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Better Earth

Wild Chimpanzees Exchange Meat For Sex

© Cristina M. GomesUtan, an adult male, holding a piece of meat of a red colobus; with Kinshasa, an adult female chimpanzee with her infant Kirikou on her back, begging from Utan.
Wild female chimpanzees copulate more frequently with males who share meat with them over long periods of time, according to a study led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE April 8.

How females choose their mating partners and why males hunt and share meat with them are questions that have long puzzled scientists. Evidence from studies on human hunter-gatherer societies suggest that men who are more successful hunters have more wives and a larger number of offspring. Studies on wild chimpanzees, humans' closest living relative, have shown that male hunters frequently share meat with females who did not participate in the hunt. One of the hypotheses proposed to explain these findings is the meat-for-sex hypothesis, whereby males and females exchange meat for mating access. However, there has been little evidence in both humans and chimpanzees to support it.


Philippines: Rare Megamouth Shark Caught Near Donsol

Megamouth shark - Philippines
© Unknown
Only 41st Worldwide and First in Luzon

So rare are these sharks that each of them is designated with a number.

Fishermen based in Donsol were trawling for mackerel along the eastern coast of Burias Isle on the morning of 30 March when they caught a strange-looking shark from a depth of approximately 200 meters. World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) satellite tagging initiatives have already shown that pelagic filter feeders such as whale sharks and manta rays regularly prowl through the region. It was only a matter of time before something else was discovered.

The shark was brought to Barangay Dancalan in Donsol, Sorsogon for assessment. WWF Donsol Project Manager Elson Aca immediately arrived to assess the haul - and promptly identified it as a megamouth shark.

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand Coast: Earthquake Magnitude 5.3

© US Geological Survey
Date-Time Wednesday, April 08, 2009 at 11:13:01 UTC

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 at 11:13:01 PM at epicenter

Location 38.776°S, 178.241°E

Depth 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program


Distances 25 km (15 miles) ESE of Gisborne, New Zealand

135 km (85 miles) NE of Napier, New Zealand

370 km (230 miles) SE of Auckland, New Zealand

405 km (250 miles) NE of WELLINGTON, New Zealand

Bizarro Earth

Peru: Earthquake Magnitude 4.6

© US Geological Survey
Date-Time Wednesday, April 08, 2009 at 03:06:22 UTC

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 10:06:22 PM at epicenter

Location 7.937°S, 74.311°W

Depth 150.9 km (93.8 miles) set by location program

Distances 55 km (35 miles) NNE of Pucallpa, Peru

190 km (120 miles) W of Cruzeiro do Sul, Acre, Brazil

300 km (185 miles) NE of Huanuco, Peru

550 km (340 miles) NNE of LIMA, Peru


Death toll in Italy earthquake rises to 250

Italy quake
© AP Photo/Alessandra TarantinoColored sheets are seen hanging on a clothesline in this aerial view of the village of Onna, a day after a powerful earthquake struck the Abruzzo region in central Italy, on Tuesday, April 7, 2009
The Civil Protection Department says that the death toll in Italy's earthquake has risen to 250.

The department said Wednesday that 11 of the victims remained to be identified.

The magnitude-6.3 quake hit L'Aquila and several towns in central Italy early Monday, leveling buildings and reducing entire blocks to a pile of rubble and dust.

Strong aftershocks have caused further fear for residents, as rescue efforts continue.


Powerful sonar causes deafness in dolphins: study

© Unknown
Very loud, repeated blasts of sonar can cause a dolphin to temporarily lose its hearing, according to an investigation into a suspected link between naval operations and cetacean strandings.

Numerous beachings of whales, dolphins and porpoises have occurred over the past decade, prompting a finger of blame to be pointed at warship exercises.

A theory is that the mammals' hearing becomes damaged by the powerful mid-frequency sonar used by submarines and surface vessels, prompting the creatures, which themselves use sound for navigation, to become disoriented.

A paper published in the British journal Biology Letters on Wednesday provides the first lab-scale investigation into this idea, although its authors stress it does not provide proof that warship sonar is to blame.

Bizarro Earth

Colorado: Dust Covers High Country, Creates Danger

Summit County - The high country is covered in a layer of dust after it blew in from Arizona. It was caused by a huge dust storm.

Experts say the layer of dust has created a very unstable situation in the snowpack and it might even have a long-lasting effect.

Bizarro Earth

Oaxaca, Mexico: Earthquake Magnitude 4.7

Date-Time Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 21:49:33 UTC

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 at 04:49:33 PM at epicenter

Location 16.450°N, 96.398°W

Depth 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program

Distances 75 km (45 miles) SSE of Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico

90 km (55 miles) N of Puerto Angel, Oaxaca, Mexico

130 km (80 miles) WNW of Salina Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico

440 km (275 miles) SE of MEXICO CITY, D.F., Mexico


Italy earthquake: stricken L'Aquila suffers again as aftershocks hit

© Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images Dome of the damaged cathedral in Piazza Duomo in L'Aquila
A powerful aftershock tonight brought two apartment blocks crashing down in the stricken city of L'Aquila, causing panic among rescue workers and survivors of Monday's deadly earthquake.

Chunks of masonry fell from other damaged buildings, and the tremor - measured by the US Geological Survey at magnitude 5.6 - was felt as far away as Rome. Within minutes the city resounded again to the scream of sirens as police and rescue workers rushed to the scene.

Meanwhile rescue workers were preparing to carry out what one called a "surgical operation" on a collapsed building in the centre of L'Aquila in the hope of saving the lives of four missing students.

Bizarro Earth

Northern Japan: Earthquake Magnitude 6.6

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.6 jolted northern Japan on Tuesday, the Japan Meteorological Agency said. The focus of the quake, which occurred at 13:24 p.m., was some 10 kilometers underground in the Chishima-retto region in Hokkaido. There were no reports of injuries or damage. No tsunami warning was issued.