Archive for October, 2008

Iberianature nominated for Spanish WWF Panda Awards

Monday, October 20th, 2008

Iberianature has been nominated for the Spanish WWF Panda Awards. If you like iberianature please vote for us here.

Catalan insects

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Lucy has another great post on her blog on some of the weird and wonderful insects she has come across on her travels in the Sierra de Collserola, Barcelona.

Iberian lynx watching

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

Tembo over on the forum has posted an excellent trip report on watching Iberian lynx in the Sierra Morena with some detailed information on where to watch lynx. Highly recommeneded.

“The lynx is the definitely the name of the game in the Sierra de Andujar. There are road signs emblazoned with lynx every few kms reminding you to keep your speed down, many of the farms have plaques indicating that they have signed up to the lynx conservation program, and a number of the restaurants have pictures and information about the species.”

The Wino Dino

Friday, October 17th, 2008

Rupert Glasgow has just sent me the latest news on Aragonese dinosaurs from the erudite maños at aragosaurus.com:

Great news for the “Aragosaurus” team of palaeontologists at the University of Zaragoza. This month’s issue of the prestigious Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (no. 18, vol. 3) features the description of a new dinosaur, Tastavinsaurus sanzi, by José Ignacio Canudo, Rafael Royo-Torres and Gloria Cuenca-Bescós. Tastavinsaurus sanzi is an early Cretaceous sauropod dating from the early Aptian, over 110 million years ago. This huge, plant-eating quadruped, characterized by its long neck and tail, is estimated to have measured some 17 metres in length and weighed between 15 and 20 tonnes. It belongs to the clade known as “Titanosauriformes,” which also includes the brachiosaurids and titanosaurians and as such contains some of the most gargantuan dinosaurs ever to have trampled over the planet. Its remains were first discovered by two amateur palaeontologists in the early 1990s at the site of Arsis, Peñarroya de Tastavins, in the Aragonese province of Teruel. The name Tastavinsaurus is derived from the nearby River Tastavins, which means “wine-taster” in Catalan, while the name sanzi is in homage to the Spanish palaeontologist José-Luis Sanz. The exceptionally well-preserved condition of its skeleton made it possible to define a new genus and species from the fossils. It is the most complete sauropod from the Early Cretaceous of Europe, and the most complete sauropod in Spain. It was excavated between December 1996 and January 1997 (in fairly inclement weather conditions), the fossils requiring more than 4,000 hours of preparation over two years in a specially constructed laboratory in Peñarroya. The original fossils, as well as a real-size reconstruction of Tastavinsaurus sanzi in all its splendour, can be seen at a special Dinópolis centre at Peñarroya in Teruel.

For more information: see www.aragosaurus.com (Noticias, 7 October 2008).

A painter of cranes

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008
Anna Gallés is a natural history painter with a lovely eye for detail and a particular perchant for cranes. I’ve seen these gentle paintings in her studio and I found them enchanting in their calm. Anna tells me:

As a painter, I regard nature as my main interest. Drawing from nature requires observation and concentration, so it makes me learn a lot. Trying to sketch geese or cranes, in the cold, or exploring a lichen as it covers a branch, are teaching experiences. I try to capture the poetry that lies in the elements of nature, and sometimes I desire to add some imagination, too, because old stories and magic inspire me. Visit Anna’s blog and see more of her work

Wild boar sightings

Monday, October 13th, 2008

A collection of wild boar sightings from Collserola, Sierra de Cuera and Andalucia.

Wasp spider egg sacs

Monday, October 13th, 2008

Read all about wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi) sacs “cocoons are papery and covered with a silk mesh, while the egg sacs are suspended inside”

Radio debate on wolves

Saturday, October 11th, 2008

Interesting 30-minute radio discussion here from Canal Ser on wolves. Taking part are Carlos de Hita (naturalist and wolf sound recordist), Carlos Sanz (Spanish wolf expert), Rodrigo Peñalosa (cattle farmer affected by wolf attacks in the Sierra de Guadarrama and José Ángel Arranz (Castilla y León government), along with an interview with Andy Tucker (Nature Trek) on wolf tourism. Note: The images of wolves you’ll see have nothing to do with the radio programme.

Dragonfly questions

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Steve is giving us all this week a basic education in dragonflies and damselflies. “Dragonflies spend a lot of time around water for a couple of reasons…

Skuas

Tuesday, October 7th, 2008

Some rather nice photos of Mediterranean seabirds here from Jesús including this great skua.