Paws for thought

  Blue whales return to South Georgia

The resurgence of the blue whale populations around South Georgia has been suggested by a sighting of 58 individuals at the former epicentre of commercial whaling and was described by scientists as ‘astonishing’. At its peak, the industry in South Georgia was hunting 3’000 blue whales a year, with the global blue whale population yet to return to historic numbers.

            Genetic secrets of birds

A global DNA study containing the genomes of 363 bird species, accounting for more than 92% of bird families, has been undertaken. So far, the list contains species from almost every branch of the bird family tree. The study has already revealed the genes for many major features of birds including bright feathers, body sizes and flight speeds.

            Man’s oldest BFF, DNA proves

A study into dog DNA has shown that the domestication of dogs can be traced back around 11,000 years, to the end of the last Ice Age. This study has confirmed that dogs were the first animal to be domesticated as companions by humans. Traces of ancient indigenous dog breeds persist all over the Americas, Asia, Africa and Oceania.

            Newly discovered primate, already endangered

The Popa langur is a newly discovered monkey, named after its home on Mount Popa in the remote forests of Myanmar. Scientists have long suspected that there has been a new species in Myanmar based on DNA, but other evidence of the monkeys was hard to find. However, it has been confirmed that there are only around 200 individuals left in the wild.

            Shellebrations as record number of turtles born

Record numbers of olive ridley sea turtles have been born on a beach in northern Mexico. The indigenous Seri community in the Sonora province of Mexico have reported releasing 2,250 turtles into the ocean this year. Compared to the usual 500 released every year, these numbers are s-turtling. It is believed that this is due to reduced human activity due to the coronavirus pandemic.


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Olivia Johnson

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October 2021
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