New Species In Danger Of Going Extinct

flying frog

A mouse found in the mountains of Madagascar, a lizard that can run across water and a flying frog have all been added to this year’s ‘red list’ of species in danger of going extinct. Every year the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) compiles a list of the animals and plants that are in danger of being lost forever.This year the list is longer than ever, with 17,921 species in danger of going extinct including well known mammals such as pandas, tigers and rhinos.

Recent additions to the list include the eastern voalavo, a newly-discovered rodent that lives in the mountain forests of Madagascar but is being driven out by slash and burn agriculture. The Philippine sail-fin water lizard, that has flattened toes to enable it to run across water, is targetted for the pet trade and local cosumption. Rabb’s fringe-limbed treefrog from Panama, that uses its huge webbed hands and feet to sail down from the canopy, is also in danger from deforestation.


Iowa Cat Gets Swine Flu: First Reported Case In A Feline

swine flue cat

A 13-year-old Iowa cat has been infected with swine flu, veterinary and federal officials said Wednesday, and it is believed to be the first case of the H1N1 virus in a feline.The domestic shorthaired cat was treated last week at Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ames and has recovered, officials said. The virus also has been confirmed in two ferrets – one in Oregon and the other in Nebraska – but they died.

“We’ve known certainly it’s possible this could happen,” said Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesman Tom Skinner. “This may be the first instance where we have documentation that transmission occurred involving cats or dogs.”

The veterinarian who treated the cat, Dr. Brett Sponseller, said two of the three people in the cat’s Iowa home had flu-like symptoms before the cat became ill. The case was confirmed at both Iowa State and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Cradle And Birthday Of The Dog Identified: East Asia 16,000 Years Ago

vintage dog

Previous studies in the field have indicated that East Asia is where the wolf was tamed and became the dog. It was not possible to be more precise than that. But now researchers at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm have managed to zero in on man’s best friend.

“For the first time … it is possible to provide a detailed picture of the dog, with its birthplace, point in time, and how many wolves were tamed,” says Peter Savolainen, a biology researcher at KTH.

Together with Swedish colleagues and a Chinese research team, he has made a number of new discoveries about the history of the dog.These discoveries are presented in an article in the scientific journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, where it is claimed that the dog appeared 16,000 years ago, in Asia, south of the Yangtze River in China.

This is a considerably more specific date and birthplace than had previously been put forward.

“Our earlier findings from 2002 have not been fully accepted, but with our new data there will be greater acceptance. The picture provides much more detail,” says Peter Savolainen.The time for the emergence of the dog conforms well with when the population in this part of the world went from being hunters and gatherers to being farmers, which was 10,000 to 12,000 years ago.

Japanese Fishing Trawler Sunk By Giant Jellyfish


A 10-ton fishing boat has been sunk by gigantic jellyfish off eastern Japan. The trawler, the Diasan Shinsho-maru, capsized off Chiba`as its three-man crew was trying to haul in a net containing dozens of huge Nomura’s jellyfish.

Each of the jellyfish can weigh up to 200 kg and waters around Japan have been inundated with the creatures this year. Experts believe weather and water conditions in the breeding grounds, off the coast of China, have been ideal for the jellyfish in recent months.The crew of the fishing boat was thrown into the sea when the vessel capsized, but the three men were rescued by another trawler, according to the Mainichi newspaper. The local Coast Guard office reported that the weather was clear and the sea was calm at the time of the accident.