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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Jamaican Could Become First Black Musher To Complete Longest Dog Sled Race

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An athlete from tropical Jamaica could become the first black musher to complete the world’s longest dog sled race. Later this month, Newton Marshall, 26, will take part in the Iditarod, a 1,150-mile dog-sled race across the icy wilderness of Alaska. The race is hailed as one of the world’s great endurance tests.Marshall’s entrance in the race echoes the success of the Jamaican bobsled team in the 1988 Winter Olympics, which inspired the movie “Cool Runnings.”

But his entry is no joke. Last year he completed the lengthy Yukon Quest International Sled Dog Race. Out of 29 mushers, Marshall finished a respectable 13th.Marshall, who lives in Jamaica’s St. Anne Parish, said he was impatient to begin the Iditarod, which kicks off with a ceremonial start in Anchorage on Saturday. The competitive race begins on Sunday in Willow, 50 miles to the north.
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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.
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First Spider Known To Science That Feeds Mainly On Plant Food

spider @food

There are approximately 40,000 species of spiders in the world, all of which have been thought to be strict predators that feed on insects or other animals. Now, scientists have found that a small Central American jumping spider has a uniquely different diet: the species Bagheera kiplingi feeds predominantly on plant food.

The research, led by Christopher Meehan of Villanova University and Eric Olson of Brandeis University, has revealed the extraordinary ecology and behavior in Bagheera kiplingi, which lives throughout much of Central America and southern Mexico. There, the spider inhabits several species of acacia shrubs involved in a co-evolutionary mutualism with certain ants that has long been a staple of ecology textbooks: the ants fiercely guard the plants against most would-be herbivores, while the acacias provide both housing for the ants via swollen, hollow spines and food in the form of nectar (excreted from glands at the base of each leaf) and specialized leaf tips known as Beltian bodies. The Bagheera spiders are “cheaters” in the ant-acacia system, stealing and eating both nectar and—most remarkably—Beltian bodies without helping to defend the plant. The spiders get the job done through active avoidance of patrolling acacia-ants, relying on excellent eyesight, agility, and cognitive skills.

How do the spiders get around the ants that are supposed to be guarding the acacias and gobbling up the Beltian bodies themselves?
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Rare Tropical Fish Caught In British Waters For First Time

fish

Neil McDonnell, 37, is the first angler on record to use a rod and line to catch an almaco jack – a fish normally found in the Caribbean.

Experts say the fish could be a sign of global warming and hotter seas as the species usually stay in much milder waters off Florida. Mr McDonnell has sent proof of his catch to the British Records Fish Committee who say it is the first caught with a rod and line.

Mr McDonnell, a keen fisherman, said: “It’s definitely a jack It’s very exciting. It’s a brilliant find. It’s caused quite a buzz around the pub because it’s so unusual.
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Bo!: The First Dog Turns 1!

BO+OBAMA

Obama may have received the Nobel Peace Prize , but for his daughters, there is more important business at hand: the 1st birthday of Bo Obama! First Daughter Malia made sure her father was well aware of the dog’s special day when he woke up this morning.

At a press conference today, President Obama took to the White House’s Rose Garden to make his first public comments on being named the surprise winner of this year’s peace prize and said it wasn’t at all how he expected to wake up.

“Malia came in and said, ‘Daddy, you own the Nobel Peace Prize, and it is Bo’s birthday.’ Then Sasha added, ‘Plus we have a three-day weekend coming up!’ ” he told reporters.

“So it’s good to have kids to keep things in perspective,” he added.

The Portuguese water dog joined the First Family in April when he was just six months old. He was a gift from the late Sen. Ted Kennedy, who picked up Bo from the same Texas breeder he’s used for his own pets, Amigo Portuguese Water Dogs of Boyd, Texas.

(source)

World’s First Shark Sanctuary Created In Palau

SHARK CEN

The tiny Pacific nation of Palau is creating the world’s first shark sanctuary, a biological hotspot to protect great hammerheads, leopard sharks, oceanic whitetip sharks and more than 130 other species fighting extinction in the Pacific Ocean. But with only one boat to patrol 240,000 square miles (621,600 square kilometers) of Palau’s newly protected waters — including its exclusive economic zone, or EEZ, that extends 200 miles (320 kilometers) from its coastline — enforcement of the new measure could be almost like swimming against the tide.

Palau’s president, who is to announce the news to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday, acknowledges the difficulty of patrolling ocean waters nearly the size of Texas or France with a single boat. But he hopes others will respect Palauan territorial waters — and that the shark haven inspires more such conservation efforts globally.

“Palau will declare its territorial waters and extended economic zone to be the first officially recognized sanctuary for sharks,” Palauan President Johnson Toribiong told the Associated Press in an interview Thursday.
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