Red-necked nightjar video

This video from Spain says about itself:

After remaining hidden for about seven hours until the sun disappeared and the darkness was present, the female red-necked nightjar was immobile practically all the time. As the sun went down, the little chick was already starting to wake up and order some food, while the female remained motionless. When the sun went down, activity began to appear, the female left in search of food and the little one was left alone in the nest while the father made his appearance. Moments later the couple encourages the little one to leave the nest as they did with his older brother (two days before he left the nest). Then they left in the darkness of the night ….


Spanish right-wing government helps Turkish dictator, arresting Turkish German author

Turkish police arrests Turkish German author Doghan Akhanli in 2010

The right-wing government in Spain is a government of the Partido Popular; a party founded by a minister of the late dictator Francisco Franco. Now, they abuse the horrible attack in Barcelona for cracking down on Catalan political opponents and civil liberties. They also abuse it for promoting militarism and Islamophobia for a bloody ‘war on terror‘.

However, they except a few Muslims from their Islamophobia. The royal family in Saudi Arabia. And President Erdogan of Turkey, who is busy at making his country a dictatorship.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Spain arrests German-Turkish writer at the request of Turkey

Today, 01:15

Spain has arrested Turkish-German writer Doghan Akhanli at the request of Turkey. The German Foreign Minister Gabriel personally engages in this case to prevent extradition.

Akhanli, who is a German citizen since 2001, was arrested at his holiday address in Granada. Why he was arrested was not disclosed.

His lawyer calls the arrest politically motivated. Akhanli has written in the past about the Armenian genocide and human rights violations. After a Turkish coup in 1984 he spent years in jail.

Akhanli emigrated to Germany in 1991. When he returned to Istanbul in 2010, he was arrested for an armed robbery in 1989. He was acquitted, but this was reversed in appeal.

Dinosaur age snails discovered near Prado museum, Spain

This video says about itself:

1 August 2015

Concavenator” is a genus of theropod dinosaur that lived approximately 130 million years ago during the early Cretaceous period. The type species is “C. corcovatus”. “Concavenator corcovatus” means “hump backed hunter from Cuenca”. The fossil was discovered in the Las Hoyas fossil site of Spain by paleontologists José Luis Sanz, Francisco Ortega and Fernando Escaso from the Autonomous University of Madrid and the National University of Distance Learning.

“Concavenator” was a medium-sized primitive carcharodontosaurian dinosaur possessing several unique features. Two extremely tall vertebrae in front of the hips formed a tall but narrow and pointed crest on the dinosaur’s back. The function of such crests is currently unknown. Paleontologist Roger Benson from Cambridge University speculated that one possibility is that “it is analogous to head-crests used in visual displays”, but the Spanish scientists who discovered it noted it could also be a thermal regulator.

Additionally, the forelimb of “Concavenator” preserved evidence of what may be quill knobs or homologous structures, an anatomical feature so far known only in animals with large, quilled feathers on the forelimb.

“Concavenator” had structures resembling quill knobs on its forearm, a feature known only in birds and other feathered theropods, such as “Velociraptor“. Quill knobs are created by ligaments which attach to the feather follicle, and since scales do not form from follicles, the authors ruled out the possibility that they could indicate the presence of long display scales on the arm. Instead, the knobs probably anchored simple, hollow, quill-like structures. Such structures are known both in coelurosaurs such as “Dilong” and in some ornithischians like “Tianyulong” and “Psittacosaurus“.

If the ornithischian quills are homologous with bird feathers, their presence in an allosauroid like “Concavenator” would be expected. However, if ornithischian quills are not related to feathers, the presence of these structures in “Concavenator” would show that feathers had begun to appear in earlier, more primitive forms than coelurosaurs. Feathers or related structures would then likely be present in the first members of the clade Neotetanurae, which lived in the Middle Jurassic. No impressions of any kind of integument were found near the arm, although extensive scale impressions were preserved on other portions of the body, including broad, rectangular scales on the underside of the tail, bird-like scutes on the feet, and plantar pads on the undersides of the feet.

Some amount of skepticism exists among experts about the validity of the interpretation that the ulna bumps represent quill knobs, though a more detailed analysis has not yet been published. Darren Naish of the blog Tetrapod Zoology speculates that the bumps would have been unusually far up and irregularly spaced for quill knobs. He additionally pointed out that many animals have similar structures along intermuscular lines that act as tendon attachment points among other things. This dissent has been supported by Christian Foth and others.

From FECYT – Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology:

Cretaceous snails conceal themselves in monuments in Madrid

August 3, 2017

The fountains standing next to the Museo del Prado are built using a sedimentary rock full of gastropod shells from the time of the dinosaurs. These fossils have revealed the origin of the stone: forgotten quarries in Redueña, in the province of Madrid, where the building material for the Fountain of Apollo and the Palacio de las Cortes also came from.

In the Fountain of Apollo stone (shown in the image) and the four fountains facing the Museo del Prado, the Trochactaeon lamarcki fossils, a species of gastropod which lived around 85 million years ago, are easily seen. Credit: D.M. Freire-Lista /IGEO

In the Fountain of Apollo stone (shown in the image) and the four fountains facing the Museo del Prado, the Trochactaeon lamarcki fossils, a species of gastropod which lived around 85 million years ago, are easily seen. Credit: D.M. Freire-Lista /IGEO

The tourists who visit the Museo del Prado can take the opportunity to see fossils of snails that lived alongside dinosaurs millions of years ago. They are embedded in the stone of four small fountains designed by the architect Ventura Rodríguez in the 18th century, which stand next to the art gallery.

Now, researchers from the Institute of Geosciences (IGEO, a CSIC-UCM joint centre) have discovered the old quarries where the rock was extracted in order to sculpt these fountains and other monuments in Madrid. The study was published in the journal AIMS Geosciences.

“These quarries, lost over a century ago, are located in Redueña in the province of Madrid,” according to David M. Freire-Lista, one of the authors: “Here the geological formation of the dolomite (a sedimentary rock similar to limestone) known as Castrojimeno presents characteristic features, such as a layer containing fossils that do not appear in other areas.”

Specifically, numerous gastropod fossils (measuring up to 2.5 cm) of the species Trochactaeon lamarcki, which lived in the Upper Cretaceous approximately 85 million years ago, were identified in the fountain stone, which has proven key for dating and tracing the origin of the rocks.

Through historical documents and direct observation, the researchers then confirmed that they are the same quarries which supplied the stone used to construct the jambs, lintels and mantelpieces in the Palacio de las Cortes, where the Spanish Parliament sits.

The same material was also used to build the Fountain of Apollo, located in the Paseo del Prado between the most famous fountains, Neptune and Cybele, whose terrazzo stone was also from Redueña -according to the original plans drawn up by Ventura Rodríguez-, although over time it was replaced by another.

“The dolomite from Redueña containing gastropods was highly used in monuments dating back to the 18th century due to its light colour, ease of carving, and the proximity to Madrid,” points out Freire-Lista. “Its petrographic and petrophysical properties, being of particular note its low solubility and porosity, lend it an excellent quality and durability for use in places where water is present, such as these fountains,” he adds.

Nevertheless, the researchers warn that the passage of time affects even the most resistant stones, and they consider it necessary to carry out petrophysical studies, using non-destructive techniques, to determine the degree of deterioration of the monuments and to take measures for their successful conservation.

200 million years of geological history in the Trinitarians

In another study published in the journal Ge-conservación, the same authors analysed the material used to construct the Convento de las Trinitarias Descalzas de San Ildefonso in Madrid, where the remains of Miguel de Cervantes lie, and they have also found Cretaceous dolomite (in this instance Tamajón-Redueña stone, without gastropods) in the coats of arms and low reliefs on the church’s façade.

“This convent is constructed using the four traditional building stones most representative of the capital: flint, granite, Cretaceous dolomite and Miocene limestone, and the presence of these four on its façade makes it a showcase of the last 200 million years of geological history of the region of Madrid,” concludes the researcher.

Spanish king quarrels with British government on Gibraltar

This 4 April 2017 video is called Gibraltar accuses Spain of ship incursion.

Both Britain and Spain at the moment have wobbly right-wing minority governments. Both are European Union allies for the time being. Both are NATO military allies. Nevertheless, recently a politician of the ruling British Conservative party threatened Spain with a Falklands/Malvinas style war about Gibraltar.

And now, King Felipe VI of Spain has counterattacked while on a state visit to Britain. Though he did not (yet) threaten to send an ‘invincible’ Spanish armada to England like his predecessor Felipe II did in 1588

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Spanish king risks diplomatic row after raising Gibraltar during state visit to Britain

King Felipe raises issue during speech in Parliament

Arj Singh, TONY JONES, Andrew Woodcock

Gibraltar has criticised the king of Spain for saying the governments of his country and Britain will find a solution on the Rock’s future that is “acceptable to all involved”.

King Felipe raised the thorny issue as he addressed MPs and peers at the Royal Gallery in the Houses of Parliament during his state visit.

Michael ‘Poundland Pinochet’ Howard Rattles Sabre over Gibraltar: here.

Crested lark on video

This is a crested lark video.

I saw these beautiful birds in, eg, Spain.

91-year-old Spanish woman buries her father, murdered by Franco, at last

This video says about itself:

A step closer to justice for victims of Franco’s dictatorship in Spain

24 February 2016

An Argentine judge has ordered the exhumation of the remains of Timoteo Mendieta. He was executed by Franco’s forces at the end of Spain’s civil war and dumped in an unmarked mass grave on the edge of Guadalajara’s municipal cemetery.

This is a big victory for his daughter, 90-years old Ascension Mendieta, who had to travel to Argentina to get the right to give her father a proper burial.

From Reuters news agency:

Sun Jul 2, 2017 | 12:04pm EDT

Spanish Civil War victim’s 91-year-old daughter finally buries her father

By Juan Medina | MADRID

On the cusp of her 92nd birthday and after decades of waiting and uncertainty, Ascensión Mendieta, daughter of a victim of political violence killed almost 80 years previously, finally buried her father on a bright Sunday morning in Madrid. Hundreds of mourners turned out to attend the non-religious ceremony in Madrid for Timoteo Mendieta, a trade unionist shot in the months following the Spanish Civil War and buried in a mass grave in a Guadalajara cemetery.

The search for Timoteo Mendieta’s remains marks the first instance of graves being dug on the orders of an Argentine judge in a lawsuit seeking redress for crimes committed during the 1936-1939 civil war and the almost four-decade dictatorship of General Francisco Franco that followed.

“(Burying Timoteo) means the end of a cycle and the end of a tremendous battle against the Spanish state, which has been, I would say, very cruel to families who have relatives in mass graves,” Francisco Vargas Medienta, grandson of Timoteo, said after the funeral.

Attending the ceremony accompanied by her three children, Ascensión Mendieta held a bouquet of flowers decorated in the red, purple and gold of the Second Spanish Republic, which was overthrown by the forces loyal to Franco.

Among those paying their respects were relatives of victims of the Franco regime, several of them currently in the process of fighting their own legal battles to obtain exhumation orders to search for murdered family members.

In the Guadalajara cemetery mass graves alone, there are an estimated 800 victims of political violence, according to the Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory (ARMH), a non-profit group that works to recognize victims of the war.

Following the Guadalajara exhumation, around 100 families of victims believed to be buried there requested help to identify remains.

In an effort to smooth a 1977 transition to democracy, Spain passed an amnesty law pardoning political crimes committed in the past – the so-called “Pact of Forgetting“.

Some exhumations began in 2000, though the resting place for many victims are still unknown. The ARMH has documented 114,226 cases of men and women buried in mass graves around Spain.

“There are at least 3,000 mass graves. We’re not even sure exactly how many, but it’s a lot,” said Emilio Silva, head of the ARMH.

Ascensión Mendieta – who was 13 when she unwittingly opened the door to the men who took her father away – has repeatedly said she hopes the case of Timoteo serves to highlight the large numbers of remains still unidentified.

Francisco Vargas Mendieta said that the experience left his mother, and many like her, emotionally scarred, and that activists would continue working to identify the dead.

“My mother has always lived with this wound,” Vargas said. “And there are many people like her even now. We are not going to stop until the maximum number of people possible are able to take flowers to those who were executed, or until these people receive a dignified burial.”

Historians estimate as many as 500,000 combatants and civilians were killed on the Republican and Nationalist sides in the war. After it ended, tens of thousands of Franco’s enemies were killed or imprisoned in a campaign to wipe out dissent.

(Writing and reporting by Sam Edwards in Barcelona, editing by David Evans)

Booted eagle video

This is a booted eagle video.

I was privileged to see these birds in Spain.