Dinosaur of the week: Himalayan Griffon Vulture

himalayan griffon

I encountered this Gyps himalayensis on the internet while classifying images taken by motion-activated camera-traps for the Camera CATalogue (part of Panthera) in the Zooniverse, a citizen science platform. That means, I didn’t take the photo and the rights are with the researchers who work on the project.

But I was so impressed by the bird and the picture I just had to learn a bit more. These vultures are among the biggest birds in the Himalayas and they are threatened by dead livestock which had been treated with diclofenac (an anti-inflammatory drug) when still alive. On top of that, they are being poisoned by pesticides, fungicides and herbicides and their habitat is shrinking.

Here’s to hoping that one day I’ll see a real one and take my own photo.

Bath – Between the Romans, Art and Astronomy

Thanks to two lovely Scottish ladies I spent a wonderful day in Bath.  There’s so much to see and do that this was really just a taster. Foodwise, by the way, I can highly recommend Comptoir Libanais.

Bath is a town full of art and a wide range of architecture. The most famous architectural style is Georgian, like the Circus. The city centre is a world heritage site.

Bath is also the only place in the UK with natural hot springs. It’s possible to go into one of the spas (which I didn’t), or to see how the old Romans did it (which I did). What I admired most at the baths in Bath, however, was a relic of Sulis Minerva, goddess of the hot springs.

My personal highlight was somewhat off the beaten track. Welcome to the Herschel house! Caroline and William Herschel were two astronomers who were famous for their telescopes with home-polished mirrors, and comet hunting. If you feel like walking in their footsteps, you can be a citizen scientist and help with one of the astronomy projects on the Zooniverse platform.