Friday, 17 June 2011

Prize for cryptid photo and the loss of a river

io9 Offers $2000 Bounty For Authentic Photos Of Cryptids
Annalee Newitz — This summer, io9 is going cryptozoological. We're offering a $2000 bounty to the person who sends us the best authentic photo or video of a "cryptid," or mystery animal. And that's just the beginning of Cryptid Summer.
The Bounty
io9 will be offering a $2000 bounty for the best photographic or video evidence of a genuine cryptid. In August, we will invite our panel of experts, including zoologists, the team behind excellent cryptid blog Cryptomundo, cryptid expert Loren Coleman, and a photoshop analyst, to judge which pictures are the most authentic. We'll give the bounty to the one that they judge to be the most mysterious yet authentic creature.

Last chance to see: the Amazon's Xingu River
Jeremy Hance June 15, 2011        
Not far from where the great Amazon River drains into the Atlantic, it splits off into a wide tributary, at first a fat vertical lake that, when viewed from satellite, eventually slims down to a wild scrawl through the dark green of the Amazon. In all, this tributary races almost completely southward through the Brazilian Amazon for 1,230 miles (1,979 kilometers)—nearly as long as the Colorado River—until it peters out in the savannah of Mato Grosso. Called home by diverse indigenous tribes and unique species, this is the Xingu River."The Xingu River is a symbol of Brazil's cultural diversity and biological heritage. The river and its forests sustain the livelihoods of over 25,000 indigenous people from 18 ethnic groups, riverbank populations and innumerable species of plants and animals," Christian Poirier, the Brazil Program Coordinator with Amazon Watch, told
Extracts: The Xingu River, however, will soon be lost. No, the river will not be filled in or disappear entirely; but its very character (the ecosystem and people which it provides for) will be forever changed by the construction of a monster dam, the Belo Monte, just approved by the Brazilian government. Once built the dam will be the world's third largest.
Experts fear for a number of species that only live in the Xingu River or its floodplains (see photos below), including the slender dwarf pike cichlid (Teleocichla centisquama), a unique species of plant-eating piranha (Ossubtus xinguense), the Xingu dart-poison frog (Allobates crombiei), and two pleco fish, also known as 'suckerfish', who thrive in the Xingu's clear waters: the aptly-named zebra pleco (Hypancistrus zebra) and the sunshine pleco (Scobinancistrus aureatus).

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