millions of birds
Baby Bird from Time of Dinosaurs Found Fossilized in Amber
The 99-million-year-old hatchling from the Cretaceous Period is the best preserved of its kind.

Earlier this week, scientists announced the rare discovery of a 99-million-year-old baby bird fossilized in amber. The hatchling, part of the enantiornithes bird group that thrived during the Cretaceous Period, is unusually well-preserved– and had flight feathers.

Authors of the paper report that unlike modern birds, this species may have had the ability to fly at birth. It also may explain why an unusually high number of juvenile enantiornithes exist in the fossil record. Without a strong reliance on parents to protect them and teach them to fly, these creatures appear to have been more vulnerable.

eggson-bren  asked:

Have you seen the video where the woodpecker hitches a ride on a man's car in Chicago?! So cute!! I couldn't figure out where to submit it to you but I thought you'd like it. The bird's behavior is also quite strange to me.

I have seen that video! But unfortunately, it’s not so cute– this video depicts a yellow-bellied sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), one of the few migratory species of woodpeckers in the world.

Like many migratory birds, sapsuckers breed in forests and rely on them for food to fuel their migration. And also like many other migrants, large cities create a “light trap” that can confuse them on their migration. Hungry and seeking food, this exhausted animal descended to a large city where it was unequipped to move around and perch: woodpeckers don’t have anisodactyl toes like most other birds, and are best suited to propping themselves up on a nice tree trunk.

From the sapsucker’s behavior in this video, it is clear that that the bird is either exhausted, or injured, or both. In the wild, sapsuckers can be more confiding than other woodpeckers– but not to the point where they’ll fly up to a city bus and rest there in front of dozens of commuters. It is also incredibly rare to see a woodpecker merely hanging like this; sapsuckers are especially active foragers, systematically checking their sap wells for sweet snacks or insects.

So, yes: I’ve seen the video, and I have a hypothesis I’m fairy confident explains the bird’s behavior. But it’s not a happy story: just like millions of other migratory birds that pass across the Untied States twice a year, this yellow-bellied sapsucker probably died unnoticed on a street or sidewalk.

(obligatory @why-animals-do-the-thing tag, since this is in their wheelhouse)

I've been meaning to post this. From the seminar I attend. Catsindoors

The cat population is far from healthy in Canada. In 2011, more than 50,000 were euthanized because the shelters weren’t able to find homes for them. Twice as many cats are dumped in shelters compared to dogs, and whereas 30 per cent of dogs are reunited with their owners, less than five per cent of cats are returned home.

Cats are also frequently run over by vehicles. More than 1,300 dead cats were collected on the streets of Toronto in 2012!

Estimates indicate that most of those cats — as many as 40% — are allowed to roam unsupervised outdoors. Outdoor cats are exposed to a variety of threats, including diseases (e.g., FIV, FLV, cancer, heartworm), vehicle collisions, and fights with wildlife and other cats. The Canadian Federation of Humane Societies is one of many organizations that urges cat owners to keep their pets indoors unless the cat is supervised or in an enclosure.

While cats’ independent natures might lead some people to treat them like something between pet and wildlife, we owe them the same level of care we give dogs.

Letting cats roam unsupervised outdoors isn’t just bad for cats. It’s bad for birds too, as well as for people. Many of Canada’s birds are in trouble; some have declined by over 90%, and cats add to the list of risks that birds face. The official list of Bird Species at Risk increased from 47 to 86 between 2001 and 2014. Habitat destruction and climate change are taking their toll, but a lot of birds die due to other human actions and decisions. Environment Canada research estimates that, in addition to the impacts of climate change and habitat loss, 130 to 433 million birds a year die as a result of people. While it is extremely difficult to calculate the number of birds killed by pet and feral cats — especially when the number of feral cats is not well understood — cats are thought to cause 75% of those deaths.

For the cats’ sake, for the birds’ sake, and for our own sake, we need to change how we care for our beloved feline friends.


Lost in Light II is a short film showing how light pollution affects night skies using one of the most prominent constellations - The Orion. The success and reach of my previous film( - made the news in over 40 countries and published on National Geographic, inspired me to make a follow up to help people even better relate to night skies and further raise awareness on light pollution. One thing I realized from my last film was that people were able to relate to the difference between the light pollution levels but not the Milky Way itself. The Milky Way appears more colorful to a camera than it does to our eyes and most people haven’t seen it. But, the Orion is a more common sight. It’s a great subject to help explain light pollution.

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How Many Seconds in Eternity?
How Many Seconds in Eternity?

Audio excerpt towards the end of Heaven Sent. Murray Gold’s piece for these scenes has so much heart. And, the Doctor… 4.5 billion years of determination with Clara Oswald always in his heart and his mind. Perfect.


Feeding the chickadees!

John James Audubon named this bird while he was in South Carolina. The curious, intelligent Carolina Chickadee looks very much like a Black-capped Chickadee, with a black cap, black bib, gray wings and back, and whitish underside. Carolina and Black-capped chickadees hybridize in the area where their ranges overlap, but the two species probably diverged more than 2.5 million years ago (All About Birds, Cornell).

22/05/16 // “There’s a black boy dead for no reason and the man responsible for it’s dead. Let the dead bury the dead this time, Mr Finch. Let the dead bury the dead.” 

The path to a perfect racing chocobo is a long, unnatural road

Other than “because it is there,” there’s little reason to level a racing chocobo. It’s a very good source of MGP, but there are easier ways to make it. There are a few titles and a set of barding that come from it, but the number of hours you have to put towards doing it are insane. 

That being said, if you’re interested in getting a perfect chocobo, here’s some info on the process.

First, what’s a perfect chocobo? A G9 (generation 9+) bird with perfect stats, the stars:

That means your attributes will have a cap of 500:

I just hatched this bird this evening, so he’s not leveled at all yet.

Generations 1-9 are easy. You have your starting bird, level it up to 40, retire it, buy a breeding card from the NPC in the racing area, then go to Bentbranch and breed it.

Take that bird, level it up to 40, retire it…  Repeat nine times.

When you have a G9 bird, then the work really starts. Now you take your two best hatchlings from each breeding, level both up to 40, then breed them.  Each breeding chocobo pair makes a max of 10 hatchlings.

Take the best two hatchlings from that breeding, level both up to 40, breed them… etc.

Yes, incest. Yes, a hell of a lot of incest. After G9, you will only ever breed brother to sister. Somehow this makes a better bird.  #gamelogic

In my case, I got the perfect bird on the 21st generation. That means I leveled 33 birds to level 40. Leveling one bird to 40 takes many hours…

(In truth, my bird is only 95% perfect. The best Preferred Weather is rain, and mine has fair. However I just cannot bring myself to level two more birds to max and maybe not even get a perfect stats bird out of it, let alone the right weather. In my 10 final breedings, I had only 1 with perfect stats.)

I made almost a million MGP leveling up my bird. I have three racing challenges left to do, which will gain me 150K more MGP… not that I really needed it.

By the time I finish leveling this last bird, I’ll have completed these achievement/title:

And I earned this mask along the way as well:

Fun fact: Every chocobo I raised, all 33 of them, had Something Biscuit names. I was going to name this last one either Biscuit or Biscuit Biscuit, but Alpha Biscuit seemed best.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment/send me an ask. I don’t consider myself an expert on chocobo racing, but there’s so little information out there about it, sometimes every resource helps.


by Samsaran

99 million years ago this baby bird hatched and was covered with resin from the tree where its nest lay. The resin turned to amber and the form of the bird remained encased within.

Now, what is significant about this? We see the form of a creature which lived long ago. Yes. This is significant because it is here and the other birds of its era are not.  Where have they gone? They lived, they died and their bodies disintegrated and the atoms they were made of became other beings.


Where are Socrates, Julius Caesar, Charlemagne,  Napoleon, and Voltaire? They lived, died and their bodies fell apart and became other things. Where are they now?


It is not just this way with living beings either. Whatever is composed of more than one thing will eventually decompose into its component parts. Where is Cleopatra’s hair brush? Where is the knife with which Brutus stabbed Caesar? Where is the pen Thomas Jefferson used when penning the Declaration of Independence?


“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.”

– Anglican Book of Common Prayer