Monday, December 31, 2007

Hunting Skunk Apes (And, Then, Quitting...)

Here's an article about a guy who spent a great deal of time over two decades searching for a skunk ape, allegedly having some close encounters, and then giving it up when he suddenly realizes that skunk apes are wild animals and might actually be dangerous. (And, of course, not allowing further research by offering his data to other legit investigators. But, hey, at least he's got a book coming out...)

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White-Rumped Vultures Found in Nepal

The Himalayan Times is saying that a group of about 40 white-rumped vultures has been discovered in Beli Patela forest at Dhangadhi of Kailali district, Nepal. It also mistakenly says the vulture was previously considered extinct worldwide, but that appears to be incorrect. As BirdLife notes, the species has suffered catastrophic decline in Pakistan and India, but is still known to exist in some flocks there. And, there are populations elsewhere, though it is considered critically endangered.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Nutria in NJ

It looks like more and more nutria are showing up in New Jersey, but it looks like they managed to invade several areas a while back, and are only now being recognized for what they are. (News source.)

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A Price to Pay

Funding for the search for more evidence of the ivorybill woodpecker may run out if the bird isn't confirmed in 2008. Researchers are worried, while detractors continue to pile on. (News source.)

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Saturday, December 29, 2007

Beyond Loch Ness

Yep, it's another SciFi Saturday night flick, this one on the Loch Ness Monster. (Emphasis on Monster, of course.) Airs Saturday, January 5, 2008. Website. Only a brief plot note is mentioned, so hard to say if it'll be better than average. (And, apparently, "beyond" means the hunt is now on Lake Superior.)

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Beast of Bretton

Coming from the UK:

"Howard Moody was cycling to work in the evening on Tuesday, when he stumbled across a big cat – thought to be the Beast of Bretton – running across his path.
"Mr Moody, (40), from Woodston said: 'I was by Lea Gardens, on my way to work at about 7.30pm, when a big cat crossed the path in front of me.
"'It was definitely not a dog – you could tell by the way it was running – and it was far too big to be a normal house cat. It was three foot high and five or six foot long.'" (News source.)

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Friday, December 28, 2007

New Gigantopithecus Fossils

Only sparse details so far, but NG News states:

"The 400,000-year-old fossils of a giant panda were uncovered alongside the remains of a titan-sized, ancient ape called Gigantopithecus blacki, said Huang Wanbo, a paleontologist at Beijing's Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology.
"Excavated from a limestone cave on the island province of Hainan, the fossils suggest that both the giant pandas and the Giganto apes survived on a mostly bamboo diet, said Huang." ...
"Russell Ciochon, a professor at the University of Iowa who has joined several fossil digs in China but was not involved in the Hainan excavation, said the findings expand the known geographic range of nine- to ten-foot (three-meter) Giganto, which he called 'the largest ape that ever existed.'"

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Florida Bigfoot Stories

A Florida news article notes a few local Bigfoot stories.

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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Giant Crayfish in Tennessee

Biologists are trying to monitor the giant crayfish, Barbicambarus cornutus, in Tennessee. It gets up to about 9 inches in length. (News source.)

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

End of an Era


David Attenborough has filmed his last wildlife series, Life in Cold Blood, about reptiles and amphibians. (News source.)

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Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Bumblebee Bats

A villager in eastern Thailand captured some strange bats, found in a rolled up banana leaf. They turned out to be the smallest bat species, the rare bumblebee bats. (News source.)

[Correction: Darren Naish points out that these are not bumblebee bats, but painted bats (Kerivoula picta
).]

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Monday, December 24, 2007

The Water Horse (Of Course)

From, Historical Tales and Legends of the Highlands, by Alexander Mackenzie (1878):

When Eachainn had finished the last story, he left Gillespie to himself, who was now fast recovering under the kind treatment of Somhairle Dubh and his excellent wife. The host was in the gauger's room as often as he could, relating such stories as he knew; and thus enabled the patient to pass away the time more agreeably. I heard several of them, but the one about the

Each Uisg, Or Water Horse,

is the only one I can at present remember. Somhairle Dubh related it thus:—

When I was a little boy, I would sit for hours by the kitchen fire, listening to my grandfather, who used to while away the long winter evenings by telling us stories about witches and warlocks, ghosts and fairies, of which he had an inexhaustible stock. A very favourite one with me was the tale of the each uisg, or the water horse, a fearful demon in the likeness of a big, black horse, who inhabited Loch-­Dorch, and woe to any one who ventured near the loch after nightfall; for the each uisg was always on the watch, and would rise out of the water, seize any intruders, and drag them to the bottom, to be devoured by him at his leisure. Sometimes he would assume other shapes, and try to lure people away to the water. One Hallowe'en night there was a party of young people gathered round the fire in the house of Duncan the weaver, burning nuts and ducking for apples, when Duncan's daughter, bonnie Catriana, proposed to go and dip her sleeve in the burn, to try if her sweetheart was true. None of her companions would go, for fear of the each uisg, and tried in vain to dissuade Catriana from her ven­turesome purpose, but laughing at their fears, she threw her plaid over her head, and ran off to the burn.

In a little they were startled by hearing a loud wailing shriek, and fearing some accident had happened to their favourite Catriana, rushed out of the house to look after her, but no trace could they find of the poor, wilful lassie. Her father and the lads were searching the whole night, and at the dawn of day they found her plaid at the side of the dreaded Loch-Dorch, and near it, in the clay, the mark of an unearthly hoof, which proved, beyond doubt, that she had fallen a victim to the monster water-horse.

Then there was young Allan Mac Sheumais, who, coming home in the dusk, after spending the day hunting the deer, heard a tramping sound which he soon found to proceed from the water-horse, which he could see rapidly galloping up to him. Poor Allan, though in a dreadful fright, did not lose his presence of mind, and knowing full well that ordi­nary shot would have no effect upon the demon, he rapidly loaded his gun with a small, crooked silver sixpence—the blessed metal from a cup of which the Saviour drank his last draught on earth—and ex­claiming, "The cross be betwixt me and thee," fired with a steady aim, while the cold sweat stood on his brow.

The each uisg gave one yelling neigh, so shrill, so dismal, and unearthly, that the cattle which had lain down to rest on the heath started up in terror; the dogs of the hamlet heard it, and, ceasing their gambol, ran cowering and trembling to the fireside; the roosted cock heard it, and essayed to crow, but could only scream. Never will those who heard that terrific cry forget it; but it had scarcely ceased ere the demon steed had sprung into the midst of Loch-Dorch, and as the water closed over him, a sound, as of a sarcastic, unearthly laugh, was heard from the middle of the loch, and then all was silent:

Yet notwithstanding all this, Lachlan Buachaille, the cow-herd, who was a wild, reckless fellow, would never believe the stories he heard about this dreadful being, and laughingly suggested that Allan had only been frightened by Rorie Mor's gearran broken loose from his tether; and bragged that he had never seen the each uisg, although he had lived for some years near the Raven's Peak, close to the haunted loch.

'And would ye wish to we him?' asked old Janet, as he sat by her fireside one evening; 'would ye really wish to see that fearsome thing, Lachlan?'

'May I never taste oatcake or whisky again!' said Lachlan impetuously, 'but I wish to see the beast, if there's one in it, and, the sooner the better.'

It was a gusty, rainy autumn night. Lachlan sat alone in his bothie, busily employed, in twisting his oat straw siaman, humming to himself, and listening to the sound of the torrent as it dashed over the rooks, the pattering of the heavy rain, and the sheughs of the north-west wind, moaning as it passed along, all of which only served to increase his sense of comfort as he drew his three-legged stool nearer to the bright peat fire.

He was just thinking of retiring for the night, when he heard a gentle knocking at the door. 'Who is there at this time of night?' asked he, to which a feeble voice replied, 'I am a poor old woman who lost my way this wild night; pray let me in, or I shall perish with cold and fatigue.' Lachlan muttered anything but blessings on the old body's head for thus disturbing him, for he had a particular objection to old women. 'Bad luck to her; were it a young one, or even an old man, I should not care,' he grumbled; 'but an old hag to come sorning on me, as I was about to step into my quiet bed.' Then raising his voice, he said, 'Wait, wait, carlin, I'll be with you directly, let me wind up my siaman first; the diabhul take you, have more patience, and don't keep croaking there with your ill-omened voice;' and, unfastening the latch, he continued, 'There, enter now, and curses on you.' However, with all his roughness, Lachlan was not a bad-natured fellow, and regretted his inhospitality, when he saw stepping in a poor, wretched, little, old woman, bent double with age and misery. She wore a dun cloak drawn tightly round her figure, with a kind of red hood at­tached to it, marked w1th strange characters, which quite covered her head, and shaded her face. She gave no salutation, good or bad, and as she crawled rather than walked up to the fire, it emitted a vivid spark, which hissed as it fell on the dripping clothes of the old hag; a hen on the roost crowed discord­antly, and a little mouse poked its head out of a hole and squeaked loudly. The old woman, noticing this, gave a queer kind of laugh, so grating in its sound that Lachlan turned quickly round and stared at her; but she met his gaze sharply, and with a pecu­liarity of expression which Lachlan felt, without knowing why, to be very unpleasant.

'Old grannie,' said he, 'will you take something?'

'No,' she gruffly replied.

'There's a little left of the bread and fish I had for supper,' said Lachlan.

'I always have plenty of fish,' answered she, sharply.

'Perhaps you like flesh better, then?'

'Yes,' she replied, in the same uncivil manner, while a strange, sneering smile flickered round her lips.

'Will you have anything to drink, then?' con­tinued Lachlan.

'No,' abruptly answered the carlin.

'What! woman; nothing to eat or drink! Then I suppose you have had your supper; but it must have been with the fairies, for I warrant you could have got none elsewhere between this and Beinn­ard, and that is a good many miles off.'

'Perhaps,' muttered the old hag.

'Perhaps what, cailleach?' questioned Lachlan; and, after a pause, finding she gave no answer, 'Perhaps! I am afraid, you will catch cold, unless you throw off those wet clothes; and though I have no woman's gear, you can have my great-coat, and I can spare you a blanket besides.'

'I need none of your coats or blankets,' answered the crone, in the same ungracious tones as before, 'for water can never hurt me.'

'Leeze me on the hag,' muttered Lachlan, to him­self, 'but she is easily maintained at any rate, and yet I would rather have a more expensive and social guest.'

The fire burned down, and Lachlan, as he occa­sionally glanced at the old cailleach, sitting on the opposite side of the hearth, could not help thinking that there was something altogether repulsive, if not uncanny, about her. There was a strange restlessness in her manner; her hard, dark eyes seemed to look everywhere and nowhere at the same time; while she sat rocking backwards and forwards over the ashes, and her long, crooked fingers twitched about her dun cloak in an odd and unpleasant man­ner. Lachlan threw another peat on the fire, and, by the reviving light, he thought the carlin's eye had acquired a wilder and sterner expression, while a grim smile played round the corners of her ugly mouth. He rubbed his eyes and looked again, she seemed to have really grown larger in stature and more erect since he first saw her. Rousing himself, he kicked off his boots, lay down on his bed, which was only a few steps from the fire, and settled himself down to repose for the night.

Lachlan, however, could not sleep, and turned from one side to another, courting in vain the drowsy god. Glancing at his unwelcome visitor, he saw, with a feeling akin to dread, the old crea­ture sitting more and more erect; and, rubbing his eyes, as if he felt that he was under the influence of a dream, he was exceedingly startled to find that it was no delusion, but that she was really growing, as it were, rapidly larger and sterner, under his very eyes. 'Hout! carlin,' he exclaimed, raising himself on his elbow, 'you are waxing large.'

To which she replied in a hollow voice, 'Umph, umph; omhagraich, 's mi 'g eiridh ris a bhlath's' (Itomies and atomies—expanding to the warmth!)

Getting very drowsy, Lachlan again lay down to sleep, but presently was disturbed by a mouse coming out of a hole in the wall, and running squeaking into and across his bed, almost touching his chin. He again raised himself on his elbow, was struck with the increased proportions of the strange hag, and again exclaimed, 'Hout, Carlin! you are getting larger!'

She again replied, but in a louder and harsher tone than before, 'Umph, umph; omhagraich, 's mi 'g eiridh ris a bhlath's' (Itomies and atomies—expand­ing to the warmth!)

The fire was now nearly out, the light growing gradually less, and Lachlan became more and more sleepy. At length he began to snore gently, when all at once a spark flew out of the fire and alighted smartingly on his face. Irritated by the stinging sensation, he started, opened his eyes, and be­came thoroughly roused by again hearing the old hen on the cross beam above him giving a most dis­cordant crow, though the cock uttered not a sound. He sat upright in his bed, and, in the gloom, dimly saw the strange figure extended to fearfully gigan­tic proportions, while her eyes no longer retained a. trace of human expression, but glared upon him with preternatural brilliance and malignity.

It was now with a feeling as if his blood were ice, as if his flesh had been turned into creeping and crawling things, and as if his hair all stood on end, that Lachlan, in a tone which fear rendered nearly inaudible, said for the third time, 'Indeed and in­deed, carlin, but you have waxed very large!'

'Umph, umph; omhagraich, 's mi 'g eiridh ris a bhlath's' (Itomies and atomies—expanding to the warmth!) shrieked the demon in a voice so terrible that it actually frightened the very ravens in the neighbouring rocks, who flew croaking away. 'Umph, umph; omhagraich 's mi 'g eiridh ris a bhlath's' (Itomies and atomies—expanding to the warmth); and the fearful creature stood erect. She gave a horrible laugh, a snort, and a neigh of terrific sound, while her features underwent a still more appalling change. The dark-grey locks that had peeped from under her red hood, now waved a snaky mane. On the forehead of the monster was a star-like mark of bright scarlet, quivering like burning fire; the nostrils breathed, as it were, flame, whilst the eyes flashed on poor Lachlan like lightning.

His knees smote together with terror, he saw that his hour was come, and that the fearful creature, the idea of whose existence he had laughed to scorn, now stood before him. He felt that at last he did indeed behold the each uisg.

Quicker than thought Lachlan had found himself snatched up in the jaws of the monster. The door flew open of itself, and at one bound the steed of Ifrinn was on the top of the dizzy precipice—the Raven's Peak. At another he dashed down the torrent fall of Rowan Linn. The cold spray of the cascade falling on his face, now for the first time recalled Lachlan to consciousness; and as the demon gave one gigantic rear, previous to that spring which would have engulphed him and his victim in the unfathomable depths of Loch-Dorch, Lachlan remembered and pronounced aloud the Name of names that was engraved on the breast-plate of the High Priest of Israel. The shrill clarion of the cock was now heard, the demon lost all further power over his victim, and letting him drop with a mighty shudder and a neighing yell, instantly plunged into the loch, the waters of which, for a long time after, boiled and bubbled as if it were a gigantic hunts­man's kettle of the kind in which he dresseth the haunch of the red-deer in the corrie.

Some people passing that way early in the morning found Lachlan, bruised and insensible, on a shelf of the rock, at the bottom of the Raven's Peak, at the very edge of the water. They tried to rouse him, and after a short time he opened his eyes, sat up, and said, 'Where am I?' and recollecting every­thing that had passed, he at once exclaimed, in broken accents, 'Blessed be His name, safe, safe!'

They carried him to Clachan-nan-cno, where he lived for many years, a wiser and a better man, but he never again heard the each uisg mentioned without devoutly expressing the Name that saved him, and no wonder that neither he, nor any one else, has ventured ever since to sleep a night in the cottage near Rowan Linn.

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Friday, December 21, 2007

New Giraffes?

A study of "cryptic species," which look similar phenotypically, but carry different genetic lineages, suggests there may be up to six different species of giraffes in Africa, which have very little interbreeding. (News source.)

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

More on the Clemson University Feline

The Clemson University mystery cat is now described as a large black feline reaching about 24 inches in height. (Though, with witness exaggeration, could be much smaller.) Still no sightings by reliable witnesses who actually know how to distinguish cat species. Doesn't sound anything like a cougar, and of course the designation "black panther" is useless from a biological standpoint. Nothing at all to distinguish it from a large domestic cat. (News source.)

"The most recent report was filed Sunday after a Spanish language professor headed to her office to catch up on some work just after noon.
"While making her way from the parking lot to Daniel Hall, Maureen Zamora said she spotted a panther walking slowly between two university buildings.
"Zamora — who said it was larger than any house cat she’d ever seen — scampered back to the safety of her car.
"'The animal was walking really slow and relaxed, like it was taking a stroll,' she said. 'I didn’t take time to figure out what the animal wanted. I just got out.'
"A police incident report said the animal was up to 24 inches at the shoulder, which would be about the size of a small cougar. Link said police were told the sighting occurred about 100 feet from Zamora. A university officer later saw a black feral cat in the area."

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Giant La Palma Lizard Rediscovered

The thought-extinct giant lizard of La Palma, Gallotia auaritae, may still be around. A 300+ mm lizard was found by José Antonio Mateo, from the species recovery center on La Gomera. (These are in the Canary Islands.) A search is planned to hunt for more of the lizards. (News source.)

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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Misc. Feline News

A Clemson University employee reported seeing a "panther or cougar" this past weekend. (News source.)

Vermont confirmed their first lynx in 40 years, when a Derby farmer shot it to protect his farm animals. (News source.)

Despite numerous sightings, Iowa DNR says cougar are rare there. (News source.)

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Two New Small Mammals

From Indonesia's Foja Mountains come two more probable new species, both within known genera: a pygmy possum (Cercartetus) and a giant rat (Mallomys). (News source.)

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Sunday, December 16, 2007

Alleged Red Wolf Probably a Hybrid

A woman in Collier County, Florida, photographed a canine that has lead to talk of a red wolf. USFWS thinks it probably isn't, due to certain morphological characteristics. (News source.)

"For one, the animal looks 'heavy in the belly' compared to the more compact red wolf.

"Secondly, a round color pattern on its face gives away its probable status as a wolf-dog hybrid or maybe, judging from its pointy noise, with a little coyote thrown in," ...

"Another clue: the animal’s repeated appearance within camera lens range hints at past exposure to people."


Some history is given:

"Red wolves were declared extinct in the wild in 1980, but by 1987, enough red wolves had been born in captivity to release wolves into the Alligator River refuge. Between 100 and 140 red wolves live in northeast North Carolina today" ...

"Besides that, two packs of red wolves have been let loose on islands off the Florida Panhandle and South Carolina to prevent them from breeding with coyotes or wild dogs. Their offspring supplements the North Carolina population."


And while giving various sides of the controversy, the irrational skeptic is quoted:

"Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission biologist Darrell Land, who leads the agency’s Florida panther program, is equally skeptical.

"For a red wolf to suddenly show its face in Collier County defies reason, he said.
"'There’s just no way it could be a red wolf,' Land said. 'To me that’s a no-brainer. I don’t care what it looks like picture-wise."


Right. It's one thing to critically examine the evidence and point to better alternative explanations. Just from a rational and objective scientific perspective, where unusual occurrences happen with reasonable if unexpected explanations, this statement is just plain dumb.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More on Ontario "Black Cougar"

A London, Ontario, building manager and three residents claim to have seen a "full-grown, black cougar." He photographed the prints, which apparently measured 2.5 inches, not really full size for a cougar track. No photos of the track on the news site. Really, nothing to indicate from the sighting account that this wasn't a large domestic cat.

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Endangered Trees in India

45 species of trees in India have been placed on the "critically endangered" list by IUCN. (News source.)

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Friday, December 14, 2007

Nat Geo Top Pics

National Geographic News posted their top 10 images for 2007, most of which relate to unusual species.

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More on Sumatran Rhinos

Here's an article with a little more info on Sumatran rhinos being found in Sabah, Malaysia.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Height and Death

Here's a SciAm article discussing the link between pygmies' heights (including that of H. floresiensis) and shorter life expectancies.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Australian Strange Animal Sighting

A Freshwater Creek, Australia, farmer saw an unusual animal he wasn't able to identify. "It had a dirty grey coat with white stripes on its rib area," and "was about 1m tall with a small head, long legs and a slim build. He said the tail was upright and hairless, unlike anything he had seen before." Another individual also saw it in the area. A mangey fox has been suggested as the culprit. (News source.)

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Shark vs Kangaroo

A Geelong, Australia, man says he watched a kangaroo hop down to the beach and start swimming. About 80 meters from shore, the animal was struck by a 2-3m shark that leaped out of the water and struck it, pulling it under. No pics, unfortunately. (News source.)

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Monday, December 10, 2007

Rare Jerboa Filmed

An expedition to the Gobi desert has brought back what is probably the first video of the endangered long-eared jerboa, Euchoreutes naso. (News source.)

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Saturday, December 08, 2007

Download for Giant Spitting Cobra Description

You can download a pdf of the paper describing the new species of giant spitting cobra noted previously here.

Get an eyeful of this: a new species of giant spitting cobra from eastern and
north-eastern Africa (Squamata: Serpentes: Elapidae: Naja)
WOLFGANG WÜSTER & DONALD G. BROADLEY
Zootaxa 1532: 51–68 (2007)

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Friday, December 07, 2007

New Giant Spitting Cobra

A new species of "giant" spitting cobra was described from Kenya. Naja ashei reaches almost nine feet in length. The late James Ashe, founder of the Bio-Ken snake farm, first caught the snake in the 1960s, and suggested it was a new species. (News source.)

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Sea Eagle Shot

One of the 15 white-tailed eagles reintroduced into Scotland appears to have been deliberately shot. Investigations are ongoing. (News source.)

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Panda Outbreak

A parasitic disease has dramatically risen in wild populations of the giant panda. As the panda population density grows, it creates a situation where a new disease could be particularly devastating. (News source.)

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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Species Survey in Ghana

A 2006 expedition report to the Atewa Range Forest Reserve in Ghana has been released by Conservation International’s Rapid Assessment Program. (News source.)

"The RAP discoveries include a Critically Endangered frog species (Conraua derooi) whose presence in Atewa may represent the last viable population in the world; an unusually high 22 species of large mammals and six species of primates including two species of global conservation concern: Geoffroy’s pied colobus (Colobus vellerosus) and the olive colobus (Procolobus verus); 17 rare butterfly species; six bird species of global conservation concern including the brown-cheeked hornbill (Bycanistes cylindricus) and the Nimba flycatcher (Melaenornis annamarulae)(first time recorded in Ghana); and nine species new to science: a spider tick whose lineage is as old as the dinosaurs and eight species of katydids."

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gorillas Throwing Sticks

Interesting point regarding the Cross River gorillas, and their behavior towards humans:

"In the wake of a study that documented for the first time the use of weaponry by Cross River gorillas to ward off threats by humans, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced today new field surveys to better protect this most endangered great ape.
"The study, published earlier this year in the Journal of Primatology, found several instances of gorillas throwing sticks and clumps of grass when threatened by people. Gorillas usually flee and rarely charge when encountered by humans.
"Cross River gorillas are restricted to Nigeria and Cameroon. They number only around 300 individuals, making them the most endangered of the four gorilla sub-species." (Eurekalert)

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Cryptofiction on Kindle

I've been fooling around with the new Kindle ebook format that Amazon is now pushing. I've put up three anthologies of classic cryptofiction, two relating to cryptozoology, and one on cryptobotanical stories. Details here. I haven't decided whether to bother putting some of the larger nonfiction works out in Kindle editions, as I don't know that there's going to be a real market there, but it's a possibility.

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California Snake Identified

The "15-foot" mystery snake in Stockton, CA, has been identified as a 6-foot boa, from a shed skin found in the area. (News source.)

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Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Elephant Missing

Raja Gaj, the world's largest Asian elephant, has been missing in Nepal's Royal Bardia National Park for a year. There are concerns poachers may have killed him. (News source.)

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Chinese Gov't and the Tiger Photo

Chinese officials are going to continue their search for South China tigers despite evidence that the photo recently publicized is a fake. Looks like they may be planning to create a tourist draw in the area. (News source.)

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Cop Nabs Kangaroo

A Lewisville, TX, police officer managed to grab a young kangaroo that had wandered from its home. (News source.)

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Soft Tissue Dinosaur Found

A hadrosaur fossil discovered in North Dakota may be the best preserved of any "mummified" dinosaur ever found. (News source.)

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Sherpa Suggests Bear

Ang Tshering Sherpa, president of the Nepal Mountaineering Association, suggests that the publicized "yeti" prints discovered by Destination Truth may be bear tracks. (News source.)

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Sunday, December 02, 2007

Sumatran Rhino Photographed

A Sumatran rhino was captured by a camera trap in peninsular Malaysia, the first time in more than a decade. From the news:

"The report did not reveal where the rhino was snapped, but said the photo was taken in a wildlife corridor targeted by the Wildlife and National Parks Department which also spotted elephants, sun bears and the bison-like gaur."

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

Cougar in South Carolina?

Big feline sightings coming from South Carolina:

"When Dee Field read in the newspaper that at least two Clemson University security officers saw an animal on campus that was described as a panther or cougar she thought that it could have been the same animal she saw bound across her back yard." ...
"Ms. Field said before she and her husband David left for Maine in late May, they were sitting on their deck, which overlooks a gentle sloping back yard leading to a large wooded area in Heritage Oaks.
"'It was huge,' Ms. Field said. 'It weighed at least 70 pounds and came across our property. I know what I saw. I had such a great look at it. It was right beneath me. I saw the full length. It had the longest tail. It was as long as its body.'"

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New Ebola Virus

The CDC has identified a new strain of Ebola, from western Uganda. This is the fifth known strain. (News source)

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