Japan Sends Rare Turtles To Singapore For Release

Thirteen endangered sea turtles bred in captivity in Japan have been given to a Singapore aquarium to prepare them for release into a natural habitat later this year, scientists said Friday.The hawksbill turtles, listed as a highly endangered species, were brought to Singapore by their Japanese caretakers Tomomi Saito and Yoshihiko Kanou from the Port of Nagoya Public Aquarium.

The five one-year-old turtles and eight three-year-olds were turned over on Thursday to the Underwater World Singapore, which is collaborating with the Nagoya aquarium to release the animals.They are the offspring of hawksbill turtles donated by the Underwater World Singapore to the Nagoya aquarium in 1997 and 2002.

As part of the preparations, staff from the Singapore aquarium will monitor and conduct checks on the turtles to determine their fitness for the release scheduled in September.”With the success of their breeding… we would want to have some of these captive-bred turtles return to the wild,” said Anthony Chang, curator of the Underwater World Singapore.
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Asian Bear Filmed Doing 'Kung Fu' Moves With Stick

Footage has emerged of an Asian black bear allegedly doing ‘Kung Fu’ style moves with a stick. The footage, which was uploaded to YouTube a few days ago, shows the bear first playing with the 5ft stick with a paw.The bear then appears to start twirling the stick rapidly around its head using ‘Kung Fu’ style moves. At one point the bear – allegedly named Cloud – even throws the stick mid-twirl into the air and catches it.

The three-minute clip of the bear was filmed by Canadian YouTube user alexbuzzkentaroguy at the Asa Zoo in Hiroshima, Japan. He says he then uploaded the clip to YouTube.Animal behaviour expert Professor Marc Bekoff from the University of Colorado said the footage appears genuine.
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Study Gives Scientists A Sense Of How Animals Bond

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Scientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognise others by their smell.Researchers at the University of Edinburgh have shown that the hormone vasopressin helps the brain differentiate between familiar and new scents.The study, published in the journal Nature, suggests that when the hormone fails to function, animals are unable to recognise other individuals from their scent.

The ability to recognise others by smell is crucial in helping animals to establish strong bonds with other animals.The research, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), may offer clues about the way people make emotional connections with others through smell and deepen our understanding of the role scent plays in memory.Many scientists think a failure in this recognition system in humans may prevent them from forming deep emotional bonds with others.
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Oscar Clears Way For 'Cove' In Japan

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An Oscar win by “The Cove,” a documentary chronicling bloody dolphin hunting in a Japanese fishing town, could give the film the critical audience its makers wanted to reach: ordinary moviegoers in Japan.

News that the movie won the Academy Award for best feature documentary was greeted with surprise in Japan because many Japanese hadn’t heard of it. The U.S. film, directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, hasn’t been shown in commercial theaters in Japan except for a single viewing during the Tokyo International Film Festival in October.

(source)

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Oscar Clears Way For 'Cove' In Japan

the-cove1

An Oscar win by “The Cove,” a documentary chronicling bloody dolphin hunting in a Japanese fishing town, could give the film the critical audience its makers wanted to reach: ordinary moviegoers in Japan.

News that the movie won the Academy Award for best feature documentary was greeted with surprise in Japan because many Japanese hadn’t heard of it. The U.S. film, directed by former National Geographic photographer Louie Psihoyos, hasn’t been shown in commercial theaters in Japan except for a single viewing during the Tokyo International Film Festival in October.

(source)

(source)

Biggest Crab Ever Seen In Britain… And It's Still Growing

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With its enormous legs and lethal claws, this monster of the deep is already the biggest crab ever seen in Britain.But astonishingly, the arthropod – which measures a staggering 10ft from claw to claw – is still growing, and could live until it is 100.Nicknamed ‘Crabzilla’ after the fictional giant monster, the Japanese Spider Crab has a body the size of a basketball and its legs can straddle a car. They will eventually measure a massive 15ft.

The crab, called Macrocheira kaempferi in Latin, was caught by fishermen in the Pacific Ocean and has now been imported to Britain where it has gone on display at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.Out of the water, the crab looks limp and languid because it cannot support its heavy limbs.But in its own habitat – up to 2,500ft down in the cold seas of the ocean – it is a lethal predator.However, it also has predators of its own – humans – as it is considered a delicacy in Japan.Graham Burrows, curator of the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, said: ‘It is rumoured these crabs can grow to four metres across.’Our open-topped ray tank has the icy cold waters Crabzilla needs, and will be his home until the end of March.
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Biggest Crab Ever Seen In Britain… And It's Still Growing

article-0-083D8146000005DC-472_468x700

With its enormous legs and lethal claws, this monster of the deep is already the biggest crab ever seen in Britain.But astonishingly, the arthropod – which measures a staggering 10ft from claw to claw – is still growing, and could live until it is 100.Nicknamed ‘Crabzilla’ after the fictional giant monster, the Japanese Spider Crab has a body the size of a basketball and its legs can straddle a car. They will eventually measure a massive 15ft.

The crab, called Macrocheira kaempferi in Latin, was caught by fishermen in the Pacific Ocean and has now been imported to Britain where it has gone on display at the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham.Out of the water, the crab looks limp and languid because it cannot support its heavy limbs.But in its own habitat – up to 2,500ft down in the cold seas of the ocean – it is a lethal predator.However, it also has predators of its own – humans – as it is considered a delicacy in Japan.Graham Burrows, curator of the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham, said: ‘It is rumoured these crabs can grow to four metres across.’Our open-topped ray tank has the icy cold waters Crabzilla needs, and will be his home until the end of March.
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The Whale Whisperer

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Peering solemnly nose-to-nose at each other, this is the Whale Whisperer and his friend – Scar the 10-year-old giant of the sea.These spectacular images show Andrew Armour bonding with the colossal sperm whale in the warm Caribbean waters off the island of Dominica.Taken on the weekend, the photographs offer stunning insight into the lives of other pod members travelling with Scar.

In one picture a large group of ‘socialising’ whales come together – giving the impression they are meeting up for a chat.And in another they arrive in a perfectly formed procession – almost like they are part of an underwater military march.

The jaw-dropping series of images show how a decade spent befriending the gentle giant allows Andrew, 45, to stroke and gracefully swim alongside the 32-foot mammal.Whale watch operator Andrew, from Dominica, said: ‘Our bond began in 2000 when my wife Rhona found him injured out at sea when he was just a calf. We think he might have been attacked by pilot whales but we are not sure.’His head and dorsal fin were injured and he came to our boat, perhaps seeking some comfort. The most we could do was pet him and his injuries left him with some scarring.

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Australia To Japan: End Whaling By June Or We’ll See You In Court

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While the Sea Shepherd are attempting to find the Japanese whaling fleet (and, in terms of the Ady Gil, actually get out of port), the Australian government is ramping up threats to take Japan to court over their so-called “scientific research”. Granted, we’ve heard this grumbling before. Since 2007, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has repeatedly vowed to take action to end the hunt — but with very little to show.

“What we’ve done with the previous government of Japan and this current government is seek to resolve this matter diplomatically — diplomatically and finding a way through,” he told The Australian while preparing for a meeting with Japan’s PM Yukio Hatoyama in Tokyo. “But I have said very clearly, if we don’t find a way through there is one way to sort this out and that is through the appropriate international legal mechanisms.”

Though Rudd refused to comment on a timeline for his patience running out, Environment Minister Peter Garrett was a bit more forthcoming. On a radio program yesterday he said that if Japan made no undertaking by June to end the kill “legal option will be undertaken”.
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Special Cakes Only For Your Precious Pooches

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Christmas in Japan just isn’t Christmas unless you’ve got chicken and cake. Especially the cake. Whether decorated with miniature Santa figurines or iced green Christmas trees, Japan’s traditional Christmas treat is a sponge cake with lots of whipped cream and glistening red strawberries.

The yuletide tradition has extended to dogs, who have their own version of the festive cake, made from rice powder, yogurt, natural honey and — why not? — strawberries. It’s sold at fancy hotels like the Prince Park Tower in Tokyo, where the Christmas dog cake costs 2,500 yen ($27).

That may sound like a lot to pay for a dog cake, but it’s worth it to see the bliss on this pooch’s face. Just take a look at Cocolo (pictured above), a 2-and-a-half-year-old toy poodle tucking into her own personal pastry treat. We tried to get a quote from her, but all we got was, “Numnumnumnum. I’m busy.”

(source)

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