Ice Age Texas, USA manatees?


This 2018 video is called Manatees Are the “Sea Cows” of the Coasts | National Geographic Wild.

From the University of Texas at Austin in the USA:

Ice Age manatees may have called Texas home

October 1, 2020

Manatees don’t live year-round in Texas, but these gentle, slow-moving sea cows are known to occasionally visit, swimming in for a “summer vacation” from Florida and Mexico and returning to warmer waters for the winter.

Research led by The University of Texas at Austin has found fossil evidence for manatees along the Texas coast dating back to the most recent ice age. The discovery raises questions about whether manatees have been making the visit for thousands of years, or if an ancient population of ice age manatees once called Texas home somewhere between 11,000 and 240,000 years ago.

The findings were published in Palaeontologia Electronica.

“This was an unexpected thing for me because I don’t think about manatees being on the Texas coast today,” said lead author Christopher Bell, a professor at the UT Jackson School of Geosciences. “But they’re here. They’re just not well known.”

The paper co-authors are Sam Houston State University Natural History Collections curator William Godwin, SHSU alumna Kelsey Jenkins (now a graduate student at Yale University), and SHSU Professor Patrick Lewis.

The eight fossils described in the paper include manatee jawbones and rib fragments from the Pleistocene, the geological epoch of the last ice age. Most of the bones were collected from McFaddin Beach near Port Arthur and Caplen Beach near Galveston during the past 50 years by amateur fossil collectors who donated their finds to the SHSU collections.

“We have them from one decade to another, so we know it’s not from some old manatee that washed up, and we have them from different places,” Godwin said. “All these lines of evidence support that manatee bones were coming up in a constant way.”

The Jackson Museum of Earth History at UT holds two of the specimens.

A lower jawbone fossil, which was donated to the SHSU collections by amateur collector Joe Liggio, jumpstarted the research.

“I decided my collection would be better served in a museum,” Liggio said. “The manatee jaw was one of many unidentified bones in my collection.”

Manatee jawbones have a distinct S-shaped curve that immediately caught Godwin’s eye. But Godwin said he was met with skepticism when he sought other manatee fossils for comparison. He recalls reaching out to a fossil seller who told him point-blank “there are no Pleistocene manatees in Texas.”

But examination of the fossils by Bell and Lewis proved otherwise. The bones belonged to the same species of manatee that visits the Texas coast today, Trichechus manatus. An upper jawbone donated by U.S. Rep. Brian Babin was found to belong to an extinct form of the manatee, Trichechus manatus bakerorum.

The age of the manatee fossils is based on their association with better-known ice age fossils and paleo-indian artifacts that have been found on the same beaches.

It’s assumed that the cooler ice age climate would have made Texas waters even less hospitable to manatees than they are today. But the fact that manatees were in Texas — whether as visitors or residents — raises questions about the ancient environment and ancient manatees, Bell said. Either the coastal climate was warmer than is generally thought, or ice age manatees were more resilient to cooler temperatures than manatees of today.

The Texas coast stretched much farther into the Gulf of Mexico and hosted wider river outlets during the ice age than it does now, said Jackson School Professor David Mohrig, who was not part of the research team.

“Subsurface imaging of the now flooded modern continental shelf reveals both a greater number of coastal embayments and the presence of significantly wider channels during ice age times,” said Mohrig, an expert on how sedimentary landscapes evolve.

If there was a population of ice age manatees in Texas, it’s plausible that they would have rode out winters in these warmer river outlets, like how they do today in Florida and Mexico.

COVID-19 infects Texas, USA babies


This 19 July 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

85 Babies Tested Positive For COVID-19 In One Texas County, Health Director Says

From daily The Independent in Britain today:

Dozens of babies infected by coronavirus in Texas as state struggles to contain the spread

Report comes amid surging cases in 18 states across the United States

By Richard Hall

Dozens of babies have contracted the coronavirus in one Texas county alone, officials said, as the state continued to hit record numbers of daily deaths.

Health officials made the grim announcement as the state reported a record 174 new coronavirus deaths on Friday, numbers that are expected to climb further still. It was the third consecutive day the state recorded more than 100 deaths.

“We currently have 85 babies under the age of one year in Nueces County that have all tested positive for Covid-19,” said Annette Rodriguez, director of public health for Corpus Christi Nueces County.

COVID-19 stops Texas Major League Soccer


This 7 July 2020 video says about itself:

FC Dallas OUT of MLS is Back: Commissioner Don Garber says the tournament will go on | ESPN FC

Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber joins SportsCenter on ESPN the decision to send FC Dallas home ahead of the MLS is Back Tournament. Garber expresses the league’s emphasis on the safety of players and personnel and the effectiveness of the protocol inside their bubble in Orlando, Florida. He also says the tournament will go on as planned, beginning with the first-ever meeting between Orlando City and Inter Miami on Wednesday, July 8 (8 p.m. ET, ESPN).

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

FC Dallas has to miss the restart of Major League Soccer (MLS). Ten players of the Dallas club appear to be infected with coronavirus. …

The United States soccer league starts again … after a few months of no football because of the outbreak of the coronavirus. The MLS, which had only two rounds of play before the coronavirus interruption, is being completed in tournament form at Disney World in Orlando.

So, in Florida.

While teenagers and others die of COVID-19 in Florida. While Disney corporation workers protest again dangerous premature management reopening schemes.

Butterfly, hummingbirds at Texas, USA feeders


This video from the USA says about itself:

Butterfly Visits West Texas Feeders Alongside Hummingbirds – June 17, 2020

Enjoy watching a cloudless sulphur butterfly sip nectar from the West Texas hummingbird feeders as hummers hover from port to port.

Black-chinned hummingbird in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Male Black-chinned Hummingbird Dips And Sips In West Texas – May 1, 2020

The West Texas Feeder cam is about to be aflutter with migrant hummingbirds this spring. Watch this male Black-chinned Hummingbird dip and sip while it hovers (as this species often does while foraging) at the feeder.

Hummingbird spring migration in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds Return To West Texas! – March 30, 2020

Hummingbirds have returned to the West Texas Feeders! Right on time, Black-chinned and Broad-tailed Hummingbirds are the first species to return to the Davis Mountains this spring, with ten or more species scheduled to join them in the coming weeks.

Here, a male Black-chinned Hummingbird hovers at the left side of the feeder while flashing the violet band underneath his black chin. Later, a male Broad-tailed Hummingbird shows off his iridescent magenta gorget while a drab female Black-chinned Hummingbird floats at the right side of the feeder.

Watch live at http://allaboutbirds.org/texashummers for more information about hummingbirds and highlights from the feeders.

Ladder-backed woodpecker feeding in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Female Ladder-backed Woodpecker Sits Front And Center In West Texas – March 13, 2020

In West Texas, a female Ladder-backed Woodpecker visits the feeder station for some suet. These woodpeckers may also come for mealworms, and they have also been observed eating peanut butter and black oil sunflower seeds. To attract a nesting pair, try growing native vegetation and leave dead trees standing when possible.

Woodhouse’s scrub-jay in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay Fills Up On Suet In West Texas – March 2, 2020

A beautiful, blue-and-gray Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay takes center stage at the West Texas feeders. These scrub-jays of the west live mainly among pinyon pine trees. Their pointed bills easily chisel away at suet and are also a useful tool for getting at the pine nuts hidden between pine cone scales.

Rare tropical parula in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi) Feeding, Preening and Calling – Lion’s/ Shelly Park Refugio, Refugio County Texas – March 1, 2017

From the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in the USA:

**RARE BIRD ALERT**

07 FEB 2020 – Armand Bayou Nature Center, Harris County, Texas

Reported by eBird user Mike Austin on February 7, 2020 at 09:06

Tropical Parula (Setophaga pitiayumi) CONFIRMED

Comments:

“Male. Tiny warbler with black mask, yellow throat & breast with orange was across latter, white belly & vent. Bluish wings with bold white wingbars. Blue back with greenish saddle. Higher-pitched chip than Orange-crowned Warbler. Seen intermittently for about three minutes foraging in dense vegetation at tops of yaupon & dense tree vines about 15 feet off ground. Usual place on Martyn Trail at bayou end of pine grove. Loosely associated with Yellow-rumped, Pine & and Orange-crowned Warblers & a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.”

Identification Notes:

Small short-tailed warbler; bright and boldly patterned. Blue-gray above with green back, two bold white wing bars (limited white in Middle American birds), and yellow-orange throat and chest. Males have darker face and brighter yellow-orange chest than females. Bill is sharp, black above and yellow below. Very similar to Northern Parula; note lack of white eye arcs and no dark markings on breast. Beware of rarely-occurring hybrids and some dull immatures, which can be very similar to Northern Parula. Common and widespread in forests throughout Central and South America; rare in U.S.; found only in mossy forests in southern Texas.

Snowy winter birds in Texas, USA


This video from the USA says about itself:

Snow In West Texas! Pine Siskins And Dark-eyed Juncos Battle It Out At Feeders – Feb. 5, 2020

Here’s something we don’t see everyday—snow at the West Texas feeders! This white winter blanket has brought droves of Pine Siskins and Dark-eyed Juncos to feast on an easy meal in front of the cam.