The market is treated like a God, whose will only they can divine.

In his Friday column, Paul Krugman delves into the irrationality of economists who have gotten everything wrong about austerity and the perceived threat of hyper-inflation in the past few years, and yet still cling to their quasi religious reverence for the wisdom of the markets. Economists like Alan Greenspan, for instance…

Poisonous Frogs Evolve to Sing Louder and Longer
by Penny Sarchet
The little South American devil frog is noisy in pursuit of a partner, and doesn’t care who hears him.
The little devil frog’s fearlessness in the face of hungry predators could be down to his toxicity. The little devil, Oophaga sylvatica, is a member of the dendrobatid group of poisonous frogs. His bright colours warn predators that he is unsafe to eat, which Juan Santos of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, believes has allowed the evolution of more flamboyant mating calls.
Santos and his colleagues examined the calls, colourings and toxicity of 170 species of frog, including the little devil. They found a strong relationship between the volume of a frog’s call and its aposematism – markings that warn of its toxicity. In general, the more toxic a frog, the brighter and more noticeable it is – and the louder and more rapidly it sings (Proceedings of the Royal Society B ).
Non-toxic frogs are camouflaged and call from less exposed perches, says Santos…
(read more: New Scientist)
photograph: Pete Oxford/NaturePL

Poisonous Frogs Evolve to Sing Louder and Longer

by Penny Sarchet

The little South American devil frog is noisy in pursuit of a partner, and doesn’t care who hears him.

The little devil frog’s fearlessness in the face of hungry predators could be down to his toxicity. The little devil, Oophaga sylvatica, is a member of the dendrobatid group of poisonous frogs. His bright colours warn predators that he is unsafe to eat, which Juan Santos of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, believes has allowed the evolution of more flamboyant mating calls.

Santos and his colleagues examined the calls, colourings and toxicity of 170 species of frog, including the little devil. They found a strong relationship between the volume of a frog’s call and its aposematism – markings that warn of its toxicity. In general, the more toxic a frog, the brighter and more noticeable it is – and the louder and more rapidly it sings (Proceedings of the Royal Society B ).

Non-toxic frogs are camouflaged and call from less exposed perches, says Santos…

(read more: New Scientist)

photograph: Pete Oxford/NaturePL

Newfound fossils may solve a century-long mystery over the identity of a bizarre 500-million-year-old animal.

Strange figure-8 shaped creatures from the Cambrian Period are actually very distant cousins of humans, according to a new study. These vetulicolians, as they are known, appear to have possessed a notochord, a hollow nerve structure — just like modern vertebrates, including humans…

New report reveals scale of declines of UK migratory birds wintering in Africa
by Martin Fowlie
The migration of millions of birds across the face of the planet is one of nature’s greatest annual events. Every spring some species move in one direction, while every autumn those same species move in the opposite one, very often linking continents.
Although these migration patterns are as regular as the seasons, monitoring is revealing that, for some species, fewer birds are making the journey each season as the populations of these birds, including species nesting in the UK, are declining rapidly.
The latest in the annual series of State of the UK’s Birds report includes a migratory birds section, including trends for 29 migrant species which nest in the UK in summer and spend the winter around the Mediterranean, or in Africa south of the Sahara Desert.  For the first time the recent population trends for these migratory species have been combined into an indicator revealing some marked differences between species that winter in different areas…
(read more: Bird Life International)
image: Yellow Wagtail, by Andy Hay/rspb

New report reveals scale of declines of UK migratory birds wintering in Africa

by Martin Fowlie

The migration of millions of birds across the face of the planet is one of nature’s greatest annual events. Every spring some species move in one direction, while every autumn those same species move in the opposite one, very often linking continents.

Although these migration patterns are as regular as the seasons, monitoring is revealing that, for some species, fewer birds are making the journey each season as the populations of these birds, including species nesting in the UK, are declining rapidly.

The latest in the annual series of State of the UK’s Birds report includes a migratory birds section, including trends for 29 migrant species which nest in the UK in summer and spend the winter around the Mediterranean, or in Africa south of the Sahara Desert.  For the first time the recent population trends for these migratory species have been combined into an indicator revealing some marked differences between species that winter in different areas…

(read more: Bird Life International)

image: Yellow Wagtail, by Andy Hay/rspb

HOUSTON AUDUBON BEAK OF THE WEEK: Great-horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) Family: Strigidae Standing about 2 feet tall with a wingspan of up to 5 feet, the Great Horned Owl is the largest owl in Texas. The two large feather tufts on top of the head give it the appearance of having horns, hence the name.  Great horned owls are highly adaptable and use a broad range of habitats that includes deciduous and evergreen forests, swamps, desert, tundra edges, and tropical rainforest, as well as cities, orchards, suburbs, and parks. The birds may nest in a variety of sites including older nests of hawks, in the fork of large tree limbs, and holes and natural cavities in trees. During their courtship phase, the deep bass, low key series of Hoo H’hoos can heard from a surprising distance as the birds call to each other or to announce their availability. It sounds like the owls are saying, “Who’s awake? Me too!”…
(read more: Houston Audubon)

HOUSTON AUDUBON BEAK OF THE WEEK:

Great-horned Owl (Bubo virginianus)

Family: Strigidae

Standing about 2 feet tall with a wingspan of up to 5 feet, the Great Horned Owl is the largest owl in Texas. The two large feather tufts on top of the head give it the appearance of having horns, hence the name.

Great horned owls are highly adaptable and use a broad range of habitats that includes deciduous and evergreen forests, swamps, desert, tundra edges, and tropical rainforest, as well as cities, orchards, suburbs, and parks. The birds may nest in a variety of sites including older nests of hawks, in the fork of large tree limbs, and holes and natural cavities in trees.

During their courtship phase, the deep bass, low key series of Hoo H’hoos can heard from a surprising distance as the birds call to each other or to announce their availability. It sounds like the owls are saying, “Who’s awake? Me too!”…

(read more: Houston Audubon)

alex-does-science
collapsiblepants:

koryos:

palaeopedia:

The Cyrtograptus (1867)
Phylum : HemichordataClass : GraptolithinaOrder : GraptoiloideaSuborder : VirgellinaFamily : MonograptidaeGenus : CyrtograptusSpecies : C. murchisoni, C. egregius, C. rigidus, C. centrifugus, C. sakmaricus, C. kriki, C. lundgreni, C. ellesi, C. symmetricus
Silurian (430 Ma)
Oceans worldwide (map)

The fossils these guys leave are incredible.



They’re colonial animals related to modern acorn worms!

THESE ARE OUR COUSINS A ZILLION TIMES REMOVED

collapsiblepants:

koryos:

palaeopedia:

The Cyrtograptus (1867)

Phylum : Hemichordata
Class : Graptolithina
Order : Graptoiloidea
Suborder : Virgellina
Family : Monograptidae
Genus : Cyrtograptus
Species : C. murchisoni, C. egregius, C. rigidus, C. centrifugus, C. sakmaricus, C. kriki, C. lundgreni, C. ellesi, C. symmetricus

  • Silurian (430 Ma)
  • Oceans worldwide (map)

The fossils these guys leave are incredible.

They’re colonial animals related to modern acorn worms!

THESE ARE OUR COUSINS A ZILLION TIMES REMOVED

Earliest-known lamprey larva fossils unearthed in Inner Mongolia
Date:October 14, 2014Source:University of Kansas
Summary:  Few people devote time to pondering the ancient origins of the eel-like lamprey, yet the evolutionary saga of the bloodsucker holds essential clues to the biological roots of humanity. Scientists now have a description of fossilized lamprey larvae that date back to the Lower Cretaceous — at least 125 million years ago. They’re the oldest identified fossils displaying the creature in stages of pre-metamorphosis and metamorphosis…
(read more: Science Daily)
image: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Earliest-known lamprey larva fossils unearthed in Inner Mongolia

Date:October 14, 2014
Source:University of Kansas

Summary:  Few people devote time to pondering the ancient origins of the eel-like lamprey, yet the evolutionary saga of the bloodsucker holds essential clues to the biological roots of humanity. Scientists now have a description of fossilized lamprey larvae that date back to the Lower Cretaceous — at least 125 million years ago. They’re the oldest identified fossils displaying the creature in stages of pre-metamorphosis and metamorphosis…

(read more: Science Daily)

image: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Center For Snake Conservation
Eastern Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon p. piscivorus) are a heavy-bodied venomous snake which typically reach 3-4 feet long as adults. They eat a variety of prey items including birds, mammals, fish, other snakes, frogs, salamanders, and even carion on occasion. Eastern Cottonmouths occur all across the eastern United States in wetlands, riparian areas, ponds, and lakes.
Eastern Cottonmouths have bad reputation that is NOT warranted. While they are venomous and may bite if harassed, most encountered are wimps and just want to be left alone. They definitely will bluff and show their “cotton” mouths but are not prone to biting or falling out of trees to attack you in your boat as many myths state. Conservation Through Education!Photo by Cameron Young

Eastern Cottonmouths (Agkistrodon p. piscivorus) are a heavy-bodied venomous snake which typically reach 3-4 feet long as adults. They eat a variety of prey items including birds, mammals, fish, other snakes, frogs, salamanders, and even carion on occasion. Eastern Cottonmouths occur all across the eastern United States in wetlands, riparian areas, ponds, and lakes.

Eastern Cottonmouths have bad reputation that is NOT warranted. While they are venomous and may bite if harassed, most encountered are wimps and just want to be left alone. They definitely will bluff and show their “cotton” mouths but are not prone to biting or falling out of trees to attack you in your boat as many myths state.

Conservation Through Education!

Photo by Cameron Young

National leaders are paying more attention to racial profiling and police brutality than they have in years, due to the hard work of Black youth and community leaders in Ferguson and across the country.

We have a key opportunity to transform discriminatory and violent policing nationwide.

Will you join us in calling on the federal government to implement critical reforms to end abusive, militarized, and biased policing targeting Black and brown communities?

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Our new Question of the Week asks “What is a winter finch?” 
Short answer, it’s an informal term for birds of the far north (of North America) that visit our feeders in winter—sometimes. 
For more and a link to this year’s “winter finch forecast,” click here: 
Questions of the Week 
And don’t miss the link to our Ontario FeederWatch cam, and you *might* see some winter finches right now!
photo: Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

Our new Question of the Week asks “What is a winter finch?”

Short answer, it’s an informal term for birds of the far north (of North America) that visit our feeders in winter—sometimes.

For more and a link to this year’s “winter finch forecast,” click here:

Questions of the Week

And don’t miss the link to our Ontario FeederWatch cam, and you *might* see some winter finches right now!

photo: Evening Grosbeak (Coccothraustes vespertinus)

Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Alaska
It’s time to start preparing for winter! 
Arctic ground squirrels (also known as “Parka”) hibernate until April, and, in an extreme version of overwintering, reduce their body temperature to below freezing during this time. These squirrels keep their blood in a liquid state by eliminating impurities in their system before freezing, and therefore allowing their blood to stay “stuck” in a liquid state. Ground squirrels maintain their brain function throughout the winter with occasional periods of wakefulness, and extremely resilient brain cells. ~CC NPS Photo/Penny Knuckles

It’s time to start preparing for winter!

Arctic ground squirrels (also known as “Parka”) hibernate until April, and, in an extreme version of overwintering, reduce their body temperature to below freezing during this time. These squirrels keep their blood in a liquid state by eliminating impurities in their system before freezing, and therefore allowing their blood to stay “stuck” in a liquid state. Ground squirrels maintain their brain function throughout the winter with occasional periods of wakefulness, and extremely resilient brain cells. ~CC

NPS Photo/Penny Knuckles