Tuesday 10 January 2012

Nessie photo cash prize and extinct tortoise may still be around.

Published: 10/01/2012
Cash prize offered for best Nessie sighting - voted by you

BOOKMAKER William Hill is preparing to shell out a £1000 reward following a bumper year for Nessie sightings.It follows several lean years for close encounters with Loch Ness’s most famous resident — leading to speculation about whether she was still alive, or had disappeared.But with three “good” sightings reported to the Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club during 2011, the bookmaker is to present the Best Nessie Sighting of the Year Award for the first time in several years.Inverness Courier readers have the chance to vote on here for the winner who will receive £1000, plus a free £500 bet.In addition, a £100 bet will be placed on the Natural History Museum confirming the existence of Nessie by the end of the year — odds are currently 100/1.

Extinct' Galapagos tortoise may still exist
Richard Black By Richard Black Environment correspondent, BBC News
A giant Galapagos tortoise believed extinct for 150 years probably still exists, say scientists.
Chelonoidis elephantopus lived on the island of Floreana, and was heavily hunted, especially by whalers who visited the Galapagos to re-stock.A Yale University team found hybrid tortoises on another island, Isabela, that appear to have C. elephantopus as one of their parents.Some hybrids are only 15 years old, so their parents are likely to be alive.The different shapes of the giant tortoises on the various Galapagos islands was one of the findings that led Charles Darwin to develop the theory of evolution through natural selection.The animals are thought to have colonised the archipelago through floating from the shores of South America.Colonies on each island remained relatively isolated from each other, and so evolved in subtly different directions.C. elephantopus is especially notable for its saddleback-shaped shell, whereas species on neighbouring islands sported a dome-like carapace.Three years ago, the Yale team reported finding some evidence of hybrids around Volcano Wolf at the northern end of Isabela Island, in amongst the native population of Chelonoidis becki.
Read rest here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16467397

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