In sport, major tournaments frequently create legends, turning figures who were previously unknowns into global heroes. The 2010 World Cup in South Africa proved no different, though the superstar in question was not in Spain’s victorious 23-man squad; in fact he didn’t even play on the hallowed turf of Soccer City. “Paul the Octopus”, from his home at the Oberhausen Sea Life Centre in west Germany, became a phenomenon during the soccer tournament with his seemingly pscyhic ability to predict the outcome of matches, and on Tuesday the famous cephalopod died of natural causes. The eight-legged sea creature captured the world’s imagination when — by selecting food from boxes representing either team in question — Paul correctly predicted not just the outcome of his native Germany’s matches but also the overall winner. It began with his pick that Germany would beat Australia, a match in which the Germans were strong favorites. His second selection was far more controversial, predicting Serbia to defeat Joachim Loew’s team, which they duly did. Moving on to Die Mannschaft’s final group-phase match, he foresaw their victory over Ghana before correctly backing Germany to overcome England in the last sixteen. It was the same story for […]
- Animal News
A 25-year-old killer whale unexpectedly died at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida, the park said in a statement Tuesday. The whale, named Kalina, died Monday evening after a sudden illness, according to the statement. The cause of death will be determined by a necropsy, the park said, adding that the results could take up to six weeks. The park said Kalina “showed no signs of illness as recently as Friday” and had a normal appetite Sunday. “She began exhibiting signs of discomfort Monday afternoon and died suddenly in the evening,” the statement said. Kalina is the third adult whale to die at one of SeaWorld’s three locations in four months. In September, 12-year-old male killer whale Sumar died suddenly at the San Diego park, and 20-year-old Taima died while giving birth to a stillborn calf at the Orlando park in June. The average life expectancy for male killer whales in the wild is about 30 years, while females generally live about 50 years. The average life span in captivity is significantly less.
pzelz heard about an 80-foot Blue whale being beached at Bean Hollow Beach in northern California and went to go see it firsthand. ‘The sheer size of this thing was overwhelming. The opportunity to get that close to an animal that large was remarkable,’ he said. State park rangers and naturalists told him that the pregnant whale had likely been hit by a ship
Six months from the start of the BP oil spill and we now know the answer to the question of how badly the spill would hurt spawning bluefin tuna. New satellite data from the European Space Agency shows 20% of juvenile bluefin tuna killed by oil. Which is pretty significant since Atlantic bluefin have declined over 80% in the past 30 years, and at current fishing rates the critically endangered fish will be extinct by 2012. Things could have been much worse though. The ESA analysis shows that the main spawning hotspot for bluefin to the west of the spill area was unaffected by pollution. When bluefin tuna breed, females release eggs into the water and males following behind fertilize them. After hatching the larvae begin searching for food near the surface of the water. Which in the case of the BP oil spill meant they came into contact will the oil, which killed them. International Ban on Bluefin Needed for Recovery Which is true, but to give the Atlantic bluefin tuna any chance of recovery an international ban on trade in the species is what is required. Such a ban was rejected at the last CITES meeting, with pressure […]
The number of animals in Uganda’s national parks and game reserves has soared over the past decade, the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) says. The latest figures show that the population of some species has doubled since 1999, spokeswoman Lillian Nsubuga said. Wildlife had benefited from improved monitoring and the expulsion of rebels from the country, she added. The animals on the rise include buffalos, giraffes and elephants. New statistics show that the population with the biggest increase is that of the Impala, a grazing antelope. The number of Impala in Uganda has surged to more than 35,000, from around 1,600 at the time of the last census in 1999. Hippopotamuses, waterbucks, and zebras are also on the increase. Ms Nsubuga said the UWA had been able to reduce poaching by improving the monitoring of national parks and reserves and by offering incentives to local communities to protect wildlife. Since the expulsion of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) from northern Uganda, wildlife officials have also been able to limit poaching in Murchison Falls National Park. “We can’t say that poaching is no longer a problem, but we have been able to reduce it”, Ms Nsubuga said.