Endangered Crocodiles Hatched In Cambodia

Cambodia – Conservationists in Cambodia are celebrating the hatching of a clutch of eggs from one of the world’s most critically endangered animals, the Siamese crocodile.Thirteen infants crawled out of their shells over the weekend in a remote part of the Cardamom Mountains in southwestern Cambodia, following a weekslong vigil by researchers who found them in the jungle.

Experts believe as few as 250 Siamese crocodiles are left in the wild, almost all of them in Cambodia but with a few spread between Laos, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam and possibly Thailand.The operation to protect and hatch the eggs was mounted by United Kingdom-based Fauna and Flora International, for whom conservation of this once-abundant species is a key program.

“Every nest counts,” program manager Adam Starr told Associated Press Television News. “To be able to find a nest is a very big success story, to be able to hatch eggs properly is an even bigger success story.”The nest, with 22 eggs inside, was discovered in the isolated Areng Valley. Fauna and Flora International volunteers removed 15 of them to a safe site and incubated them in a compost heap to replicate the original nest. They left seven behind because they appeared to be unfertilized.
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Gianni The Gender-Bending Cockerill Starts To Lay Eggs, Baffling Scientists

Gianni started life as a red-blooded rooster and would often wake his Italian owners up crowing on his farm in Tuscany.But when a fox raided Gianni’s enclosure and killed all of the hens inside, Gianni felt it was time for a change.Within days the bird was laying eggs and trying to hatch them as he began his new life as a hen.The sex-change chicken has baffled scientists at the UN’s Farm and Agriculture Organisation, who are now planning to study Gianni’s DNA to see what made him change.

An expert at the centre said: ‘It may be a primitive species survival gene. With all the females gone he could only ensure the future of his line by becoming female.’

Professor Donato Matassino, who will be leading tests on Gianni, said: ‘This rooster-hen will be taken to the laboratories of Consdabi for a series of behavioural and genetic tests.’This will allow us to decipher this bizarre DNA mix up that appears to have literally given what looks like two chickens in one.’Professor Donato said the rooster-hen was transported by train to Naples where the laboratories are based.

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Gay Swans Set Up Nest At World's Only Swannery In Dorset

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Two male swans have ruffled feathers at the world’s only swannery in Dorset after they set up a love nest together.
The happy couple at Abbotsbury Swannery are the only homosexual swans among more than 1,000 birds at the reserve.They are believed to be only the second male pair ever to hook up at the reserve. The pair show no interest in their female companions and only have eyes for each other.

Dave Wheeler, from the swannery, said: “The two birds both hatched in 2002 and are sort of together.”They have been together for several nesting seasons and basically keep territory as if they are a nesting pair.”The twosome flock together at the start of the nesting season in March and perform rituals associated with a breeding couple.Manager of Abbotsbury Swannery, John Houston, said: “The swans have been nesting together like this for several years and they get together every nesting season and form a nest together.

“They sit on the nest and act in every way as if they were a pair expecting to lay eggs.”It is quite sweet.”Like most couples, the swans are known for the occasional lover’s tiff, but are quick to sort out their differences.”They just always stay together and I hear that they have some spectacular fights with each other, but they always make up and get back together,” said Mr Houston.”We have more than a thousand swans here in the reserve and they are the only two doing this. We don’t know of any others acting in this way in the area.
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Bones, Not Bamboo, Sate Wild Panda's Appetite

Hunger drove a wild panda to break into a Chinese farmer’s pig pen and eat their food, which was meat and bone, rather than bamboo.State-run China Central Television said the giant panda had apparently descended from the mountains in a region of southwest China’s Sichuan province and was spotted in a field before the animal was found inside the pig pen, chewing on bones and spitting out the meat.

After eating its fill, the panda quietly left.Although classified as carnivores, the giant pandas’ diet is mainly bamboo, but it also eats other foods including honey, eggs, fish, oranges and bananas when available.Scientists believe there are around 1,600 giant pandas living in the wild in China, mostly in the mountains of the southwest.

The endangered species are considered a national icon and its existence is threatened by logging, agriculture and China’s increasing human population.


(source)

Bones, Not Bamboo, Sate Wild Panda's Appetite

Hunger drove a wild panda to break into a Chinese farmer’s pig pen and eat their food, which was meat and bone, rather than bamboo.State-run China Central Television said the giant panda had apparently descended from the mountains in a region of southwest China’s Sichuan province and was spotted in a field before the animal was found inside the pig pen, chewing on bones and spitting out the meat.

After eating its fill, the panda quietly left.Although classified as carnivores, the giant pandas’ diet is mainly bamboo, but it also eats other foods including honey, eggs, fish, oranges and bananas when available.Scientists believe there are around 1,600 giant pandas living in the wild in China, mostly in the mountains of the southwest.

The endangered species are considered a national icon and its existence is threatened by logging, agriculture and China’s increasing human population.


(source)