Study Finds That Seals Feed at Offshore Windfarms
Some seals prefer to forage for food at offshore wind farms, a study suggests.
by Michelle Warwicker
Researchers found a proportion of GPS tagged harbour seals repeatedly visited wind turbines in the North Sea. They deduced the mammals were attracted to these structures - which may act as artificial reefs - to hunt for prey.
"As far as we know this is the first study that’s shown marine mammals feeding at wind farms," said research team member Dr Deborah Russell from the University of St Andrews, UK.
The team’s findings are detailed in a correspondence article published in the journal Current Biology.
Dr Russell and colleagues tracked dozens of harbour or common seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) living around the British and Dutch coasts of the North Sea. They observed 11 harbour seals visiting wind farms - Sheringham Shoal in the UK and Alpha Ventus in Germany…
(read more: BBC Nature)
photograph by Christine Hall

Study Finds That Seals Feed at Offshore Windfarms

Some seals prefer to forage for food at offshore wind farms, a study suggests.

by Michelle Warwicker

Researchers found a proportion of GPS tagged harbour seals repeatedly visited wind turbines in the North Sea. They deduced the mammals were attracted to these structures - which may act as artificial reefs - to hunt for prey.

"As far as we know this is the first study that’s shown marine mammals feeding at wind farms," said research team member Dr Deborah Russell from the University of St Andrews, UK.

The team’s findings are detailed in a correspondence article published in the journal Current Biology.

Dr Russell and colleagues tracked dozens of harbour or common seals (Phoca vitulina) and grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) living around the British and Dutch coasts of the North Sea. They observed 11 harbour seals visiting wind farms - Sheringham Shoal in the UK and Alpha Ventus in Germany…

(read more: BBC Nature)

photograph by Christine Hall

This giant duck could provide solar and hydro power to Copenhagen

by Gabriella Munoz

Once built, this floating sculpture covered with solar cells will produce clean energy for Denmark’s capital city.

Inspired by Florentijn Hofman’s giant Rubber Duck sculpture, which graced Australian waters back in 2013, a team of UK designers have developed Energy Duck, an energy generator.

Hundreds of photovoltaic panels will cover this 12-storey high floating solar farm, which also has hydro turbines to produce energy at night. According to Matt Hickman at Mother Nature Network, Energy Duck is also a reminder of “how climate change has adversely impacted the breeding habitats of the common elder duck, a large sea duck found in the northern coasts of Europe and North America.”…

(read more: Science Alert)

images: Land Art Generator Initiative

libutron
libutron:

Common Stump Brittlestem 
Psathyrella piluliformis (Psathyrellaceae), the Common Stump Brittlestem, is a quite common wood-rotting fungus in broadleaf woodlands, where it is found on and around the stumps of dead deciduous trees. 
Psathyrella piluliformis can be found in Britain, mainland Europe and North America.
Reference: [1]
Photo: ©Stu’s Images
Locality: unknown

libutron:

Common Stump Brittlestem 

Psathyrella piluliformis (Psathyrellaceae), the Common Stump Brittlestemis a quite common wood-rotting fungus in broadleaf woodlands, where it is found on and around the stumps of dead deciduous trees. 

Psathyrella piluliformis can be found in Britain, mainland Europe and North America.

Reference: [1]

Photo: ©Stu’s Images

Locality: unknown

Orthopteran ID - Upstate New York

Hi Paxon,

We found this lady on a lawn in upstate NY after we cut down a branch of a tree - she may have been in the tree, or she may have simply been on the ground where it fell. Any idea what species she is? The orthopteran field guides I currently possess aren’t shedding any light. 

Paxon:

Don’t feel too bad,. Orthopterans are commonly given short shrift in field guides, and are therefore not easy to ID.

This is a female (see the ovipositor on the end of the abdomen) Drumming Katydid, Meconema thalassinum. It was introduced into the Eastern United States from Western Europe.

http://bugguide.net/node/view/8022/bgimage

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meconema_thalassinum

Common Frog larvae have developed rapid defenses against red swamp crayfish
Source: Plataforma SINC
The common frog (Pelophylax perezi) is one of the amphibians with the highest distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. It reproduces preferably in permanent areas of water where it comes into contact with the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which preys on its larvae. Research confirms that the larvae of these frogs have developed a defensive response to the invasive species…
(read more: Science Daily)
photo: Ángel Ruiz Elizalde

Common Frog larvae have developed rapid defenses against red swamp crayfish

Source: Plataforma SINC

The common frog (Pelophylax perezi) is one of the amphibians with the highest distribution in the Iberian Peninsula. It reproduces preferably in permanent areas of water where it comes into contact with the red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii), which preys on its larvae. Research confirms that the larvae of these frogs have developed a defensive response to the invasive species…

(read more: Science Daily)

photo: Ángel Ruiz Elizalde

Stuff of fairy tales: stepping into Europe’s last old-growth forest

by Jeremy Hance

On bison, wolves, and woodpeckers: the wonder of Europe’s only lowland virgin forest.

There is almost nothing left of Europe’s famed forests, those that provided for human communities for millennia and gave life to the world’s most famous fairytales. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t forests in Europe, far from it: approximately 35 percent of the EU is currently covered in forest. But almost all of this is either plantations or secondary growth, having been logged sometime in the last few hundred years and in many areas logged in the last couple decades.

This is why, according to author and guide, Lukasz Mazurek, the Bialowieza Forest is so special: “You really feel here like you travelled back in time some hundreds or thousands of years.”…

(read more: MongaBay)

photographs by Lukasz Mazurek

Project Noah Spotting of the Day:  
The common shrew aka European shrew (Sorex araneaus) is the most common species of shrew throughout Northern Europe, excluding Ireland. Having very poor eyesight, shrews locate their prey by smell. They are carnivores, primarily feeding on insects. They must consume an astonishing 200-300% of their body weight each day! They can starve to death within a 5 hour period if they can’t find food.photographed by PN member FaredinAliyevski

Project Noah Spotting of the Day

The common shrew aka European shrew (Sorex araneaus) is the most common species of shrew throughout Northern Europe, excluding Ireland. Having very poor eyesight, shrews locate their prey by smell. They are carnivores, primarily feeding on insects. They must consume an astonishing 200-300% of their body weight each day! They can starve to death within a 5 hour period if they can’t find food.

photographed by PN member FaredinAliyevski

reptilefacts

indesperateneedofsomeadventures:

Quaking Grass

Penglais Woods, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, Wales

A quick evening check of the quarry for some of aberystwyth scaly resisdents produced a male and female Slow Worm Anguis fragilis (2)(3)(4), the best way of telling the difference between males and females is the black markings which run along the flanks of the females, older males can also have small blue spots which helps tell them apart but these features aren’t always present on every animals making it complicated.

A few plants had also started to come into flower, as with anywhere rocky near the coast, Sea Campion Silene maritima (6) could be found growing alongside Common Quaking-Grass Briza media (1) which gently shiver in the breeze. Slightly more colourful were the attractive flowers of Mouse-Ear Hawkweed Pilosella officinarum (7) and the soft red flowers of Sheep’s Sorrel Rumex acetosella (5).

dendroica
thebiologistapprentice:

The iridescent fungus (Lamproderma ovoideum) is actually not really a fungus but a slime mold protist (Mycetozoa class) type, and has one of the most beautiful colors of nature. They are very small and are located in Europe, Japan and parts of Oceania. 
Photo: Alain Michaud
http://thebiologistapprentice.weebly.com/blog/hongo-iridiscente

thebiologistapprentice:

The iridescent fungus (Lamproderma ovoideum) is actually not really a fungus but a slime mold protist (Mycetozoa class) type, and has one of the most beautiful colors of nature. They are very small and are located in Europe, Japan and parts of Oceania. 

Photo: Alain Michaud

http://thebiologistapprentice.weebly.com/blog/hongo-iridiscente