(THIS ARTICLE IS COURT OF CNN)
They’re cute, they’re fluffy, and they’re public enemy number one in Australia.
They’re cute, they’re fluffy, and they’re public enemy number one in Australia.
3-year-old Zach from Massachusetts hooked a monster of a rainbow trout in Boston’s Jamaica Pond while out on a fishing trip with his dad – using a Spiderman fishing rod!
The little angler used the “thumb button” mechanism on his child-sized spincast-reel fishing rod, and with the implicit power of the Marvel Comics superhero behind him, he reeled in his catch. Zach was super pumped, as you can imagine.
Zach’s dad, who took the little boy on his rewarding day out, is his son’s biggest champion, and no doubt sees a glittering future in the world of angling for his talented young protégé. Zach’s catch even caught the attention of the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries & Wildlife, who took and shared this celebratory picture on their Facebook page.
Governor Charlie Baker of the State of Massachusetts was the man who took the initiative to stock the Jamaica Pond with 1,000 trout for the sake of recreational fishing.
The Boston Globe reported on the annual “stocking of the pond,” which has become a community-led initiative. “More than 40 students from the John F. Kennedy Elementary School and Nativity Prep School, both in Jamaica Plain, and the Dorchester Youth Academy joined state and city officials to start the fishing season,” they reported, “by helping release several species of trout into Jamaica Pond.”
How much did Zach’s fish weight in at, after all? Judging by the photo—the fish is almost as long as little Zach is tall, and it took his dad to lift it—we’re thinking a fair amount. Care to venture a guess?
For full, original story, visit: www.theepochtimes.com
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE USA TODAY NEWSPAPER)
A rare and venomous two-headed viper was found in Northern Virginia, and will be cared for in the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. USA TODAY
A state agency has arranged for the care of a rare two-headed Copperhead snake found at a residence in Northern Virginia on Sunday night.
The venomous snake, a member of the viper family, is an “extremely rare” find in the wild, state herpetologist J.D. Kleopfer told USA TODAY. Kleopfer is a reptiles and amphibians specialist for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.
He said the snake is currently being cared for by an experienced viper keeper, with the hope that it will one day be put on display at a zoo.
Snakes with such a mutation find it difficult to survive in the wild, Kleopfer said. That’s in part because the two heads often want to do “two different things.”
This particular snake was young – about two weeks old, and small – about 6 inches long, according to Kleopfer.
Imaging provided some insight on the physical makeup of the snake: “Thanks to the Wildlife Center of Virginia we were able to determine that the left head has the dominant esophagus and the right head has the more developed throat for eating,” Kleopfer wrote in a Facebook post.
Copperheads often grow to 18-36 inches in length, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While they are not known for being aggressive, they do sometimes attack humans when disturbed.
Kleopfer said the “little guy” probably wasn’t much of a danger. At its age, he said the viper was mainly attacking insects.
The snake shouldn’t alarm anyone, Kleopfer said. It’s his goal to help the snake stay alive.
Stephanie Myers shared photos of the viper on Sunday evening. She said that the snake was found at her neighbor’s flowerbed in Woodbridge, Virginia.
“I wanted to look away but couldn’t stop looking at it. Plays trick on the eyes,” she told USA TODAY in a written message.
Among the hashtags in her Facebook post: #sohardnottolookatit, #nobodyhastimeforthat and #justlookingatthismakesmeswear.
Within My Gaze
Within My Gaze
I see my picture
Upon T-Shirts, paintings and plates
Displayed proudly upon your walls
You think me to be cuddly
Domesticated easily like a lap dog hound
Only to the giant bear
Have I ever backed down
You come to my home
To sleep, laugh, and play
When was the last time
You ever seen me walking down your streets
More ignorant than the lamb I had this morning
My belly is grumbling as the dark is setting in
Do you now think I am so cute and cuddly
As I back you down
Your eyes glued, within my gaze
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE NEWSPAPER)
But the researchers made a remarkable discovery. Instead of blank, barren sea, the expedition, led by scientists with Stanford University and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, found a vast community of tiny light-sensitive creatures so tantalizing that the sharks cross the sea in mass to reach them.
The primary lure, scientists believe, is an extraordinary abundance of squid and small fish that migrate up and down in a little understood deep-water portion of ocean known as the “mid-water,” a region skirting the edge of complete darkness that could provide an immeasurably valuable trove of information about the ocean ecosystem and climate change.
“The story of the white shark tells you that this area is vitally important in ways we never knew about,” said Salvador Jorgensen, a research scientist for the Monterey Bay Aquarium and one of the expedition’s leaders. “They are telling us this incredible story about the mid-water, and there is this whole secret life that we need to know about.”
The researchers’ focus, a 160-mile-radius subtropical region about 1,200 nautical miles east of Hawaii, was essentially unknown to science until marine scientist Barbara Block, of Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station, began attaching acoustic pinger tags to white sharks 14 years ago.
Block discovered that the local sharks, known as northeastern Pacific whites, feed on elephant seals and other marine mammals in the so-called Red Triangle, between Monterey Bay, the Farallon Islands and Bodega Head, from about August to December. She also tracked their movements into San Francisco Bay and around Guadalupe Island, in Mexico.
But then, each December, the acoustic tags showed a mass movement out to sea that was as confusing to the researchers as it was surprising.
Block found that the sharks were leaving the food-rich waters along the West Coast to spend spring and most of the summer in a patch of open ocean about the size of Colorado, a place that looked in satellite images like an empty, oceanic Sahara desert.
She named it the White Shark Cafe even though she wasn’t sure whether the sharks went there for food or sex.
To find out, Block organized the month long expedition in April and May aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s research vessel Falkor, which was equipped with high-tech instruments, sail drones and a remotely operated submarine. Last fall, before departure, her team of scientists tracked down 36 local sharks using acoustic signals and fitted them with high-tech satellite monitoring tags with locator beacons programmed to pop off and float to the surface during the cafe expedition.
The scheme worked. The researchers got data from 10 of the 22 tags that floated up and signaled the Falkor that they had detached and were bobbing around ready to be collected, an exercise that Jorgensen called “a white shark treasure hunt.” The scientists also obtained recorded information on shark movements and behavior over the previous months from six other great whites through radio uplinks. The rest only transmitted their location or were not recovered.
The data on the recovered tags documented highly unusual diving behavior at depths scientists had rarely before seen in white sharks.
On the way to the cafe, the sharks made periodic dives 3,000 feet deep, a surprising discovery given that the big fish normally wouldn’t be able to stay warm enough to digest food in such cold, pressurized depths. The sharks, researchers found, were using warm circular currents to get down the water column, suggesting they were following prey. Still, it isn’t clear what they were eating.
Great white sharks, known scientifically as Carcharodon carcharias, are protected under state legislation that makes it illegal to fish for them. The trade in shark parts — mainly jaws and fins — is also illegal internationally under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
They average 15 to 16 feet in length, but can grow much larger. The biggest white shark ever recorded was caught in 1939 and it was 21 feet long and weighed 7,300 pounds.
Starting in late summer and fall, an estimated 220 white sharks feed offshore of the Farallon Islands, Año Nuevo and Drakes Bay, but at least 20 have been documented over the years inside San Francisco Bay, including one seen devouring a seal in 2015 just a few feet off Alcatraz Island.
Female sharks typically visit the Gulf of the Farallones in alternate years, suggesting that their migration pattern is tied to a two-year reproductive cycle.
DNA testing has shown the sharks off the coast of California are genetically unique compared with other great whites.
Researchers tagged 37 great white sharks last year and have given them names including Torpedo, Scargirl, Sicklefin, OrcaFin and ShawShark Redemption. The oldest and longest studied shark is a 16-foot, 3,158-pound great white named Tom Johnson, which was first seen off the Farallon Islands in 1987.
The only reported fatal human-shark encounter off San Francisco shores occurred in May 1959, when 18-year-old Albert Kogler Jr. died after he was attacked in roughly 15 feet of water while swimming off Baker Beach.
Eleven people have been killed by sharks off the California coast since the first documented attack on a human in Pacific Grove in December, 1952. The body of a probable 12th victim was never found, so he isn’t counted.
Sources: Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station; Monterey Bay Aquarium; Schmidt Ocean Institute; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Once they reached their destination in late winter and early spring, the animals engaged in “bounce dives” down to 1,400 feet below the surface during the day and 650 feet at night, Jorgensen said.
In April, the male sharks started behaving very differently from the females, moving individually up and down the water in a V-shape as many as 140 times a day, Jorgensen said. The females, on the other hand, continued their previous behavior, diving deep during the day and shallow at night, he said.
The scientists still haven’t figured out the disparate gender behaviors.
“Either they are eating something different or this is related in some way to their mating,” Jorgensen said.
What’s clear so far is that, like the hidden community of specialized wildlife in the Sahara, the shark cafe is a swirling mass of tiny phytoplankton, fish, squid and jellies. They move up and down in a soupy layer deep under water, a kind of twilight zone just below where sunlight stops penetrating the ocean depths.
“It’s the largest migration of animals on Earth — a vertical migration that’s timed with the light cycle,” Jorgensen said. “During the day they go just below where there is light and at night they come up nearer the surface to warmer, more productive waters under the cover of darkness.”
It’s a surreal deep water world populated by bioluminescent lantern fish and other species that have evolved amazing adaptations to darkness, Jorgensen said.
Scientists in recent years have discovered hundreds of new species in deep water zones like this one. The uniquely abundant mass of fish draws all kinds of predators, like small cookie cutter sharks, which have evolved light-emitting organs called photophores on the underside of their bodies that act, to prey, like invisibility cloaks.
The white sharks aren’t the only large predators tracking the mid-water creatures. Squid-eating big eye tuna, blue and Mako sharks also frequent the cafe. Jorgensen said these larger fish may be what the white sharks eat, but there isn’t any definitive evidence of that.
“What we’ve learned through the progression of our research is that this mid-water layer is extremely important for white sharks,” he said. “They are swimming in these layers, tracking (prey) day and night. … It’s a game of hide-and-seek.”
Scientists say this little understood mid-water zone is a biological laboratory that, with more research, could lead to biomedical breakthroughs and yield clues to how the ocean absorbs carbon dioxide and how species adapt to climate change. There is also concern that it is ripe for exploitation, particularly long-line and drift net fishing.
Triggered by some cryptic mechanism, the sharks leave their mid-ocean sanctum during the summer and begin to gather along the coast of California around August.
Block said researchers will not know whether the sharks were feeding, mating or doing both during their time in the White Shark Cafe until the analyses are completed.
“We now have a gold mine of data. We have doubled the current 20-year data set on white shark diving behaviors and environmental preferences in just three weeks,” Block said. This “will help us better understand the persistence of this unique environment and why it attracts such large predators.”
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CIA WORLD FACT BOOK)
|Introduction||This desolate, artic, mountainous island was named after a Dutch whaling captain who indisputably discovered it in 1614 (earlier claims are inconclusive). Visited only occasionally by seal hunters and trappers over the following centuries, the island came under Norwegian sovereignty in 1929. The long dormant Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg volcano resumed activity in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985. It is the northernmost active volcano on earth.|
The first known discovery of the island was in 1614. There are earlier claims and possible discoveries: Some historians believe that an Irish monk, Brendan, who was known as a good sailor, was close to Jan Mayen in the early 6th century. He came back from one of his voyages and reported that he had been close to a black island, which was on fire, and that there was a terrible noise in the area. He thought that he might have found the entrance to hell.
The land named Svalbarð (“cold coast”) by the Vikings in the early medieval Landnámabók may have been Jan Mayen (instead of Spitsbergen, which was renamed Svalbard by the Norwegians in modern times); the distance from Iceland to Svalbarð mentioned in that book is two days sailing, consistent with the ~530 km to Jan Mayen and not with the ~1550 km to Spitsbergen. The knowledge of Jan Mayen probably disappeared along with the Viking colonies on Greenland around the 14th century.
In the 17th century many claims of the island’s rediscovery were made, spurred by the rivalry on the Arctic whaling grounds, and the island received many names. According to Thomas Edge, an early 17th century whaling captain who was often inaccurate, William (sic) Hudson discovered the island in 1608 and named it Hudson’s Touches (or Tutches). However, Henry Hudson could only have come by on his voyage in 1607 (if he had made an illogical detour) and had made no mention of it in his journal. Edge also suggested that Thomas Marmaduke, a Hull whaling captain, saw the island in 1612 and named it Trinity Island. There is no cartographical or written proof for either of these “discoveries”.
1614 discoveries and final naming
Jan Mayen was discovered in the summer of 1614, probably within one month by three separate expeditions. The English whaler John Clarke, sailing for a Dunkirk firm, had observed the island on June 28 while hunting Greenland right whales (now called Bowhead Whales) and named it Isabella. In January the “Northern Company” (Noordsche Compagnie), modelled on the Dutch East India Company, had been established to support Dutch whaling in the Arctic. Two of its ships, financed by merchants from Amsterdam and Enkhuizen, reached Jan Mayen in July 1614. The captains of these ships (Jan Jacobsz May of Schellinkhout on the “Gouden Cath” (Golden Cat) and Jacob de Gouwenaar on the “Orangienboom” (Orange Tree), named it Mr. Joris Eylant after the Dutch cartographer Joris Carolus who was on board and mapped the island. The captains acknowledged that a third Dutch ship, the “Cleyn Swaentgen” (Little Swan) captained by Jan Jansz Kerckhoff and financed by Noordsche Compagnie shareholders from Delft, had already been at the island when they arrived. They had assumed that the latter, who named the island Maurits Eylandt (or Mauritius) after Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange, would report their discovery to the States General. However, the Delft merchants had decided to keep the discovery secret and returned in 1615 to hunt for their own profit. The ensuing dispute was only settled in 1617, though both companies were allowed to whale at Jan Mayen in the meantime.
In 1615, Robert Fotherby went ashore, apparently thinking it a new discovery and naming the island Sir Thomas Smith’s Island and the volcano “Mount Hakluyt”. Jean Vrolicq, a French Basque whaler who was active in the Spitsbergen fishery at least as early as 1618, renamed the island Île de Richelieu.
Jan Mayen first appeared on Willem Jansz Blaeu’s 1620 edition map of Europe originally published by Cornelis Doedz in 1606. He named it Jan Mayen after captain Jan May of the Amsterdam-financed Gouden Cath, perhaps because he was by that time based in Amsterdam. Blaeu made a first detailed map of the island in his famous “Zeespiegel” atlas of 1623, establishing its current name.
Jan Mayen as a Dutch whaling base
From 1614 to 1638, Jan Mayen was used as a whaling base by the Dutch Noordsche Compagnie, which had effectively monopolized whaling in most of the Arctic Sea over those years. It took ships about three weeks to reach the island from the Netherlands. By 1616, 200 men were seasonally living and working on the island and over 10 Dutch ships hunted in the bays of the island each year. By the 1620s, six whaling stations had been established (spread along the NW coast), with wooden storehouses and dwellings and large brick furnaces, and two fortresses with batteries to protect the stations. Among the sailors active at Jan Mayen was the later admiral Michiel Adriaensz de Ruyter. In 1632, at the age of 26, he was for the first time listed as an officer and his last whaling trip was in 1635.
In 1632 the Noordsche Compagnie expelled the Danish-employed Basque whalers from Spitsbergen. In revenge, the latter sailed to Jan Mayen, where the Dutch had left for the winter, to plunder the Dutch equipment and burn down the settlements and factories. Captain Outger Jacobsz of Grootebroek was asked to stay the next winter (1633/34) on Jan Mayen with six shipmates to defend the island. While a group with the same task survived the winter on Spitsbergen, all seven on Jan Mayen died of scurvy or trichinosis (from eating raw polar bear meat) combined with the harsh conditions.
The Greenland right whale was locally hunted to near extinction around 1640 (approximately 1000 had been killed and processed on the island), at which time Jan Mayen was abandoned and stayed uninhabited for two-and-a-half centuries.
19th and 20th century
During the International Polar Year 1882-83 an Austro-Hungarian expedition stayed one year at Jan Mayen and performed extensive mapping of the area, their maps being used until the 1950s. Between 1900 and 1920, there were also a number of Norwegian trappers, spending the winters on Jan Mayen, hunting white and blue foxes in addition to some polar bears. But the exploitation soon made the profits decline, and the hunting ended.
The first meteorological station was opened in 1921 by the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, who annexed the island in 1922 for Norway. By law of February 27, 1930 the island was made part of the Kingdom of Norway. During World War II Jan Mayen was not occupied by Germans as continental Norway was in 1940, but still the meteorologists chose to burn down the station. In 1941, they returned with soldiers to rebuild the station. On 7 August 1942 a German Focke-Wulf Fw 200 “Condor”, probably on a mission to bomb the station, smashed into the mountainside of Danielsenkrateret near it in fog, killing all 9 crewmembers. In 1950, wreck of another German plane with 4 crewmembers was discovered on the south-west side of the island. In 1943, the Americans established a radio locating station named Atlantic City in the north to try to locate German radio bases in Greenland.
After the war the meteorological station was located at Atlantic City, but moved in 1949 to a new location. Radio Jan Mayen also served as an important radio station for ship traffic in the Arctic Ocean. In 1959, NATO decided to build the LORAN-C network in the Atlantic Ocean, and one of the transmitters had to be on Jan Mayen. By 1961, the new military installations, including a new air field was operational.
For some time scientists doubted if there could be any activity in the volcano Beerenberg, but in 1970 the volcano erupted, and added another three square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) of land mass to the island during the three to four weeks it lasted. It had more eruptions in 1973 and most recently in 1985. During an eruption the sea temperature around the island may increase from just above freezing to about 30 Celsius degrees (86 °F).
Historic stations and huts on the island are Hoyberg, Vera, Olsbu, Puppebu (cabin), Gamlemetten or Gamlestasjonen (the old weather station), Jan Mayen Radio, Helenehytta, Margarethhytta, and Ulla (a cabin at the foot of the Beerenberg).
|Geography||Location: Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian Sea, northeast of Iceland
Geographic coordinates: 71 00 N, 8 00 W
Map references: Arctic Region
Area: total: 377 sq km
land: 377 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area – comparative: slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
Land boundaries: 0 km
Coastline: 124.1 km
Maritime claims: territorial sea: 4 nm
contiguous zone: 10 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
Climate: arctic maritime with frequent storms and persistent fog
Terrain: volcanic island, partly covered by glaciers
Elevation extremes: lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
highest point: Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg 2,277 m
Natural resources: none
Land use: arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
Irrigated land: 0 sq km
Natural hazards: dominated by the volcano Haakon VII Toppen/Beerenberg; volcanic activity resumed in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985
Environment – current issues: NA
Geography – note: barren volcanic island with some moss and grass
|Society||The only inhabitants on the island are personnel working for the Royal Norwegian Defence Force or the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. There are eighteen people who spend the winter on the island, but the population may double during the summer, when heavy maintenance is performed. Personnel serve either six months or one year, and are exchanged twice a year in April and October. The main purpose of the military personnel is to operate a LORAN-C base. The support crew, including mechanics, cooks and a nurse are among the military personnel. Both the LORAN transmitter and the meteorological station are located a few kilometres away from the settlement Olonkinbyen (English: The Olonkin City), where all personnel live.
Transport to the island is provided by C-130 Hercules military transport planes operated by the Royal Norwegian Air Force that land at Jan Mayensfield, which only has a gravel runway. The planes fly in from Bodø Main Air Station eight times a year. Since the airport does not have any instrument landing capabilities, visibility is required, and it is not uncommon for the planes to have to return to Bodø, two hours away, without landing. For heavy goods, freight ships visit during the summer, but there are no harbours and the ships must anchor up.
The island has no indigenous population, but is assigned the ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code SJ (together with Svalbard), the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .no (.sj is allocated but not used) and data code JN. Its amateur radio call sign prefix is JX. It has a postal code, N-8099 JAN MAYEN, but delivery time varies, especially during the winter.
|People||Population: no indigenous inhabitants
note: personnel operate the Long Range Navigation (Loran-C) base and the weather and coastal services radio station
|Government||Country name: conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Jan Mayen
Dependency status: territory of Norway; since August 1994, administered from Oslo through the county governor (fylkesmann) of Nordland; however, authority has been delegated to a station commander of the Norwegian Defense Communication Service
Legal system: the laws of Norway, where applicable, apply
Flag description: the flag of Norway is used
|Economy||Economy – overview: Jan Mayen is a volcanic island with no exploitable natural resources. Economic activity is limited to providing services for employees of Norway’s radio and meteorological stations on the island.|
|Communications||Radio broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA (there is one radio and meteorological station) (1998)
Internet Service Providers (ISPs): 13 (Jan Mayen and Svalbard) (2000)
|Transportation||Airports: 1 (2007)
Airports – with unpaved runways: total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2007)
Ports and terminals: none; offshore anchorage only
|Military||Military – note: defense is the responsibility of Norway|
|Transnational Issues||Disputes – international: none|
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)
TRAVEL Updated: Sep 09, 2018 12:52 IST
September is probably one of the best months to travel almost anywhere in India. The weather is pleasant with the monsoon slowly starting to subside by the end of August, and there is cool weather needed for leisurely travel.
Be it the mountains up north, the south, or even the deserts of Rajasthan, this month is a better time to visit tourist spots rather than going during the travel boom at the end of the year. Here are some recommendations for you from Confirmtkt and Travelyaari:
Jaipur is a city in Rajasthan is a good place to visit for a fam jam where you can savour the local culture. There is chaotic traffic but also lots to shop, street food to enjoy and you can top off your stay at one of the numerous palace hotels in the region.
The romantic city is surrounded by mountains and is a good place to travel to this September. It is a honeymoon destination, trekking paradise, a hippie hangout and even a quick getaway from your work commitments.
Honestly, anytime would be perfect if you are planning to visit this place among the hills. September is when you can glimpse the essence of the place and there is only mild rainfall. The remote hillock town offers a handful of activities, one of them being the acclaimed Ziro music festival which is a must-attend.
* Leh: A trip to Leh by road is one of its kind and makes for a memorable experience. There are many surprises along the way.
Diu is a small beach city in the union territory of Diu and Daman. It is a serene destination which is recommended as the best alternative to Goa. It boasts of cheap liquor, beachside shacks, and seafood. You can also indulge in sightseeing at the lesser-known Portuguese colony.
Follow @htlifeandstyle for more
First Published: Sep 09, 2018 11:01 IST
4 Cats in the house, chaotic as that may sound
Mother-in-Law is scared of cats, doesn’t come around
2 Big ole males, 3 years apart, 2 different Breeds
Finally act like brothers, they don’t try to tear the house down
I used to have me some dogs but they have all disappeared
About two months ago we got a couple of kittens to raise
Been together since birth though different Mothers and Breeds
Finally the four are friends as together they romp and play
The kittens are Ladies or they would have been dead right away
Kittens are so tiny it is so much fun to sit and watch they play
Some Cultures believe that Cats are the Guardians of Hell
I can see why people think that by the way they eat their prey
No visitors ever come here twice with the cats out in the yard
Not with two Lions, one Tiger and a huge Black Panther on display
If we could just make it to our car, it would be we who run away
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF WKYT NEWS RICHMOND KENTUCKY)
RICHMOND, Ky. (WKYT) — They’re a common snake found throughout the state. The copperhead snake is one that shows up quite often, especially across eastern Kentucky. Their habitat is best suited in these areas.
“The forest, the plateau, and mountains provide underground retreats. The forest has lots of organisms for them to eat and cover, and leaf litter that they blend in with,” said Dr. Stephen Richter, an EKU biology professor.
Richter is heading a research study in the Gorge area that’s aimed at learning more about copperhead snakes, their habitat, and how to minimize human-snake interaction. The group captures these snakes, insert a microchip, track their movements and collect data. Then, the snakes are recaptured.
“We learn about population size, body, growth-rates, sex ratios, just basic biology,” said Richter.
It’s this information that researchers can make areas of high human activity less attractive for copperheads. Richter says we just have to be more alert with our surroundings.
“Watch where you’re walking. If there is a downed tree over the trail which happens quite a bit, do not step directly over it, step on it. Look on the other side before you do. Just not putting your hands and feet where you cannot see and stepping too closely to an object where they might be hiding for cover,” said Richter.
Richter sais this is a joint research effort that involves EKU, the U.S. Forest Service, The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources and the Louisville Zoo.
(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF AFP)
A rare set of teeth from a giant prehistoric mega-shark twice the size of the great white have been found on an Australian beach by a keen-eyed amateur enthusiast, scientists said Thursday.
Philip Mullaly was strolling along an area known as a fossil hotspot at Jan Juc, on the country’s famous Great Ocean Road some 100 kilometres (60 miles) from Melbourne, when he made the find.
“I was walking along the beach looking for fossils, turned and saw this shining glint in a boulder and saw a quarter of the tooth exposed,” he said.
“I was immediately excited, it was just perfect and I knew it was an important find that needed to be shared with people.”
He told Museums Victoria, and Erich Fitzgerald, senior curator of vertebrate palaeontology, confirmed the seven centimetre-long (2.7 inch) teeth were from an extinct species of predator known as the great jagged narrow-toothed shark (Carcharocles angustidens).
The shark, which stalked Australia’s oceans around 25 million years ago, feasting on small whales and penguins, could grow more than nine metres long, almost twice the length of today’s great white shark.
“These teeth are of international significance, as they represent one of just three associated groupings of Carcharocles angustidens teeth in the world, and the very first set to ever be discovered in Australia,” Fitzgerald said.
He explained that almost all fossils of sharks worldwide were just single teeth, and it was extremely rare to find multiple associated teeth from the same shark.
This is because sharks, who have the ability to regrow teeth, lose up to a tooth a day and cartilage, the material a shark skeleton is made of, does not readily fossilise.
Fitzgerald suspected they came from one individual shark and there might be more entombed in the rock.
So he led a team of palaeontologists, volunteers, and Mullaly on two expeditions earlier this year to excavate the site, collecting more than 40 teeth in total.
Most came from the mega-shark, but several smaller teeth were also found from the sixgill shark (Hexanchus), which still exists today.
Museums Victoria palaeontologist Tim Ziegler said the sixgill teeth were from several different individuals and would have become dislodged as they scavenged on the carcass of the Carcharocles angustidens after it died.
“The stench of blood and decaying flesh would have drawn scavengers from far around,” he said.
“Sixgill sharks still exist off the Victorian coast today, where they live off the remains of whales and other animals. This find suggests they have performed that lifestyle here for tens of millions of years.”
Explore further: The end-Cretaceous extinction unleashed modern shark diversity
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Luke 10:2 "Then He said to His disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few.'"