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Tue, 19 Feb 2019
The World for People who Think

Animals


Attention

Documentary film, Human Zoos, exposes scientific racism and explores the history of eugenics

Bronx Zoo
© Evolution News
It's a sordid chapter in American history many scientists would rather not talk about. Thousands of indigenous people from Africa and elsewhere were put on public display in 20th-century America, often touted by scientists as evolutionary "missing links" between humans and apes.

Perhaps the most shocking display of all was the exhibition of an African man, Ota Benga, in a cage in the Monkey House at the Bronx Zoo in New York City.

The scandalous story is exposed in Human Zoos, an award-winning documentary from Discovery Institute being given its YouTube premiere this week as part of African-American History Month. Human Zoos also explores the history of eugenics, the crusade by scientists and doctors to breed a "better" human race by applying the principles of Darwinian evolution.

Film director John West says he hopes his film will help Americans avoid the mistakes of the past. "I hope people will be encouraged to stand up for human dignity even when it comes under attack in the name of science," he explains. "Science is a wonderful thing, but human zoos, scientific racism, and eugenics were shocking betrayals of science."

Bug

Red Sea locust swarms spark UN warning for UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt

Swarms of locusts, like these, have descended on Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra area.
© Getty Images
Swarms of locusts, like these, have descended on Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra area.
Massive swarms of locusts are bearing down on Saudi Arabia and Egypt as they spread rapidly along the shores of the Red Sea, the United Nations has warned.

Breeding along the coasts of Eritrea and Sudan, the swarms are spreading farther afield, with at least one having crossed over the Red Sea to Saudi Arabia in mid-January and more a week later.

Swarms also went north along the Red Sea towards Egypt.

In January, Abu Dhabi's Al Dhafra area was covered in a cloud of the flying insects.


Attention

More manatees than usual are dying in Everglades National Park, Florida

manatees
Something is killing an unusual number of manatees in Everglades National Park, and Florida wildlife officials aren't sure what it is.

"A number of dead manatees have recently been reported in the park. Necropsies are inconclusive, but biologists are considering environmental factors such as red tide and cold weather," said a Facebook post from the park.

Four bodies have been recovered, but nine manatee deaths have been reported in the park, the Miami Herald reported. Cold weather was cited as the cause in two of the deaths, but biologists have yet to learn what killed the other two.

Michelle Kerr, a spokeswoman for the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute, told the Herald the bodies have been found in remote locations that make it more difficult to determine the cause of death.

Wolf

Attacks on livestock increased: Return of wolves to Germany pits farmers against environmentalists

Wolf
© Picture-Alliance/Barcroft Images
Wolves carried out 472 attacks on livestock in Germany in 2017, a 66% increase on the previous year.
More than a century ago, wolves were hunted to extinction in Germany. These days, they're back - and their presence is a source of political strife.

Wolf attacks on livestock increased drastically in 2017, according to government statistics released at the weekend: they carried out 472 attacks, an increase of 66% over the previous year. The number of killed, injured or missing livestock - mostly sheep and goats - rose 55%, to 1,667.

The issue of how to deal with wolves is pitting farmers who want to protect their livestock against environmentalists who priorities the protection of vulnerable species.

Julia Klöckner, the agriculture minister, said the latest figures proved the government needed to act. Germany should shift its regulations to make it legal to remove individual wolves from a pack, she told the Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung.

Attention

Signs and Portents: Calf born with two heads and two mouths in Himachal Pradesh, India

The calf was miraculously born with two heads

The calf was miraculously born with two heads
This bizarre footage claims to show a baby calf born with two heads, four eyes and two mouths.

The rare creature was born on February 7 in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh.

The animal's owner, from the village of Shimla, can be seen examining his new pet in the video.

India has in the past hear made the headlines for its deformed calves.


Headphones

Dolphin sounds generate images, research team discovers

dolphin sounds translate to images
Scientific Breakthrough - Dolphin Sounds Generate Images

Research team discovers that dolphin sounds generate images with echolocation. Amplify your worldview and explore the science and technology behind the startling announcement of "what-the-dolphin-saw" sound images, by Jack Kassewitz and John Stuart Reid, from CymaScope.com.
This week the world was witness to a mind-bending scientific breakthrough: that the clicking sounds that dolphins transmit in using echolocation actually produce pictures that may be the basis of dolphin language. And further, that with specialized technology - that includes the use of a CymaScope and 3D print technology - researchers have seen what dolphins may be seeing for the first time. This could potentially lead to understanding dolphins and communication with dolphins in their own language. [1]

"We've been working on dolphin communication for more than a decade," stated Jack Kassewitz, research team leader and founder of SpeakDolphin.com where images and a press release are available. "When we discovered that dolphins not exposed to the echolocation experiment could identify objects from recorded dolphin sounds with 92% accuracy, we began to look for a way to see what was in those sounds." Kassewitz enlisted John Stuart Reid, inventor of the CymaScope, to search for sonic images in the dolphin recordings. [2]

Wolf

Woman injured in suspected wolf attack in Red Lake, Ontario

Wolf
© wikipedia
Ontario Provincial Police have confirmed a 38-year-old woman was attacked by what was believed to be a wolf in Red Lake on Thursday.

The incident happened shortly after 7 p.m. February 7, in the vicinity of the Red Lake Margaret Cochenour Memorial Hospital, said Sgt. Mike Golding, community safety and media relations coordinator for the OPP North West Region.

"The victim had apparently been walking her dog when a large black animal, described as a wolf in her view, squared off against her dog and she decided to step in between to protect her pet and at that time the animal attacked her and she received a number of injuries to her legs and her back which required some medical assistance," he said, adding the woman has been released from hospital.

Cow

Blizzard kills thousands of Washington dairy cows

dead cows
Dairy farmers in multiple dairying regions of Idaho and Washington experienced significant snowfall, high winds and extreme cold over the weekend, leaving nearly 2,000 dairy cows dead.

According to Matt Gould of Rice Dairy, initial reports from their customers included words like "catastrophic" and "extreme" when it came to describing the impact the snow had on their open lot dairies.

"We heard anecdotes from farmers ranging from losses totaling 100 cows to thousands," he said. "We also heard some milk was dumped because of logistical issues during the storms."

The Yakima Valley Dairy Association says their members lost 1,600 cows in just a few days. The large snowfalls occurred in Grand and Franklin Counties.


Doberman

75-year-old man bitten to death by 4 dogs in China

canine attack
© Angela Antunes / CC by 2.0
A 75-year-old man was bitten to death by four sheepdogs in Northeast China on Saturday, the latest example of the problem of dog management in Chinese cities.

The man, Ma Yushu, from Hailin, Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, was blocked by four ferocious sheepdogs during a morning walk in the street and died after he was bitten in multiple places on his body, according to thepaper.cn.

The dogs had been taken by local police, thepaper.cn reported, citing Guo Zhangqiang, son of the dog host.

"Ma's postmortem examination report has not come out yet, and the case is still under investigation," a police officer surnamed Sun in the public security bureau of Hailin told the Global Times on Wednesday.

Fish

Thousands of dead cuttlefish mysteriously wash up in Chile

Dead cuttlefish in Chile.

Dead cuttlefish in Chile.
Thousands of cuttlefish have mysteriously washed ashore in Chile's Bahia Inglesa, a coastal area that is one of the country's main tourist hotspots.

Locals say such an incident has not happened before, and environmental authorities are investigating and have warned locals not to eat the fish amidst pollution fears.

There are concerns that the dead fish could damage the region's fishing industry, a major driver of the local economy.

Bahia Inglesa is a popular summer destination for Chile, with thousands attracted to the area's pristine beaches.