Friday, 31 January 2014

rare whale beached

Rare beaked Blainville whale beached in Cornwall: Only second time species has reached British shores in a century
The carcass of a beaked whale has been found on a Cornish beach – only the second time the species has been recorded in the UK.The Blainville’s whale, usually found in temperate and tropical waters, was discovered stranded on Kenneggy Beach, near Praa Sands.A member of the public reported it to the Cornwall Wildlife Trust as a porpoise, but experts confirmed it as a rare Blainville’s beaked whale. 
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Thursday, 23 January 2014

first new river species discovered since 1918 and wild beaver filmed in England.

Brazil dolphin is first new river species since 1918
By Matt McGrath Environment correspondent, BBC News
Scientists in Brazil have discovered the first new river dolphin species since the end of World War One. Named after the Araguaia river where it was found, the species is only the fifth known of its kind in the world. Writing in the journal Plos One, the researchers say it separated from other South American river species more than two million years ago. There are believed to be about 1,000 of the creatures living in the Araguaia river basin.River dolphins are among the world's rarest creatures. According to the IUCN, there are only four known species, and three of them are on the Red List, meaning they are critically endangered.

Beaver filmed in the wild on Devon farm
A wild beaver has been caught on film at a farm in Devon.Images of the rare animal were taken near the River Otter on Knightstone Farm in Ottery St Mary. Farmer David Lawrence became suspicious after he spotted damage to trees, including one trunk about 1ft (30cm) in diameter bearing teeth marks. The mammal was captured on film by retired environmental scientist Tom Buckley who said he was "very surprised" at the discovery.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Has the Galloway Puma left a paw print?

There  have been big cat  sightings reported since 1950s in the Dumfries and Galloway area of Scotland. The cat was dubbed the Galloway Puma by the press after Canadian tourists claimed to have seen an animal which resembled a cougar near Kirroughtree, south-east of Newton Stewart in the late 1990s. They  saw the animal whilst returning from a  walk in the Galloway Forest. It was also  seen  by locals in Newton Stewart .It was  described by most as black, about the  size of a Labrador dog, with a long tail and yellow eyes. Some have described it as sandy coloured, so is there more than one big cat roaming the countryside in this area?
Many people, such as local farmers and Forestry workers, reported seeing  a big black cat throughout the region. In June 2001, a young woman who was walking her dog near Newton Stewart golf course, was shaken by what she described as a "large black cat, bigger than an Alsatian", springing  out at her on the path .The animal ran away after her dog began barking and growling at it.
There were reports of attacks on livestock:
In one of the 21 attacks in Dumfries and Galloway, a report of injured livestock read: “One sheep was examined by an inspector from the SSPCA who found the injuries to be unusual and not consistent with an attack from a dog. An attack from wild boar or a large cat could be possibilities.”
Warnings were issued:
By Frank Ryan

POLICE have issued a "steer clear" warning after a series of big cat sightings in south Scotland. There have been four recent reports of an animal described as a lynx, puma or panther in Dumfriesshire. It was seen by two women in Auldgirth, golfers at nearby Thornhill, a man walking his dogs beside the River Nith in the village, and by another man in Sanquhar.
Bob McGoran, deputy head at St Joseph's College, Dumfries, earlier reported seeing an animal like a North American lynx at John-stonebridge, near the M74.


The police took the threat seriously.
More recently  in  2013:

Another big cat sighting Published on the 14 August 2013
Holidaymakers staying at Kirroughtee Hotel outside Newton Stewart had a close encounter with one of Galloway’s best kept secrets last Saturday morning - an elusive big cat.

Les Gill and his partner Linda were looking out of their bedroom window when they both clearly saw the animal in the hotel grounds. Les said: ”We were standing at the window looking out when we saw it. I lived in Africa so I know what a big cat looks like. It was about four foot long from nose to tail and the tail was long and curled upwards. It was about three foot high and was sandy coloured. It was 60 yards away from us and it was visible for about 25 to 30 seconds.“This was about eight o’ clock in the morning as we were both stunned. My i-phone was in the car or a could have taken a photograph. I just felt I should contact the paper to tell you what we saw as there could be children playing nearby.”In the past four years 20 big cat sightings have been reported to The Galloway Gazette.
In November 2013:
A couple walking in woods near Carronbridge say they came face to face with a mysterious big cat.Craig Johnstone, 27, and his girlfriend Gillian Kennedy, 26, were staying at Trigony House Hotel near Thornhill last weekend.They took their dog for a walk on Sunday morning when they came across a “large, black cat” lying down staring at them.Stunned Craig said: “It was around 50 metres away from us and its head measured approximately one and a half feet from the ground.“It just stared at us for 30 seconds.“Gillian panicked and moved away. I went with her but went back after a few seconds to see if I could get a better picture but it was away.”Craig described the strange creature as being “very stalky, jet black with small rounded ears”.
It continues :Craig and Gillian aren’t the only people to have spotted big cats in the region.Last July, 22-year-old Samantha Garden was on her way to work in Lockerbie when she noticed a strange looking creature standing in the middle of the road near Hoddom Bridge.In January, 2012 Aaron Halliday and Nathan Crosbie spotted a big cat similar to a panther in a field near Dalbeattie.
And in 2011, three mysterious cat sightings were reported in the space of a month. Dan Alexander, of Dumfries, claimed to have seen a creature on the A75 near Newton Stewart.Before that, Dumbarton lorry driver John Spence said he saw two big cats dart in front of his vehicle on the same road near Creetown.And on the same day, Janet Davies spotted an animal near the quarry at Tynron which she called a panther.
According to police, big cat sightings are not uncommon in the area but no creature has ever been traced to verify the claims.
A couple of weeks ago, a person known to me who wishes to remain anonymous, sent me this photo of a large paw print .The person was walking a dog on the Lochinch area  when he came across some footprints and took a snap with a phone. It could be a badger or could it be the Galloway puma? What do you think?

NB. Lochinch is a private estate owned by the Earl of Stairs. At present there are shooting parties on the estate so if anyone wishes to investigate please contact the estate office so you don’t risk getting shot in mistake for game,

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

extinct shark found and a fossils rear parts show legs.

Shark Species Thought to Be Extinct Found in Fish Market [Slide Show]
After more than a century, the smoothtooth blacktip shark has been rediscovered
By David Shiffman
After his 1902 trip to Yemen, scholar and naturalist Wilhelm Hein returned with a variety of plants and animals, which he donated to the Vienna Museum. One of these specimens, a shark, sat unnoticed for more than 80 years. In 1985 it was identified as the first (and only known) specimen of Carcharhinus leiodon, the smoothtooth blacktip shark. Because no others had ever been found by scientists, Alec Moore, regional vice chair of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Shark Specialist Group’s Indian Ocean group, says that “some suspected it might be extinct or not a valid species.”

Tiktaalik: Iconic fossil's rear parts described
By Jonathan Amos Science correspondent, BBC News
Scientists have finally managed to describe the back end of one of the key fossil finds of the past 10 years.Known as Tiktaalik, the 375-million-year-old creature is considered pivotal because it has many features that look half-way between fish and land animals. As such, it provides insight into life's evolutionary move from water into the terrestrial environment.The first specimens to be detailed only had foreparts, but the new fossils now show important rear elements.Chief among these, reported in the journal PNAS, is the pelvic bone and tail fin.

Friday, 10 January 2014

new ancient shark discovered

Ancient nursery of bizarre spoon-billed sharks discovered
Stunningly preserved baby sharks with bizarre, long snouts — as well as egg cases from the same species — may be the oldest convincing evidence of an ancient shark nursery.The fossils date to about 310 million years ago. In unpublished work on egg casings found in Germany, paleontologists have inferred the presence of another ancient shark nursery that is 330 million years old, but "this is the first time we have eggs and fossilized hatchlings in the same place, proving it's a shark nursery," said study co-author Lauren Sallan, a paleontologist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The new research, detailed Tuesday (Jan. 7) in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, also revealed that even back then, the sharks, known as Bandringas, migrated to spawn. [8 Weird Facts About Sharks]
The study also revealed new details about the oddball creature's anatomy, including a long snout studded with electrical receptors and spines on its head and cheeks.

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