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Sat, 17 Nov 2018
The World for People who Think



1-year-old dies a week after family dog attacks her in Edgecombe County, North Carolina

The Edgecombe County 1-year-old injured after her family dog attacked her has died.

The attack happened Oct. 22 on the back porch of the family's home about six miles outside of Rocky Mount.

The mother of the child said she tried to stab the dog to get it off her baby.

"This animal was strong and she did try to stab it, beat it, and get him off and it did not work," said Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland "Clee" Atkinson Jr.


'Unprecedented' number of dead whales have washed up in Scotland and Ireland - 10 times usual number

This dead Cuvier's beaked whale
© Margaret Mulrooney/Irish Whale and Dolphin Group
This dead Cuvier's beaked whale was found in Sligo Bay in Ireland on Aug. 9, 2018.
A total of 80 deep-water whales have been found dead on the Atlantic coasts of Scotland and Ireland since early August — more than 10 times the usual number over that time in previous years.

Marine mammal scientists say the presence of the washed-up whales suggests an "unusual mortality event," or UME, that could have killed up to 1,000 Cuvier's beaked whales in the North Atlantic Ocean in recent months.

The cause of the whale deaths is unknown, but scientists fear they may be the result of warships using active sonar to hunt for enemy submarines, or naval anti-submarine exercises.

Simon Berrow, a marine biologist who heads the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG), a conservation NGO, told LiveScience that 30 dead beaked whales had washed up on Ireland's west coast since Aug. 4.


Rare Sowerby's beaked whale washes up on beach in Brighton, UK

dead whale
A rare whale washed up on a beach last night (Friday) in what has been described as a once-in-a-century event.

The 4.2m long Sowerby's beaked whale is thought to have become stranded at Saltdean shortly before 8pm.

Newhaven Coastguard was called to the scene where they found the dead whale.

They said in a statement: "The team were tasked to investigate a stranded whale on the beach at Saltdean.

"When the team arrived the 4.2 metre long Sowerby' beaked whale was deceased.

"The whale was pulled approximately 120 metres to the promenade using salvage equipment supplied by Cutts Marine."


Endangered 60-foot fin whale washes up on Belgian beach

Carcass of a large fin whale stranded on the beach in De Haan.
Carcass of a large fin whale stranded on the beach in De Haan.
An 18-metre (60-foot) fin whale washed up overnight on a Belgian beach after dying offshore, in what the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences called a rare event.

The male whale, which weighed 35 tonnes, was first spotted at sea on Wednesday before its body drifted to the Coq beach near Bruges, the first time such an event has occurred in 21 years, local media said.

Fin whales are a protected species and are the world's second biggest mammals after blue whales.

The huge carcass was to be cut up and moved to a site where specialists will try to determine the cause of death.

On its Twitter account, the institute asked spectators to keep their distance while the operation was ongoing.


Pit bull terrier brutally attacks schoolgirl, mother in Turkey

dog attack
An eight-year-old schoolgirl and her mother were seriously injured on Oct. 23 when a pitbull attacked her in Turkey's Central Anatolian province of Kırşehir.

The girl, identified as Hatice Aydoğdu, was waiting for her school shuttle when a pitbull accompanied by a stray dog ran up to her and bit her repeatedly.

Sinem Aydoğdu, the girl's mother, quickly tried to save her daughter but could not stop the dog for several minutes.


Bryde's whale found dead near Cape Town, South Africa

dad whale
Cape Town's sea life has had a trying time this week, as an eight-metre long Bryde's Whale was discovered floating in the waters near Glencairn in Simon's Town.

According to Wayne Dyason, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement spokesperson, the whale was dead on discovery. "The cause of death is unknown but an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death," he said.

Law Enforcement officers in Melkbos Strand were also successful in foiling the plans of illegal fishers.

Two men were observed entering the waters of Melkbos in full diving equipment, and officers suspected that they were fishing illegally. This hunch proved to be right as they were found to be in possession of undersized West Coast Rock Lobsters, as well as abalone.


Shore of Greek lake gets covered in gigantic spider webs

A man carries a branch as spider webs blanket shrubs at the banks of Lake Vistonida, Greece, October 19, 2018.
A man carries a branch as spider webs blanket shrubs at the banks of Lake Vistonida, Greece, October 19, 2018.
The shores of Lake Vistonida in Greece were transformed into a truly surreal landscape as they became blanketed in massive spider webs.

This peculiar phenomenon was apparently caused by unusually warm weather which led to an increase in the mosquito population and therefore triggered an overpopulation of spiders that feed on these insects.

The spiders are from the genus Tetragnatha, known as stretch spiders due to their elongated bodies.

They are known to build webs near watery habitats, with some species even said to be able to walk on water.


Southern Ocean's 'headless chicken monster' captured on video for the first time

headless chicken monster
© The Australian Antarctic Division
Australian scientists, using specialist equipment, have reported disturbing findings made three kilometers below the surface of the Antarctic's Southern Ocean: the discovery of a 'headless chicken monster.'

"Some of the footage we are getting back from the cameras is breathtaking, including species we have never seen in this part of the world," Australian Antarctic Division Program Leader Dirk Welsford said.

The monster, alternatively known as the 'Spanish Dancer', or Enypniastes eximia, is a deep-sea swimming sea cucumber typically found bottom-feeding in certain parts of the world. The creature has previously only been filmed much farther north in the Gulf of Mexico.


Dogs accompanied people from Near East to Europe 9,000 years ago DNA studies reveal

dog husky
© CC0 Public Domain
A team of researchers from across Europe and Israel has found evidence of dogs traveling with people from the Near East to Europe during the Neolithic. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the group describes their genetic study of dogs living in ancient Europe and the Near East and what they found.

Prior research has shown that dogs were living in both the Near East and Europe prior to the Neolithic. They were, in fact, the only domesticated species already present in Europe when the Near Easterners arrived. Now, the researchers in this new effort have found evidence of dogs traveling with people as they moved from the Near East to Europe and subsequently mated with the dogs already living there.

To learn more about the history of dog domestication, the researchers studied 100 mitochondrial sequences obtained from ancient dog remains found in both the Near East and Europe. They used the genetic information they found to trace the lineage of dogs from the Upper Paleolithic to the Bronze Age.

Comment: Evidence found in the Americas demonstrate that dogs have been man's best friend for at least 14,000 years.

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Rethinking evolution: Researchers find evidence of rapid genome adaptation of Burmese pythons

burmese python

Florida has become a haven for invasive species in the United States, but perhaps the most well-known of the state's alien residents is the Burmese python. These giant snakes, native to Southeast Asia, have become well-established over the past few decades and even flourish in their new environment.

"In Burmese pythons, we observed the rapid establishment and expansion of an invasive population in Florida, which is quite ecologically distinct from Southeast Asia and likely imposes significant ecological selection on the invasive Burmese python population," said Todd Castoe, biology professor at The University of Texas at Arlington and director of the Castoe Lab. "This situation had all of the hallmarks of a system where rapid adaptation could occur, so we were excited to test for this possibility using cutting-edge genomic approaches."

Comment: The neo-Darwinist view of evolution as a long and slow process of random mutation and selection over millions of years doesn't account for many scientific observations, including the above. It seems the evolution can happen in much more rapid spurts in response to environmental pressures in real time, and doesn't require natural selection to allow for genetic mutations to spread throughout a population over the course of many generations. This is truly fascinating, but no-doubt angers many of the materialists crowd as it throws a rather large wrench into the "it's all random chance" narrative.

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