Robber fly - Nature photographer Thomas Shahan specializes in amazing portraits of tiny insects. It isn't easy. Shahan says that this Robber Fly (Holcocephala fusca), for instance, is "skittish" and doesn't like its picture taken.

Eye-popping bug photos

Nature by Numbers (Video)

"The Greater Akashic System" – July 15, 2012 (Kryon Channelling by Lee Caroll) (Subjects: Lightworkers, Intent, To meet God, Past lives, Universe/Galaxy, Earth, Pleiadians, Souls Reincarnate, Invention: Measure Quantum state in 3D, Recalibrates, Multi-Dimensional/Divine, Akashic System to change to new system, Before religion changed the system, DNA, Old system react to Karma, New system react to intent now for next life, Animals (around humans) reincarnate again, This Animal want to come back to the same human, Akashic Inheritance, Reincarnate as Family, Other Planets, Global Unity … etc.)

Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle

Dian Fossey's birthday celebrated with a Google doodle
American zoologist played by Sigourney Weaver in the film Gorillas in the Mist would have been 82 on Thursday (16 January 2014)

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Caveman's best friends? Preserved Ice Age puppies awe scientists

Yahoo – AFP, Maria Antonova, 28 March 2016

A scientist performs an autopsy of the remains of a puppy, which died 12,460 
years ago and was discovered in Russia's northern Yakutia, at the North-Eastern 
Federal University in Yakutsk (AFP Photo)

Moscow (AFP) - The hunters searching for mammoth tusks were drawn to the steep riverbank by a deposit of ancient bones. To their astonishment, they discovered an Ice Age puppy's snout peeking out from the permafrost.

Five years later, a pair of puppies perfectly preserved in Russia's far northeast region of Yakutia and dating back 12,460 years has mobilised scientists across the world.

"To find a carnivorous mammal intact with skin, fur and internal organs -- this has never happened before in history," said Sergei Fyodorov, head of exhibitions at the Mammoth Museum of the North-Eastern Federal University in the regional capital of Yakutsk.

The discovery of 12,460-year-old puppies
 in Russia could contribute to the lively
 scientific debate over the origin of 
domesticated dogs (AFP Photo)
And the discovery could contribute to the lively scientific debate over the origin of domesticated dogs.

When the hunters stumbled on the first frozen pup in 2011, they alerted Fyodorov who immediately flew out to the remote Arctic tundra, about 4,700 kilometres (2,900 miles) from Moscow and only 130 kilometres from the Laptev Sea, which borders the Arctic Ocean.

Last year he returned for a more thorough look and found the second puppy close to the same spot, farther down the slope. Both had died when they were about three months old.

They most likely come from the same litter, said Fyodorov.

Last week he oversaw the removal of the second puppy's remarkably well-preserved brain -- "the first in the world", he said.

"Puppies are very rare, because they have thin bones and delicate skulls," he said.

The duo have been named the Tumat Dog, after the nearest village to the site.

Fyodorov said a preliminary look at the mammoth remains also found at the dig suggested some had been butchered and burned, hinting at the presence of humans. It remains to be seen, however, whether the puppies were domesticated or wild.

The answer can only be determined by reconstructing their genomes, which would take at least a year.

Grass-eating dogs?

"Thus far, the lineages of wolves that likely gave rise to dogs have not yet been discovered and it's possible that these puppies could be on that lineage, which would be very exciting," said evolutionary biologist Greger Larson of University of Oxford, one of the scientists behind a collaborative project aimed at finding out when and where dogs became the first domesticated animals.

Scientists from the Mammoth Museum of the North-Eastern Federal University
 extract the brain of a puppy, which died 12,460 years ago and was discovered in
Russia's northern Yakutia (AFP Photo)

What makes the dog particularly intriguing is that it managed to become "man's best friend" even before humans became settled farmers.

It is still unclear whether dogs were domesticated in one place or in several places independently, and whether the process started when humans took in cubs or whether wolves themselves gradually drifted to human sites in search of food.

Whatever their precise lineage, the Tumat pups will keep Fyodorov and other scientists busy for some time.

The second puppy's preserved brain will be compared with that of modern dogs and wolves. Parasites found on its body will be analysed, as will the contents of its stomach, which Fyodorov is particularly excited about.

"When we opened it, we were very surprised. The second puppy's stomach is mostly full of twigs and grass," he said, wondering if perhaps the animals were not exclusively carnivorous or whether they started eating grass after they were trapped by a mudslide and began to starve.

"This material is really exceptional and unique," said Mietje Germonpre, a palaeontologist from the Royal Belgian Institute who partnered up with Fyodorov on the project and came to Yakutsk to oversee the autopsy of the second puppy earlier this month.

"The fact that soft tissue is preserved will give much more information compared to information that can be obtained from 'normal' fossils," she said, meaning bones and teeth.

Graphic on the origins of the domestic dog (AFP Photo/Adrian LEUNG, John SAEKI)

Permafrost secrets

Fyodorov lamented the long time it takes to get ancient biological material to suitable labs due to financial constraints, the rugged terrain and red tape which sometimes means that samples reach laboratories only six months later.

"Everyone understands that the tissue of mammoth fauna loses its structure with every passing second, even in the freezer," he said.

Yakutia's melting permafrost is likely to yield up even more treasures in the coming years, he added, saying the number of reported prehistoric finds has grown "severalfold" in the last decade.

Warm and wet weather and flash floods have been a big contributor to the thaw, he said.

"Right now it's 0 degrees (Celsius) here. That should not be the case in March."

As better transport and technology becomes affordable, he said, locals are embarking on expeditions to more and more remote corners of Siberia to look for the precious and lucrative mammoth tusks, which can sell for tens of thousands of dollars and are increasingly prized by Chinese carvers given trade bans on elephant ivory.

In Russia, indigenous tribes are allowed to hunt for ancient remains on their ancestral lands.

"Our land is locked in by permafrost, but little by little it is revealing its secrets," Fyodorov said.

Related Article:


Friday, March 25, 2016

Czech cat cafe boom pairs soothing strokes with java jolts

Yahoo – AFP, Jan Flemr, 24 March 2016

Already popular in Japan, Taiwan, parts of Asia and Europe, cat cafes are
booming in the Czech Republic (AFP Photo/Michal Cizek)

Prague (AFP) - Nox sniffs curiously at a cup of creamy Vienna coffee and a plate of chocolate cake, then leaps off the table into the lap of a young woman, an afternoon visitor to Prague's oldest cat cafe.

The jet-black cat is one of eight that Kockafe ("kocka" being Czech for "cat") has acquired from a Prague animal shelter to help its customers feel cosy and relaxed.

A cat sits on a perch at the cat cafe
 Kocicí Kavarna in Prague (AFP Photo/
Michal Cizek)
"Cats radiate calm and purring is very pleasant, people simply like it," says Jana Parizkova, a 25-year-old tourist guide who opened the cafe in the Czech capital along with her mother and sister.

"Cats bring people together -- guests who don't know each other have something to talk about, which is great," she tells AFP, surrounded by cats leaping on the bar or resting by the window.

Already popular in Japan, Taiwan, and other parts of Asia and Europe, cat cafes are booming across the Czech Republic, with a dozen having popped up since the summer of 2014.

"My wife and I opened the cafe a year ago. We had seven cats at home and now we have nine here," says 45-year-old Ivan Herak, a former manager, who runs one of the four cat cafes in tourist-magnet Prague.

Unlike Parizkova, Herak relies on British marbled cats, which he breeds himself.

About 80 percent of the people who come
 to the cafe already have cats of their own
at home (AFP Photo/Michal Cizek)
"I need cats that like being caressed, that aren't afraid of people, while cats from a shelter are often easily frightened," Herak says, stroking a big tomcat with a bell on his collar and calling him "Darling".

'You don't gulp down coffee'

At the Kockafe, Parizkova has taken several stray cats off the street, including a kitten she found outside her cafe on the day it opened, and allows guests to adopt its felines.

"A cafe isn't an ideal place for a cat -- that's why we have cats from a shelter, their experience is so terrible that they find the cafe OK," she says with a smile.

But she admits it is difficult to find cats suitable for cafe life. The felines must be "completely relaxed and composed in order to handle the bustle here."

Among the Kockafe's customers, Karolina Brabcova has taken a kitten home, while her friend Lucie Kubrova, a student, already has a cat but still frequents the cafe to soak up its unique atmosphere.

"Cats make it far more pleasant -- you don't just gulp down your cup of coffee and leave; instead, you sit, play with the cats and spend more time here," Kubrova says over a plateful of pizza, graciously ignored by Nox and his peers.

Some of Prague's cat cafes get their cats from shelters, while others breed
the felines (AFP Photo/Michal Cizek)

Herak says about 80 percent of the people who come to his cafe already have cats of their own at home.

"They are cat lovers, they know the cats will be on the table and curious about their plates, so to speak, but they don't mind."

But he adds some clients find the idea of pairing coffee and cats unappealing.

"When we opened the cafe, a lady in her sixties came over and asked if we really sold meals made from cat meat. That, you've got to admit, was shocking."


More than 140 cats occupy the tiny island of Aoshima in southern Japan (AFP
Photo/Kazuyuki Ono)

Related Articles:



Question: Dear Kryon: I live in Spain. I am sorry if I will ask you a question you might have already answered, but the translations of your books are very slow and I might not have gathered all information you have already given. I am quite concerned about abandoned animals. It seems that many people buy animals for their children and as soon as they grow, they set them out somewhere. Recently I had the occasion to see a small kitten in the middle of the street. I did not immediately react, since I could have stopped and taken it, without getting out of the car. So, I went on and at the first occasion I could turn, I went back to see if I could take the kitten, but it was to late, somebody had already killed it. This happened some month ago, but I still feel very sorry for that kitten. I just would like to know, what kind of entity are these animals and how does this fit in our world. Are these entities which choose this kind of life, like we do choose our kind of Human life? I see so many abandoned animals and every time I see one, my heart aches... I would like to know more about them.

Answer: Dear one, indeed the answer has been given, but let us give it again so you all understand. Animals are here on earth for three (3) reasons.

(1) The balance of biological life. . . the circle of energy that is needed for you to exist in what you call "nature."

(2) To be harvested. Yes, it's true. Many exist for your sustenance, and this is appropriate. It is a harmony between Human and animal, and always has. Remember the buffalo that willingly came into the indigenous tribes to be sacrificed when called? These are stories that you should examine again. The inappropriateness of today's culture is how these precious creatures are treated. Did you know that if there was an honoring ceremony at their death, they would nourish you better? Did you know that there is ceremony that could benefit all of humanity in this way. Perhaps it's time you saw it.

(3) To be loved and to love. For many cultures, animals serve as surrogate children, loved and taken care of. It gives Humans a chance to show compassion when they need it, and to have unconditional love when they need it. This is extremely important to many, and provides balance and centering for many.

Do animals know all this? At a basic level, they do. Not in the way you "know," but in a cellular awareness they understand that they are here in service to planet earth. If you honor them in all three instances, then balance will be the result. Your feelings about their treatment is important. Temper your reactions with the spiritual logic of their appropriateness and their service to humanity. Honor them in all three cases.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Matthew message (Channelled by Suzanne Ward, March 20, 2016)

Matthew Ward - March 20, 2016

Matthew Ward
With loving greetings from all souls at this station, this is Matthew. A great deal is happening energetically in your world as ever-increasing vibratory rates are rapidly separating wheat from chaff, so to say. Typically, Illuminati-controlled mainstream media are spreading the chaff via selective and distorted coverage of “the news.” Although their former ability to publicize only what they wanted you to know has been considerably weakened by the speed of social media and Internet-disseminated videos and articles, be keenly discerning about information from all sources, including the Internet.

To counter the truthful information on that outlet, Illuminati minions are using it to ply society with false information to keep fear and confusion front and center on the world stage. Trusting your intuition as to what is truth and what is not lets you “go behind the backdrop” of the play that’s unfolding on stage. Knowing that it ends with Earth’s Golden Age in full bloom lets you observe characters in their karmic roles and not get caught up in the oft-tumultuous drama being played out.

Often we have mentioned another aspect of heightening vibrations, the intensification of characteristics and behavior, and mounting violence has evoked a number of emails similar to this from a reader in Australia, who expressed concern about the emergence of hostile gangs in her country: “Can you ask Matthew why there is now so much violence with the young people.” Many young people around the world feel angry, discouraged, even hopeless about their future. The reasons may include poverty, lack of education and job skills, unemployment, broken families, low status to which society has consigned them, governments that ignore their needs, the state of the whole world, or a mix of those circumstances. The young people whose lives have been thusly negatively affected are acting out their intensified feelings by committing violent acts. How we wish that all of those souls who are so dear to us could know that beneficial changes are coming.

My mother has been inundated with emails about Donald Trump from readers in the United States and other countries. Although we are declining requests to speak about his qualifications to be that country’s president—that is for the citizens to assess—and we don’t know if he will be elected—the voters will decide who their next president is to be—we do want to respond to some of the other questions and comments.

“Is Trump the anti-Christ?” No. Antichrist, like Armageddon, is only a concept, an idea. Nevertheless, for people who believe that those concepts are real, there is an antichrist, Armageddon is coming. However far from factual any idea may be, it is the reality of those individuals who believe it is true. Belief creates reality.

“I am very distressed that Donald Trump has fueled the flames of bigotry and racism in America. What is the enlightened view of all of this?” It is a sad truth that bigotry and racism are alive and well in the United States, with one generation teaching the next generation intolerance of differences—skin color, sexual makeup, ancestry, religion, philosophies, ideologies. Some “intolerant” individuals react to Mr. Trump’s remarks as evidence that they are entitled to scorn and act aggressively toward “different” individuals.The “enlightened view” of souls at this station is that all members of our Earth family are of Creator’s pure love-light essence, and we love all unconditionally even as we fervently wish that every soul in your world were loving, kind and respectful. Someday, dear ones, all will be!

“Do you think Donald Trump is responsible for his supporters’ aggressive behavior at rallies?” Every person is responsible for his or her behavior. No one’s remarks can motivate an individual to act in a manner that goes against the individual’s values, principles and self-respect.

“The violence at Donald Trump’s big rallies is not my image of your country’s democratic political system. What is going on?” Many citizens are angry about conditions that they are blaming on the government and they want the changes Mr. Trump is promising. The energy of anger precludes clear thought and sound judgment, so his supporters don’t question how he will do what he says he will—they want their anger to be given a public forum and he is providing that. The large number of his staunch supporters at the rallies emboldens those who choose to regard his aggressive-type rhetoric as their right to behave in that way toward individuals who express disagreement with him. Our responses to the two pervious questions also apply here.

Citizens of all countries who feel that their governments are ignoring them want to be heard, and a collective voice that long has been ignored sometimes leads to a citizenry in violent revolt. As vibrations continue rising, resorting to violence to obtain justness and fairness will end incrementally. To countries now in foment, stability and calm will come with honest leaders who listen and heed; homelessness and impoverishment will ease and eventually there will be homes and financial sufficiency for everyone in your world. You who know you are lightworkers and the millions who also are serving the light without that understanding are ushering in Earth’s era of peace, love and abundance for all.

“How will ascension affect the Walk-in souls? Will their ‘borrowed’ bodies change or will they return to their own bodies? Some have been told their bodies are ‘in stasis' in their 'home' world and some are aboard the Starship they walked in from and will return to .” This needs a bit of explanation for readers who aren’t familiar with the term “walk-in.” A soul in a spirit world enters into an agreement with a soul that wants to leave its body that is exhausted from dealing with physical and/or emotional conditions. The advantage is the age benefit versus starting as a newborn and spending years growing into adulthood, but picking up a life where another soul left off is not a picnic and “walking-in” is rare; even rarer is a soul making such an agreement with a child because the age advantage is lost. However, during this unique era universally, a number of evolved souls have “walked-in” to assist in your world’s transformation; usually their vibratory levels can heal the bodies and calm the minds so that these individuals are able to carry out the missions they undertook.

When the mission is completed, the soul will decide what to do next: Continue living on Earth until physical death, then enter Nirvana for a full spirit lifetime; vacation in that beauteous spirit world while planning the next lifetime; or return directly to its original homeland or a starship, if that is where it had been living prior to entering the Earth body. We add that all souls have the innate capacity to dematerialize, then rematerialize a body or manifest a new one, but only evolved souls know they have this ability and use it.

“Matthew never seems to address what will happen as ascension progresses with health conditions of lightworkers and even our pets. Is it a matter of seeing yourself whole again?” We thank this reader who reminded us that it is time to revisit and add to what we have said previously about health, but first we say that visualization is a powerful tool indeed, but everyone seeing themselves as “whole again” is not enough to make it so.

We hasten to add that never is a perfect body a requirement for personal ascension; however, reaction to a compromised health status does influence the ascension process. Let us say that a person with a chronic illness chose that experience to learn compassion and patience, which in another lifetime the person lacked with people who were ill or had limited mobility or mental acumen. If the lesson chosen is a lesson learned, there is advancement in conscious and spiritual awareness—the goal of every soul in every lifetime. Conversely, if the person is consumed by self-pity, continuously complains and is demanding of attention, the lesson has to be repeated in another lifetime. As a reminder, what you call “reincarnation” is not the return of a person who lived previously, but rather a “new” soul whose personage is designed for the physical lifetime chosen by the cumulative soul. [This is explained in the February 3, 2014 message. ]

Thank you, Mother, for adding that note. Now then, bodies becoming “whole”—all diseases cured; missing limbs re-grown; healthy new teeth, bones, joints and organs replacing artificial substitutes or mechanical support—will happen individually as a process, not an instantaneous feat. Along with one’s pace of absorbing the light that transforms carbon-based cellular structure into crystalline and belief that those physical transformations are a reality, soul contract choices apply.

It is likely that elderly persons who have any of the aforementioned conditions chose them along with transitioning to spirit life before radiant health and complete natural bodies are commonplace in your world. Soul contract provisions apply equally to youngsters; they may have chosen illness and transition at a young age or to experience the illness or disability and later be healed. As stated in prior messages, pre-birth agreements give opportunities for spiritual growth to all souls sharing the lifetime, and individual contracts are designed accordingly.

The health of lightworkers depends upon the degree to which cellular structure has become sufficiently crystalline to protect immune systems from the toxins in air, soil and water and chemically-laden foods and medications that make bodies susceptible to mental, emotional and physical disorders. However, the root cause of all dis-ease is stress. Stress throws body systems out of balance and attacks the most vulnerable parts, and reducing stress can help to improve health and uplift spirits.

Especially important is the self-restoration that solitude offers. A world at peace begins with individuals’ attaining peace within, and the high vibrations of love, forgiveness, compassion and respect for others begins with the same for Self. Honoring Self also is recognizing and feeling grateful for the goodness in your life and not giving energy to rage, resentment, jealousy, pettiness or apprehension about “what-ifs.” Recreation— re -creation!—is important. Perhaps read, listen to your favorite music, write, do jigsaw or crossword puzzles, needlework, sculpting or any other form of artistic expression; and for more active, outdoor recreation, perhaps jogging, biking, hiking, skating, skiing or swimming.

If you can’t avoid encounters that experience tells you may be unpleasant, go into them calmly, confidently, and be amenable to seeing others’ perspectives. That doesn’t mean foregoing your ideas or principles, but rather presenting a demeanor that can evoke a reasonable discussion instead of a stubborn standoff. Set priorities so that at day’s end, you have the fulfilling feeling of accomplishment. When a day turns out to be a “downer,” think how you can do things differently to achieve more satisfying results the next time, and go to bed with your mind at peace.

It is important to get sufficient sleep, eat nutritional foods, drink a lot of water, exercise body and mind, and spend time with Nature. Whenever you can, walkin a park or forest or along a mountain trail, walk barefooted on a sandy beach or grass, put your hands in the soil when you plant flowers and vegetables. If you can have a pet, adopt one or more from a shelter—the gratitude of animals who live with caring persons brings high vibrations into the home.

Meditation, deep breathing, yoga, aromatherapy and massage also are excellent means of reducing stress. Volunteering in community activities such as hospice, animal shelters, school programs and aid to the homeless uplifts your life as you uplift the lives of others. Smiles and laughter lighten not only your heart, but the hearts of persons with you. Visit friends; go to art galleries, museums, movies, sporting events.

In short, take time to do whatever imparts a sense of worthiness, is relaxing, enjoyable and a respite from daily responsibilities. You have the saying, “Dance as if no one is watching”—yes! Our suggestions are not much different from your healthcare professionals’, but let them be helpful reminders to love self, take care of self. And, remember that God’s emissaries always are with you. Ask for help and it shall be lovingly given—it may not be what you asked for, but it will be what you need.

Your pets are multidimensional souls just as people are. Most of humankind don’t know this about themselves, much less about animals; animals do know, and they know there is no such thing as death. They remember their visits in Nirvana during sleep state and how young, healthy and active they are there. If your pets could tell you what they want, it would be to go there and stay rather than enduring pain and debilitation. When your pets’ quality of life has diminished to that state, please know that they are thankful when you make the heart-wrenching decision to mercifully end their suffering. When your time to transition comes, the energy of the love bond between you and your pets will reunite you.

We honor you, our beloved brothers and sisters, and with unconditional love we accompany you all along your Earth journey.

LOVE and PEACE

Suzanne Ward

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Dog lost at sea off California surfaces alive one month on

Yahoo – AFP, March 17, 2016

This US Navy photo obtained March 17, 2016 shows Luna, an 18-month-old
German shepherd mix, reunited with Conner Lamb, a friend of her owner, at
 Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, after going missing for
five weeks (AFP Photo/MCSN Cynthia Jackson)

Los Angeles (AFP) - The US Navy was surprised this week to find a dog alive and well on an island off California a month after falling off its owner's boat.

Luna, a German shepherd with piercing blue eyes, went overboard in early February while its owner was fishing about a mile off San Clemente island, which is about 80 miles (127 kilometers) from the mainland.

Its owner asked Naval Base Coronado for help in finding the dog, but it was given up for dead after a search lasting several days.

"Fast forward to yesterday," the navy said on the base's Facebook page. "Luna showed up near staff at San Clemente Island -- a little thinner but none the worse for wear."

Luna was turned over to a friend of the owner for safekeeping until he returns from a trip, it said.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Dog lost at sea off California surfaces alive one month on

Yahoo – AFP, 17 March 2016

This US Navy photo obtained March 17, 2016 shows Luna, an 18-month-old
 German shepherd mix, reunited with Conner Lamb, a friend of her owner, at
Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego, California, after going missing for
five weeks (AFP Photo/MCSN Cynthia Jackson)

Los Angeles (AFP) - The US Navy was surprised this week to find a dog alive and well on an island off California a month after falling off its owner's boat.

Luna, a German shepherd with piercing blue eyes, went overboard in early February while its owner was fishing about a mile off San Clemente island, which is about 80 miles (127 kilometers) from the mainland.

Its owner asked Naval Base Coronado for help in finding the dog, but it was given up for dead after a search lasting several days.

"Fast forward to yesterday," the navy said on the base's Facebook page. "Luna showed up near staff at San Clemente Island -- a little thinner but none the worse for wear."

Luna was turned over to a friend of the owner for safekeeping until he returns from a trip, it said.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Sri Lanka arrests two men for torturing sea eagle

Yahoo – AFP, 10 March 2016

Eagles are regarded as a "highly protected" species under Sri Lanka's strict
 conservation laws (AFP Photo/Ted Aljibe)

Sri Lankan police Thursday arrested two men for torturing a sea eagle after pictures on social media showed the endangered bird being skinned alive and its legs cut off.

Police at the beach resort of Habaraduwa, 130 kilometres (80 miles) south of the capital Colombo, made the arrests after a public outcry over the photos which were published on Facebook and in local newspapers.

"Our intelligence unit was able to track down some of the men involved," Habaraduwa police chief Udaya Kumara said by telephone. "We arrested two and we are looking for another three who were in the photos."

Photos showed a group of men watching the bird being skinned by at least one man with a knife, while another filmed the incident on a mobile phone.

Inspector Kumara said the pair were being charged under Sri Lanka's flora and fauna act and could be sentenced to five years in prison if convicted.

Eagles are regarded as a "highly protected" species under the country's strict conservation laws.

The arrests came a day after a magistrate in Colombo remanded a Buddhist monk in custody on a charge of illegally keeping a two-year-old baby elephant at his temple. Elephants are considered sacred in Sri Lanka.

Frog with yellow eyebrows discovered in Colombia

Yahoo – AFP, March 9, 2016

Pristimantis macrummendozai frog was discovered in the Iguaque Merchan
paramos, Colombia's East Andes (AFP Photo)

Bogota (AFP) - A new species of terrestrial frog with yellow eyebrows has been found in Colombia's East Andes, researchers announced.

The Pristimantis macrummendozai was discovered in the Iguaque Merchan paramos, an Alpine ecosystem, north of the town of Arcabuco in the central department of Boyaca, according to the Humboldt Institute, which worked on the study in collaboration with the Environment Ministry.

The discovery "places Colombia among the five most biodiverse countries in the world," said Andres Acosta, curator of the Humboldt Institute's biological collections.

Researchers said on Tuesday the frog has a skin with folds that retain humidity, and that its dark color helps it blend well with the rocky soil of this mountainous region.

"Unlike other species, the Pristimantis macrummendozai reproduces well in the humidity of the paramos region, laying its eggs in the ground," the Humboldt Institute said in a statement.

The frog's front legs have sticky pads similar to velcro that allow the male to keep its grip on the female during reproduction.

The Humboldt Institute noted that with this latest discovery, there are now 10 known species of high-altitude frogs in the East Andes, home to 16 paramos regions such as the Chingaza, Santurban, Almorzadero and Cundinamarca.


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Golden jackal spotted in the Netherlands: is it an escapee?

DutchNews, February 29, 2016

Photo: Alterra 
A golden jackal has been spotted in the Veluwe heathland region of the Netherlands, thousands of kilometres from its natural habitat, researchers at Wageningen University said on Monday. 

The jackal was spotted by chance on a night camera earlier in February and its identity confirmed by experts in Eastern Europe, the university said.

It is unclear if the jackal crossed the border into the Netherlands or, more probably, escaped or was released from a private zoo. The jackals are larger than a fox, with a shoulder height of around 50 centimetres. 

The golden jackal is common in north Africa, the Middle East, southern Asia and the Balkan states but has more recently been spotted in Denmark and near Frankfurt in Germany. The jackal hunts small animals like rabbits as well as reptiles, birds, fruit and waste food. 

The university is keeping the beast’s exact location a secret but researchers are now looking for hair or faeces which can be used to carry out dna research and help establish where it came from.