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Grizzly Bear on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, US Forest Service

It is strange how much Trump hates bears, apart from the Russian bear.
It’s not like American bears are running up and down 5th Ave, either.
Big bears, baby bears, Trump hates all of ’em except Russian bears.
05.16.19
Tribal Witnesses Emphasize Spiritual and Cultural Significance of Grizzly Bears, Champion Grijalva Bill to Guarantee Tribal Input on Grizzly Management
Washington, D.C. – Yesterday’s Water, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee legislative hearing [1] featured powerful testimony from Native American tribal witnesses on the profound significance of grizzly bears to tribal culture and tribal support for Chair Raúl M. Grijalva’s (D-Ariz.) Tribal Heritage and Grizzly Bear Protection Act. [2]

Grijalva’s bill ensures that grizzly bears are permanently protected for their ecological and cultural value and guarantees Native American tribes a role in conserving and managing the species.

Grizzly bears are considered sacred by…

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Jet Eliot

Baird’s Tapir, female adult, Belize

Tapirs are large, four-legged mammals found primarily in the jungles of Central and South America. They are rare. How very exciting it was then, to have ten minutes in the wild with this magnificent animal.

Adding to the difficulty of finding them, they are nocturnal, and classified as Endangered or Vulnerable. Currently there are five tapir species in the world, with one small population in Southeast Asia and all the rest in the New World. The list of extinct tapir species is far longer than the extant list.

Tapir Wikipedia.  Pronounced TAY-peer. We observed the Baird’s Tapir species.

Athena and I were on a night drive, standing in the back of a pick-up truck in the jungles of Belize. We had two guides: one was driving, the other was spotting, i.e. shining a strong spotlight on the trees as we drove along.

Five minutes…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This March 2017 video says about itself:

National Geographic | THE NEANDERTHALS | FIRST PEOPLES OF EUROPE | HD Full Documentary

Neanderthals or Neandertals were a species or subspecies of archaic human, in the genus Homo, which became extinct around 40,000 years ago. They were closely related to modern humans, sharing 99.7% of DNA.

By Bruce Bower, 2:00pm, May 15, 2019:

Fossil teeth push the human-Neandertal split back to about 1 million years ago

A new study estimates the age of these hominids’ last common ancestor

People and Neandertals separated from a common ancestor more than 800,000 years ago — much earlier than many researchers had thought.

That conclusion, published online May 15 in Science Advances, stems from an analysis of early fossilized Neandertal teeth found at a Spanish site called Sima de los Huesos. During hominid evolution, tooth crowns changed in size and shape at a…

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The city of Valparaiso Chile is full of over a thousand large scale open air art murals, some like the one above, cover the walls of multi-story buildings.

The first murals were painted by art students from a local university in the 1960’s and 70’s, in an area of the city called Cerro Bellavista.

This area is now a landmark named El Museo a Cielo Abierto (The Open Air Museum).

Valparaiso in entirety was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

Walking in this city wide open air art museum, one is struck not only by the talent of the amazing artists,

but also by their appreciation of the beauty,

joy, and humor of life.

To this day, artists are continuing to add their talented contributions to this remarkable city.

Valparaiso is a magnet attracting artists of all kinds. Their artistry makes visiting here a pure joy.

Cheers to…

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Bharata Bharati

India

Prof Michel DaninoThe final riddle: Why did this Hindu civilisation not disappear, like so many other great Pagan civilisations? The answer will have to be as complex as the civilisation itself. – Prof Michel Danino

We saw India as a land of paradoxes, which seems to revel in them, the better to reconcile them; as generating a culture obsessed with the infinite and the cosmic; hunting for consciousness everywhere, from the supra cosmic to the smallest animal (with us in between, if we will remember); viewing this whole world as sacred, since it is pervaded with consciousness; harmonising the individual and the collective while respecting, even encouraging, differences and multiple paths; we saw principles and practices of environmental conservation rooted in the concept of Nature’s sacredness and simple living; a deep reverence for and pursuit of knowledge in every field, from the most abstrusely philosophical to the most practical, with high traditions…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

Alcmonavis fossilFrom the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München in Germany:

First birds: Archaeopteryx gets company

May 14, 2019

Summary: Researchers describe a hitherto unknown bird from the late Jurassic period. It is the second bird capable of flight, after the famous Archaeopteryx, to be identified from this era.

Archaeopteryx’s throne is tottering. Since the discovery of the first fossil of the primal bird in 1861, it had been considered the only bird from the Jurassic geological period. Today’s birds are thought to be direct descendants of carnivorous dinosaurs, with Archaeopteryx representing the oldest known flying representative of this lineage. All of the specimens that have been found up to now come from the region of the Solnhofen Archipelago, which during the Jurassic era spanned across what is today the Altmühl Valley, in the area between Pappenheim and Regensburg. Archaeopteryx lived here in a landscape of reef islands about 150 million years ago.

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Burrowing owls on video

Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 10 May 2019 video says about itself:

On the open plains of Colombia, a species of owl lives without trees or nests. They are burrowing owls – the only owl species in the world to live underground.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This May 2019 video shows a lesser spotted woodpecker drumming.

Jeroen van Wijk made this video in the Veluwe region in the Netherlands.

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Thirsty Butterflies

Jet Eliot

Dark Kite-swallowtail Butterfly, Belize

We had been birding the Belizean tropical jungle for days, when a new phenomenon greeted us one dawn morning: clouds of butterflies congregating around the ground.

Up until then, we had been seeing that same species, the Dark Kite-swallowtail butterfly, flying around all week. One or two, here and there, on flowers–like usual.

But this day they were in clumps of 40 and 50, always on the earth.

Dark Kite-swallowtail Butterflies, Belize

Rainforest

There were hundreds, and as we headed down the road to our destination–to watch toucans feeding–we watched them flutter all around, quite magical.

They were all on the road and the dirt, and as our truck trundled by I was nervous for their safety. They could easily be run over.

I asked the guide, “Why are all the butterflies around this morning? And in such big groups?” It was 6 a.m., no one…

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RED POWER MEDIA

Munduruku indigenous tribe members trek through their protected lands that illegal miners had destroyed in search of gold.

From Amazon rainforests to the Arctic Circle, indigenous peoples are under siege

From Amazon rainforests to the Arctic Circle, indigenous peoples are leveraging ancestral knowhow to protect habitats that have sustained them for hundreds and even thousands of years, according to a landmark UN assessment of biodiversity released Monday.

But these “guardians of nature” are under siege, warns the first major UN scientific report to fully consider indigenous knowledge and management practices.

Whether it is logging, agribusiness and cattle ranching in the tropics, or climate change warming the poles twice as fast as the global average, an unrelenting economic juggernaut fuelled by coal, oil and gas is ravaging the natural world, the grim report found.

A million of Earth’s estimated eight million species are at risk of extinction, and an area of…

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