Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Crocodile attack database ‘will aid conservation efforts and save lives’

Australian-founded database CrocBITE, with records of 2,700 worldwide crocodile attacks, an attempt to understand ‘human-crocodile conflict’

Oliver Milman

Tuesday 25 November 2014 01.59 GMT
An Australian-founded database that lists worldwide crocodile attacks will be used to help conservation efforts for the species and save people’s lives after securing funding.

The database, called CrocBITE, was started in 2013 by Dr Adam Britton, a researcher at Charles Darwin University, and his student Brandon Sideleau.

CrocBITE has now received $30,000 in funding through an Economic and Social Research Council Impact Acceleration award so that the database can be expanded with the help of Imperial College London.

Britton told Guardian Australia that when CrocBITE launched “on a shoestring budget” last year, it had 1,800 registered incidents logged, including fatal and non-fatal crocodile attacks. There are now around 2,700 crocodile attack records, taken from around the world.

“We realised there was no way to gather information on crocodile attacks in one place, even though these attacks are becoming more of a problem,” Britton said. “Human-crocodile conflict is a serious conservation problem and we need basic information on when and why people are being attacked.”

Continued ...

Lone Wolf Traveled More Than 450 Miles to Grand Canyon, DNA Confirms

by Megan Gannon, News Editor | November 24, 2014 07:26am ET

A DNA test has confirmed that a lone gray wolf is roaming Arizona, just north of the Grand Canyon, a long way from its home in the northern Rockies.

The animal, which is protected under the Endangered Species Act, is the first known gray wolf to visit Arizona in about 70 years. The species disappeared from the state in the 1940s, which makes this development exciting news for conservationists who want to see wolves spread back into their former habitats.

After repeated sightings of the wolf over the last month, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) collected a sample of the animal's feces in Kaibab National Forest, near the north rim of the Grand Canyon. 

People ate mammoth; Dogs got reindeer

November 24, 2014

Universitaet Tübingen

Biogeologists have shown how Gravettian people shared their food 30,000 years ago. Around 30,000 years ago Predmosti was inhabited by people of the pan-European Gravettian culture, who used the bones of more than 1000 mammoths to build their settlement and to ivory sculptures. Did prehistoric people collect this precious raw material from carcasses -- easy to spot on the big cold steppe -- or were they the direct result of hunting for food?

Creepy Deep-Sea Anglerfish Captured in Rare Video

by Kelly Dickerson, Staff Writer | November 24, 2014 05:07pm ET

An underwater robot exploring the deep seas captured the first video footage ever of a creepy-looking anglerfish — a creature that looks so menacing it is sometimes called the "black seadevil."

Researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) were using a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) to explore the Monterey Canyon ocean trench, a steep seafloor canyon in California that extends about 95 miles (153 kilometers) into the Pacific Ocean.

The robotic sub came across the anglerfish around 1,968 feet (600 meters) below the surface. The researchers used the ROV to take pictures and video of the anglerfish, and then captured the deep-sea creature and brought it back to MBARI for closer study. [See photos of the creepy anglerfish]

Turtles and dinosaurs: Scientists solve reptile mysteries with landmark study on the evolution of turtles

November 24, 2014

California Academy of Sciences

A team of scientists has reconstructed a detailed 'tree of life' for turtles. Next generation sequencing technologies have generated unprecedented amounts of genetic information for a thrilling new look at turtles' evolutionary history. Scientists place turtles in the newly named group 'Archelosauria' with their closest relatives: birds, crocodiles, and dinosaurs.

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