Australia is known around the world for its large and deadly creepy crawlies, but even locals have been shocked by the size of the giant venomous spiders that have invaded an Outback town in Queensland.” (Five Things – Salon.com).
Grazing and resting cattle and deer orient themselves toward magnetic north, according to analysis of satellite images. This has apparently never been noticed by herdsmen or hunters, the researchers say. via PNAS.
Now, as to why in the world this might be…
“Although fossil reconstructions or pictorial representations can sometimes be difficult to connect with, it’s impossible to ignore the experience of seeing a photograph of an animal on the brink of extinction.
Thus, what follows is a list of 11 extinct animals that were photographed while still alive…
The current rate of extinction is 100 to 1000 times higher than the average, or background rate, making our current period the 6th major mass extinction in the planet’s history.” via EcoWorldly.
- Strangest Beasts to Ever Die (neatorama.com)
“A bat that was clinging to space shuttle Discovery’s external fuel tank during the countdown to launch the STS-119 mission remained with the spacecraft as it cleared the tower, analysts at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center concluded.
Based on images and video, a wildlife expert who provides support to the center said the small creature was a free tail bat that likely had a broken left wing and some problem with its right shoulder or wrist. The animal likely perished quickly during Discovery’s climb into orbit.” via NASA.
“A hatchling of a rare reptile with lineage dating back to the dinosaur age has been found in the wild on the New Zealand mainland for the first time in about 200 years, a wildlife official said Thursday.
The baby tuatara was discovered by staff during routine maintenance work at the Karori Wildlife Sanctuary in the capital, Wellington, conservation manager Raewyn Empson said.
”We are all absolutely thrilled with this discovery,” Empson said. ”It means we have successfully re-established a breeding population back on the mainland, which is a massive breakthrough for New Zealand conservation.”
Tuatara, which measure up to 32 inches 80 cm when full grown, are the last descendants of a lizard-like reptile species that walked the Earth with the dinosaurs 225 million years ago, zoologists say.
There are estimated to be about 50,000 of them living in the wild on 32 small offshore islands cleared of predators, but this is the first time a hatchling has been seen on the mainland in about 200 years.”
(New York Times )