the Netherlands. That might be a small step for Tyrannosaurus rex, but a huge step for us. Because that would make Naturalis the only museum outside North America where people can see this legend. An individual of this species is probably worth its weight in ten euro notes, so we need a lot of money. Will you help us?

This Dutch video is about the start of the crowdfunding campaign to buy the Tyrannosaurus rex.

In Images: A Baby Dinosaur Unearthed: here.

Botanical garden orchids, parakeets and jays


This video from the botanical garden in Leiden, the Netherlands, is about a 2010 orchids exhibition there.

In the botanical garden hothouses, 6,000 tropical orchids grow.

On our way to the garden, two ring-necked parakeets sat in a tree along the canal. They were eating fruits.

In the pond near the garden entrance, mallards and coots swimming. A jackdaw on the bank.

Two jays on a hedge in front of the hothouse buildings. Magpies there as well.

After the reconstruction of the hothouses, the two tropical aquariums have inhabitants again. In the aquarium to the left, crystal red shrimps. And glowlight rasbora fish. And threadfin rainbowfish.

Also cherry barb fish.

This is a cherry barb video.

In the aquarium at the right: golden zebra loach; pearl gourami; and honey gourami.

The aquariums mimic Asian fresh water environments.

To the left, the orchid hothouses. Prosthechea cochleata was flowering. So was a Dendrochilum species.

Still further to the left is the Victoria amazonica hall. The reconstruction of the hall is finished, but this biggest water-lily species in the world is not back yet; still in a nursery pond. When it will be back, it will share the hall with the world’s smallest flowering plants, Wolffia, which are there already.

Goldfish swam in the Victoria amazonica pond. Is the catfish, which used to be here before reconstruction, back?

Near the astronomical observatory, Coprinellus flocculosus fungi.

Many beechnuts. Saffron flowers.

A grey heron on the lawn.

Near the source of the stream: candlestick fungus.

On a tree a ring-necked parakeet. And a great spotted woodpecker climbing upwards.

Crocus goulimyi flowers.

As we leave, a great crested grebe swims and dives in the pond near the entrance/exit.