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The Extinction Chronicles

Smoke rises above the Amazon rainforest, outside an indigenous reservation near Jundia, Roraima state. Brazil, on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019.
This story originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

There are many mysteries in the Amazon. Until recently, one of the most troubling was the vast methane emissions emerging from the rainforest that were observed by satellites but that nobody could find on the ground. Around 20 million tons was simply unaccounted for.

Then Sunitha Pangala, a British postdoc researcher, spent two months traveling the Amazon’s waterways strapping gas-measuring equipment to thousands of trees. She found that trees, especially in the extensive flooded forests, were stimulating methane production in the waterlogged soils and mainlining it into the atmosphere.

Her 2014 expedition plugged a gaping hole in the planet’s methane budget. And she had discovered a…

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La Paz Group

Greenland Ice.jpg Surface meltwater ponds in Western Greenland in May 2019. NASA/JEFFERSON BECK

For his third appearance in our pages this year, illuminating a topic we all need to understand more fully, thanks to Jon Gertner for sharing this in Yale e360:

In Greenland’s Melting Ice, A Warning on Hard Climate Choices

Greenland is melting at an unprecedented rate, causing vast quantities of ice to disappear and global sea levels to rise. The fate of the ice sheet is not sealed, but unless CO2 emissions are sharply cut, the long-term existence of Greenland’s ice is in doubt.

InglefieldBredning_June-13-2019_Steffen-M.-Olsen-Twitter_web2.jpg A team from the Danish Meteorological Institute travels by dogsled across a pond of meltwater in northwest Greenland to retrieve equipment on June 13. STEFFEN M OLSEN/TWITTER

The heat wave arrived early this spring — a shroud of temperate air, sweeping in during early June, which enveloped the Northern Hemisphere’s biggest ice sheet in a…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 25 June 2019 video is about three young griffon vultures. They grew up, cared for by same sex parents and injured wings parents, in the big vulture aviary in Artis zoo in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

They were brought to Sardinia island in Italy. After a stay in a local aviary to get used to the change, they were freed on 25 June 2019.

Probably, they will join a local flock, like the Artis-born vultures freed there last year did. They have GPS trackers on, so researchers can study where they go, like the other griffon vultures freed last year.

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Dream Temples

Arapaleeswarar temple in Kolli Hills,TN,India,on the eve of mahakumbabishekam Arapaleeswarar temple in Kolli Hills,TN,India,on the eve of mahakumbabishekam

Life throws surprises our way when we least expect it. Even as I was writing the post on Arapaleeswarar temple, entirely by chance I came to know that the Mahakumbabishekam was to be performed on 7th May 2017. On the rare occasions in the past when I could visit this temple it was being renovated. On completion, a special and rare ritual called Mahakumbabishekam would be performed. This event was rare because it would be done only once in twelve years. The present kumbabishekam is being  done fifteen years after the last ceremony.

The Vedic rituals preceding the Mahakumbabishekam of Arapaleeswarar Temple had commenced in April. It had been some months since I went to this temple and had no idea that so much was going on. On the evening of 6th May, I had an opportunity for a…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This September 2014 video says about itself:

Meet Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, meaning “Kulinda runner”! It’s classified as basal neornithischian! It lived in Russia during the Middle-Late Jurassic about 169 – 144 mya. It’s about 1.5 meters in length! It had a short head, short forelimbs, long hindlimbs and a long tail! And it had feathers!

From the University of Bristol in England:

Feathers came first, then birds

June 3, 2019

New research, led by the University of Bristol, suggests that feathers arose 100 million years before birds — changing how we look at dinosaurs, birds, and pterosaurs, the flying reptiles.

It also changes our understanding of feathers themselves, their functions and their role in some of the largest events in evolution.

The new work, published in the journal Trends in Ecology & Evolution combines new information from palaeontology and molecular developmental biology.

The key discovery came earlier in…

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 26 June 2019 video says about itself:

An ancient relative of today’s rollers with a deep blue hue adds to our understanding of nature’s prehistoric palette.

SOMEWHERE OVER THE rainbow 48 million years ago, a happy little blue bird flew—until it soared over a lake belching toxic gases and died. The lake’s sediments then entombed the bird’s body, exquisitely preserving the oldest fossil evidence of blue feathers ever found.

Described in a study published today in Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the feathers belong to an extinct bird, Eocoracias brachyptera, that was recovered from Germany’s Messel Pit. This wonderland of well-preserved fossils dates back to the Eocene period, which lasted from 56 to 33.9 million years ago.

Researchers could infer E. brachyptera’s blue color only because they could compare it with its modern relatives, the rollers. Tiny structures preserved in the fossilized feathers resemble…

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Stephen Liddell

I was feeling pleased that I had managed to find the first two little known ancient and even neolithic spots with out any maps and so decided to see one more if I could find it.  I had considered  Grim’s Dyke which was both the boundary of Mercia (was one of the kingdoms of the Anglo-SaxonHeptarchy) and that it was possibly a defensive works by the Catuvellauni tribe against the Romans.

However I used to play on Grim’s Dyke as a child even though it was deep into woods usually unvisited by adults and I really wanted to see something new, well new to me.  Perhaps one for another post!

And having seen a holy spring and an ancient burial mound then perhaps that other great mystery of ancient England is that of standing stones.

One of the places I pass through every day on my way into London…

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via Please LEASH UP: Coyotes are entitled to defend their den areas here in San Francisco

La Paz Group

On the shore of almost any body of water in Akagera National Park in the east of Rwanda, trees festooned with balls of dried grass are a common sight, although what will often draw your attention to these trees first is not the strange vegetation, but the cacophony of a dozen or more weaver birds chattering away as they bring strands of grass to build these nests, display to potential mates, or warn of possible predators. The species featured here, the Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus, is a fairly common bird in this region, and entertained us with their craft on the day that we visited Lake Ihema, the second largest lake in Rwanda after Lake Kivu to the west.

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Dear Kitty. Some blog

This 2009 video from the USA says about itself:

Wyoming Ruminants

Ruminants have specially adapted digestive systems enabling them to consume high cellulose feeds.

From the University of California – Davis in the USA:

From sheep and cattle to giraffes, genome study reveals evolution of ruminants

New data opens new opportunities for research, conservation and animal breeding

June 21, 2019

A team of researchers has carried out a detailed study of the genomes of ruminants, giving new insight into their evolution and success.

Ruminants including deer and antelope, as well as sheep, goats, cattle and their wild relatives, have thrived in many ecosystems around the globe. They range in size from the tiny lesser mouse deer of Malaysia to the towering African giraffe.

The new study published today (June 21) in Science and led by Wen Wang and Guojie Zhang at the Kunming Institute of…

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