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Straight from the Horse's Heart

by Nanticha Ocharoenchai as published on Mongabay

A new study suggests that returning Wild horses to grasslands in Czech Republic could increase populations of some threatened butterfly species.

Grazing Exmoor ponies by Martin Konvička.

In the Czech Republic, horses have become the knights in shining armor. A study published in the Journal for Nature Conservation suggests that returning wild horses to grasslands in Podyjí National Park could help boost the numbers of several threatened butterfly species.

In 2017, wildlife organizations laid out their plan to introduce Exmoor ponies (Equus ferus caballus) to the dry, temperate grasslands of Podyjí along the Czech border with Austria. They aimed to “rewild” the region and restore natural ecosystems by allowing the land and its native species to develop free from human influence.

A Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia), one of the species in the study. Image by Gilles San Martin via Wikimedia Commons (CC BY 2.0) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (].
A Glanville fritillary (Melitaea cinxia), one of the species in the study. Image by Gilles San Martin via

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Bharata Bharati

Pillar bases excavated by B.B. Lal in 1975.

Dr. B.R. Mani“The bases pointed out at the large structure pre-existing the mosque. These facts prove the enormity of the pre-existing structure found below the mosque. … A wall is superimposed upon another wall. The superimposition shows that there was demolition and reconstruction.” – Dr. B.R. Mani

The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)’s 2003 report on Ayodhya had made a case for a large structure pre-existing the Babri Masjid.

The observations were based on large pillar bases found at the time of the excavations. In 2003, excavations were carried out at the disputed site at the directions of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court Uttar Pradesh.

While delivering its verdict on the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, a five-judge Constitution bench of the Supreme Court said the underlying structure was not an Islamic one and the fact that there lied a temple beneath the destroyed structure has been established by the…

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Lichens, how old are they?

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This July 2019 video from Britain says about itself:

“What actually is a lichen?” In this film, we learn about the structure and function of lichen, as well as the three main growth forms and how to identify different lichen forms. Lichenologist Joe Hope invites us to have a closer look at the fascinating lichen ecosystem especially the relationship between lichen and algae. He clearly explains some key terms that will help you understand more about the lichens in your local woodland.

A film for by Jemma Cholawo

From the Field Museum in the USA:

Lichens are way younger than scientists thought

November 15, 2019

You’ve probably seen a lichen, even if you didn’t realize it. If you’ve ever meandered through the forest and wondered what the crusty stuff on trees or rocks was, they’re lichens, a combination of algae and fungi living together almost as if…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video is about young avocets, their parent, a little tern and a ringed plover in Sweden.

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Exposing the Big Game

A geologic change might have plunged lush landscapes into arid zones, killing off an array of creatures—and it might happen again one day.

AT FIRST, IT seems like a case of extinction by climate change: More than 160 million years ago, during the Jurassic period, a fanciful menagerie crept, swam, and flew through the cool, damp forests of what is now northeastern China. Then, almost in a geologic instant, the air grew warmer and the land dried out. As the water disappeared, so too did the life. And yet, researchers have struggled to pin down a climate-related culprit behind this ecological collapse.

Now, a study published in the journal Geology suggests that it wasn’t the climate that changed, but the geographic location of the landscape. Paleomagnetic signatures in the area’s rocks indicate that sometime between 174 and 157 million years ago, the…

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The Extinction Chronicles

We’re starting a new campaign to fight climate change the natural way

Audubon’s new report, Survival by Degrees, offers a jarring look at the impacts of climate change on the birds we love. In Washington state, over half of bird species will be vulnerable to extinction by the end of the century if we continue down our current path. But the most important takeaway from our latest report isn’t that birds are facing a crisis – it’s that we have the power in our hands to protect birds and people from the worst impacts of a changing climate.

By taking action – personally and politically…

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Bharata Bharati

Huston Smith Quote

Maria WirthClaims about one specific person needing to be followed are not true. Yet for long, Hindus couldn’t counter it for fear of their lives. But now Hindus slowly find their feet. Many realise the immense value of their heritage and that they were cheated in believing that it has no worth. – Maria Wirth

“Why Indians had to suffer so much for the last 1000 years when they were generally good-natured and did not attack others?” someone asked Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. It was a question which troubled me too. He replied on the lines that Indians had not done their job in analysing their enemy.

Why did Prithviraj Chauhan for example let Mohammad Ghori off in spite of knowing that he had not stuck to any rules of war? The young Indian raja obviously had not analysed what made his attacker so unprincipled. He didn’t seem to be aware…

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The Extinction Chronicles

Climate may have helped crumble one of the ancient world's most powerful civilizations
Adam Schneider during fieldwork in Jordan. Credit: Adam Schneider/CIRES

New research suggests it was climate-related drought that built the foundation for the collapse of the Assyrian Empire (whose heartland was based in today’s northern Iraq)—one of the most powerful civilizations in the ancient world. The Science Advances paper, led by Ashish Sinha at California State University, Dominguez Hills and coauthored by CIRES affiliate Adam Schneider, details how megadroughts in the 7th century BC triggered a decline in Assyria’s way of life that contributed to its ultimate collapse.

Keep reading for a Q&A with Schneider, who was a CIRES researcher from 2015 to 2017:

Q: What role did the Assyrian Empire play in global history?

A: There are people in the archaeological community who say Neo-Assyria was the first super power in the history of the world. The Neo-Assyrian empire (912-609…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2017 video says about itself:

What Happened to the World’s Greatest Ape?

Probably twice the size of a modern gorilla, Gigantopithecus is the greatest great-ape that ever was. And for us fellow primates, there are some lessons to be learned in how it lived, and why it disappeared.

By Bruce Bower, 13 November 2019:

A tooth fossil shows Gigantopithecus’ close ties to modern orangutans

Proteins help clarify how the giant ancient ape evolved

An ancient ape that was larger than a full-grown male gorilla has now revealed molecular clues to its evolutionary roots.

Proteins extracted from a roughly 1.9-million-year-old tooth of the aptly named Gigantopithecus blacki peg it as a close relative of modern orangutans and their direct ancestors, say bioarchaeologist Frido Welker of the University of Copenhagen and his colleagues.

Protein comparisons among living and fossil apes suggest that Gigantopithecus and orangutan forerunners diverged from…

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The Extinction Chronicles

SHIRETOKO PENINSULA, Japan — Lined up along the side of their boat, the fishermen hauled a huge, heavy net up from swelling waves. At first, a few small jellyfish emerged, then a piece of plastic. Then net, and more net. Finally, all the way at the bottom: a small thrashing mass of silvery salmon.

It was just after dawn at the height of the autumn fishing season, but something was wrong.

“When are the fish coming?” boat captain Teruhiko Miura asked himself.

Teruhiko Miura, 53, captain of the Hokushin Maru, at a port in the town of Shari in Hokkaido, Japan.

The salmon catch is collapsing off Japan’s northern coast, plummeting by about 70 percent in the past 15 years. The disappearance of…

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