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Wed, 21 Feb 2018
The World for People who Think



Study reveals worrying levels of microplastics in Atlantic deep sea fish

A new Irish study has found that the rate of ingestion of microplastics by deepwater fish in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean is among the highest in the world.

The NUI Galway (NUIG) study published today found that 73 per cent out of 233 deep water fish examined had ingested plastic particles.

According to the study, the ingestion of microplastics by these animals may cause internal physical damage, inflammation of intestines, reduced feeding and other effects.

Marine scientists took dead deep sea fish from midwater trawls in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean from a depth of up to 600 metres using large fishing nets.


Ancient elephants & Mayan shrine: World's largest underwater caves reveal staggering history (VIDEO)

Mayan cave
© Gran Acuifero Maya, INAH
Archaeologists in Mexico have been showing off discoveries unearthed during their aquatic expeditions into the world's largest underwater cave.

Researchers from the Gran Acuifero Maya (GAM) exploration and preservation group presented ancient relics recovered from the site on Monday, including fossils of a type of ancient elephant, giant sloths and a shrine to a Mayan god. It's believed that desperate animals ventured into the caves in search of water at times of severe drought, some of which then became trapped.

Comment: See also:


Blue whale carcass washes up on the coast of Chile

Initial reports suggest the mammal could have died from an illness or possibly following a collision with a ship, although it displayed no obvious signs of physical injury
Initial reports suggest the mammal could have died from an illness or possibly following a collision with a ship, although it displayed no obvious signs of physical injury
A blue whale carcass has been stomped on by people taking selfies and covered in graffiti after it washed up on a beach in Chile.

The huge 66ft whale created a stir among locals after it was discovered on the shoreline of Punta Arenas in the Magallanes Region of the country.

But pictures soon emerged online showing people clambering on the dead mammal's body and trampling on its back.

Footprints could be seen on its carcass and one online picture showed how someone had scrawled 'Ana, I love you' on its flank.


Two children die from dog bites in Kheri, India - third such incident in a week

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
Lakhimpur Kheri district has witnessed a spate of attacks on children by feral dogs over the past seven days, with the toll rising to three on Sunday, when two minors succumbed to injuries in a Lucknow hospital.

Anand Kumar (3) and Kamlesh Pal (5) were attacked by a pack of dogs at Chakmusepur village under Isanagar police station on January 29. They were playing outside their house when the pack suddenly pounced on them. They were admitted to a hospital in Lucknow, where they died during treatment.

Last week, 10-year-old Vishal was mauled to death by a pack of feral dogs at Paharapur village near Lakhimpur city. The village is 30 km from Chakmusepur.

Three-year-old Tamanna was attacked by stray dogs on February 12 at Mehmadpur village under Kheri police station but she was saved by her father. Tamanna is currently admitted in a private hospital and is yet to get over the shock, sources said.

Comment: See also this recent report from another state of the subcontinent: Boy killed by pack of dogs in Jharkhand, India


Man gored by bison on Catalina Island, California

A file image of a Buffalo in California's Catalina Island.
© Getty
A file image of a Buffalo in California's Catalina Island.
A man who was camping at Little Harbor Campground on Catalina Island was injured after being gored by a bison the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 17, police said.

The incident occurred at about 5:15 p.m. when the man was sitting on a log and a bison was grazing nearby, said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Ray Ward.

"When the man saw that the (animal) was getting closer to him, he got up and tried to move away," he said. "That's when (it) charged him and gored him in his left arm."

Los Angeles Fire Department officials treated the man at the scene and he was later airlifted to Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, Ward said.


Record number of 280 snowy owls counted in Wisconsin this winter

Snowy owl
Two hundred eighty snowy owls have been documented in Wisconsin this winter, the highest total on record, according to state birding experts.

The previous high was 253 in the winter of 2013-'14, said Ryan Brady, bird monitoring coordinator with the Department of Natural Resources.

In fact, more than 200 of the big, white owls have migrated to Wisconsin in three of the last five years, all historically large movements.

"We've gotten pretty spoiled in recent years," said Brady.

By teasing through observations entered on eBird, an Internet-based bird reporting tool hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Brady is able to differentiate sightings of individual animals.

Comment: It's perhaps noteworthy that the standard interpretation for these (increasingly large) influxes doesn't seem to be holding true in recent years - that these invasions occur in 4 year cycles because of successful breeding fueled by periodic high numbers of lemming prey in the Arctic. This cyclic pattern looks to have disappeared this decade, see : SOTT Exclusive: Snowy owls flee northern latitudes for unprecedented fourth consecutive year - Sign of impending Ice Age?


Dead oarfish discovered on the coast of Barra, Philippines and also Peru


Superstitious beliefs surfaced once again after a 4-meter long dead oarfish washed ashore along the coast of Zone 1, Barra, Opol, Misamis Oriental. Oarfish are deep-sea elongated fish common in temperate to tropical oceans but are rarely seen.

Photos below show personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) measuring and inspecting the oarfish.

Comment: On the same date as this report an oarfish washed up on the coast of Peru a day before a 7.2 earthquake hit Mexico.

The oarfish found on the coast of Peru on February 15th

The oarfish found on the coast of Peru on February 15th


Boy killed by pack of dogs in Jharkhand, India

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
Ten persons were bitten by stray dogs in the last 24 hours including a six-year-old boy, Monu Kumar , who succumbed to the injuries while another five-year-old boy Manu Kumar is battling for his life in a Steel City hospital.On Friday evening, the two minors along with their third sibling - seven-year-old Sonu Kumar - were playing on the field about a kilometre away from their house when a pack of dogs attacked them.

The incident occurred at Gini Maidan in Birsanagar under Golmuri police station area.In the absence of an adult person presence, the dogs took advantage of the secluded place and attacked Monu and Mannu while Sonu escaped the fury with minor injuries.


Man dies following attack by bear in Odisha, India

bear print
Resentment is brewing among local residents after a man was mauled to death by a bear at Borsing village under Kabisuryanagar of Ganjam district.

The deceased identified as Debraj was attacked by the wild animal when he was going to take bath in the village pond today.

Following the incident, Debraj was rushed to Aska hospital and later shifted to MKCG hospital after his condition deteriorated.

However, he later succumbed to the injuries while undergoing treatment at the hospital.

Locals allege that there has been a rise in bear attacks as two persons were also injured in similar incidents at Paikajamuna village three days back.


Teenager in Western Australia gets his jaw broken by kangaroo he was attempting to hunt

Joshua Hayden, 19, was out with his brother when the animal attacked

Joshua Hayden, 19, was out with his brother when the animal attacked
A hunter who had a kangaroo in his gun's crosshairs had his jaw broken when the animal launched a pre-emptive strike.

Joshua Hayden, 19, was out with his brother looking for wild animals to shoot in Western Australia when the attack happened, according to Australia's ABC News.

The pair initially spotted three kangaroos, but one disappeared and the teenager put his head out of the window of the moving car to target the other two.

The animal that had vanished then reappeared, charged at the car and attacked, reports said.

"It actually collided with the side of the car and smashed the front window," Mr Hayden told ABC. "Then it bounced back onto me and headbutted me straight in the jaw."