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Fri, 25 Jun 2021
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Strong earthquake strikes near Papua New Guinea

A strong earthquake has struck in the ocean near Papua New Guinea, but there have been no reports of injury or damage and no tsunami warnings have been issued.

Comment: A magnitute 5.8 earthquake struck Papua New Guinea last Saturday, October 18th.


Cloud Lightning

Kenya: Three children die as lightning strikes

Three children died following a lightning strike at Kisima Village in the newly-created Buuri District.

According to the Kenya Red Cross Society, the incident in Eastern Province on Wednesday occurred around 6pm.

Cloud Lightning

Drought-stricken island of Cyprus welcomes rain

Athens/Nicosia - The drought-stricken island of Cyprus welcomed its first rain storm in recent months Wednesday which ended up causing flooding to many parts of the eastern Mediterranean island. Heavy storms forced the closure of two main roads in the capital Nicosia and emergency crews were called in to evacuate more than 300 homes due to heavy flooding.

Fish

Rare Corals Breed Their Way Out Of Trouble

Rare corals may be smarter than we thought. Faced with a dire shortage of mates of their own kind, new research suggests they may be able to cross-breed with certain other coral species to breed themselves out of a one-way trip to extinction.
Acropora pichoni from Kimbe Bay
© Maria Beger, courtesy of ARC Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies
Acropora pichoni from Kimbe Bay.

This finding, released by scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, has raised hopes for the ability of the world's corals to withstand the rigors of changing climates and human impacts, says lead author Zoe Richards.

"Coral reefs worldwide face a variety of marine and land-based threats and hundreds of corals are now on the red list of threatened species. It is often assumed that rare coral species face higher risks of extinction than common species because they have very small effective population sizes, which implies that they may have limited genetic diversity and high levels of inbreeding and therefore be unable to adapt to changing conditions," Zoe says.

Heart - Black

Two horses shot dead in their corral in rural Livermore

Contra Costa County - Choctaw was a beautiful Tobiano paint that helped children and was seen by millions around the world in the Rose Parade.

Lucky was living the good life, also helping special needs children after the "bag of bones" was rescued by the Rountree family earlier this year.

The lives of both horses ended sometime between Tuesday night and 7:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when their bodies were found on their pasture near Collier Canyon Road in rural Livermore.

Someone had shot the horses to death with a .22 caliber weapon, said Marianne Rountree, who owns the horses with her husband Mike.

Frog

The mysterious white snake in Vietnam

White Snake

Dung’s son with the white snake
Duong Quang Dung in hamlet 4, Long Phu town, Long Phu district in the southern province of Soc Trang, is the owner of a unique all-white snake.

Local residents say they have never seen such a strange snake before. Tran Quoc Hung, a local resident, said: "I'm over 50 years old and this is the first time in my life I have seen such a strange snake."

Alarm Clock

Beetle invasion threatens New England trees

WORCESTER, Mass. - A wood-devouring beetle has gained a foothold in New England, and authorities plan to cut down large numbers of infested trees and grind them up to stop the pest from spreading to the region's celebrated forests and ravaging the timber, tourism and maple-syrup industries.

Fish

Revealing The Evolutionary History Of Threatened Sea Turtles

It's confirmed: Even though flatback turtles dine on fish, shrimp, and mollusks, they are closely related to primarily herbivorous green sea turtles. New genetic research carried out by Eugenia Naro-Maciel, a Marine Biodiversity Scientist at the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History, and colleagues clarifies our understanding of the evolutionary relationships among all seven sea turtle species.
Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas
© D. Brumbaugh, CBC-AMNH
Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).

Naro-Maciel and colleagues used five nuclear DNA markers and two mitochondrial markers to test the evolutionary relationships of all species of marine turtles - leatherback, flatback, green, hawksbill, loggerhead, Kemp's Ridley, and Olive Ridley - and four 'outgroups,' or more distantly related animals. The results formed a well-supported phylogenetic tree, or cladogram, that tells the story of sea turtle evolution and is reported in the journal Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution.

Ladybug

Searching For Rare Ladybugs, With Unusual Spots

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists and cooperators are seeking the public's help in surveying for once-common ladybug species that are now hard to find.
transverse ladybug
© Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org.
Have you spotted a transverse ladybug, one of the lost lady beetles ARS is seeking?

Researchers with ARS, Cornell University at Ithaca, N.Y., and South Dakota State University (SDSU) in Brookings want people to photograph every ladybug possible, and to send the photos to Cornell so researchers can inventory the insects. In particular, the scientists are looking for rare species, such as the nine-spotted, two-spotted and transverse lady beetles.

These beetles were common 20 years ago, but have become harder to find in the past few decades. There are more than 400 ladybug species native to North America, but some have become extremely rare, displaced perhaps by development, pesticides, non-native species and other factors.

Bizarro Earth

Earth In Midst Of Sixth Mass Extinction: 50% Of All Species Disappearing

The Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of both plants and animals, with nearly 50 percent of all species disappearing, scientists say.
Buttercups
© iStockphoto/Mark Goddard
Buttercups. Losing the buttercup, where it occurs in grasslands, would have a much bigger impact on the system than losing a daisy or a sunflower, for example.

Because of the current crisis, biologists at UC Santa Barbara are working day and night to determine which species must be saved. Their international study of grassland ecosystems, with flowering plants, is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The current extinction event is due to human activity, paving the planet, creating pollution, many of the things that we are doing today," said co-author Bradley J. Cardinale, assistant professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology (EEMB) at UC Santa Barbara. "The Earth might well lose half of its species in our lifetime. We want to know which ones deserve the highest priority for conservation."