First Animals Found That Live Without Oxygen

loricifera

In the muck of the deep Mediterranean seafloor, scientists have found the first multicellular animals capable of surviving in an entirely oxygen-free environment.Some types of bacteria and other single-celled organisms can live without oxygen, but nothing as complex had been found as these three species of Loricifera, a group of marine-sediment dwellers who inhabit one of Earth’s most extreme and little-known environments.

“The discovery of these life forms opens new perspectives for the study of metazoan life in habitats lacking molecular oxygen,” wrote researchers led by Roberto Danovaro, a marine biologist at Italy’s Polytechnic University of Marche, in a study published April 6 in BMC Biology.
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Brown Giant Panda Cub Found In China Reserve

brown panda

Researchers in China recently made an exciting (and adorable) discovery when they found a brown giant-panda cub.

Giant pandas are found only in China and already among the most endangered species on the planet. But brown giant pandas, which have brown fur instead of the normal black, are far more rare. This is only the fifth brown giant panda ever recorded.The panda cub, which is just two months old and has yet to open its eyes or walk, was found in the Foping Giant Panda Reserve in Shaanxi Province, which, according to China Daily, is the same place the first giant brown panda was discovered back in 1985.

This new cub’s mother is black and white, like most giant pandas. And the first giant brown panda, Dandan, gave birth to three black and white pandas (all of whom died at a young age, sadly). Experts still don’t understand why some pandas are born with the more unusual brown markings. Maybe this fuzzy new addition will help shed more light on the subject!

(source)

Bird-Like Dinosaur With Four Wings Found In China

1738166HO001_MICRORAPTOR

Chinese researchers have unearthed the fossil of a bird-like dinosaur with four wings in northeastern China, which they suggest is a missing link in dinosaurs’ evolution into birds. In a paper in the journal Nature, they said they found the well-preserved fossil of the “Anchiornis huxleyi,” which roamed the earth some 160 million years ago, in a geological formation in China’s northeastern Liaoning province.

About the size of a chicken, the fossil has a total body length of less than 50cm (20 inches) and a skull about 6cm long, lead researcher Xing Xu at the Chinese Academy of Science in Beijing told Reuters in an email.

“This finding suggests that birds are likely to be descended from a kind of small-sized four-winged dinosaur about 160 million years ago,” Xu said.“It is a link between more typical theropods (dinosaurs which moved around with two rear limbs) and birds. It lived around a time period … that we expected for birds’ ancestor.”

In a statement, the researchers said: “Long feathers cover the arms and tail, but also the feet, suggesting that a four-winged stage may have existed in the transition to birds.”
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The Cat Who Was Found In A Sticky Situation

CAT IN TAPE

A fierce little feline is an unquestionable survivor, after falling victim to what can only be described as a petty, heartless prank. A young female cat was found helplessly abandoned, wrapped from neck to paws in duct tape in North Philadelphia on Tuesday, and was brought to the Pennsylvania SPCA for treatment.Upon examination, the PSPCA staff, who dubbed the feline “Sticky,” realized that the poor pet would need very special attention to remove her from this cruel and very sticky situation.

After removing the outer shell of duct tape, the staff was shocked to find that not only had the abuser wrapped Sticky’s body numerous times, they also started to wrap her two front legs and back legs together.

“It wasn’t just one wrap around,” Angela Messer, PSPCA’s Forensic Case Manager and Supervisor of Shelter Nursing . “Someone methodically wrapped this around and around and around.”And based on the amount of tape recovered, Messer estimates an entire roll of duct tape was used in this crime. The domestic short-haired cat was sedated as Messer and her team removed the tape as carefully as possible so that they could preserve and use it as evidence.
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Snake With Foot Found In China

SNAKE WITH FOOT
Dean Qiongxiu, 66, said she discovered the reptile clinging to the wall of her bedroom with its talons in the middle of the night.

“I woke up and heard a strange scratching sound. I turned on the light and saw this monster working its way along the wall using his claw,” said Mrs Duan of Suining, southwest China. Mrs Duan said she was so scared she grabbed a shoe and beat the snake to death before preserving its body in a bottle of alcohol.

The snake – 16 inches long and the thickness of a little finger – is now being studied at the Life Sciences Department at China’s West Normal University in Nanchang.Snake expert Long Shuai said: “It is truly shocking but we won’t know the cause until we’ve conducted an autopsy.”

A more common mutation among snakes is the growth of a second head, which occurs in a similar way to the formation of Siamese twins in humans.Such animals are often caught and preserved as lucky tokens but have very little chance of surviving in the wild anyway, especially as the heads have a tendency to attack each other.

(source)

Cat Found With 26 Toes

26 toes cat

Coco, a middle-aged jet black cat, was taken in as a stray in nearby Dursley. If her owner cannot be found she will have to be re-homed.Susie Jones, from the charity, said it had also had a polydactyl kitten – an animal or person with more than the usual number of hand or foot digits.

“But that one only had two extra toes, so this is very unusual,” she added.

Coco has four normal claws and one dew claw with three claws in the pads on her front feet, and five claws at the back.
If no owner is found she’ll be up for adoption. Any one in the market for a polydactyl puss?

(source)

Monster Exotic Fish Found In Hong Kong Ponds

Hong Kong has launched a search of ponds in public parks after at least 16 fish of an exotic species that can grow up to three metres
(10 feet) long were discovered, apparently dumped by their owners when they grew too big.

A metre-long alligator gar was caught Friday in a park pond after reports that visitors feared for their safety, the South China Morning Post reported on Saturday.The fierce-looking creatures get their name from their long snout, which resembles that of an alligator. While they are an aggressive and carnivorous species, they are not known to attacks humans.

Native to North America, alligator gars are commonly sold in Hong Kong for home aquariums when they are less than 30 centimetres (one foot) long but can grow to three metres and weigh up to 140 kilograms (300 pounds).Another 15 of the fish had been found in ponds and lakes at other parks across Hong Kong, the Post said.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department said in a statement late Friday the species had no conservation value and would affect the local ecology if released into the wild.”Staff will clean the lakes regularly. Dangerous fishes will be removed when they are found,” it said.It said it would offer non-dangerous fish to animal welfare groups and charities if they were willing to take them.

The fish caught Friday died later that day.
The department warned that people who dumped unwanted pet fish in public parks risked a 2,000-dollar (260-US dollar) fine and two weeks in jail.

(source)

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