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Mon, 24 Jan 2022
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Fish

Glowing anemone yields 'light switch' protein

The glowing striped tentacles of the fluorescent anemone emerge out of the darkness. Nothing particularly special about that, except that this species, which may never have been seen before, is one of just a handful of organisms whose fluorescence can be switched on and off.
tube anemone's tentacles glow
© Jörg Wiedenmann
This tube anemone's tentacles glow when they are hit by blue light, but with red light they are switched off.

It was discovered by Jörg Wiedenmann of the National Oceanography Centre of the University of Southampton in the UK and his colleagues on an expedition to the floor of the Gulf of Mexico, 500 to 600 metres down.

Igloo

World's oldest polar bear dies at Canadian zoo

Vancouver, British Columbia - Canadian zoo officials on Tuesday were mourning the death of what is believed to be the world's oldest polar bear.

The 42-year-old bear named Debby died on Monday at a zoo in Winnipeg, Manitoba, where she had lived since 1967 after being captured as a orphaned cub in the Russian Arctic in 1966.
debby polar bear oldest
© CBC
Debby is seen in her enclosure in Winnipeg's Assiniboine Park Zoo in December 2006, during celebrations of her 40th birthday.

Debby was in declining health due to her advanced age, and veterinarians decided to euthanize her after it was discovered she had suffered multiple organ failure.

She was listed as the world's oldest polar bear by the Guinness Book of World Records when she turned 41, according to officials at the Assiniboine Park Zoo.

Info

Long-lost 'Furby-like' Primate Discovered In Indonesia

A team led by a Texas A&M University anthropologist has discovered a group of primates not seen alive in 85 years. The pygmy tarsiers, furry Furby-like, or gremlin-looking, creatures about the size of a small mouse and weighing less than two ounces, have not been observed since they were last collected for a museum in 1921.

Several scientists believed they were extinct until two Indonesian scientists trapping rats in the highlands of Sulawesi accidentally trapped and killed a pygmy tarsier in 2000.
pygmy tarsier
© Texas A&M University
A pygmy tarsier, furry Furby/gremlin-looking creatures about the size of a small mouse and weighing less than 2 ounces, being held in one hand.

Sharon Gursky-Doyen, working with one of her graduate students, Nanda Grow, and a team of locals trapped three of the nocturnal creatures in Indonesia in late August. The pygmy tarsiers possess fingers with claws instead of nails, which Gursky-Doyen says is a distinguishing feature of this species, and distinguishes them from nearly all other primates which have nails and not claws. The claws may be an adaptation to the mossy environment, she believes.

Target

Strong quake strikes Panama, no damage reported

Panama City - A strong earthquake of 6.2 magnitude and at a depth of 48 km struck Panama near the Costa Rica border overnight, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Wednesday.

The quake hit 56 km west southwest of David, Panama, at 1:11 a.m. local time (0611 GMT).

The tremor was felt in Costa Rica's capital of San Jose, but that country's emergency commission said there were no reports of damages there.

Target

5.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Vanuatu

A 5.7 magnitude earthquake struck off Vanuatu early this morning but no tsunami warning was immediately issued.

The US Geological Survey says the quake hit just after 1 o'clock, 157 kilometres south-east of the capital city of Port Vila.

It was registered at a depth of 38 kilometres.

It was the second earthquake to strike the area in three hours, following a 5.1 magnitude quake earlier.

Igloo

Film-makers taking on our 'global warming hysteria'

A new Irish film claims that climate change guru Al Gore is an alarmist and that those who think they are saving the planet are only hurting the poor

If the advance publicity is anything to go by, Not Evil Just Wrong will do for Al Gore what Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11 did for George W Bush.

"This is the film Al Gore and Hollywood don't want you to see," declares the website for the latest work by film-makers Ann McElhinney and Phelim McAleer. The site even features a big picture of Gore, with his lips in the photograph seemingly digitally enhanced to make them look like Heath Ledger's Joker from the latest Batman film.

The website goes on to say that their latest film - which takes on what are described as global warming alarmists - is "the most controversial documentary of the year". Indeed, it could very well be the most controversial. And Al Gore and Hollywood may well not want you to see it. And in that respect, Gore and co are actually succeeding for the moment. Because there is no completed film. Not yet anyway.

Bizarro Earth

BBC shunned respected TV botanist Bellamy for denying 'man-made' global warming

Bellamy
© The Daily Express
SHUNNED: Naturalist David Bellamy
For Years David Bellamy was one of the best known faces on TV.

A respected botanist and the author of 35 books, he had presented around 400 programmes over the years and was appreciated by audiences for his boundless enthusiasm.

Yet for more than 10 years he has been out of the limelight, shunned by bosses at the BBC where he made his name, as well as fellow scientists and environmentalists.

His crime? Bellamy says he doesn't believe in man-made global warming.

Here he reveals why - and the price he has paid for not toeing the orthodox line on climate change.

Igloo

Why I would rather be called a heretic on global warming

Am I worried about man-made global warming? The answer is "no" and "yes".

No, because the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction has come up against an "inconvenient truth". Its research shows that since 1998 the average temperature of the planet has not risen, even though the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has continued to increase.

Yes, because the self-proclaimed consensus among scientists has detached itself from the questioning rigours of hard science and become a political cause. Those of us who dare to question the dogma of the global-warming doomsters who claim that C not only stands for carbon but also for climate catastrophe are vilified as heretics or worse as deniers.

I am happy to be branded a heretic because throughout history heretics have stood up against dogma based on the bigotry of vested interests. But I don't like being smeared as a denier because deniers don't believe in facts. The truth is that there are no facts that link the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide with imminent catastrophic global warming. Instead of facts, the advocates of man-made climate change trade in future scenarios based on complex and often unreliable computer models.

Frog

In Egg, Frog Knows Predators Already

Some say it's never too late to learn new things, but can it be too early?

Apparently not, if the behavior of wood frogs is any indication. Those amphibians can learn to identify predators while still in the egg, according to new research by Alicia Mathis of Missouri State University in Springfield and several colleagues.

After hatching, many amphibians and fish learn to recognize a predator by associating its odor with an alarm pheromone released by injured conspecifics. Mathis' team wondered whether frogs might have that cognitive capacity even earlier, as embryos.

For three hours a day, on six consecutive days, the team exposed wood-frog eggs to water from a bucket containing crushed tadpoles mixed with water from a bucket housing fire-belly newts. (The newts, native to Asia, are unfamiliar to wood frogs, but eat tadpoles of other species.) A control group received newt water alone.

Life Preserver

Couple rescue rare albino hedgehog

Image
© Kent
London -- A British couple say they took a rare albino hedgehog they found to a wildlife sanctuary to protect it from predators.

Julie Packham of Kent county said she and her husband, Nick, spotted the hedgehog in their garden because its white color made it stand out in the dark, The Daily Telegraph reported Friday.

"We saw this white hedgehog and could not really believe our eyes. He was literally glowing in the dark," Packham said about the spiny nocturnal animal the couple dubbed Midnight.

Packham said fearing the rare animal would eventually be attacked by predators in the area, she and her husband drove 250 miles round-trip to the Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital.