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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This video shows an avocet with babies in Sweden.

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Exposing the Big Game

Why COVID-19 previews a larger crash. What we must do to save ourselves.

William E. Rees Today | TheTyee.caWilliam E. Rees is professor emeritus of human ecology and ecological economics at the University of British Columbia.

As the pandemic builds, most people, led by government officials and policy wonks, perceive the threat solely in terms of human health and its impact on the national economy. Consistent with the prevailing vision, mainstream media call almost exclusively on physicians and epidemiologists, financiers and economists to assess the consequences of the viral outbreak.

Fair enough — rampant disease and looming recession are genuine immediate concerns; society has to cope with them.

That said…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2 April 2020 video shows springtime birds of Voorne island in the Netherlands; redshank, great cormorant, northern shoveler duck, and more.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2015 video from Britain says about itself:

BTO Bird ID – Cormorant and Shag

A black, reptilian-looking bird swims by low to the water – but is it a Cormorant or a Shag? Cormorants are more familiar and wide-spread, although Shags are more numerous. Let us help you to separate these two similar-looking species of waterbird.

From the University of Southern Denmark:

Surprising hearing talents in cormorants

April 1, 2020

Summary: The great cormorant has more sensitive hearing under water than in air. This new knowledge may help protect vulnerable bird species.

Many aquatic animals like frogs and turtles spend a big part of their lives under water and have adapted to this condition in various ways, one being that they have excellent hearing under water.

A new study shows that the same goes for a diving bird, the great cormorant.

This is surprising because the great…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2019 video from North America is called Male brown-headed cowbirds calling & spreading wings.

From the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, News Bureau in the USA:

When warblers warn of cowbirds, blackbirds get the message

March 31, 2020

This is the story of three bird species and how they interact. The brown-headed cowbird plays the role of outlaw: It lays its eggs in other birds’ nests and lets them raise its young — often at the expense of the host’s nestlings. To combat this threat, yellow warblers have developed a special “seet” call that means, “Look out! Cowbird!”

In a new study, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign report that red-winged blackbirds respond to the seet call as if they know what it means.

“Does this mean red-winged blackbirds understand that the call is specific to cowbirds or are they just responding to a general alarm?” said…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 8 September 2019 video says about itself:

The film begins with the discovery of mysterious bones in the Rising Star cave system in South Africa, and introduces viewers to a previously unknown species of ancient human, Homo naledi.

From PLOS:

Homo naledi juvenile remains offers clues to how our ancestors grew up

This rare case of an immature fossil hominin sheds light on the evolution of human development

April 1, 2020

A partial skeleton of Homo naledi represents a rare case of an immature individual, shedding light on the evolution of growth and development in human ancestry, according to a study published April 1, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Debra Bolter of Modesto Junior College in California and the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and colleagues.

Much research has gone into the evolution of ancient hominins — human relatives and ancestors — but little…

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The Extinction Protocol

00 Evolve 111SAN FRANCISCO — At least eight strains of the coronavirus are making their way around the globe, creating a trail of death and disease that scientists are tracking by their genetic footprints. While much is unknown, hidden in the virus’s unique microscopic fragments are clues to the origins of its original strain, how it behaves as it mutates and which strains are turning into conflagrations while others are dying out thanks to quarantine measures.  Huddled in once bustling and now almost empty labs, researchers who oversaw dozens of projects are instead focused on one goal: tracking the current strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that cause the illness COVID-19.

Labs around the world are turning their sequencing machines, most about the size of a desktop printer, to the task of rapidly sequencing the genomes of virus samples taken from people sick with COVID-19. The information is uploaded to a website called…

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The Extinction Chronicles

Scientists are tracing the path of Sars-CoV-2 from a wild animal host – but we need to look at the part played in the outbreak by industrial food production

A Chinese poultry farm. China stepped up surveillance after bird flu outbreaks.
 A Chinese poultry farm. China stepped up surveillance after bird flu outbreaks. Photograph: China Photos/Getty Images

Where did the virus causing the current pandemic come from? How did it get to a food market in Wuhan, China, from where it is thought to have spilled over into humans? The answers to these questions are gradually being pieced together, and the story they tell makes for uncomfortable reading.

Let’s start at the beginning. As of 17 March, we know that the Sars-CoV-2 virus (a member of the coronavirus family that causes the respiratory illness Covid-19) is the product of natural evolution. A study…

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