SeaWorld Trainer Dies In Killer Whale Attack

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Guests at SeaWorld Orlando watched in horror Wednesday as a killer whale fatally attacked a trainer.Dawn Brancheau, 40, was explaining details of a frequently performed show at Shamu Stadium at 2 p.m. when the 12,000-pound male whale named Tilikum pulled her into the tank, where she drowned.About two dozen tourists witnessed the attack from above the tank and from an underwater viewing area, according to the Orlando Sentinel.Witnesses said the whale had grabbed Brancheau by the upper arm or waist. “He was thrashing her around pretty good,” Victoria Biniak tells WKMG-TV. “It was violent.”

Paramedics were called to the theme park but could not revive the woman, who was pronounced dead at the scene.”It is with great sadness that I report one of our most experienced trainers has drowned in an incident with one of our whales,” park manager Dan Brown says, according to the WKMG.

(source)

Lulu Is The World's Oldest Canine

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A Beagle cross named Lulu is the world’s oldest dog after reaching the age of 147 – in dog years. Her owner, Travis Buckly, 60, has credited the dog’s longevity to it’s diet of freshly cooked fillet steak, veal and sausages.She even finishes her meals with cheese and biscuits and maltesers. Lulu, from Coventry, is now believed to be the world’s oldest canine after the previous record-holder died last summer and Britain’s most senior dog Otto, 20, was put down in January.

Mr Buckly said: “If there’s a steak and a sausage in the fridge you can guarantee she’ll be having steak and sausage for tea. That’s her favourite meal.”Lulu always has the finest meats in the house. Sometimes it’s gammon or on the rare occasion it’s been veal. I?m sure that’s why she’s lived this long – a really strong diet.
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Lulu Is The World's Oldest Canine

lulu_boozer_1586264c

A Beagle cross named Lulu is the world’s oldest dog after reaching the age of 147 – in dog years. Her owner, Travis Buckly, 60, has credited the dog’s longevity to it’s diet of freshly cooked fillet steak, veal and sausages.She even finishes her meals with cheese and biscuits and maltesers. Lulu, from Coventry, is now believed to be the world’s oldest canine after the previous record-holder died last summer and Britain’s most senior dog Otto, 20, was put down in January.

Mr Buckly said: “If there’s a steak and a sausage in the fridge you can guarantee she’ll be having steak and sausage for tea. That’s her favourite meal.”Lulu always has the finest meats in the house. Sometimes it’s gammon or on the rare occasion it’s been veal. I?m sure that’s why she’s lived this long – a really strong diet.
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Dolphins’ Health Shed Light On Human And Ocean Health

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A panel of governmental, academic and non-profit scientists speaking at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) unveiled research suggesting that diseases found in dolphins are similar to human diseases and can provide clues into how human health might be affected by exposure to contaminated coastal water or seafood.

“Dolphins and humans are both mammals, and their diet includes much of the same seafood that we consume. Unlike us, however, they are exposed to potential ocean health threats such as toxic algae or poor water quality 24 hours a day,” said Carolyn Sotka of the NOAA Oceans and Human Health Initiative and lead organizer of the session. “Our ecological and physiological similarities make dolphins an important ’sentinel species’ to not only warn us of health risks, but also provide insight into how our health can benefit from new medical discoveries.”
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Hen Lays Giant Egg !!

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A hen has laid an egg four times the size of a normal egg, its owner said. Matilda has only ever produced four eggs so it must have been a shock when she laid one which was approximately four times bigger than the average chicken egg.Her owner, Mark Cornish, said the egg is about 9cm (3.5in) high and has a circumference of 21cm (8.3in).

Mr Cornish, 36, of Ipswich, Suffolk, said he was extremely shocked when he pulled the enormous egg out of the hutch at the bottom of his garden.”I was so surprised, I thought a goose must have got in there by mistake,” he said.
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How The Butterflies Got Their Spots

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How two butterfly species have evolved exactly the same striking wing colour and pattern has intrigued biologists since Darwin’s day. Now, scientists at Cambridge have found “hotspots” in the butterflies’ genes that they believe will explain one of the most extraordinary examples of mimicry in the natural world.Heliconius, or passion-vine butterflies, live in the Americas — from the southern United States to southern South America. Although they cannot interbreed, H. melpomene and H. erato have evolved to mimic one another perfectly.

These delicate butterflies have splashes of red and yellow on their black wings, signaling to birds that they contain toxins and are extremely unpalatable. They mimic one another’s colour and pattern to reinforce these warning signals.Scientists have studied these butterflies since the 1860s as a classic case of evolution in action, but only now is modern sequencing technology unlocking the underlying genetics.The Cambridge-led team of researchers from UK and US universities, which has been breeding the butterflies in Panama for the past decade, has been searching for the genes responsible for the butterflies’ wing patterns and the answer to the question of whether the same genes in two different species are responsible for the mimicry.
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Bees Can Remember What Human Faces Look Like

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If you ever get into a tense confrontation with a bee, and then you have to back down for whatever reason, don’t try to salvage it by saying “Remember the face.” Because it turns out bees can do that.It’s long been known that bees are capable of recognizing and retaining complex visual patterns. That’s one way they’re able to tell different kinds of flowers apart. But a joint project between researchers at the Université de Toulouse and Melbourne’s Monash University has found that bees can be trained to distinguish flowers from human faces, and to recognize the basic configuration of human facial features in different contexts.

A group of bees were shown pictures of human faces and pictures of random geometric designs, and rewarded with sugar when they visited the pictures of faces. After doing this for a while, the bees were shown a different set of images that resembled faces; they flew toward these face-like pictures though they’d never seen them before.
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India May Have Lost Siberian Cranes For Ever

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For the tenth consecutive year, the majestic Siberian Cranes – among the most endangered birds in the world – have skipped India this winter, say experts.They apprehend that the Siberian Cranes are unlikely to ever come to the Bharatpur region of Rajasthan again as they have apparently changed their centuries-old migratory route from Siberia to India.

“These birds have not been sighted in the famous Keoladeo National Park of Bharatpur or any other place in northern India. It is clear that their route has undergone a change owing to a variety of reasons,” Dilawar Mohammed, ornithologist with the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said.The last time a pair of Siberian Cranes (Grus leucogeranus) was spotted in this park was way back in 2001.

“After that it has been a disappointment for bird lovers, ornithologists and tourists who used to go there for a glimpse of these royal birds,” Mohammed said.He explained that the Siberian Cranes’ route to India was through Afghanistan. The adult birds stand as tall as 91 inches and can weigh over 10 kg.Dodging the bombings by US fighter jets which tried to root out the erstwhile Taliban regime in October 2001 and after the 9/11 strikes in the US, the Siberian Cranes managed to reach India for the last time.
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Long-Distance Migration Shapes Butterfly Wings

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A University of Georgia study has found that monarch butterflies that migrate long distances have evolved significantly larger and more elongated wings than their stationary cousins, differences that are consistent with traits known to enhance flight ability in other migratory species.
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Are High Speed Elephants Running Or Walking

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Most animals don’t think anything of breaking into a run: they switch effortlessly from walking to a high-speed bouncing run. But what about elephants? Their sheer size makes it impossible for them to bounce up in the air at high speeds. So how are high-speed elephants moving: are they running or walking?

At a first glance, fast-moving elephants look as if they are walking, according to John Hutchinson from the Royal Veterinary College, UK. But closer analysis of elephant footfall patterns by Hutchinson suggested that speedy elephants’ front legs walk while their hind legs may trot. Norman Heglund from the Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium, realised that the only way to resolve the conundrum was to measure the immense forces exerted on the animals by the ground as they move and found that elephants run in some senses, but not in others.
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