Volunteering: Slovenia - Morigenos Dolphin Project!!        

Morigenos – marine mammal research and conservation society is seeking applications for:



Research assistants are required to assist with the ongoing long-term research and monitoring programme of the Slovenian Dolphin Project. The project focuses on the study, monitoring and conservation of the local population of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Slovenian and adjacent waters in the north Adriatic Sea since 2002, collecting information on distribution, abundance, social structure, habitat use, fishery interactions and tourism impact.


The research base is located in Portoroz, Slovenia (EU). The fieldwork is carried out in Slovenian and adjacent waters (north Adriatic Sea).


20th June – 1st October 2010

Candidates are expected to committ to the project for a minimum of 1 month, but can also apply for the whole period.


The research assistant will be responsible for assisting the project leaders in all aspects of research and associated tasks. Duties include, but are not limited to:

· daily fieldwork (boat surveys on a 5.7 meter RIB, land-based watches with binoculars and theodolite tracking, photo-identification, behavioural sampling, data recording)

· database entry, database management, data analysis

· boat upkeep and maintenance

· research base upkeep and maintenance

· coordinating teams of participants in Morigenos research camps


This position is unpaid, but accommodation and food are provided. Successful applicants need to cover their own travel costs.



  • A background in biology, veterinary medicine, geography or related sciences
  • Previous experience in cetacean research
  • Nautical licence and experience in handling RIBs
  • Good IT skills (Word, Excell and Access are a must)
  • Ability and willingness to work long hours outdoors, in often hot weather
  • Ability to work well in a small international team
  • Good verbal and written communication skills

The following qualifications are not required, but one or more of the following will be considered an advantage:

  • Good knowledge of GIS
  • Previous experience and knowledge of photo-ID, distance sampling, habitat modelling, theodolite tracking or C-POD use
  • Experience in the use of software packages MARK, SOCPROG or R


Send a letter of interest and a CV, outlining why you are applying, your previous experience and qualifications, why you think you should be considered for the position and your availability in the given period. Include contact details of two references.

Send your application to tilen.genov(at)gmail.com. Please specify 'MORIGENOS RESEARCH ASSISTANT' in your subject title. Deadline: 3rd April 2010.

Applicants will be notified of the outcome by the 13th April 2010.

Morigenos team will be at the ECS conference in Stralsund, where we would be happy to talk to you. When you send your application, please let us know whether you are attending the ECS and we can possibly arrange a meeting.

Tilen Genov

Morigenos - marine mammal research and conservation society

Jarska cesta 36/a

SI-1000 Ljubljana

Slovenia (EU)


          Volunteering: Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Lab!        
The Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Lab at the University of Southern Mississippi offers an internship to college juniors, seniors and recent graduates. There are three available internship periods each year: Spring, Summer, and Fall.

Interns work on research projects being conducted by faculty members and graduate students, and will gain experience in both behavioral and acoustic data collection and analyses. Specific experiences depend on the research projects that are ongoing at the time of the internship.

Summer 2010 Internship: We will be accepting two interns for this internship period. The primary research being conducted at this time involves field abundance surveys and photo-identification of bottlenose dolphins in Mississippi Sound. Applications due March 15th. Anticipated start date is May 1st.

This internship is an unpaid voluntary position, and interns are responsible for arranging their own transportation and housing. Interns are also required to receive college credit for the internship; enrollment may be with The University of Southern Mississippi or an academic institution of their choice.
Students interested in applying for the internship are required to send:

• Complete application form (pdf)
• CV or Résumé
• Letter of intent describing your career goals, reason(s) for wanting the internship, and what you expect to contribute to and gain from the internship
• Unofficial or official copy of your transcripts
• At least two letters of recommendation (preferably from those who can attest to your academic and scientific abilities)
All materials should be sent to:

Internship Coordinator: Courtney Smith
Marine Mammal Behavior and Cognition Internship
Department of Psychology
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Drive, # 5025
Hattiesburg, MS 39406-5025

Materials may arrive separately or together, all materials must be postmarked by the pertinent deadline: Fall - July 1st; Spring - December 1st; Summer - March 15th

Please direct all information requests and related materials to Courtney Smith at kuczaj_laboratory@yahoo.com.



Courtney Smith
MA,PhD Student
Internship Coordinator
Marine Mammal Behavior & Cognition Lab
Experimental Psychology Program
University of Southern Mississippi

          Activities: Marine Mammal course in Belize!        

Ecology, Behavior & Conservation of Marine Mammals, A Unique Field Course in the Drowned Cayes, Belize

DATES: May 26 - June 8, 2010 (inclusive of travel)

Caryn Self-Sullivan, Ph.D., Bruce A. Schulte, Ph.D., Katherine S. LaCommare, M.S.
LOCATION: Spanish Bay Conservation & Research Center at HP Adventure Lodge,
COSTS: $2595 includes, housing, meals, field trips, ground & water transfer fees, research & materials fees; DOES NOT include airfare, books, tips, or credit hours
DEADLINES: Early Registration ($50 Discount) & and Deposit due March 1st, 2010

Want to be a Marine Mammal Biologist? Or a Behavioral Ecologist? Here's your chance to join our research team for two intense weeks of total immersion into the world of Animal Behavior, Antillean manatees, bottlenose dolphins in Belize! You will become totally immersed into island living, the study of ethology (animal behavior) and the biology of manatees and dolphins through lectures and learning activities, literature review, debate, projects, and field research. This unique field course combines an overview of the ecology, behavior, and conservation of sirenians and cetaceans with hands-on manatee & dolphin research in the Drowned Cayes, Belize. You'll spend 3-4 hours on the water each day learning about the environment as we explore a labyrinth of mangrove islands, seagrass beds, and coral patches searching for elusive manatees and charismatic dolphins. You'll collect behavioral and environmental data and learn about photo-id techniques; you'll develop a Fact Sheet or Activity Booklet about a related topic to be published by the Hugh Parkey Foundation for Marine Awareness & Education and/or Sirenian International. Extra-curricular activities include diving or snorkeling at Turneffe Atoll, and exploring an ancient Maya City.

This unique course has a work load equivalent to 4 university credit hours and is divided into 4 major components: lectures and learning activities (~1 hour per day), independent reading and assignments (~2 hour per day), data collection in the field (~4 hours per day), project development (~1 hours per day) and debate/group discussion of reading materials (~1 hours per day).

Want credit towards your degree? No problem! Sign up for independent study with an advisor at your school and pay the appropriate fees. The course has 70 contact hours and is comparable to a 4 credit university course. Just have you advisor contact Dr. Self- Sullivan (cselfsullivan@georgiasouthern.edu) to discuss the requirements for credit. Remember, if you are interested in getting independent study credit for this course at your school, you must make arrangements IN ADVANCE with BOTH your advising faculty and the course instructor. Credit hour fees must be paid directly to your school and you must fulfill any Study Abroad requirements at your school.

COURSE CONTENT OVERVIEW (Lectures & Learning Activities)

- The Order Sirenia: Manatees and Dugongs of the World
- The Order Cetacea: Whales and Dolphins of the World
- The Local Research Project: Manatee & Dolphins of the Drowned Cayes
- Animal Behavior: Ethology and Behavioral Ecology - The Scientific Perspectives
- Ecology - Interactions between Manatees, Dolphins, and their Environment
- Marine Mammals under Human Care in Zoos and Oceanariums
- Marine Mammal Science: Research Design, Data Collection Methods,
- Analysis of Data, and Interpretation of Results
- Marine Mammal Conservation and Advocacy: The Status of Extant Marine Mammal Species


We recommend two books (optional) as primary resources on manatees and dolphins:
- The Florida Manatee: Biology and Conservation, by Roger L. Reep and Robert K. Bonde, University Press of Florida
- The Bottlenose Dolphin: Biology and Conservation, by John E. Reynolds, Samantha D. Eide, and Randall S. Wells, University Press of Florida

A selection of primary literature will be sent to you in electronic format in advance of the course. Students are required to print out these articles and bring them with them to Belize.There is also a library of books and archived journals, including Society of Marine Mammalogy, Animal Behavior, and Conservation Biology journals, in our library onsite in Belize.


The course fee of $2595 includes all transportation, course, field trip, and living expenses from your arrival at the PWG airport in Belize on May 26th to your departure on June 8th. You are responsible for tips, insurance, and round-trip airfare to Belize (BZE).


To register for course, please visit

For more information on the course, please email caryns@sirenian.org or cselfsullivan@georgiasouthern.edu

For more information on the instructors, please visit
http://sirenian.org/caryn.html and http://bioweb.wku.edu/faculty/Schulte/Default.asp

For more information on the facilities, please visit

Download a Course Flyer at

Caryn Self-Sullivan, Ph.D.
President & Co-founder, Sirenian International
Visiting Assistant Professor, Georgia Southern University
Mobile: 540.287.8207 | Fax: 540.242.9196
Email: caryns@sirenian.org or cselfsullivan@georgiasouthern.edu

          Employment: photoID internship in North Carolina!        
Bottlenose Dolphin Photo-ID Internship Position for 2010

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research (OBXCDR)/Nags Head Dolphin Watch is currently accepting applications for the 2010 summer season. One internship position is available. The research season is May 15 -September 30. Successful applicants must be able to commit through the end of August.

The Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research is a non-profit organization dedicated to the conservation of bottlenose dolphins in the Outer Banks, NC. Our program´s goal is to gain an understanding of the population size, movement patterns, and behavioral ecology of coastal bottlenose dolphins in the sounds and coastal waters near the Outer Banks. The OBXCDR currently conducts a photo-identification monitoring study of bottlenose dolphins in Roanoke, Croatan, Albemarle, Pamlico and Currituck Sounds. Data is collected via dedicated small boat surveys as well as opportunistically from a local dolphin watch. This study is a continuation of the long-term study initiated by the Nags Head Dolphin Watch in 1997. Information from the current long-term study will provide a basis for initiation of studies involving habitat utilization, social associations, and anthropogenic effects on the dolphins. For more information about the OBXCDR, please visit: www.obxdolphins.org

The internship position will consist of field research, photo-identification, and environmental education. Responsibilities include:

- Assisting with boat-based photo-identification surveys of bottlenose dolphins, including operating small vessel during surveys, collecting environmental, location, and behavioral data for dolphin groups

- Photo-identification of dolphins in the lab, including photo sorting, sighting data entry, assist in maintenance of long-term photo-id catalog using the program FinBase

- Mate/naturalist duties aboard a local dolphin watch, including educating the general public on dolphins and the sound/marine environment, collecting opportunistic photo-id data, and additional mate duties

This internship is a paid position. Applicants will receive an hourly salary for performing ecotours on the dolphin watch. From May 15- June 11 and August 18- September 30, the intern will conduct mate/naturalist duties and opportunistic photo-id aboard the Nags Head Dolphin Watch for 4-5 days per week. From June 12- August 17, time commitment to the dolphin ecotours will be 2 days per week. During this time, the internship requires a minimum of 30 hours per week, consisting of ecotours, dedicated field surveys, and lab photo-id. The rest of the week, the intern may seek employment in the Outer Banks or have the time off.

Housing: A studio apartment is available for rent in Kill Devil Hills for the duration of the research season ($50 per week), however transportation to and from the Outer Banks as well as to and from the field site is not provided.

The successful applicant would ideally have the following qualifications:
- Minimum of 18 years of age and currently or recently enrolled in a college-level program in marine biology, biology, zoology, or related field
- Strong interest in the marine environment and conservation
- Ability to swim
- Basic computer proficiency in MS Office Access
- Enthusiasm, attention to detail, responsible, and works well on a team
- Field research/small boat operation experience preferred but not required
- First AID/CPR certification preferred but not required

NOTE: The United States Coast Guard requires all passenger vessels to be drug free work environments. In order to work aboard the dolphin ecotours, the intern will be required to pass a pre-employment drug test and to participate in random drug testing during the period of the research season.

Application Process:

Please submit cover letter, resume, and contact information for 3 references via email to: obxcdr@hotmail.com Use "Dolphin photo-id internship" in the subject line of the email. All applications will be reviewed; those received by April 1st will be given priority.

Jessica Weiss, M.E.M. Coastal Environmental Management
Scientific Advisor, Outer Banks Center for Dolphin Research
7517 Virginia Dare Trail
Nags Head, NC 27959

          Volunteering: Capricorn Cetaceans Project!        

The Capricorn Cetaceans Project is currently accepting applications for volunteers,interns and research assistants for the Australian winter season from June to September 2010.

The Capricorn Cetacean Project started in 2006 as part of Cagnazzi Daniele PhD study. The primary aim of this project was to study inshore dolphin species primarily on two threatened species the Indo-Pacific humpback dolphin and the Australian snubfin dolphin in the Southern Great Barrier Reef, from Gladstone to Shoalwater Bay,
Queensland Australia. With the years this project evolved including studies more species.

Field work include daily coastal surveys, coastal expedition and reef expeditions. Coastal daily surveys will be conducted on a 6m center console vessel, due to the extension of the study area launching points vary depending on the weather and surveys needs. Costal expeditions will be organized to survey the most remote areas, several hundred km away from any human activity. These expeditions will last between 4 and 5 days, during which we will sleep in a camp set up on unexploited beaches where with some luck we will fish our dinner. Reef expedition (50 miles away from the coast) will be done with a 13m long 5 star powered catamaran with all the comforts.

Nights will be spent within the lagoons of breath taking coral islands (Lady Musgrove, Lady Elliot, Heron Island and Fitzroy Reef) that will be possible to explore during the afternoon at the end of the work day. Snorkeling is also possible and worthwhile,and as I am a diving instructor upon interes we can organize some dives too.

During field work we will applied standard technique normally used in cetaceans studies and we will also collect skin samples using a biopsy pole and a PAXARM biopsy system.

These are the major projects on which we will be working:

- Modelling habitat suitability of coastal dolphins along the QLD coast

- Population genetics and phylogeography of Australian snubfin and humpback dolphins in Australian waters: defining appropriate management units for conservation

- Taxonomic status and ecology of a undescribed form of spinner dolphin "pigmy spinner dolphin" (Stenella spp) from the Capricorn Bunker group, Southern Great Barrier Reef.

- Use of non-destructive toxicology biomarkers and residue analysis to assess the toxicology status of humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) and snubfin dolphins (Orcaella heinsohni) in Australian coastal waters

- Estimating population size of inshore dolphins species in Central Queensland using DISTANCE techniques.

Furthermore we will continue with the collection of data from all cetaceans species sighted during our surveys, such as dugongs, offshore bottlenose dolphins, inshore bottlenose dolphins, spinners dolphins, humpback whale, Minke whales and False killer whales. We will also continue collecting photo-id data on humpback and snubfin
dolphins to increase accuracy of population estimates and to estimate population trend.

While on land the team will share a house in Yeppoon a nice costal town in Central Queensland, accommodation including internet and power is free,while we will share the shopping costs for the food.

The possibility of an internship will be evaluated directly with the interested person.

Volunteers are not required to have any previous experience except for a profound interest in cetaceans and a background in marine studies or similar. Application from volunteers for less than 2 months will not be considered.

One research assistant position is also available and potential candidates are required to stay for the full four months. Research Assistant need to have previous experience with boat handling and field work studies. The successful applicant will have the food costs plus a weekly reimbursement to discuss directly with me.

Interested applicants should forward a letter and their CV directly to me dcagna10@scu.edu.au

For more detailed information do not hesitate to contact me

Daniele Cagnazzi
Southern Cross University Whale Research Centre
Southern Cross University
2480 Lismore NSW Australia
PH: +61 0266203815
FAX: +61 0266212669

          Volunteering: photoID in Cardigan Bay!        
The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (New Quay, West Wales, UK) is seeking a Voluntary Assistant Photo-ID Catalogue Officer for the 2010 field season.

The primary purpose of our ongoing research, supported by Environment Wales and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, is to monitor the marine mammal populations found within Cardigan Bay´s Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and beyond. Using non-invasive photo-identification techniques, we are endeavouring to establish the size and health of the population as well as reproductive and survival rates.

We need a committed volunteer to work at the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre between April and October 2010.

Post description:

- Main responsibility will be to assist with the cataloguing of the bottlenose dolphin photographs for the photo-ID purposes of the CBMWC, including matching individuals to previous year?´ images.

- Giving talks on the photo-identification work conducted at the CBMWC to interested parties.

- Co-ordinate and organise other volunteers participating with the photo-ID work at CBMWC, to tie in with the daily rota.

- Be responsible for training new volunteers in the analysis of photo-ID images, transferring images from memory cards to the Photo-ID computer and ensuring that all images are stored in the correct folders on the computer, e.g. week, date and trip folder and encounter folder if there is more than one per trip.

- Production of up to date procedures for all aspects of the photo-ID work in order that other volunteers can use them in order to complete any photo-ID tasks required of them.

- Ensure that all 2010 images and data are backed up on a regular basis throughout the season (external hard drive, DVDs or CDs) so that there is more than one copy in existence in case of computer failure.

- At the end of the 2010 season help to compile a photo-ID catalogue that includes images from 2009 and 2010 and information and data on what, where and when animals were seen.

There will also be the opportunity to assist with the boat and land-based dolphin surveys and help in the Visitor's Centre.

Desired skills and qualifications:

- Fluency in English (essential)
- IT skills
- Able to work well in a small team and independently without supervision
- Willingness to work in a conscientious, responsible and reliable manner
- Enthusiastic and hard working
- An interest in wildlife and conservation
- Experience working with the public, and public speaking would be useful
- An interest and knowledge of British cetaceans would be an advantage
- A background in biology, particularly marine biology/environmental science would be useful
- Excellent verbal and written communication skills

Time commitment:

The Voluntary Assistant Photo-ID Officer role requires a commitment of at least four months, including July to October. Preferably you would be able to commit for the entire field season April-October. Volunteers living locally who are available on a part time basis are also welcome to apply.

Accommodation and expense arrangements:

Basic, shared accommodation can be arranged for approximately ?55 per week. Volunteers are responsible for their own food, travel and accommodation costs.

About the Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre (Est.1996):

The Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre is a non-profit organisation
dedicated to promoting public awareness of the marine species, habitats and conservation of the marine wildlife in Cardigan Bay through research and education. The group is affiliated to the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales and supported by Environment Wales. The centre is in the heart of New Quay overlooking the beautiful beach and harbour. It is used as a base for our research and also includes our Visitor Centre.

Further information:

Contact Laura on 01545 560032 or volunteer@cbmwc.org
Visit our website www.cbmwc.org

How to apply:

Please contact us by e-mail volunteer@cbmwc.org to request an application form and further details.

Cardigan Bay Marine Wildlife Centre
Patent Slip Building
Glanmor Terrace
New Quay
Wales, SA45 9PS
Ffon/Phone: 01545 560032
E-bost/E-mail: info@cbmwc.org

          Wildlife Disease Journal Digest        

Browse complete Digest publication library here

Possible role of songbirds and parakeets in transmission of influenza A(H7N9) virus to humans
Emerg Infect Dis [Internet]. 2014 Mar [date cited]. DOI: 10.3201/eid2003.131271
Jones JC, Sonnberg S, Koçer ZA, Shanmuganatham K, Seiler P, Shu Y, et al.

Economic Burden of West Nile Virus in the United States
Am J Trop Med Hyg. 2014; vol. 90 no. 3: 389-390. [Epub ahead of print 2014 Feb 10]. doi: 10.4269/ajtmh.14-0009
Alan D. T. Barrett

Measuring pesticide ecological and health risks in West African agriculture to establish an enabling environment for sustainable intensification
Phil. Trans. R. Soc. B.2014 Apr 5; vol. 369 no. 1639: [Epub ahead of print 2014 Feb 17]. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2013.0491
P. C. Jepson et al.

Reverse Zoonotic Disease Transmission (Zooanthroponosis): A Systematic Review of Seldom-Documented Human Biological Threats to Animals
PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(2): e89055. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0089055
Messenger AM, Barnes AN, Gray GC

Long-term variation in influenza A virus prevalence and subtype diversity in migratory mallards in northern Europe
Proc. R. Soc. B 22 April 2014 vol. 281 no. 1781; [Epub ahead of print 2014 Feb 26]. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.0098
Neus Latorre-Margale et al.

Avian Diseases - March 2014
Volume 58, Issue 1

Monitoring of fungal loads in seabird rehabilitation centers with comparisons to natural seabird environments in northern California
J Zoo Wildl Med. 2014 Mar;45(1):29-40.
Burco JD, Massey JG, Byrne BA, Tell L, Clemons KV, Ziccardi MH.

Detection and molecular characterization of Giardia and Cryptosporidium in common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) stranded along the Galician coast (Northwest Spain)
Vet Parasitol. 2014 Mar 24. pii: S0304-4017(14)00179-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2014.03.018. [Epub ahead of print]
Reboredo-Fernández A1, Gómez-Couso H2, Martínez-Cedeira JA3, Cacciò SM4, Ares-Mazás E1.

In vitro exposure of DE-71, a penta-PBDE mixture, on immune endpoints in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and B6C3F1 mice
J Appl Toxicol. 2014 Apr 7. doi: 10.1002/jat.3008. [Epub ahead of print]
Wirth JR1, Peden-Adams MM, White ND, Bossart GD, Fair PA.

Fatal combined infection with canine distemper virus and orthopoxvirus in a group of Asian marmots (Marmota caudata)
Vet Pathol. 2013 Sep;50(5):914-20. doi: 10.1177/0300985813476060. Epub 2013 Feb 4.
Origgi FC1, Sattler U, Pilo P, Waldvogel AS.

Multi-level determinants of parasitic fly infection in forest passerines
PLoS One. 2013 Jul 10;8(7):e67104. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0067104. Print 2013.
Manzoli DE et al. 

Using auxiliary information to improve wildlife disease surveillance when infected animals are not detected: a bayesian approach
PLoS One. 2014 Mar 27;9(3):e89843. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0089843. eCollection 2014.
Heisey DM et al.

Protection of red-legged partridges (Alectoris rufa) against West Nile virus (WNV) infection after immunization with WNV recombinant envelope protein E (rE)
Vaccine. 2013 Sep 23;31(41):4523-7. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.07.071. Epub 2013 Aug 6.
Escribano-Romero E et al.

Highly dynamic animal contact network and implications on disease transmission
Sci Rep. 2014; 4: 4472. [Epub ahead of print 2014 Mar 26]. doi: 10.1038/srep04472
Shi Chen et al.

Linking Bovine Tuberculosis on Cattle Farms to White-Tailed Deer and Environmental Variables Using Bayesian Hierarchical Analysis
PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(3): e90925. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090925
Walter WD, Smith R, Vanderklok M, VerCauteren K

Factors Influencing Performance of Internet-Based Biosurveillance Systems Used in Epidemic Intelligence for Early Detection of Infectious Diseases Outbreaks
PLoS ONE 9(3): e90536. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090536
Barboza P, Vaillant L, Le Strat Y, Hartley DM, Nelson NP, et al.
          Biologists Still Searching For Answers In Bald Eagle Deaths and other wildlife health news stories        

Fish-Eating Ducks Hard Hit By Severe Winter, Ice

The Niagara River corridor from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario is renowned as a spectacular winter haven for hundreds of thousands of water birds. But this year's bitterly cold season has made it notable for something else: dead ducks.

Biologists say carcasses began piling up by the hundreds in early January after the plunging temperatures started icing over nearly the entire Great Lakes, preventing the ducks from getting to the minnows that are their main source of food. Necropsies on dozens of birds have confirmed the cause: starvation. "All have empty stomachs. They're half the weight they should be," said Connie Adams, a biologist in the state Department of Environmental Conservation's Buffalo office who has personally seen 950 dead birds.

"This is unprecedented. Biologists who've worked here for 35 years have never seen anything like this," she said. "We've seen a decline in tens of thousands in our weekly waterfowl counts." It's a phenomenon that has been seen elsewhere along the Great Lakes, with news reports of diving ducks and other waterfowl turning up dead by the hundreds along the southern part of Lake Michigan. They've also been found in Lake St. Clair between Lakes Erie and Huron.

... Necropsies and toxicity analyses showed many of the Michigan ducks were subsisting on invasive zebra mussels, which caused the birds to have potentially toxic levels of selenium in their bodies, Mason said. Zebra mussels filter toxins from the water and pass them up the food chain.

Most of the dead ducks seen in the upstate New York are red-breasted mergansers, which breed in northern Canada and Alaska and come south for the winter to the Great Lakes region. In most years, there are periods of freezing and thawing, providing enough breaks in the ice for them to dive for minnows.

Monroe News
15 Mar 2014
Location: Canada


Experimental infection of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with West Nile virus isolates of Euro-Mediterranean and North American origins

...North American WNV outbreaks are often accompanied by high mortality in wild birds, a feature that is uncommon in Europe. The reason for this difference is unknown, but the intrinsic virulence of the viruses circulating in each continent and/or the susceptibility to the disease of Palearctic as opposed to Nearctic wild bird species could play a role.

To assess this question, experimental inoculations with four lineage 1 WNV strains, three from southern Europe (Italy/2008, Italy/2009 and Spain/2007) and one from North America (NY99) were performed on house sparrows (Passer domesticus), a wild passerine common in both continents. Non-significant differences which ranged from 0% to 25% were observed in mortality for the different WNV strains.

... Consequently, albeit being pathogenic for house sparrows, some Euro-Mediterranean strains had reduced capacity for replication in -and transmission from- this host, as compared to the NY99 strain. If applicable also to other wild bird host species, this relatively reduced transmission capacity of the Euro-Mediterranean strains could explain the lower incidence of this disease in wild birds in the Euro-Mediterranean area.

7th Space
19 Mar 2014

Cited Journal Article
Javier Del Amo et al. Experimental infection of house sparrows (Passer domesticus) with West Nile virus isolates of Euro-Mediterranean and North American origins. Veterinary Research. 2014; 45:33. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-45-33

Avian Botulism

Deer Health News
One Health News Corner
Huh?! That's Interesting!

          Wildlife Disease Journal Digest        

Browse complete Digest publication library here

New alphacoronavirus in Mystacina tuberculata bats, New Zealand
Emerg Infect Dis. 2014 Apr; [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.3201/eid2004.131441
Hall RJ, Wang J, Peacey M, Moore NE, McInnes K, Tompkins DM.
[Thank your fellow Digest reader for sharing!]

Novel Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus in Tree Sparrow, Shanghai, China, 2013
Emerging Infectious Diseases. 2014 May; [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.3201/eid2005.131707
B. Zhao et al.

Mercury Exposure Associated with Altered Plasma Thyroid Hormones in the Declining Western Pond Turtle (Emys marmorata) from California Mountain Streams
Environ Sci Technol. 2014 Feb 21. [Epub ahead of print]
Meyer E1, Eagles-Smith CA, Sparling D, Blumenshine S.

Survey of antibiotic-resistant bacteria isolated from bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in the southeastern USA
Dis Aquat Organ. 2014 Feb 19;108(2):91-102. doi: 10.3354/dao02705.
Stewart JR et al.

Potential impact of antimicrobial resistance in wildlife, environment and human health
Front Microbiol. 2014 Feb 5;5:23. eCollection 2014.
Radhouani H et al.

Polar Bear Encephalitis: Establishment of a Comprehensive Next-generation Pathogen Analysis Pipeline for Captive and Free-living Wildlife
J Comp Pathol. 2013 Dec 19. pii: S0021-9975(13)00385-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jcpa.2013.12.005. [Epub ahead of print]
Szentiks CA et al.

International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife - December 2013

Neglected wild life: Parasitic biodiversity as a conservation target
Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2013 Aug 2;2:222-227. eCollection 2013.
Gómez A and Nichols E

Haemogregarine infections of three species of aquatic freshwater turtles from two sites in Costa Rica
Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2013 Mar 5;2:131-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.02.003. eCollection 2013.
Rossow JA et al.

Wildlife disease ecology in changing landscapes: Mesopredator release and toxoplasmosis
Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2013 Mar 5;2:110-8. doi: 10.1016/j.ijppaw.2013.02.002. eCollection 2013
Hollings T et al.

Parasites and the conservation of small populations: The case of Baylisascaris procyonis
Int J Parasitol Parasites Wildl. 2013 Dec; 2: 203–210
L. Kristen et al

Predictors of malaria infection in a wild bird population: Landscape level analyses reveal climatic and anthropogenic factors
J Anim Ecol. 2014 Feb 16. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12214. [Epub ahead of print]
Gonzalez-Quevedo C et al.

Lectins stain cells differentially in the coral, Montipora capitata
J Invertebr Pathol. 2014 Feb 8. pii: S0022-2011(14)00017-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jip.2014.01.008. [Epub ahead of print]
Work TM and Farah Y.

Veterinary Pathology - March 2014
Special Issue: Infectious Diseases of Domestic Animals
Volume 51, Number 2

Journal of Veterinary Diagnostic Investigation - January 2014
Volume 26, Number 1

Emerging Infectious Diseases - March 2014
Volume 20, Number 3

          Wildlife Disease Journal Digest        

Browse complete Digest publication library here

No Evidence of Metabolic Depression in Western Alaskan Juvenile Steller Sea Lions (Eumetopias jubatus)
PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(1): e85339. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0085339
Hoopes LA, Rea LD, Christ A, Worthy GAJ

Discovery of a Novel Bottlenose Dolphin Coronavirus Reveals a Distinct Species of Marine Mammal Coronavirus in Gammacoronavirus
J. Virol. 2014 Jan; 88(2): 1318-1331 [Epub ahead of print 2013 Nov 13]. 10.1128/JVI.02351-13
Patrick C. Y. Woo et al.

Avian oncogenesis induced by lymphoproliferative disease virus: A neglected or emerging retroviral pathogen?
Virology. 2014 Feb; 450–451; 2–12. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2013.11.037
Andrew B. Allison et al.

Mass Coral Bleaching in 2010 in the Southern Caribbean

PLoS ONE. 2014; 9(1): e83829. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0083829
Alemu I JB, Clement Y

Differential Haemoparasite Intensity between Black Sparrowhawk (Accipiter melanoleucus) Morphs Suggests an Adaptive Function for Polymorphism
PLoS ONE. 2013; 8(12): e81607. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0081607
Lei B, Amar A, Koeslag A, Gous TA, Tate GJ

Visceral leishmaniasis in zoo and wildlife
Vet Parasitol. 2013 Dec 31. pii: S0304-4017(13)00692-4. doi: 10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.12.025. [Epub ahead of print]
Souza TD et al.

Susceptibility of openbill storks (Anastomius oscitans) to highly pathogenic avian influenza virus subtype H5N1
Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health. 2013 Sep;44(5):799-809.
Chaichoun K et al.

The use of contraception as a disease management tool in wildlife
J Zoo Wildl Med. 2013 Dec;44(4 Suppl):S135-7.
Rhyan JC et al.

On the potential roles of ticks and migrating birds in the ecology of West Nile virus
Infection Ecology and Epidemiology. 2014 Jan 15;4. doi: 10.3402/iee.v4.20943. eCollection 2014
Karl Hagman et al.

A critical examination of indices of dynamic interaction for wildlife telemetry studies
J Anim Ecol. 2014 Jan 15. doi: 10.1111/1365-2656.12198. [Epub ahead of print]
Long JA, Nelson TA, Webb SL, Gee KL.

An integrated web system to support veterinary activities in Italy for the management of information in epidemic emergencies
Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 2014; [Epub ahead of print 2014 Jan 22]. doi: 10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.01.015
S. Iannetti et al.

Occurrence of Toxoplasma gondii antibodies in birds from the Atlantic Forest, state of Sao Paulo, Brazil
Veterinary Parasitology. 2014 Feb; 200(1-2); 193–197. doi:10.1016/j.vetpar.2013.10.003
S.M. Gennari et al.

EcoHealth - September 2013
Volume 10, Issue 3, September 2013

Mining free-text medical records for companion animal enteric syndrome surveillance
Preventive Veterinary Medicine. 2014; [Epub ahead of print 2014 Jan 20]. doi:10.1016/j.prevetmed.2014.01.017
R.M. Anholt et al.

          Bay Hydro II Joins the NOAA Fleet; Tropical Fungus Range Expands into Northern Waters (Episode 24)        
Join us this week to learn about Bay Hydro II, the newest addition to NOAA's fleet of hydrographic research vessels. We also take a look at a new NOAA-led study that finds a type of tropical fungus called lobomycosis is now infecting bottlenose dolphins off the coast of North Carolina.
          Toxins in dolphins; coral jewelry (Episode 7)        
Toxins from red tides are showing up in bottlenose dolphins in higher-than-expected amounts. We'll find out what's goin on. We'll also tell you why you should cross coral jewelry off of your shopping list this holiday season.
          Humpbacks & Dolphins In The Area        
Humpbacks & Dolphins In The Area

It’s been a little quieter out on the water than we would have expected, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t seen any cetaceans. There have been some sightings of humpbacks and lots of dolphins hanging around the area. Our naturalists and the photo ID interns have also been observing a lot of dolphin calves in the water too! Check out the photos and see how many calves you can spot from our pods of common and bottlenose dolphins.

Unfortunately our whale watches haven’t spotted a blue whale in a long time (well long compared to what we’re used to). But that doesn’t mean they’re not around or that there are less of them. In a report from the National Marine Fisheries Service and NOAA, the blue whale population hasn’t significantly changed over the last 20-25 years. They have also seen summer feeding grounds and sightings extend much farther north along the SoCal coastline, and beyond. So while certain years might see fewer blue whales, most likely their feeding range is moving around or they decide to feed in different areas. So don’t fret that our sightings of blue whales are lower this year. The whales are just summering in different spots.

Our next intern to be highlighted in our blog is Alexis. Alexis moved to the Long Beach area to specifically work on this internship. We’re happy to have her, take a look at some of her favorite photos from the internship!

Hey! I’m Alexis, and I am a marine mammal photo identification intern. My fascination with the ocean began on my third birthday. My parents took me to see The Little Mermaid, and I’ve been wide-eyed and fascinated with the ocean ever since. Growing up in Montana made it difficult to gain much experience with the ocean, so I was ecstatic when I was given the opportunity to study whales. I’ve seen many whales this summer, even a humpback calf! During every sighting you can find me grinning like crazy, something I thought would fade out as the summer continued. There is no such thing as a bad day on the boat in my opinion. Mola mola sunfish, a great white shark, bottlenose and common dolphins, and a turtle have helped mix things up from the ‘humdrum routine’ ;) of whale watching. I hope to continue with marine research, potentially with whales but maybe other marine megafauna. I am so proud to say I am a part of the Aquarium of the Pacific’s team, and I hope to make them proud as I continue in my career.

UPDATE: Right as I was going to post our blog, our naturalist let me know that they spotted a sei whale on the whale watch. We very, very rarely get to see these whales. Sei whales share similar range to the fin whales and are almost as fast. The fin whales, Bryde’s whales, and sei whales are all very similar in appearance. The way to figure it out is that 1: fin whales have a bi-color jaw. See it and you definitely have a fin. 2: Bryde’s whales have 3 ridges that extend along the rostrum. So if you don’t see the bi-color jaw and there’s only one rostrum ridge you have a sei whale.

Scientists don’t actually know much about the distribution or movements of sei whales, they are fairly elusive for sightings. But scientists are pretty sure they have seasonal movement between higher and lower latitudes, like many whales.

Well if you haven’t been down to Long Beach, come on down and get out of the heat by getting out on the water with Harbor Breeze Cruises and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Buy a combo ticket and visit our 12,000 exhibit animals and check out the natural habitat we can explore on a whale watch boat.

See you on the water!

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          Another Orca Visit        
Another Orca Visit

There has been a great amount of variety on the water recently, we even had a visit by the friendly CA51 pod of orca! These are a transient subtype of orca that predominantly feed on mammals. Pinnipeds, like sea lions, will often be their prey but they could prey on larger mammals like other whales. In some reported cases mammal eating orca have even attacked and preyed on other dolphins. If you’ve been keeping up with our blogs we talked about orca subtypes before. Orca specialize in the types of food items they prey upon. Their hunting practices and behaviors reflect the type of animals they consume, and rarely would they stray from their specific prey item. The resident orca in Washington prefer salmon, there’s a group of shark/ray eating orca, and the CA51s are mammal eaters. It was a rare treat to see this family again, and they are very boat friendly as you can see from the pictures.

We had a small hiatus from our blue whales, but we expect them to start showing up en masse pretty soon. While we were waiting for blues to show up we were able to see the common dolphins (like normal), bottlenose dolphins, some great humpback activity, and fin whales. There’s even been a few sightings of our ocean ninja-like minke whales. The humpback whales have been fairly friendly and active with some lovely breaches, tail lobs, pec slaps, and some chin slaps. Absolutely beautiful animals that we are so thankful we get to experience on our local waters.

There’s been a lot of news coverage and information coming out about the great white sharks we’ve seen lately near the coastline. While out on a whale watch our guests actually were able to spot a shark pretty far offshore. On the GPS this sighting was out near the “drop off” where the depth can suddenly plummet down thousands of feet relatively quickly. Most of the juvenile white sharks that have been spotted were close to the shoreline, this was a special treat to see one out so far.

If you’ve been waiting for a chance to come down to Long Beach to get on a whale watch, it’s always a good time to look for local wildlife, but the summer is our peak for blue whales. We never know what we’ll find once we get out on the water, check out the amazing pictures in the blog and head over to our website to get a combo ticket to Harbor Breeze Cruises and the Aquarium of the Pacific. Get out on the water and then head inside the aquarium to visit our animals and learn more about whales at our “Whales: Voices in the Sea” exhibit.

See you on the water!

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          Humpbacks in the area!        
Humpbacks in the area!

Hello everyone! It’s been a lot of fun out on the boats, great variety and animal sightings recently. We spotted a couple of humpbacks in the last week, hanging out together between Abalone Cove State Marine Conservation Area and Point Fermin. There have been fin whales, pacific white-sided and bottlenose dolphins, and gray whales. One gray whale was even inside the breakwall near LA lighthouse.

Historically during our normal water conditions, and even during some La Nina conditions, we have seen humpback whales show up late spring through early/mid fall. We had amazing sightings and numbers of humpbacks during our last El Nino, hopefully the numbers stay pretty high this year too. Humpback whales tend to be the mental images of a whale people think of when we say “whale watch.” Especially after the large efforts in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s to protect these whales, they are a very publicly recognized animal. So as the gray whales and white-sided dolphins start to migrate out of the area, we’ll see a new set of animals to watch on our whale watches. Humpbacks should be moving in to local waters and we’ll start to see the stars of the summer, blue whales.

I have had a lot of guests ask me during whale watches “When is the best time of year to go whale watching?” The best part of SoCal waters is that there are always whales out there to watch! Don’t worry about when to come out and see our whales, unless you are looking for a specific species, just get down here and watch the whales with us!

I do have some sad news to announce. If you haven’t seen on the news yet, Scarlet the humpback whale was found off of Newport Pier on April 21st, deceased. Whale watchers all over southern California have voiced their sorrow over hearing this sad news. After seeing Scarlet many times this past year I too was very shocked to hear she had passed away. Scarlet has been seen in our waters for about 20 years, and when she was spotted entangled in fishing equipment many were very concerned for her health. She became much healthier last fall and winter and we saw lots of surface behavior and breaching after she started gaining weight again. We’ll miss seeing her and her very distinct dorsal fin.

On a lighter note, we’re going highlight our last intern profile for the spring season, check out some of the photos she has taken in our blog.. Caroline joined our group from Austria! If you see her on the boat for the remainder of the season, say hi!

Hello, my name is Caroline and I’m one of the current photoID interns. I am originally from Austria and studied Biology in Germany. Growing up I have always loved animals and wanted to know more about them, how they live and why they do certain things. Hence, I am especially interested in the field of Behavioural Biology in order to learn more about what drives animals in their actions. In my view, one of the most interesting behaviours is cooperation which is why I recently spent some time studying aggressive, submissive, and dominance related behaviours in wolf and dog packs. I am now at the Aquarium of the Pacific where I get to do three of my favourite things in life almost every day which would be taking pictures, observing animals and traveling. Moreover, studying biology it has always been my goal to make a difference in this world and to do something good. A further reason why I am so interested in Animal Behaviour is because I believe that it is the key to conservation. Only by understanding how animals live, what they need and how they behave we can make attempts to conserve our wildlife. Whales and dolphins have always been some of my favourite animals as they are highly intelligent and, depending on the species, also incredibly social and rely on cooperation. The Marine Mammal ID internship gives me the opportunity to learn more about these fascinating animals and actively participate in scientific research aiming to improve the conservation of whales. By tracking individual animals through photo identification more can be learned about their favoured habitats, movement patterns, mortality rates and general behaviours. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be given the chance to be part of this work, thank you AoP for having me here!

Make your way down to Long Beach and get your tickets to the Aquarium of the Pacific and a whale watch with Harbor Breeze Cruises. Learn about the whales and local marine life inside the aquarium and out on the state of the art whale watch boats from Harbor Breeze.

See you on the water!

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          Very Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales!        
Very Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales!

We had the rare opportunity to see some false killer whales, or pseudorca, during one of our whale watches. The American Cetacean Society reported a sighting a day earlier around San Diego and according to their records approximately one day after a San Diego sighting we can see them in Long Beach. False killer whales are a rare treat for us to observe on the boats, it has almost been a full calendar year since the last time we had a sighting. Unlike their cousins the orca, this species is not well researched and a lot of what scientists do know comes from strandings. Their range tends to be most temperate and tropical regions with unknown ranges in the middle of the Atlantic and Indian oceans, and outside equatorial Pacific areas. False killer whales have a wide variety of fish and squid they hunt depending on regions they live in. This is pretty similar to the true orca. Regional diets vary and thus hunting patterns would vary based on the types of prey they prefer to eat. False killer whales are also quite a sizeable dolphin species, ranging up to 16 – 20ft long and weighing at least 3,000lbs, they’re much bigger than offshore bottlenose dolphins but a lot smaller than true orca. Check out the photos our intern was able to take during the single whale watch we observed this rare species.

We also have another intern to spotlight, Masha, check out her photos in this edition of the blog. You may have seen her photos already, the last blog had her amazing common dolphin photo porpoising over a glassy surface of water.

Hi everyone! My name is Masha and I’ve grown up in California. Working with animals has always come as second nature to me and I can’t imagine doing anything else! I am currently a student studying wildlife conservation and management and my ultimate career goal is to go into field-based research. Prior to this program, I completed two other internships working with large carnivores including a variety of felines and bears. Working as a photo ID intern is my first opportunity involving marine life and I love learning something new every step of the way! I am gaining invaluable experience in data collection, behavioral observation, and of course photo processing. My favorite whale encounter to date has been a breaching humpback whale! This whale was missing a huge part of his left pectoral flipper and decided to show off his other (intact) one by pec slapping for us! Just being in the presence of such a large and amazing animal is breathtaking. I feel so lucky to be given the opportunity to assist with this project and I love every day of it. Going out onto the water is a new, unexpected adventure every trip and I can’t wait to continue to learn from these incredible animals!

Every day is a great day to get out on the water. We’re in the midst of the northbound season of gray whales, almost every trip we’re seeing multiple gray whales. As of today there’s been over 1100 gray whales spotted on their northern leg of the longest mammal migration on the planet. Head on down to Long Beach and get your combo tickets for a visit to the aquarium and a whale watch from Harbor Breeze Cruises. Keep in mind that during the Grand Prix (April 7-9) due to road and walkway closures we won’t have any whale watches leaving from Rainbow Harbor.

See you on the water!

Very Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail ImageVery Rare Sighting of False Killer Whales! Thumbnail Image

          Taxonomy: This may prove to be an unaccepted taxon... for taxon Tursiops australis Charlton-Robb, Gershwin, Thompson, Austin, Owen & McKechnie, 2011        
Note "Taxonomy: This may prove to be an unaccepted taxon. There are no diagnostic morphological characters, and the molecular analyses are weak. The series was compared only to Australian series of bottlenose dolphins, and cranial measurements overlapped in all cases, even with the small samples examined. The mtDNA contral region was used but it has been shown to be ineffective in species phylogeny, and the nodes in the cytochrome b analysis were only weakly supported. STRUCTURE is also an inappropriate analysis at the supraspecific level. Average differences and clustering in multivariate analyses were taken to indicate species-level difference, not in accord with conventional morphologically-based systematics." for taxon Tursiops australis Charlton-Robb, Gershwin, Thompson, Austin, Owen & McKechnie, 2011 has been added by William Perrin via the webinterface on 2011-10-27T20:23:47+00:00
          Synonymy: The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin T... for taxon Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1832 [1833])        
Note "Synonymy: The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus has been only recently recognized as a separate species. With further research, some of the names now in the synonymy of T. truncatus may be relegated to T. aduncus. A number of nominal species that relate to either one or the other of the two bottlenose dolphins (because they were named from the region of overlap of the two species) are listed in the database as "incertae sedis" and are not included in the synonymy in this database for either species. Where holotype specimens exist for these, they have not yet been examined to determine their identity." for taxon Tursiops aduncus (Ehrenberg, 1832 [1833]) has been added by William Perrin via the webinterface on 2009-04-15T19:36:15+00:00
          Synonymy: The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin T... for taxon Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821)        
Note "Synonymy: The Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin Tursiops aduncus has been only recently recognized as a separate species. Although an attempt has been made here to limit synonyms to those taxa described from the geographical region of non-overlap of T. truncatus with T. aduncus, with further research, some of the names now in the synonymy may be relegated to T. aduncus. A number of nominal species that relate to either one or the other of the two bottlenose dolphins (because they were named from the region of overlap of the two species) are listed in the database as "incertae sedis" and are not included above. Where holotype specimens exist for these, they have not yet been examined to determine their identity." for taxon Tursiops truncatus (Montagu, 1821) has been added by William Perrin via the webinterface on 2009-04-15T15:48:07+00:00
           Εκτός από «εκπαιδευτική» τώρα είναι και «θεραπευτική» η αιχμαλωσία και η εκμετάλλευση των ζώων        

Εκτός από «εκπαιδευτική» τώρα είναι και «θεραπευτική» η αιχμαλωσία και η εκμετάλλευση των ζώων για τον κ. Τσαυτάρη!

Αρμόδιος και για «θεραπευτικά» προγράμματα ο κ. Τσαυτάρης;

Με αφορμή τις προχθεσινές δηλώσεις του Υπουργού Αγροτικής Ανάπτυξης και Τροφίμων κ. Αθανάσιου Τσαυτάρη στην Επιτροπή Παραγωγής και Εμπορίου σχετικά με την τροποποίηση του Ν. 4039/12 και ειδικότερα του άρθρου 13, το οποίο αναφέρεται στις παραστάσεις με ζώα η Πρωτοβουλία Κατά της Αιχμαλωσίας των Κητωδών έστειλε την ακόλουθη επιστολή – απάντηση.

Αξιότιμε κύριε Υπουργέ,

Ακούγοντας την ομιλία σας στην Επιτροπή Παραγωγής και Εμπορίου, με ΜΕΓΑΛΗ μας έκπληξη διαπιστώσαμε ότι η τροποποίηση του Νόμου 4039/12, η οποία τόσο αναστάτωσε την Ελληνική και την παγκόσμια κοινή γνώμη, γίνεται τελικά με σκοπό τη χρησιμοποίηση δελφινιών για «θεραπευτικούς» σκοπούς!!

Κατ’ αρχήν, θα θέλαμε να τονίσουμε ότι η προτεινόμενη τροπολογία ΔΕΝ αναφέρει σε κανένα σημείο τη χρησιμοποίηση δελφινιών σε προγράμματα δελφινοθεραπείας (Dolphin-Assisted Therapy – DAT), αλλά αναφέρεται ξεκάθαρα στη χρησιμοποίηση ζώων σε παραστάσεις για δήθεν "εκπαιδευτικούς" σκοπούς. Έχουμε εκφράσει τις απόψεις μας σχετικά με την εκπαιδευτική χρησιμότητα των παραστάσεων με ζώα, η οποία όχι μόνο είναι ανύπαρκτη, αλλά αντιθέτως, η παρακολούθηση παραστάσεων με ζώα είναι εντελώς «αντι-εκπαιδευτική». Πέρα από αυτό όμως, θεωρούμε ότι ένα τόσο σημαντικό θέμα όπως είναι η έγκριση και η διεξαγωγή προγραμμάτων για θεραπευτικούς σκοπούς δεν είναι αρμοδιότητα του ΥΠΑΑΤ, και ότι είναι ένα θέμα που δεν έχει καμία απολύτως θέση σε αυτό το νομοσχέδιο, και μάλιστα με τόσο συνοπτικές διαδικασίες. Γι΄αυτό και θεωρούμε ότι η προτεινόμενη τροποποίηση της τροποποίησης, καθιστά την διάταξη ακόμη περισσότερο φωτογραφική. Οι παραστάσεις με ζώα δεν μπορούν, σε καμια περίπτωση, να δημιουργήσουν την οποιανδήποτε ευαισθητοποίηση, και η χρησιμοποίηση δελφινιών για θεραπευτικούς σκοπούς θα έπρεπε να θεσμοθετηθεί με άλλον νόμο και όχι με τον υπό συζήτηση. Μία τέτοια απόφαση θα έπρεπε να ληφθεί κατόπιν ενδελεχούς έρευνας και μελέτης, δεδομένου μάλιστα ότι έχει να κάνει με τόσο ευαίσθητες και ευάλωτες ομάδες ανθρώπων, οι οποίοι είναι όχι μόνον άρρωστοι αλλά και απελπισμένοι και εύκολα μπορεί να γίνουν αντικείμενο εκμετάλλευσης.

Η δελφινοθεραπεία είναι μια επιστημονικά αμφισβητούμενη μέθοδος της γενικότερης animal assisted therapy, η οποία δεν θα πρέπει να συγχέεται με την χρησιμοποίηση ζώων ως assistance animals, όπως είναι οι σκύλοι οδηγοί τυφλών, στους οποίους αστόχως αναφερθήκατε στην ομιλία σας. To animal assisted therapy έχει θαυμάσια αποτελέσματα με ΚΑΤΟΙΚΙΔΙΑ ΖΩΑ, όπως πχ σκύλους και άλογα. Η εφαρμογή του με άγρια ζώα, όπως τα δελφίνια, είναι εξαιρετικά προβληματική, γι' αυτό και η δελφινοθεραπεία αμφισβητείται σοβαρά από τους ειδικούς επιστήμονες σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο. Το θέμα είναι τεράστιο για να εξαντληθεί μεταξύ ημών και υμών. Σε αυτήν την επιστολή, σάς παραθέτουμε απλώς κάποια στοιχεία και μελέτες σχετικά με τη δελφινοθεραπεία, και παρακαλούμε πολύ να τα λάβετε σοβαρά υπόψη σας.

Οι υποστηρικτές της θεραπευτικής αυτής μεθόδου, διαφημίζουν την αποτελεσματικότητά της σε μια μεγάλη γκάμα ασθενειών, που κυμαίνεται από αυτισμό και επιληψία μέχρι καρκίνο και AIDS. Ωστόσο, δεν υπάρχουν επιστημονικά στοιχεία που να τεκμηριώνουν τους ισχυρισμούς αυτούς. Αντιθέτως, ένα πλήθος επιστημονικών στοιχείων καταδεικνύει ότι η δελφινοθεραπεία (DAT), εκτός από το ότι λειτουργεί σαν ψευδοφάρμακο (placebo), σχετίζεται με ενδεχόμενους κινδύνους τόσο για τους ανθρώπους όσο και τα δελφίνια. Η ανθρώπινη βλάβη μπορεί να περιλαμβάνει άμεση ζημία από επιθετική συμπεριφορά των δελφινιών, έως βακτηριακές, ιογενείς ή μυκητιασικές λοιμώξεις. Δεν είναι δύσκολο να αντιληφθεί κανείς ότι η επαφή με δελφίνια τα οποία - είτε έχουν γεννηθεί στην αιχμαλωσία είτε έχουν συλληφθεί από τη θάλασσα - είναι και παραμένουν ζώα άγρια, εγκυμονεί κινδύνους τόσο για τα ίδια όσο και για τους ανθρώπους. Δεν είναι λίγες οι φορές, κατά τις οποίες δελφίνια θαλασσίων πάρκων παρουσίασαν διαταραγμένη και επιθετική συμπεριφορά, κάτω από τις στρεσσογόνες συνθήκες της αιχμαλωσίας και τον εξαναγκασμό τους σε στενή επαφή με τους ανθρώπους, και θα πρέπει να λάβετε υπόψη σας ότι έχουν αναφερθεί πάμπολλα ατυχήματα σε παρόμοιες εγκαταστάσεις στο εξωτερικό, ατυχήματα που ξεκινούν από δαγκώματα και φτάνουν μέχρι σοβαρά κατάγματα και θλάσεις εσωτερικών οργάνων που απαιτούν μακροχρόνια νοσηλεία. Η δε κάκωση, την οποία υφίστανται τα ίδια τα ζώα, περιγράφεται από την νευροεπιστήμονα του πανεπιστημίου του Emory Lori Marinο, με δύο λόγια, ως εξής: «Καταλαβαίνω γιατί οι απελπισμένοι άνθρωποι συνεχίζουν να καταφεύγουν σε προγράμματα δελφινοθεραπείας, αναζητώντας γιατρειά. Το πιο θλιβερό σε όλη αυτήν την ιστορία όμως είναι ότι αυτοί οι άνθρωποι δεν θα μπορέσουν να καταλάβουν ποτέ ότι τα δελφίνια στα οποία αναζητούν παρηγοριά, είναι τόσο άρρωστα ψυχολογικά και σωματικά, όσο τουλάχιστον και αυτοί οι ίδιοι». (Lori Marino, Dolphins are not healers, Ιούνιος 2013)

«Στο επίκεντρο όλων αυτών των προγραμμάτων θεραπείας είναι η εκμετάλλευση ευάλωτων ατόμων και ευάλωτων δελφινιών.», δηλώνει σήμερα η ίδια η ιδρύτρια της δελφινοθεραπείας, Dr Betsy Smith, η οποία κάποτε πίστευε ότι τα δελφίνια μπορούσαν να χρησιμοποιηθούν για τη θεραπεία παιδιών με ειδικές ανάγκες, στην πορεία όμως αναθεώρησε τις απόψεις της.

Περισσότερες πληροφορίες μπορείτε να βρείτε στους παρακάτω συνδέσμους:
Dolphin-Assisted Therapy: More Flawed Data and More Flawed Conclusions
Lori Marino – Dolphins are not healers
In Major Medical Journal, Kimmela Discusses Dolphin-Assisted Therapy
Dolphin Assisted Therapy : A Gift From The Sea Or Destructive Hype?
Dolphin-assisted therapy is not a valid treatment for any disorder, including autism.
dolphin-assisted therapy (DAT) - The Skeptic's Dictionary - Skepdic.com
2007.12.24_Dolphin 'Therapy' A Dangerous Fad, Researchers Warn
Swimming with dolphins - WDC
Miami Seaquarium Swim with the Dolphins
Marine Connection
Swimming with captive dolphins is dangerous | mundoazul
advice on swim-with-captive bottlenose dolphin activities
Tell USDA to Prohibit Contact Between Captive Wild Animals and the Public | Animal Welfare Institute
Dolphin-Assisted Therapy Discussed in The Lancet
Dolphins, dogs, and robot seals for the treatment of neurological disease
Op-Ed: Dolphin assisted therapy — Quackery at its finest?
Incidents between humans and killer whales in captivity
Δελφίνι δαγκώνει γυναίκα
Dolphin Bites Girl At SeaWorld Theme Park
The Danger Of Swimming With Dolphins
Swimming with Dolphins

Θα θέλαμε επιπλέον να τονίσουμε ότι ο ισχυρισμός πως τα θαλάσσια πάρκα είναι αποδεκτά στην Ευρώπη και την Αμερική δεν ανταποκρίνεται στην πραγματικότητα. Οι αντιδράσεις των πολιτών για την αιχμαλωσία και την εκμετάλλευση των κητωδών, έχουν ως αποτέλεσμα τα δελφινάρια να κλείνουν το ένα κατόπιν του άλλου. Δεκατρία κράτη-μέλη της Ε.Ε. (Αυστρία, Κύπρος, Τσεχική Δημοκρατία, Εσθονία, Ουγγαρία, Λετονία, Λουξεμβούργο, Πολωνία, Δημοκρατία της Ιρλανδίας, Ρουμανία, Σλοβακία, Σλοβενία και Ηνωμένο Βασίλειο) δεν έχουν δελφινάρια. Πολλές χώρες σε ολόκληρο τον κόσμο, όπως η Κροατία, η Κύπρος, και η Σλοβενία, έχουν προχωρήσει ή προχωρούν σε νομοθετικές ρυθμίσεις για την προστασία τους και την απαγόρευση της αιχμαλωσίας τους, ενώ η αιχμαλωσία δελφινιών απαγορεύτηκε προσφάτως και στην Ινδία, με εγκύκλιο που εκδόθηκε από το Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος και Δασών, στις 17 Μαϊου του 2013. Το Υπουργείο Περιβάλλοντος της Ινδίας έκρινε ότι οι παραστάσεις κητωδών αποτελούν κακοποίηση των ζώων αυτών και θέτουν σε σοβαρό κίνδυνο την υγεία αλλά και την ίδια τους την επιβίωση, αφού τέτοιες εγκαταστάσεις συνδέονται με υψηλά ποσοστά νοσηρότητας και θνησιμότητας. Επίσης, λαμβανομένης υπόψη της ιδιαιτερότητας αυτών των ειδών, διαπίστωσαν ότι οι παραστάσεις με δελφίνια δεν διαφέρουν από τα τσίρκο, ενώ δεν υπάρχει επιστημονική τεκμηρίωση ότι συμβάλλουν στην ευαισθητοποίηση του κοινού για τη θαλάσσια ζωή και το περιβάλλον. Στην Ελβετία απαγορεύτηκαν οι εισαγωγές νέων αιχμάλωτων δελφινιών, και το τελευταίο Ελβετικό δελφινάριο Conny-Land έδωσε την τελευταία του παράσταση τον Οκτώβριο του 2012, και έκτοτε έκλεισε οριστικά. Ο ζωολογικός κήπος στη Μιννεσότα, μετά από 34 χρόνια λειτουργίας, δεν θα έχει πλέον δελφίνια. Τα δελφινάρια στην Τουρκία κλείνουν μετά από αντιδράσεις ενημερωμένων πολιτών, στη Γερμανία από τα 11 δελφινάρια έχουν μείνει μόνο 2, στην Πράγα, λόγω αντιδράσεων, ακυρώθηκε η ίδρυση δελφινάριου, καθώς το 96% των πολιτών δηλώνει υπέρ της κατάργησης τους, κ.ο.κ.

Το αίτημα της κατάργησης των δελφιναρίων είναι παγκόσμιο, οι σελίδες κοινωνικής δικτύωσης κατά της αιχμαλωσίας και της εκμετάλλευσης των κητωδών αμέτρητες, και οι διαμαρτυρίες όλο και πιο συχνές. Τον Μάιο του 2014, διοργανώνεται διαμαρτυρία σε χώρες και των 5 ηπείρων, με αίτημα τον τερματισμό της αιχμαλωσίας των κητωδών. Αξίζει να επισημανθεί ότι, στην Αμερική, ένα ντοκιμαντέρ το οποίο κυκλοφόρησε πρόσφατα, με τον τίτλο "Blackfish", αποκαλύπτει το παρασκήνιο που υπάρχει πίσω από τη βιομηχανία εκμετάλλευσης των κητωδών, και έχει ήδη οδηγήσει σε πτώση της μετοχής του μεγαλύτερου θαλάσσιου πάρκου που υπάρχει στον κόσμο, του SeaWorld, ενώ σχεδόν όλοι οι καλλιτέχνες έχουν ακυρώσει τις εμφανίσεις τους στο πάρκο αυτό. Η επισκεψιμότητα έχει πέσει κατακόρυφα, και το πάρκο οδηγείται σιγά σιγά σε κλείσιμο ή αλλαγή πορείας. To ντοκιμαντέρ αυτό προβλέπεται να αναδειχθεί σε ντοκιμαντέρ της χρονιάς για το 2013.

Σας παραθέτουμε μερικά από τα πολλά ξένα σχετικά δημοσιεύματα:
SeaWorld attendance belly flops, posts 2Q loss - Yahoo! Finance
SeaWorld slashes park prices amid attendance drop | The Detroit News
SeaWorld Faring Poorly in CNN Poll – Only 14% of Respondents Would Bring Their Familes - Candace Calloway Whiting
Schoolchildren and Musicians Boycott SeaWorld in "Blackfish" Flap
2013.12.26_Celebrities Cancel SeaWorld Shows, Concerts Due To Blackfish | Global Animal
2013.10_Loud and Clear: The Public Says ‘NO!’ to Captivity - WDC)

Ευελπιστούμε στην κατανόησή σας για όλα τα παραπάνω, στην διατήρηση της απαγόρευσης, όπως αρχικά διατυπώθηκε, και στον σεβασμό από την πλευρά του υπουργείου σας όχι μόνον των ευάλωτων δελφινιών, αλλά και τ
          Moko Gone Wild        
Moko has just gone wild - as she always was. Bottlenosed dolphins are intelligent and sociable, but they're not part of our human society, even when they interact with us.
          Dolphin " The Amazing Animal "        


Dolphins are highly intelligent marine mammals, in addition to the natural systems that complement the body is very complex. So many technologies that are inspired by dolphins. One example is the skin of dolphins are able to reduce friction with the water, so the dolphins can swim with a little water resistance. It is used by swimmers to design swimsuits that resemble the skin of dolphins.
Dolphins have a system that is used to communicate and receive excitatory called sonar system, the system can avoid objects in front of the dolphin, so avoid the collision. This technology is then applied in the manufacture of submarine radar. Dolphins are mammals. They live in the sea and rivers around the world. Dolphins are whales kerebat and Irrawaddy Dolphin. There are more than 40 species of dolphins.
Baby dolphin new-born will be brought to the surface by the parent to be able to breathe air. The dolphins have to rise to the surface to breathe to stay alive. Dolphins breathe air through a hole located on top of kepalnya. Her body is sleek and slim, very suitable for swimming. Parent dolphins feeding her child with milk is tasty and provides the energy for their children so big fast. Every child dolphins always near its mother, so her mother could protect from harm. The dolphins are always keeping in touch with her son to grow bigger. Parent dolphins call their children with special whistles that they can recognize.
The dolphins live and work in groups called flocks. They often play together. A dolphin can not sleep well under water. He could drown. Therefore, he was half asleep for a moment in a day. The dolphins eat squid and fish like mullet, gray. Sometimes a herd of dolphins herding fish for easy capture. Dolphins find a way to send sound in water. If the voice on an object, it will bounce sound back as echoes. Sometimes, noise in the sea due to oil drilling could confuse dolphins. They will have difficulty in sending and receiving messages.
Man is always interested in the story of dolphins. The Romans have made the image mosaic of dolphins about 2,000 years ago. Now, people like to swim in the sea with an intelligent and friendly animals such as dolphins. Dolphins have to be careful of the sharks that might attack them at any time. They protect themselves with the gear teeth, sometimes they use their beaks as a ramrod. Humans can by doing a lot of fish for the dolphins for food. Sometimes, the dolphins caught by fishing nets. They can not breath on the surface, and consequently drowned. When hazardous chemicals dumped into the sea, that waste can poison the food you eat dolphins. Construction of dams in rivers and lakes drying, leaving little room for animals such as dolphins Brazil to live.
The dolphins classified as an intelligent mammals. The dolphins could help humans, when the dolphins are trained, even the circle of fire was to their breakthrough. Sea lions, the species of primates, whales and dogs also includes an intelligent animal. The dolphins who are trained to perform a variety of attractions and they also can count, but not wild dolphins to perform a variety of attractions. Today, the dolphins and whales are rare, the dolphins and whales should be protected.
The dolphins and whales have begun to be protected throughout the world.

Lets Protect Dolphins

          Bottlenose Ranked as #13 in Top Startups in LA Listing        

I’m very pleased to see Bottlenose getting ranked at #13 in the Top 100 Startups in LA listing this year. We’re making progress!…

          I Have Joined the I-COM Data Creativity Awards Board        

I am pleased to announce that I have been added to the Board for the Data Creativity Awards, by I-COM, The Global Forum for Marketing Data and Measurement. Details here.…

          Bottlenose Nerve Center 2.0 Released – Milestone for Real-Time Big Data Analytics        

I’m happy to announce the release of Bottlenose Nerve Center 2.0 today. Analyzing 3 billion messages an hour (72 billion messages a day), and doing real-time predictive analytics on nearly 300 million data points an hour, it’s a big step in real-time big data analytics. …

          Bottlenose Announces Live Trend Intelligence for TV, Radio and Social        

My venture, Bottlenose, has a big announcement today. We’re unveiling the first live trend intelligence system to provide analytics against real-time broadcast TV and radio (and social media).  You can read more in the TechCrunch article here.

           Episode 430 - October 23 2014        
Breathtaking new technique could help detect disease in bottlenose dolphins.
          A Dolphin Diet        
Marine biologists study the diets of dolphin species to understand the animals’ foraging habits and how they share ocean resources
Wednesday, August 2, 2017 - 11:00
Santa Barbara, CA
Spinner dolphin
Bottlenose dolphins
Melon-headed dolphin

Marine biologists study the diets of dolphin species to understand their foraging habits and how they share ocean resources

Contact Info: 

Julie Cohen
(805) 893-7220

          Rangers search for bottlenose dolphin spotted on Australia Day with clothing around body        
Western Australian wildlife rangers search for a bottlenose dolphin in the South-West which appears to have had a T-shirt or singlet deliberately pulled over its head.
          "Tool Time" -- The Discovery Files        
Georgetown University researcher studies subset of bottlenose dolphin that uses marine sponges as a tool to hunt for food.

Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) at water surface. Caribbean Sea, Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras, Latin America.
28. July 2017
Download image | View all water images

          Federal Scientists Link Dolphin Die-offs To BP Spill        
Federal scientists have linked a spike in deaths of bottlenose dolphins in the Gulf of Mexico to the BP oil spill off the Louisiana coast....
          re: Remarkable Story of an Owl and His Girl        

#6. Fake Flipper

When a bottlenose dolphin got caught in a crab trap near Cape Canaveral, Fla., a handful of fisherman helped her escape, but they couldn't save her mangled tailfin. This spring, prosthetic experts from Hanger Orthopedic Group in Bethesda, Md., designed a plastic tail for the baby dolphin and a new type of gel to hold it in place. And to critics who pooh-pooh such efforts as a waste of resources, it's worth noting that the gel was later used to help an Iraq War veteran attach his prosthetic legs more comfortably.

          Dolphin Of The Week!        
If you hit up any movie theater this month, or if you opened any paper or talked to any true film aficionado, then you know one thing for certain: Dolphins have taken the film world by storm. And I'm not just talking about any dolphin either, I'm talking about "Winter", the real-life bottlenosed Dolphin on whom the movie "Dolphin Tales", starring Morgan Freeman and Harry Connick Jr., is based. This heart-warming story of a young Dolphin who faces the life-threatening challenge of irreperable tail damage, has swum it's way into the hearts of millions of Americans. If you have not yet seen this movie, close your computer and go to the nearest theater immediately. It's just delightful. It goes without saying that this week, our dolphin of the week is Winter, the half-tailed but doubly-hearted Dolphin. A round of applause and a hearty "mazel tov" to Winter our Dolphin of the Week!!
          Dolphin of The Week        

Due to the turbulence of hurricane Irene, a 6-fooot bottlenose dolphin was hoisted from it’s home in the Chesapeake Bay into a freshwater tributary of the Chicahominy River.

Lucky for us, Irene didn’t stop by the windy city.

For the daunting nature of its task ahead, we award this little creature with “Dolphin of The Week”.


           Dolphins Beach Themselves to Catch Fish        

In South Carolina, a pod of bottlenose dolphins has taken teamwork to a whole new level. As a group, they corral entire shoals of fish onto the shore and then devour as many as they can. Stranding is a serious hazard for dolphins, but this pod has mastered the technique.

The post Dolphins Beach Themselves to Catch Fish appeared first on Nature.

           Bottlenose and Humpback Dolphins Become Friends        

In Mozambique, a young dolphin that’s left his pod encounters a rare humpback dolphin. And then something extraordinary happens – they seem to be making friends. This is the first time such a peculiar partnership has ever been filmed

The post Bottlenose and Humpback Dolphins Become Friends appeared first on Nature.

           Part 1 | Full Episode        

Dolphins: Spy in the Pod takes an in-depth look into the secret lives of a variety of dolphins as the specially designed “spycams” often interact and engage the curiosity of their subjects and film examples of their intelligence, communication, and relationships. In the first episode, the most widespread and best-known dolphin, the bottlenose, is introduced. […]

The post Part 1 | Full Episode appeared first on Nature.

           Baby Dolphin Meets ‘Spy Nautilus’        

Spy Nautilus, an animatronic spy camera, meets a pod of bottlenose dolphins. Among their numbers is a baby dolphin, only five days old.

The post Baby Dolphin Meets ‘Spy Nautilus’ appeared first on Nature.

          PC Issues        
Shark Net by Pants (2015)

There is no new post for August as I have PC issues which will hopefully be resolved later this week. Instead, I reproduce this post that appeared on Art of Pants recently.

I finished this piece yesterday*. As I walked around Lake Larrikin in the morning, I spotted a pod of Bottlenose dolphins close to the shore. 'Seeing dolphins is a good omen,' I thought. I bought a lottery ticket, went home and finished the assemblage above. In the afternoon, I lay on my winter-sun sofa and read a section of Karl Ove Knausgaard's Boyhood Island. The boy Karl Ove and his grandfather spot a pod of porpoises in the sea off their Norwegian island and the grandfather tells Karl Ove, 'seeing porpoises is a good omen, you know.' My chances of winning the lottery improved.

When it comes to Karl Ove Knausgaard, I am one of the firmly gripped. Boyhood Island is the third in the series My Struggle. I have read the first two in English and have asked the kindly people at Larrikin Library if they will be so good as to purchase the fourth, Dancing in the Dark, which is recently out in English translation. In the second book, A Man in Love, Knausgaard paraphrases Lawrence Durrell's method of novel-writing - 'you set a goal and go there in your sleep.' This method also works for assemblages. The elements are all out there, they just need a few sleeps to come together. 

I found this piece of driftwood last week. Australian artist Fiona Hall constructed a wall of animal-shaped driftwood for the Australian Pavilion in this year's Venice Biennale. There is an awful lot of it on the beaches of southern Australia and the Larrikin coast is no exception. I've made a few animal-inspired driftwood assemblages myself, some of which have previously appeared on this very blog. The piece featured above struck me initially as shark-like but it could also be a very angry dolphin. 

I immediately began to sift through my mind-closet for a suitable mount and remembered that I had a long, thin, framed board among the many that I've purchased for a few dollars each at charity shops over the years and that it had a blue, 'stressed' frame. It had previously displayed a Zodiac poster - Cancer, the Crab. Presciently nautical, I thought. I had a sample pot of emulsion that would do for background and some water-based gloss so there was no expense there. My initial thought was that I would make a piece that mimicked a trophy. Then I remembered that I had some garden netting in the shed.
Some popular Australian beaches are strung with nets to help prevent shark attack. I am strongly against these (unless of course I am swimming at one of these beaches, in which case I feel a lot safer). The nets kill other marine animals including turtles, seals, rays, dugongs, small whales and, yes, dolphins. Bad, bad omen. 

I decided to make a piece about shark nets. (That lottery ticket should pay off tonight.) Apart from the usual problem I have with assemblages - i.e. the assembly bit (note to self - Araldite will not stick anything to anything). Happily, the piece of driftwood had two well-positioned protrusions on the underside which were amenable to screws. After a great deal of unladylike language and wishing that I had several extra available hands, the thing came together. 

It's not clear from the photograph above, but the little rock at bottom left has the word 'DREAM' chiseled into it. I have no idea where this object came from* but it was kicking around and it was the right colour so it went on - and so far remains, thanks to a generous blob of Araldite. Dream is a word that has special significance in Australia, especially in relation to nature. It seemed right to add it in.

I have a feeling that the 'DREAM' rock might be from a conference pack dating back to the late 90s, when an element of warm-fuzzy, body-mind-spiritedness was often woven in to soften the hard-data coldness that tended to dominate public-sector proceedings. I can never bear to throw this sort of artefact away. Superstition can be good for art.

* July 2015
          Whistle dialects of the Atlantic Bottlenosed Dolphin, Tursiops truncatus        
          Pink dolphin appears in U.S. lake        
The world's only pink bottlenose dolphins discovered in an inland lake in Louisiana, USA, has become an attraction that conservationists have warned tourists to be left alone.

Charter boat captain Erik Rue, 42, photographed the animal, which is actually an albino, he began to study after mammals first appeared in Calcasieu Lake, a saltwater estuary inland, north Gulf of Mexico in the southwestern U.S..

          Wild! Sperm whales adopt dolphin with deformed spine        

In a rare pairing that left ecologists puzzled, a pod of sperm whales in the North Atlantic Ocean appeared to have adopted a lone bottlenose dolphin calf with a spinal curvature.In a rare pairing that left ecologists puzzled, a pod of sperm whales in the North Atlantic Ocean appeared to have adopted a lone bottlenose dolphin calf with a spinal curvature.

          Comment on How to succeed at Mooc-ing without really trying by Sheilamacneill        
Thanks for the comment. I think we all have the capacity for obtuse and obscure tweets:-) Yes must patent this soon already noticed a bottlenose sonar of the google hangout yesterday . . .
          Dolphins May Have Individual Names        

Click here to listen to this podcast

Many animals use sounds to convey information. [Sound of wolf? howl] Humans use particular vocal labels for objects and for people. We call these words, and names. A few creatures, such as parrots and dolphins, can learn specific vocal labels. And wild dolphins are known to have particular, individual signature whistles. Scientists at Scotland?s St. Andrews University wanted to know: can these whistles be used as labels? The researchers analyzed sounds from dolphins off Scotland?s east coast, and extracted these signature whistles. [Dolphin whistle sound] Then they altered the sounds so the calls wouldn?t sound exactly like the originating dolphin. [Altered dolphin whistle]
They played those sounds back to the dolphins, along with whistles from dolphins familiar to the animals and whistles from strangers. When the dolphins heard their own signature whistle [Altered dolphin whistle] they routinely responded with that same sound. [Dolphin whistle sound] That reaction only happened twice when they heard sounds from their pals and not at all when they heard the alien dolphin. The research is in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. [Stephanie L. King and Vincent M. Janik, Bottlenose dolphins can use learned vocal labels to address each other] The researchers think dolphin signature whistles serve as self-identification, and maybe even as a label for addressing each other?just like a name. ?Cynthia Graber [The above text is a transcript of this podcast.] [Dolphin sounds courtesy of Stephanie L. King and Vincent M. Janik, Saint Andrews University] Follow Scientific American on Twitter @SciAm and @SciamBlogs. Visit ScientificAmerican.com for the latest in science, health and technology news.
? 2013 ScientificAmerican.com. All rights reserved.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/dolphins-may-individual-names-202208525.html

michigan basketball ncaa final four Evil Dead halle berry kurt cobain Kamala Harris URI

          Six Years After Deepwater Horizon: Time For Serious Action        
BP oil disaster by Julie Dermansky

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016 will mark the six-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion that claimed the lives of eleven men and caused the largest man-made oil spill in history.

The cleanup crews abandoned the Gulf Coast years ago, claiming that the damage from the spill was “gone” and the media quit paying attention shortly after the wellhead was capped at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.

Despite the lack of attention paid to the Gulf region in recent years, the lasting damage of the oil spill is something that remains fresh on the minds of everyone that calls this area home.

Like most disasters that don’t involve national security issues, Americans tend to operate under the belief that once the media attention has faded the issue is resolved. They don’t understand that the victims of the spill who lost their source of income are still fighting court battles against BP, Transocean, and Halliburton. 

They haven’t heard about the sea life with abnormal growths and heart defects linked to the lingering oil and dispersants that have settled on the bottom of the Gulf. And they are unaware that tar mats and tar balls are still common sights on beaches throughout the region.
Here’s a quick primer on what the Gulf Coast has gone through in the last six years for those who haven’t been paying close attention:
First, we have the real extent of the damage caused by the oil. Photojournalist and DeSmogBlog contributor Julie Dermansky captured images throughout the oil spill and cleanup process, and here are a few that really show, in detail, how bad things were along the shore:

Oiled waves and sand on Orange Beach, Alabama following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. June, 2010.

Oiled brown pelican in Barataria Bay, Louisiana following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. June, 2010.

Oil-tinged waves on Orange Beach, Alabama following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. June, 2010.

Oil-covered beach at Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge in Alabama following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. June, 2010.

Then there was the insulting report by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling in January 2011 that completely omitted some of the most damning information about the cause of the oil spill.

For example, the report failed to mention former Vice President Dick Cheney’s role in deregulating offshore drilling activities and the cozy relationship that BP, Transocean, and Halliburton that allowed safety measures on the Deepwater Horizon rig to be ignored while safety inspections were virtually nonexistent. Had this relationship not been established, it is very likely that the disaster never would have occurred.
Additionally, there was almost no mention in the national media about BP’s long history of ignoring safety measures and actually creating presentations showing that it was cheaper for the company to pay for disasters instead of keeping their facilities up to date on safety measures, even when those disasters resulted in the loss of human life.
Another major story that went largely unreported were the negative health effects of the oil spill.

Workers tasked with removing oil from beaches and wetlands began showing up at doctor’s offices with respiratory illnesses as a result of exposure to massive amounts of oil and the dispersant used to break up the oil, Corexit.

Corexit itself has been linked to cancers in both humans and marine mammals, which is why the EPA initially didn’t want BP to use it in the cleanup. However, after BP refused to comply, the EPA backed off its Corexit ban and allowed BP to pour it by the barrel into the Gulf of Mexico.
Then came the PR offensive from BP. The victims along the Gulf Coast became the victims of a new attack from the fossil fuel giant, as they began taking out full-page ads in national newspapers claiming that the claims process was plagued by fraud. While a few cases of fraud were found, reports showed that nearly every claim filed against the company was legitimate, but that didn’t stop publications like Politico from allowing a BP executive to write an op-ed slamming the victims of the oil spill as “greedy.”
Finally, and most recently, there was the fact that not a single executive went to prison for their role in the disaster, and the few prosecutions that took place resulted in only probation sentences for things like perjury or hindering an investigation.

Bear in mind that eleven men were killed as a result of corporate negligence and the damage to both the Gulf of Mexico and the health effects of the oil spill are still currently incalculable. 
These issues barely even begin to scratch the surface with regards to the extent of the damage caused by the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

But a new report by Oceana has helped to paint a very clear and unpleasant picture of just how bad things are for the environment, human beings, and marine life that call the Gulf home.
Here are a few key findings from the Oceana report:

Mortality rates for common bottlenose dolphins living in Barataria Bay, Louisiana were 8 percent higher and their reproductive success was 63 percent lower compared to other dolphin populations.
An estimated 600,000 to 800,000 birds died as a result of the spill.
Harmful oil and/or oil dispersant chemicals were found in about 80 percent of pelican eggs that were laid in Minnesota, more than 1,000 miles from the Gulf, where most of these birds spend winters.
Oil exposure caused heart failure in juvenile bluefin and yellowfin tunas, reduced swimming ability in juvenile mahi-mahi and caused gill tissue damage in killifish.
The oil plume caused bleaching and tissue loss in deep-water coral reefs over an area three times larger than Manhattan.
Endangered sea turtles that had migrated to the Gulf from Mexico, South America and West Africa died in the spill, demonstrating the global scale of impacts.
The 50,000 people involved in the spill cleanup were exposed to chemicals that severely damage lung tissue.
Cleanup workers and their spouses reported increased depression and domestic disputes.
Even Gulf residents indirectly affected by the spill suffered from increased anxiety and depression.
It can take a decade or more for oil spill victims to recover from the physical and psychological effects of an oil disaster.
The impact of the oil spill on fisheries could total $8.7 billion by 2020, including the loss of 22,000 jobs.

While the rest of the world forgot to check to see if the victims on the Gulf Coast were made whole, many in the region are coming to terms with the fact that being made whole isn’t an option anymore.

The best they can hope for after struggling for the last six years is that they are able to put a few of the pieces of their lives back together as they continue to watch in horror as the environment in which they grew up slowly suffers from the negligence of the fossil fuel industry.
All photo credits: Julie Dermansky Photography

          Bottlenose dolphin         
Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://www.lancswt.org.uk/events/2017/07/27/whale-dolphin-watch-heysham'>Whale & Dolphin Watch (Heysham)   </a>     </td></tr><td><fieldset class=Date / Time
Start date: 
Tue, 08/08/2017 - 10:00am - 2:00pm

An event to mark National Marine Week!

A member of our marine team will be there with some binoculars so if you would like to join us then all you need to do is show up...

The process is really straightforward – we will gather at the tower and spend a couple of hours or so looking out to sea, periodically recording environmental factors and of course any marine mammals that we see!

If you plan on staying for the full duration of the watch then don’t forget to bring some lunch, and if you have binoculars then please do bring them as well.

Join us at Heysham to see if we can spot any whales, dolphins, porpoises or seals passing by.
Main image: 
Booking details
Booking required?: 
Admission charge: 
Contact name: 
Emily Parr
Contact number: 
Contact email: 
Fully booked: 
Other details
People with limited mobility please contact organiser in advance
Wheelchair users please contact organiser in advance
North Harbour Wall, Port of Heysham

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          Whale & Dolphin Watch        
Date / Time
Start date: 
Fri, 04/08/2017 - 10:00am - 2:00pm

An event to mark National Marine Week!

A member of our marine team will be there with some binoculars so if you would like to join us then all you need to do is show up!

The process is really straightforward – we will gather at the tower and spend a couple of hours or so looking out to sea, periodically recording environmental factors and of course any marine mammals that we see!

If you plan on staying for the full duration of the watch then don’t forget to bring some lunch, and if you have binoculars then please do bring them as well.

Join us at Rossall Point Observation Tower to see if we can spot any whales, dolphins, porpoises or seals passing by.
Main image: 
Booking details
Booking required?: 
Admission charge: 
Contact name: 
Emily Parr
Contact number: 
Contact email: 
Fully booked: 
Other details
People with limited mobility please contact organiser in advance
Wheelchair users please contact organiser in advance
Rossall Observation Tower

read more

"A bottlenose dolphin, in the last stages of pregnancy, basked her big belly in the sun on the surface and swam in front of the boat, demonstrating to us that she would soon become a mother," writes Katharine Heyer. Next time you look out to the Atlantic from the beaches of Tarifa, imagine the diversity of life in the deep blue that lies ahead of you.
          if you are gone i will not be long; rizzoli & isles        
if you are gone i will not be long.
Before Jane can answer, Maura helpfully pipes up. “Jane has been having a recurring dream of an explicit sexual nature involving me and it’s making her uncomfortable, so I was just trying to get to the bottom of why.”
rizzoli & isles: jane/maura; m, ~4900 words. some references to gayness from s1 and s2 but not really spoilery as such.

notes: sooooo i very recently inhaled this show and got super sucked into how terribly in love with each other jane and maura are (FACTS!!!!) so with some......... encouragement from katinka_reptar this fic is now a thing. i feel like i should point out that there is very little point beyond jane being bratty and then banging maura. oh, did i give it away? whatever it's not like you'd be reading it for any other reason amirite.

Maura’s hands slide deftly over the curve of Jane’s hips, fingers dragging over her spine and up her back, breath damp in her ear.

Her own fingers slip down Maura’s ribs, catching the sheen of sweat that sits cool on her skin. Her teeth graze over the pale column of Maura’s neck and she gasps, hips rolling against the press of Jane’s thigh.

She wants to melt into Maura’s bones, fuse them together and feel the rush of her blood spilling into her own. Dipping her chest, she settles her whole long length against Maura, feels her shudder along every inch of where they touch, fingers so unyielding on her back that they feel like they’ll leave a mark.

Suddenly, she jolts, and the room goes dark. Completely disoriented for a second, Jane realises she’s woken up. “Fuck.”

The clock reads 5:04. Jane groans and rolls over, starting when she hears a muffled yelp. “Sorry buddy, didn’t mean to wake you too.”

She scratches the dog’s ears, then swings her feet over the bed, scowling. “I guess we’re up.” She yawns, then stands and shuffles to the kitchen, flicking on the light and then the kettle switch. She rests her elbows on the bench, running a hand through her hair, and thinks: well, shit.

It’s not like she’s a stranger to weird sex dreams. Working homicide in such close proximity with the same people every day has its consequences, and most of the time she thinks nothing of it. Maura would say it was something to do with brain chemistry and inter-relational science megapixels or something equally unintelligible but—Maura. She’s never had a dream like that about Maura. Shopping for trash cans in India with her and a polar bear, sure, but naked and sweaty and... writhing? Not so much. It also felt a lot less dream-like than she’s been used to, which unsettles her somewhat, considering she doesn’t really need the reminder of it in high-def whenever she looks at Maura for the next week.


It’s totally fine.

No big deal.

She goes to work.

“Jane! Wait for me!”

She hears the sharp click of impractical heels behind her and turns to see Maura waving and trying to catch up. Jane was sure this was going to be fine, it’s not like Maura needs to know about anything that goes on while she’s sleeping, but as soon as Jane sees the smile, her comforting familiarity, the thoughts come rushing back and suddenly it’s a little harder to breathe. The suddenly feeling that comes over her and settles low in her stomach is weird and not really all that fun, but she holds the elevator anyway, and Maura breezes inside.

“Are you all right? Your chest is rising and falling much more rapidly than usual – did you run here? Are you sick? Are you having a panic attack as a result of alarming stimuli?”

Jane rolls her eyes. “No, Maura, I’m fine. I just... had a little too much coffee and not enough sleep.”

“But fatigue and too much caffeine wouldn’t—”

“I’m fine, Maura, what did you want to talk about?”

“Oh, I have evidence for you regarding the case with the two drowning victims, DNA results came back on the skin we found...”

Jane stops listening to the large words Maura’s using in her explanation and accidentally finds herself focusing on the way her lips stretch over her teeth as she talks animatedly, the shadows shifting in the dip of her collarbone, the curve of her—

“Jane, are you listening to me? This information is incredibly significant to your case!” Maura suddenly looks concerned. “...Are you sure you’re all right? Your face is flushed, which means something has triggered your sympathetic nervous system; your body is releasing adrenaline and the blood vessels in your face are dilating. Do you have a coppery taste in your mouth? Or is it too hot for you in here?” She feels the back of Maura’s cool hand come to rest on her forehead. “Hmm, well, you don’t have a fever. Is it something I said?”

Maura tries to diagnose her the whole way to her office and one thing becomes increasingly clear to Jane: she really needs to start going to bed earlier.

She doesn’t see Maura much for the rest of the day, and slowly she starts to forget all about making a complete fool of herself (stupid dilating blood vessels) and falls into bed exhausted, ready to put it all behind her.

But she has the dream again.

After waking up from it the third morning, the lack of proper sleep must show on her face because when she walks into the lab Maura greets her with, “Wow, you look terrible.”

“Nice to see you too.”

“I’m sorry, but you just look extremely tired, have you still not been sleeping?”

“It certainly doesn’t feel like it,” Jane replies hoarsely; even her voice feels tired.

“Is it nightmares?” Maura asks, concerned.

“Oh, no, it’s just this same dream I keep having.” On Maura’s encouraging look, Jane decides to play it off as no big deal. “For some reason my subconscious wants me to keep watching us have a lot of sex.”

Maura looks surprised and oddly embarrassed. “That’s... voyeuristic of it.”

“...Yeah. Whatever, it’s weird, I’ll get over it, the end.”

“But if it’s upsetting you you really should try to understand why, Jane, or you might keep having it.”

“It’s not ‘upsetting’ me, Maura.”

“So it’s enjoyable, then?” she asks, and Jane is sure she can see the hint of a smirk playing around Maura’s mouth.

“Do I want to know what this is about?” Frost asks, the door to the lab swinging shut behind him as he stops in his tracks. He looks at Jane. “I just wanted to let you know Adams is in the interview room.”

Before Jane can answer, Maura helpfully pipes up. “Jane has been having a recurring dream of an explicit sexual nature involving me and it’s making her uncomfortable, so I was just trying to get to the bottom of why.”

Smacking a hand to her forehead, Jane winces. “Thank you, Maura. And before you say a word, Frost, it’s not what you’re thinking.”

He grins, and holds his hands up in surrender. “It’s my funeral to make you mad when you’re wearing your piece, Jane, but you know what they say about denial.” With that, Frost makes a swift exit, though Jane can still hear him snickering as he walks back down the hall.

“What do they say about denial?” Maura asks, legitimately interested.

Jane’s fingers twitch over her brow, but she composes herself and manages to keep her expression from looking too exasperated. “That it’s not just a river in Egypt.”

“Of course it’s not, it runs through ten countries in Africa, fed by its two tributaries the White Nile and the Blue Nile. It’s considered to be the longest river in the world, there’s no way it could only exist in Egypt.”

Groaning under her breath, Jane squeezes her eyes shut. “Why do I even... look, Maura, while I’m just so super glad you want so badly to diagnose my overactive imagination, I really don’t want to have this conversation with you right now. I’m going to talk to our suspect so we’ll have to not ever continue this later, okay?”

Ever-cheerful, Maura smiles back at her. “All right, I’ll call you if I find anything else!”

The knock on Jane’s door after work startles her, and she opens it to find Maura clutching a grocery bag and looking far too excited for ten o’clock at night.

“Oh good, I didn’t think you’d be asleep yet, I bought you something.”

“A present? For me? You shouldn’t have!” Jane says, not even trying to feign delight. “It’s not more of your fancy 90s wine is it?”

“Nope, I got you some natural herbal remedies to help you sleep. There’s some American scullcap, kava root, lavender oil, a NightWave Sleep Assistant... I thought I’d give them to you now because I learned how to brew kava tea several years ago and I thought I could make it for you!”

“You came all the way over just to make me weird plant tea, this is what you’re telling me.”

“...Yes. Is that a problem?”

Jane steps back from the door in response, and lets Maura slide in past her. She follows her to the kitchen and slumps onto one of the stools at the counter, idly watching the medical examiner unpack the grocery bag and turn the kettle on. She spies a small prescription bottle and picks it up triumphantly, accusatory. “I thought you said they were natural sleep remedies.”

Maura tries not to look sheepish. “Well, they don’t... work for everyone, and you... you have something of a...”

“Bias against hippies?”

“You’re just a lot more traditional in your healing practices, I didn’t know if you’d be open to these ones. I wanted to cover all my bases.”

Not being able to help smiling at Maura’s unrelenting ability to make her feel both loved and scolded at the same time, Jane picks up one of the weird-looking roots from the counter and sniffs it. And then immediately puts it down again. “I think your cabana root is off.”

Maura sniffs it herself, then shakes her head. “Kava root. And nope, that’s exactly what it’s supposed to smell like.”

Jane doesn’t want to know what that means it’s going to taste like. She sighs and looks at her fruit bowl. “Maybe I should just eat a thousand bananas and fall into a coma for a week or something.”

“Actually if you ate a thousand bananas you’d overdose on potassium, it’d stop your heart,” Maura says in a gently corrective voice, and slides the fruit bowl a little further from Jane’s reach.

The tea thing doesn’t go so well.

“Ugh, what the hell Maura, it tastes like old shoes and the woods!”

Maura grabs the cup off her. “Did I make it wrong?” She sips, and frowns. “It tastes the same as every other time I’ve had it, what’s wrong with it?”

“Do you not have tastebuds?! It’s like drinking dirt.”

For a second Maura looks disappointed and Jane almost tells her to give the cup back and she’ll just drink it and then do whatever else Maura wants even if it means drinking five more cups of cabana roots and then eating them afterward because all she wants is for that look to leave her beautiful face, but then Maura shakes herself out of it and shrugs, smiling again. The slightly manic feeling Jane had passes, and she feels a little embarrassed.

“What about chamomile tea and a Zaleplon pill instead?” Maura asks.

“Sounds delicious.”

“Okay, well you go and get ready for bed and I’ll bring it to you.”

Jane slides unceremoniously off her stool and when she crawls into bed five minutes later Maura appears at the doorway holding a mug of flowery tea and a tiny pill that she drops into Jane’s outstretched hand.

“This is fast-acting, and I should warn you that this particular type of sleeping pill can be habit-forming so please don’t take them on a regular basis. And I mean, you probably should have a seen a doctor first, you might have some sort of condition that’s preventing you from sleeping properly.”

“But you’re my doctor,” Jane rasps, grinning.

Maura smiles fondly back at her. “Well, technically I’m your medical examiner, but I appreciate the sentiment nonetheless. I’ll just clean up in the kitchen and then I’ll go.”

“What, you’re not going to tuck me in?” Jane asks, her voice coming out a little lower than she’d intended.

“I’m not familiar with the concept, is this a night-time ritual of some sort that you have to have me partake in?”

It strikes her, again, just how alien Maura’s upbringing would have seemed to her as a kid. All her memories of Ma Rizzoli rigorously tucking in the covers of all three of her children every night without fail are so ingrained that she can’t imagine what it would have been like any other way. Almost without thinking, she takes Maura’s hand.

“It was a joke, sort of.” She refrains from explaining that it’s a parent thing on the off chance that Maura gets that look on her face again and she has to scramble around for plants to chew on. “Listen, thank you. For the dirt-flavoured tea and the prescription drugs.”

“I just want to help. Recurring dreams can be stressful no matter the subject matter and I don’t want your work to be compromised because of it. She squeezes Jane’s hand. “Do you want me to stay until you finish your tea? I could do the dishes for you afterward.”

“No, oh my god, I mean, no – please don’t do my dishes, you’re turning into my mother, but yes, stay for a bit; take your ridiculous shoes off for five seconds.”

Still grasping Jane’s hand, Maura slips off her heels and hops over Jane’s knees to flop down on the other side of the bed. Jane pops her pill, swallowing it with a sip of her tea, and notices Maura watching her with an unreadable expression on her face. Neither of them say anything though, and Jane settles back against the pillows with Maura following suit.

“Tell me something science-y to help me fall asleep,” Jane beseeches wistfully, turning to face Maura.

Maura looks at the ceiling, thinking. “Did you know that it’s impossible to drown peacefully? People always say it’s a good way to go, but—”

“Maura. Does talking about drowning really seem like it’s going to help me get to sleep easier? Also, why do you always say ‘did you know’ like my answer is going to be yes? I never know, that’s why you always end up telling me.”

“If you’re going to ask bossy questions then I’m not going to tell you anything at all, you can go to sleep by yourself.”

Jane pushes her, scowling petulantly. “Fine. Just... talk about something a little less morbid.”

Propping herself on an elbow, Maura contemplates for a minute. “I could talk about the history of the Theobroma cacao, I recently did some research on it after it pertained to a case.”

“...Sure. That sounds fairly harmless.”

As Maura starts talking earnestly about ancient civilizations and currency systems and cocoa bean processing, everything starts going a little fuzzy, and Jane keeps finding her eyes drifting shut, soothed by Maura’s comforting voice.

She wakes into darkness again, vivid images of Maura’s skin pressing into the backs of her eyelids, and she frowns. The smell of Maura’s perfume still lingers in her nose, and when she shifts she finds the rest of Maura lingered too, curled into the line of Jane’s side above the covers. The night isn’t warm, and Jane rolls her eyes, wondering why the hell Maura had the sense to turn out the light but not actually get in the bed. Squirming, she manages to free her arms, and gently shakes Maura’s shoulder, trying to pull the covers down with her other hand. “Maura. Maura, you gotta help me a little here.”

Maura stirs, Jane can just see the outline of her brow creasing as she turns over. “Hmm?” she murmurs, groggy and still not really awake.

“Babe, you just need to get under the covers, okay, it’s cold.”

Still not entirely sure if Maura is properly conscious, Jane puts a guiding hand on her back as she sleepily navigates getting herself beneath the blankets and slumps bodily back down again. Right next to Jane. Which is just great now that she’s awake and hyperaware of what she was just dreaming about and Maura smells really nice and her nose is lightly pressing into Jane’s arm – it’s all just super, super great. Trying not to think of what any of it means, she settles an arm under her head and just says, “Your feet are cold.”

A quiet hrmmph is all she gets in reply.

The alarm goes off at 6:30am, and she feels Maura lean over her and slap it off before she has time to orient herself. The mattress shifts as Maura stretches and flops back down again, and Jane cracks an eye open as she sighs.

“Wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something?”

Maura smiles. “Sorry for crashing here, by the time I finished talking and realised you were asleep it was nearly one and I couldn’t be bothered getting up.”

Jane shrugs, rubbing her fingers into her eyes to hide her smile at the fact that she can perfectly imagine Maura chatting away to herself about cocoa beans while she snored blissfully into her pillow. “It’s no problem, Maura, you know that. I’ve fallen asleep on your bed during cases a thousand times.”

“Did you have the dream again?”

Jane pauses, lifts her hands away from her face and pulls the covers over her head.

“I’m going to assume that that means you did and you don’t want to talk about it.”

“Jackpot. You win a million dollars, bye!” Jane tries to make a hasty exit out of the bed but Maura grabs her arm.

“Jane! I’m just trying to help figure out what’s wrong with you.”

Jane’s starting to think she knows exactly what’s wrong with her, but she’s not about to say it to herself, let alone out loud to Maura. “It’s fine, Maura, it’ll work itself out.”

“I wouldn’t be so sure about that, if you don’t find the underlying cause of the problem you may end up with—”

“Maybe I’m just sexually frustrated, did your giant brain consider that?!” she huffs, annoyed that this discussion is still happening.

That gives Maura pause, but then she gets that contemplative look on her face that Jane knows always spells out a longwinded spiel in the making. “Oh no, no, no, no, none of your science nonsense is required for that one, I know all about it.”

“I was just wondering why your subconscious chose me as your object of desire, but I suppose due to our close relationship and working environment I guess it’s not wildly improbable...”

Jane just watches Maura trail off, caught up in her own thoughts, and shakes her head. “It’s really not a big deal.”

“Unless of course it’s some deeper issue related to something you’re refusing to acknowledge consciously, and the repressed information is manifesting itself in the same particular dream until you do.” She contemplates again, arms folded across her chest as she stares unseeing at the ceiling.

“Now what are you thinking about?” Jane asks, impatient and irritated that she’s not being included in the conversation that at this point seems never-ending.

Maura smoothes the covers out beneath her fingers. “Just that it’s not ridiculous to conclude that we could end up being attracted to each other.”

Jane is stunned. “What, how did you even get—yes it is! It’s completely ridiculous! You’re my best friend, and we’re not gay. Especially not for each other. Do you see how that makes it ridiculous?”

“Actually it’s far more likely for you to be attracted to one person before you’re attracted to a whole gender,” she says matter-of-factly, shifting to prop herself on an elbow. “Sometimes it may not even extend past that one person, no one single cause for same sex attraction has been concluded, you know, it’s a very widely debated topic.”

“Gay for one person? Just one? Not like, three? What if I’m gay for three people?”

Maura shrugs. “Fluid sexuality is well-documented, Jane, and not just among humans. Did you know it’s been suggested bottlenose dolphins mate for pleasure, and not exclusively with the opposite sex?”

“No, Maura, I did not know that, and we’re not dolphins so I don’t see how this is relevant. I think you need to spend less time on the internet.”

“On average I only spend one to two hours a day online, that’s well within the national daily mean for my age group.”

“Then I’m taking away your library card.”

Maura rolls her eyes good-naturedly and stretches again. “Do you want to get breakfast before we go to work?”

As they sit in the back of a quiet cafe near Headquarters, Maura chews thoughtfully on a mouthful of scrambled eggs and fixes Jane with a look that makes her grimace.

“What now.”

“I was just thinking about how perhaps your dream is linked to your apparent refusal to accept that you might be having feelings that will call your heterosexuality into question.”

Jane almost spits her coffee onto the table. “Jesus, Maura, you need to warn me if you’re going to say things like that.”

“And occasionally you do engage in what is considered to be stereotypical lesbian behaviour,” Maura continues, unfazed by Jane’s theatrics.

“Oh my god. They’re called stereotypes for a reason, Maura, you’re not supposed to perpetuate them!”

“On the contrary, stereotypes exist for a reason and are not strictly negative assumptions – you use them all the time when determining motives for suspects whether you’re conscious of it or not. And it has been proven that certain social groups do all exhibit—”

“ALL RIGHT, all right, Maura, I have a deep voice and kick people’s butts sometimes so everyone thinks I’m gay, thank you for bringing it up again, now can we leave it alone?”

“There’s no need to be ashamed by it, Jane, there are a lot of people who find those qualities attractive in a sexual partner.”

“Yeah, other women.”

Maura just smiles.

“Why can’t you let this go, anyway? Seems like maybe you should think about your repressed subconscious desires a little more before you go poking around in mine.” Jane frowns. “Stop smiling at me like that.”

She doesn’t, though. She simply gets up, walks to Jane’s side of the table and places a gentle, deliberate kiss at the corner of her mouth, fingertips warm against her jaw. “I’ll see you at work,” she says quietly, eyes bright, and Jane listens to the click of her heels as she heads out the door. Then she manages to close her mouth and stop looking like a water-deprived trout, and tries unsuccessfully to finish her breakfast.

They end up leaving it for a few days, Jane catches a break on a suspect and her and Frost end up driving upstate to arrest him, and she doesn’t see Maura until they’ve got the confession and the case is closed.

This time, she’s the one standing on Maura’s doorstep.

“Don’t let my mother know I’m here,” she says as soon as Maura opens the door and steps aside to let her in. “I bought... beer, which is also a good natural remedy for sleep, in large doses. Did you know.”

Maura chuckles. “Angela’s out to dinner with Frankie, so you don’t have to worry. Did you close the case?”

“Yup, full confession within an hour,” she replies, popping the cap on a beer and taking a swig. She doesn’t really know what to say after that, though, and the room falls silent. Maura delicately removes the cap from another beer and sips it, seemingly at a loss for words as well.

“Were you ever going to tell me you had feelings for me?” Jane asks suddenly, deciding just to dive straight in.

Looking at the bottle sweating between her fingers, Maura shrugs. “They don’t affect the way I approach our relationship so I didn’t see why I should make you uncomfortable by divulging them without knowing you might feel the same way. I didn’t want to make things awkward or... lose our friendship.”

Jane feels an incredible rush of affection for Maura, face breaking out into a smile, and she sets her bottle down so she can pull her into a hug. “You can always tell me anything, okay? It doesn’t matter if you think it’ll make me uncomfortable, I’ll get over it.”

Maura’s hands link around the small of her back, and Jane feels her relax against her. She pulls back a little, and Maura smiles.

“I’m going to try this,” Jane says, running her teeth over her lip. Maura glances down and she feels a flush creep up her neck when their eyes meet again. “I can’t guarantee it’s going to work out, though, I really don’t entirely know what this—”

Maura cuts her off with a kiss, clearly tired of the constant parade of excuses and brattiness, and Jane gets lost in the gentle insistence of her mouth, the slip over her tongue over Jane’s bottom lip.

She sighs, wondering what on earth she expected. Maura has never been a sister to her, never been the kind of friend who’d fall off her radar given the chance, she’s never been anything less than everything to her, and that realisation makes something snap. Sliding a hand into Maura’s hair she presses her fingers into her scalp, her kisses getting a little more desperate, a little less chaste. Maura moans, her hands gripping Jane’s hips, and she feels her smile against her mouth. Jane unwittingly finds herself smiling back, and suddenly they’re just standing in Maura’s kitchen grinning like goofballs.

“Sorry I was such a pain,” Jane murmurs, voice husky.

Maura shakes her head, still smiling. “You’ve been no more difficult than usual.”

Somewhere, Jane registers that maybe they should stop, that despite this feeling completely natural and right, if they keep going things might end up weird. But the rest of her is occupied with not being able to stop touching Maura, all the unique lines of her body and the places she’s always been curious about. Maura looks desperately like she wants to say something factual every time Jane’s gaze flicks to her face, but she keeps silent herself – biting down hard on her lip to keep from laughing – and that seems to make Maura stay silent too.

Finally, Jane says, “Do you want to um, move this somewhere else?”

Maura leans up and kisses her again, slow and wet and hot, and Jane feels like her insides are liquefying from it. Breaking away with a groan, she nods fervently. “Okay, okay yeah, we need to go to the bedroom now.”

She tangles her fingers through Maura’s then drags her down the hall. When they get to the bedroom, she unceremoniously pulls off her shirt and hurls it to the ground, then sits down on the bed, pulling Maura with her.

“You know I’ve never done this before, right?”

“Oh, that’s okay, I have!” Maura says brightly, swinging a leg over Jane’s hips and pressing lightly on her shoulders to push her back down into the pillows. “It’s quite simple, really—”

“Maura, before we go any further I feel like you have to know if this is happening science talk isn’t happening. No explanation of techniques, no erogenous zones, no weird medical stuff about how the body reacts to stimulation or whatever, all right?”

“You don’t want me to find your erogenous zones?” Maura asks, perfectly aware that’s not what Jane meant.

Jane sits up, a wolfish smile on her face that makes Maura momentarily falter. Her hands come to rest on Maura’s thighs, and she feels the skin prickle beneath her palms. “I’ll bet you ten bucks you can’t find them all.”

“Don’t offer me free money, Jane, it makes you seem sleazy,” Maura returns throatily, looking half-scandalised at the tone of voice her words came out in.

“Doctor Isles, was that... oh my god, are you joking about this?”

“Shut up, Jane,” Maura says, trying not to laugh, her face red. She ducks her head into Jane’s shoulder, and Jane feels another intense rush of affection. She slips her fingers under Maura’s chin, lifts her face to hers, then kisses her again.

It seems to awaken something in Maura, and she pushes Jane firmly back down against the pillows, leaning over her so as not to break the kiss, her tongue delving into Jane’s mouth. Her hands are everywhere, sliding over Jane’s thighs, her sides, cupping her breasts, and it leaves her breathless. When Maura’s fingers finally skid down to push past her underwear, Jane is shaking and sucks in a hoarse gasp at the contact, her hips rolling involuntarily. Maura lowers her mouth to one of her nipples, worries it with her teeth, and Jane’s hands twine into Maura’s hair, a moan rumbling through her.

“I don’t...” she rolls her hips against Maura’s sliding fingers, “know why we didn’t do this sooner.”

Maura actually rolls her eyes, face framed by Jane’s hands in her hair, and she raises an eyebrow. “You actually talk all the time, don’t you?” she says, and it’s not really a question. Then she lets her fingers curl, smiles down at Jane beneath her, and it’s too much. Her orgasm washes over her and she lets out one long breath, her eyes closing. Maura settles over her, one of her legs nestling between Jane’s. She presses two kisses to Jane’s jaw and watches her face with a smile as she opens an eye.

“You’re gonna have to give me a minute,” Jane says officiously, her hand running up over Maura’s back. Maura just looks at her, and Jane knows exactly what it means. “You want to say something about endorphins right now, don’t you?”

“I just think it’s fascinating, Jane! The way the body—oh, come on, that’s just mean, you can’t fall asleep and snore that fast. Jane. Jane. Jane. If you don’t stop it I’m going to test you for sleep apnea and viral illnesses that have snoring as symptoms. Jane!”

           Herpes simplex-like infection in a bottlenose dolphin stranded in the Canary Islands         
Esperón, F y Fernández, A y Sánchez-Vizcaíno, José Manuel (2008) Herpes simplex-like infection in a bottlenose dolphin stranded in the Canary Islands. Diseases of aquatic organisms, 81 (1). pp. 73-6. ISSN 0177-5103
          America~MISSISSIPPI~by rldubour        
      MISSISSIPPI The magnolia is the state flower And the magnolia is the state tree! The state bird is the mockingbird And the insect is the honey bee. The motto is, “By valor and arms.” The residents are called “Mississippians.” The animal is the white-tailed deer And the mammals are the bottlenose dolphins. […]
           Strong site-fidelity increases vulnerability of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in a mass tourism destination in the western Mediterranean Sea         
Gonzalvo, Joan; Forcada, Jaume; Grau, Esteve; Aguilar, Alex. 2014 Strong site-fidelity increases vulnerability of common bottlenose dolphins Tursiops truncatus in a mass tourism destination in the western Mediterranean Sea. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 94 (06). 1227-1235. 10.1017/S0025315413000866
           Bottlenose dolphin abundance in the NW Mediterranean: addressing heterogeneity in distribution         
Forcada, Jaume; Gazo, Manel; Aguilar, Alex; Gonzalvo, Joan; Fernández-Contreras, Mar. 2004 Bottlenose dolphin abundance in the NW Mediterranean: addressing heterogeneity in distribution. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 275. 275-287. 10.3354/meps275275
           Effect of organochlorine contaminants and individual biological traits on blubber retinoid concentrations in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)         
Tornero, Victoria; Borrell, Asuncion; Aguilar, Alex; Wells, Randall S.; Forcada, Jaume; Rowles, Teri K.; Reijnders, Peter J.H.. 2005 Effect of organochlorine contaminants and individual biological traits on blubber retinoid concentrations in bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Environmental Monitoring, 7 (2). 109-114. 10.1039/b410494c
          Dolphin serial killers?        
Scientists who autopsy cetaceans that wash up dead on British beaches have come to a grim conclusion: some species are being killed by bottlenose dolphins.

Dead porpoises (and other cetaceans) turn up regularly on beaches around Britain. According to a Defra report last year (pdf), the cause of death of 15 out of 56 porpoise bodies found - the majority - was "physical trauma (bottlenose dolphin attack)". The photo above shows the rake marks on a harbour porpoise caused by a bottlenose dolphin.

The killings were first reported from the north-east coast of Scotland, then off the coast of Wales, and this week the body of a Risso's dolphin was found further south still, in Cornwall. The Risso's dolphin (see photo below) was said to have been killed over food shortages and dolphins were described as being so hungry they are turning on each other.

Autopsies show some of the dead animals (13 out of 56) have died of starvation. But not all, and the bottlenose killers are not eating the porpoises they kill. In the case of the Risso's dolphin, it is not even a competitor for the same prey (Risso's feed on squid). So why are they killing other cetaceans?

"We can't state confidently that the killings are tied to declining fish stocks," says dolphin expert Nick Tregenza, who advises the Marine Strandings Network in Cornwall. His guess? "They could be doing it for fun."

Bottlenose dolphins are known to spread behaviour culturally and there are extensive records of violence between and within dolphin pods.

"Killing for fun" could be another culturally transmitted behaviour.

Tregenza likens it to the spread of milk-bottle opening by blue tits.
"It could be a form of play rather than food competition," he suggests.

Alternatively, he says, a bottlenose dolphin might have tried to help the weak Risso's dolphin and become angry when the Risso's failed to respond.

In a sick way, I kind of like the "killing for fun" explanation. Tregenza says the Cornwall Wildlife Trust has reported that dolphins have been seen picking up stones from the sea bed and throwing them on the surface. "They were thought to be throwing stones at seals on rocks not far away," Tregenza says.

Stone-throwing and killing for fun. Dolphins are even more like us than we thought.

Rowan Hooper, online news editor

Photo courtesy of Cornwall Wildlife Trust Marine Strandings Network

The dead Risso's dolphin, killed by a bottlenose (photo: Mike Hicks)
          How a dolphin eats an octopus without dying        
Wild Things
dolphin flinging an octopus

Eating octopus can be dangerous. Some dolphins in Australia, though, have figured out how to do this safely — by shaking or tossing their prey over and over until it goes limp and the sucker-covered arms are relaxed and safe to eat.

Most people who eat octopus prefer it immobile, cut into pieces and nicely grilled or otherwise cooked. For some, though, the wiggly, sucker-covered arms of a live octopus are a treat — even though those arms can stick to the throat and suffocate the diner if they haven’t been chopped into small enough pieces.

Dolphins risk the same fate when eating octopus — and they can’t cook it or cut it up with a chef’s knife. “Octopus is a dangerous meal,” notes Kate Sprogis of Murdoch University in Australia. Even if a dolphin manages to remove an octopus’ head, it still has to deal with those sucker-covered tentacles. “The suckered arms would be difficult to handle considering dolphins don’t have hands to assist them,” Sprogis says.

A group of hungry dolphins off the coast of Western Australia have figured out a solution. They shake and toss their prey until the head falls off, the animal is in pieces and its arms are tender and not wiggling anymore, Sprogis and her colleagues report April 2 in Marine Mammal Science.

The behavior, never before reported, was discovered during observations between March 2007 and August 2013 of bottlenose dolphins living in the waters off Bunbury, Western Australia. During that time, researchers witnessed 33 events in which dolphins handled an octopus with two different methods.

In one technique, a dolphin held an octopus in its mouth and shook it, slamming its prey into the water’s surface until the meal was in pieces.

dolphin shaking an octopus

Another method involved repeatedly flinging the octopus into the air until it was ready to eat.

dolphin flings an octopus

Each dolphin would repeat its preferred motion, or combine the two, usually around a dozen times, over several minutes until the octopus was safe to eat. (See video below.)

“If the dolphins haven’t prepared their meal enough, then this can cause problems,” Sprogis notes. There have been two dead dolphins found in this area with whole octopuses lodged in their throats. The researchers assume that the dolphins suffocated.

Dolphins have garnered a reputation for tackling difficult-to-eat foods in creative ways. Some have been spotted using cone-shaped sponges to flush out little fish from the sandy ocean floor. Others use a six-step process to prepare a cuttlefish meal.

The Bunbury dolphins eat both octopus and cuttlefish, and those meals appear to be more common in the winter and spring, when waters are cooler, Sprogis notes. That may be when the octopus and cuttlefish breed and lose some of their camouflage abilities — making them easy prey for dolphins brave or knowledgeable enough to take advantage of the potential meal.

Dolphins in Australia toss octopus in the air or against the water to make their prey safe to eat. MUCRU

Read another version of this article at Science News for Students

          Savvy looking might want        
Oh, i also liked the way they tied in the flower theme (violet and rose) but didnt use it as a first name which wouldve been too matchy-matchy for my taste. 0 savvy and looking for a new job, you might want to check out this vacancy for a 2. Mirror reports that the megastar is close to signing a deal worth 10 million (nearly $14 million us) to write her autobiography. His speech was less than 10 minutes, the entire event lasted about a half hour. The more important question here is why anyone on this planet uses twitter at all.
          Made money oldfashioned        
Not wanting to be confused with the spawn of goldie hawn, kate hudson, she adopted her mother maiden name and decided that working with heavyweights like glen ballard and the matrix was a better ticket to stardom than praying for a showcase spot on the 700 club. She made her money the old-fashioned way - by peddling her flesh. Ive grown up with her since middle school. But that outfit helps make the case for britney as one of america greatest landmarks. But also, this dates back to controversies over indecent movies and video games since the dawn of culturally relevant times.
          Highprofile users microblogging site twitter        
But i see that i put these guys in a really rough spot because if they try to score on me, then it looks like they re trying to get less money raised for charity and they don t to be the jerk that hurts miss virginia. High-profile users of microblogging site twitter have had their accounts compromised by a hacker, who made fake posts to their accounts. How can widget malware on social networking sites threaten enterprises. Rich franklin american fighter rich frankliln with a bruised right eye after ufc 93. 1, where authentication, and not just providing the facility, matters.
          Elizabeth rose rose elizabeth would have been        
I only wonder if she likes mustard or ketchup base. Elizabeth rose or rose elizabeth would have been stately, but incredibly boring. His voice filled the allstate arena in chicago like no other at the american idol tour concert. We immediately locked down the accounts and investigated the issue. Three states hold the honors for the most miss america winners california, oklahoma, and ohio are tied with six winners each.
          Mammalian Encounter        

An recent encounter captured by photographer Nancy Chan in Vallejo, California. (1 photo total)

In this photo provided by Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Mavrick, a 14-month-old male Atlantic bottlenose dolphin tries to go eye to eye with Akaasha, a six-month-old female Bengal tiger at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom in Vallejo, Calif. on Thursday, March 5, 2009. Park animal staff strolled by the dolphin exhibit as they escorted the tiger cubs on their daily walk around the park. (AP Photo/Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Nancy Chan) (click to enlarge)

          Sentosa Excursion        
Sentosa Adventure
Singapore's Sentosa Isle is the most the southern part of factor of Navigator Japan. Linked with the primary island by a causeway, you can also get there via a monorail known as the Sentosa Show or the Singapore Wire Car. If you select simply walking along the causeway, know that there's still a price. It is the most affordable choice however, charging $1.00 while the monorail price $3 and the Wire Car expenses $29 for grownups and $18 for kids. The Wire Car is the most costly but also the most awesome. For the most practical choice, select the monorail.

Sentosa indicates "peace and tranquillity" in Malay. A name that can be well used to the white-colored exotic seashores that range the south-west shore, but the area is also variety to a lot actions that will get your center beating faster.

The first quit in the monorail range is Resorts Globe Sentosa. Started out truly it has a gambling home, a amusement recreation area, an fish tank, a art gallery, stores and dining locations. A trip to Worldwide Companies is important for anyone viewing Singapore. An ultra-modern amusement recreation area, it functions condition of the art trips like the Transformers drive, which is a combination between a 3D film and roller-coaster and the Mummy drive, which is a roller-coaster that has whole segments of finish evening. There are also a lot of trips for youngsters and of course those that can't abdomen a high-speed roller-coaster. Also value seeing at Resorts Globe is the biggest oceanarium on the globe, containing 45 thousand ltrs of regular water, 100,000 sea creatures across 800 varieties and the biggest watching panel. At 36-metre extensive and 8.3-metre high, it is designed to provide guests the sensation of being on the sea ground. Marine Life Park is home to the only huge oceanic manta ray in captivity. It also functions 24 Indo-Pacific bottlenose whales, scalloped hammerhead sharks, the Japanese people examine crab, and relatively uncommonly-exhibited varieties such as the guitarfish and the chambered nautilus. Linked with the oceanarium is Experience Cove Waterpark, presenting the area's first hydro-magnetic water-coaster. While you're there create sure you try and have a meals at L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. With a finish of 28 Michelin Celebrities, Joël Robuchon has more than any other chief cook on the globe.

The second quit is Imbiah Monorail Position. Here you will discover a huge selection of Sentosa destinations. Understand to fly in the iFly, an inside breeze canal that can achieve rates of speed of over 200km/h, although it will only be going about 80km/h when you use it. With an time coaching needed before coming into the canal, this is serious business and not like a regular hop-on-hop-off drive. That being said, anyone can do it, younger and old, just pay interest to your trainer or be pre-paid to drop directly into the protection net. Around the area from the iFlyer is the Sentosa Luge. Like a mix between a toboggan and a go-kart, management your rate and guiding while severity draws you down one of the two tracks designed onto the hill. Next to Sentosa Luge is the Competition Sky Structure, Singapore's maximum statement tower. Just panel the air-conditioned watching foundation on the stroll out and the whole thing will go up 91 meters while gradually rotating, providing 360° opinions of Sentosa, southeast Singapore and on a obvious day areas of Philippines and Malaysia. And of course while you're in this aspect of Sentosa you have to pay a trip to the Merlion sculpture. Status at a awesome 37 meters high, this dwarves all other Merlion sculptures and even has watching systems in its oral cavity and on its go. For something a bit more academic examine out Pictures of Singapore. A art gallery devoted to Singaporean record. For even more record, project northern to discover Ft Siloso. This is the real citadel that was operated by the English during Globe War II. It was because they were so engaged hoping of a sea strike that Japanese people soldiers were able to get into from the northern and take up Singapore for three decades.

The last quit on the range is Seaside Monorail Position. From here you can exchange to the red beach trams to get to Siloso Seaside or the natural trams to get to Palawan Seaside and Tanjong Seaside. Siloso Seaside is the one to go to for actions such as beach beach ball, kayaking, bike driving and skating. It's also the place of Songs of the Sea, an hour-long music, flame, regular water and laser device awesome that is conducted every evening. You can also create up for the deficiency of browse by driving the synthetic browse at the Trend House. The next beach along is Palawan Seaside. Stop here for one of the several cafes that sit essentially on the sand. The last beach is Tanjong Seaside. The tiniest and most hidden of the three, this is the most ideal place to relax and maybe try the awesome meals at the Tanjong Seaside Team.

All these destinations are only a portion of what's on provide on the western part of Sentosa. You should strategy in advance as you may need passes and booking for some locations. There are also a lot of hotels on Sentosa which provide ideal accessibility all the island's gifts. The eastern part of Sentosa is mainly created up of personal real estate, a harbour and a huge tennis course. With extensive silent streets, don't be scared to discover this aspect of the area, the best way being by bike. With so much to do on Sentosa, you need more than a day to see everything. Fortunately the transportation program creates it readily available from anywhere in Singapore.

          40 Ton Humpback Whale Leaps Entirely Out of the Water!        

It was a rare clear, crisp, cold, winter day offshore Mbotyi in Pondoland, Eastern Cape province, South Africa (formerly Transkei). The seas were unusually calm that day on the Indian Ocean. That wouldn t last long, soon returning to howling winds, whitecap waves, and giant swells! Did I mention it was cold - on land, at sea, and in the water?! We are four SCUBA divers in a small "rubber duck" inflatable boat with two powerful 110 hp four stroke outboard motors. Clive is captain, Carlos is divemaster, and Levi is deckhand. We are hunting for sardines. It is the annual world famous "South African Sardine Run", a mass migration of pilchard fish up the east coast of Africa. Actually, we are not interested in the sardines but rather the predators they attract. Hungry bottlenose and common dolphins herd the long line of small sardines into compact groups called "bait balls". Once a ball is formed, a feeding frenzy ensues. Dolphins, sharks, and birds feast on the dense pack of small fish. An ultralight airplane is overhead, looking for the action. Sightings are radioed to us and off we go at breakneck speed, hoping to record some real action. Sadly, our six or seven hours daily on the water entail mostly waiting, waiting, and waiting a little longer until we find the elusive sardine bait ball. Entertaining us while we wait are migrating humpback whales. Some are a mothers with calves. Some are males traveling in small groups. This day, there were few sardine sightings but the whales seemed to be everywhere! An unexpected bonus! This video shows a humpback whale mother cow swimming with a calf. It shows an adult 40 ton whale on its back, slapping both its left and right fins on the water, then leaping entirely out of the water! It seems that never before has a recording been made of an adult humpback whale leaping entirely out of the water! A very rare event, indeed. Dolphins and even Great White Sharks have been seen flying out of the water, but this is a first for an adult humpback whale! Note: I sometimes have to remind my northern hemisphere friends that although it is summer in July and blisteringly hot and dry in parts of America and Europe, in South Africa it is exactly the opposite! It is dark, cold, winter now! Did I mention that it is cold?
          Monday August 7 2017        

9:00am- 300 Short Beaked Common Dolphin. 150 Long Beaked Common Dolphin (T, RC, A)

11:30am- 1 Sei Whale, 1 Minke Whale, 10 Bottlenose Dolphin, 300 Short Beaked Common Dolphin. 150 Long Beaked Common Dolphin (T, RC, A)

3:00pm- 1 Sei …

          Sunday August 6 2017        

6:30am- 300 Short Beaked Common Dolphin, 100 Long Beaked Common Dolphin (T, RC)

9:00am- 50 Bottlenose Dolphin, 100 Common Dolphin (T, A, RC)

11:30am- 50 Bottlenose Dolphin, 20 Common Dolphin (T, A, RC)

3:00pm- 400 Common Dolphin (T, A, RC)…

          Wednesday August 2nd 2017        

9:00am- 600 Short Beaked Common Dolphin, 200 Long Beaked Common Dolphin, 50 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin (R, T, A)

11:30am- 1 Minke Whale, 400 Short Beaked Common Dolphin, 50 Long Beaked Common Dolphin (R, T, A)

3:00pm- 300 Long Beaked Common …

          Tuesday August 1 2017        

9:00am- 500 Short Beaked Common Dolphin (T, A)

11:30am- 1 Sei Whale, 400 Short Beaked Common Dolphin (R, T, A)

3:00pm- 1,300 Short Beaked Common Dolphin, 20 Long Beaked Common Dolphin, 30 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin (R, T, A)


Featured …

          Monday July 31 2017        

9:00am- 250 Short Beaked Common Dolphin, 30 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin (A, T, RC)

11:30am- 200 Long Beaked Common Dolphin, 30 Offshore Bottlenose Dolphin (A, T, RC)

3:00pm- 300 Long Beaked Common Dolphin (R, T, RC)


Featured photo today by …

          Bottlenose dolphin         
Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://wallpapergiant.com/Bottlenose_dolphin-6364.html'>Bottlenose dolphin    </a>     </td></tr><td><a href=Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://wallpapergiant.com/Bottlenose_dolphin-6356.html'>Bottlenose dolphin    </a>     </td></tr><td><a href=Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://wallpapergiant.com/Bottlenose_dolphin-6355.html'>Bottlenose dolphin    </a>     </td></tr><td><a href=Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://wallpapergiant.com/Bottlenose_dolphin-6353.html'>Bottlenose dolphin    </a>     </td></tr><td><a href=Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://wallpapergiant.com/Bottlenose_dolphin-6352.html'>Bottlenose dolphin    </a>     </td></tr><td><a href=Bottlenose dolphin  /></a><br></td></td></tr></table><table class='alternate_color' border='1' width='900'><tr><td style='font-size:16px'>          <a href='http://www.break.com/video/ugc/worlds-smartest-horse-passes-self-awareness-test-2217497'>Worlds Smartest Horse Passes Self-Awareness Test   </a>     </td></tr><td> 
			                <td width=Worlds Smartest Horse Passes Self-Awareness Test http://playingwithlukas.com/blog Lukas, the World’s Smartest Horse (according to the World Records Academy) and Guinness World Record Holder (“Most numbers correctly identified by a horse in one minute: 19”), has joined an elite group: those with the capacity for self-awareness. He has proven that he is able to recognize his own reflection in a mirror as an image of himself. To date, only humans (after the age of eighteen months), great apes, bottlenose dolphins, orcas, elephants and European magpies have successfully passed this test. For this experiment, Karen Murdock, Lukas’ owner/trainer, utilized the mirror test, developed by Gordon Gallup in 1970 (based on observations by Charles Darwin). It determines whether an animal can recognize its own reflection in a mirror as an image of itself.

          The Heart of What Matters by Elizabeth Eidlitz        
Nothing ahead is man-made. Behind us, sailboat masts are matchsticks at the Key West wharf. The bow of our catamaran creates a windy monotone as it crosses turquoise ribbons on a sea of royal blue. Cumulus clouds hang low in a sky with frigate birds, and flying fish jump like skipping stones.
Six of us are making a journey in silence and bleached sunlight to swim in the Gulf of Mexico with wild bottlenose dolphins, to meet them on their terms. Unlike captive creatures in concrete pools, rewarded for paying tourists any kind of attention, free roaming dolphins are neither impeded nor enticed. Totally present in their chosen way of life --traveling, fishing, loving, playing, resting, and teaching each other --they may choose our company, or not.

Plutarch wrote, “to the dolphin alone nature has given that which the best philosophers seek: friendship for no advantage.” Those who have experienced changes in spiritual awareness among these creatures are convinced that dolphins consciously heal us, support our full awakening to who we are.

That is what I, too, wish to believe. But my skeptical left-brain won’t get out of the way. I diminish these limited Cetaceans: I dismiss Tursiops Truncatus, though a mammal, as merely a fish.

A triangle of fin breaks the surface ahead. Then another. Those brown patches are not seaweed. The captain counts twenty dolphins in this pod. Two of them lift off from ocean, sleek bodies glistening as they arch in air to dive in perfect mental, physical, and spiritual balance.

The boat slows, eases forward. Wind drops to soundless air. Now we can hear flat tail flukes spank water and Bronx cheers exhaled from blowholes on dolphin heads. They are all around us. We gather by a ladder in the stern, put on fins and snorkel gear, ready, at the captain’s signal, to enter their habitat respectfully.

I slide into water saltier than tears. The ocean, amniotic warm, a centered world of open sea and vast silence, is conducive to rebirth into a more natural way of life.

Why am I anxious? Frightened of surrendering to the moment, like a novice skydiver staring into open space, but clinging to the doorway of the plane? I look below. Between my submerged face and starfish on the sandy bottom twelve transparent feet away, swim a pair of dolphins.

I long to write about looking into the eyes of my first free dolphin, recognizing a fellow sentient being, feeling love, understanding and certainty that at some evolutionary stage our pathways have crossed.

I would like to describe their creaky door sounds as they spiral round me, the initial tingles and sensuous soothing of their high-pitched squeaks. But I never make eye contact with the dolphins. I neither hear nor sense their sonar clicks. They pass beneath me without looking. I stare at their legacy of empty space, my underwater heart telegraphing them to turn around, come back, and give me another chance. Please.

They are gone.

From the boat, ninety feet away, the captain’s hand is signaling that to engage them I should have dived, to indicate my wish to play.

There is lesson here:

This is not the first time I have forgotten to ask for what I want. Nor the first time I’ve resisted letting go of foolish inhibitions.

Tomorrow, we six travelers in a human pod will return to obsessions with past and future. But today, critical selves suspended, we are profoundly connected by what we’ve been shown: how to be in the moment.

Before I am drawn back to an existence where love is conditional, where it matters if my tee shirt is inside out, I want memory to fix images from this wilder, more authentic world, where dolphins, with flicks of flukes, permanent slight smiles, joyful leaps, intuitively choreographed, bring non-obligating gifts--inquisitiveness, joie de vivre, altruism and a sense of play.

On the way to the harbor, I feel yearning and envy once again. In a boat anchored just offshore, sails furled, an uninhibited man sits in the stern, his head thrown back, mouth open, and fingers on guitar strings.

Though wind mutes his words, he is singing to his companion--a tail wagging, chocolate colored Labrador--and I apprehend the body language of unselfconscious pleasure.


Elizabeth Eidlitz is a writer, teacher, and studio potter who lives in Concord, Massachusetts. She discovered that amazing and transformative travel is accessible close to home as well as foreign places, just as significant journeys are individually, not geographically defined. 

Judge's Comment: A dip into an 'amniotic warm' underwater realm in which dolphins reign: '...they may choose our company, or not.' But there is much more than that to this story of unconditional love: we are drawn into a mindful world in which we rediscover the value of 'unselfconscious pleasure'.

Photos from Key West Dolphin Encounters and Por el Planeta

          Wild Nature of Russia        
The opening of the annual national photo exhibition &quot;Wild Nature of Russia - 2014&quot;
The opening of the annual national photo exhibition "Wild Nature of Russia - 2014"

National Geographic Russia and the Russian Geographical Society has been holding the All-Russian Photo Contest "Wild Nature of Russia" since 2011. This year, more than 40,000 works were submitted to the creative competition from across the country.

On December 25 the opening ceremony of the "Wild Nature of Russia - 2014" Photo Exhibition was held at the Central House of Artists in Moscow. The best works will be displayed there.

According to Alevtina Sukhorukova, Art Director of National Geographic Russia, categories "Birds" and "Mammals" were the most impressive.


Photo exhibition
Photo exhibition

There are11 primary categories and a special one: "History in Motion" (organized by SanDisk, general partner of the project). The Russian Geographical Society also awarded a special prize. The grand prize of the photo contest is 300 thousand rubles.

According to Alexander Grek, the editor in chief of National Geographic Russia, the names of the authors were not indicated at the pictures, so the jury’s decisions were absolutely impartial.


Anastasia Chernobrovina and Alexander Grek
Anastasia Chernobrovina and Alexander Grek

The ceremony was attended by Vladimir Kotlyakov, Academician, Honorary President of the Russian Geographical Society, Director of the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Orlov, the Head of the Expeditionary Center of the Russian Geographical Society and Vice President of the Association of Polar Explorers, Oleg Panteleev, a member of the Council of the Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Sergei Gorshkov, a famous photographer, Sergei Dolya, a blogger and a traveler, and many others. Anastasia Chernobrovina, Advisor to the President of the Russian Geographical Society for Media Policy, hosted the event.


Advisor to the President of the Russian Geographical Society for Media Policy Anastasia Chernobrovina and Honorary President of the Society Vladimir Kotlyakov
Advisor to the President of the Russian Geographical Society for Media Policy Anastasia Chernobrovina and Honorary President of the Society Vladimir Kotlyakov

Academician Vladimir Kotlyakov: "Photos are the documents of the era".

The culmination of the ceremony was the presentation of the prizes to the best photographers. We are pleased to present the winners:

Nomination "From Dusk Till Dawn" - Dmitry Borisov, Ryazan, "Starry eruption of Mount Elbrus";

Nomination "Undersea photography" - Eduard Nikolaev, Zelenodolsk, "Among the strands of pearls";

Nomination "Young Talents" - Rustam Aflyatunov, Bugulma, "You're here to see me?";

Nomination "Macrophotography" - Alena Shevtsova, Novorossiysk, "A Tesselated Skipper";

Nomination "Plants" - Stanislav Shinkarenko, Volgograd, "Blizzard";

Nomination "Landscape" - Marat Ahmetvaleev, Chelyabinsk, "We were born to the sound of thunder";

Nomination "Reserved Russia" - Stanislav Sedov, Moscow oblast, "The land of bears";

Nomination "Nature in black and white" - Nikolay Fedorin, Samara, "First Snow";

Nomination "Birds" - Zakir Umarov, Novosibirsk, "Swans in a Fog";

Nomination "Moms and young ones" - Ivan Kislov, Magadan, "Bad weather";

Nomination "Mammals" -

  1. Ivan Kislov, Magadan, "Friendship between Foxes";
  2. Maria Gordienko, Stavropol, "Breakfast of a Bottlenose Dolphin";

Nomination "History in Motion" - Evgeny Mazurin, Lipetsk, "Grey neck";

Special Prize of the Russian Geographical Society - Vladimir Minin, Novosibirsk, "Sheregesh. The "Camels" rocks ";

The main prize of the "Wild Russia - 2014" Photo Contest - Ivan Kislov, Magadan, "Bad Weather".

After the official opening of the bright collection of amazing works in the capital it will be presented at the Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society in St. Petersburg, and then the exhibition will travel to other regions of Russia and will visit more than a dozen major cities.

Photo by Ilya Melnikov

Sergey Dolya
editor of National Geographic Irina Kovalevich and Vladimir Kotlyakov, Academician, Honorary President of the Russian Geographical Society
Advisor to the President of the Russian Geographical Society for Media Policy Anastasia Chernobrovina and Alexander Grek, the editor in chief of National Geographic Russia
Anastasia Chernobrovina and Konstantin Orlov
Anastasia Chernobrovina and Sergey Dolya
Oleg E. Panteleev

          Don’t miss the boat        

A ship named the Scillonian has been sailing out of Penzance harbour since 1926, but how many Penzance inhabitants have actually stepped on board?

Judging by those we’ve asked, the answer is: not many, and we include ourselves in this guilty group. We are happy to watch it slip gracefully out of the bay every morning and enjoy the sight of the iconic white ship as it returns from St Mary’s in the evening – but that’s as far as it goes. It is a common phenomenon that natives of an area are the very ones who ignore its greatest assets; like the Londoners who’ve never visited the capital’s galleries and museums.

For as little as £35 we could be sailing to enchanting subtropical islands. People travel to our town from all over the country to do it, so what’s stopping us?

We wanted to learn more about the Scillonian experience, to find out why taking the trip should be an indispensable part of Penzance life. We’d also heard that the ship had recently undergone a complete refit, so we were keen to understand how the service had been upgraded. Our curiosity led us to the offices of the Isles of Scilly Steamship Group and a meeting with Commercial Manager Nick Sandersand Marketing Manger Jackie Hayman, who also let us jump on board (albeit temporarily) before a morning sailing.

Much has been written about the beautiful archipelago with its temperate Oceanic climate, just 40 miles from our shores, so we won’t reiterate that point, but we were interested to learn that there are unique attractions on the island route itself. Wildlife guide and surveyor Paul Semmens runs the Isles of Scilly Travel Wildlife Blog, and has accrued an incredible catalogue of marine animal sightings. It’ll be no surprise to most of us to hear that grey seals, common dolphins and basking sharks are regularly spotted, but did you imagine that Cornish waters were home to bottlenose dolphins, striped dolphins, Risso’s dolphins, harbour porpoises, minke whales, fin whales, leatherback turtles and sunfish? Didn’t think so. The voyage also offers a unique view of our coastline as it sails past Newlyn, Mousehole, the Minack Theatre and Wolf Rock Lighthouse. 

And today the Scillonian experience is more enjoyable than it’s ever been. The present ship, the Scillonian III, sailed her maiden voyage on 19 May 1977 and has made over 7,000 return trips. She is due to be replaced in five years or so, but in the meantime the refit has done wonders for her onboard facilities. Nick explains that the internal parts of the ship were stripped right back to the metal and refurbished, including a brand new food franchise and smart, modern bathrooms. Of course, there will always be the inherent hurdle of finding your sea legs if the water’s choppy, but from a passenger’s point of view the whole environment is relatively luxurious.

But the service isn’t just about happy holidays, the Scillonian and it’s partner freight vessel, the Gry Marithaprovide a real lifeline to the islands. Almost everything that goes in or comes out must be taken by one of these two ships, whether it’s livestock, over 100 rowings boats for the annual World Pilot Gig Championships or even the daily rubbish collection.

The Isles of Scilly Steamship Group also runs the air link to the islands, with aircraft flying from the new £1 million terminal at Land’s End, as well as from Exeter and Newquay. All this locally-focused investment is good news, and the Group is one of the area’s biggest employers, bringing 50 new jobs to the region. Employees are mainly local and tend to stay with the company for years, and, as if to prove the point, we were introduced to captain, Pete Crawford, who has skippered the Scillonian for three decades. Joking about his long service, we asked if he knew the way by now, Pete replied, ‘I just follow a long, invisible piece of string’.

Meeting the people who run it, seeing the ship and its crew hard at work, and watching the eager tourists marching aboard, we understand better what an important part the Scillonian plays in our society. And, having expunged all our excuses, it won’t be long before we too are island bound.


Images © Nik Strangelove

          Upon Further Review: Game 1 - Dolphins 17, Redskins 10        

The Washington Redskins opened the 2015 regular season at home last Sunday with a 17-10 loss to  the Miami Dolphins.

What did we learn?  Debatable, given the whole "sample size" thing.  But two things I think we can safely surmise, at least for the moment, are:

1. That the home team did not make the transformative leap forward that fans, at least privately, once again had quietly been asking of the Gridiron Gods on yet another opening day.  I admit it—when TE Jordan Reed caught that sweet fade pass from QB Kirk Cousins in the corner of the end zone, capping off a 17-play, 88-yard, 8:49 drive, and giving the Redskins a 10-0 lead late in the second quarter of a half they had dominated in the trenches, I allowed myself to look directly into the sun.

When I squinted just right, I could see a 27-10 throttling of those overrated, overhyped Dolphins, and a sweet Monday morning spent poring over local and national media stories by pundits falling all over themselves telling us how they saw it coming all along.

Ndamukong Who? The Redskins Are Back! 

But ... by the time the Redskins allowed Miami to cruise easily back down the field to score an answering TD of their own in the closing minute of the half ... and after the Redskins then methodically shot themselves in the proverbial cleat enough times throughout the second half to let Miami to leave town a relieved winner ... we had learned something else:

2)  That while the 2015 Redskins did not in fact open the season flying, heralding that The Corner Had Been Turned, neither did they get Obliterated or Otherwise Humiliated at the hands of the big bad Tursiops truncatus, as so many had predicted.

Which is good.

So, because the Redskins were neither awesome nor awful, and because until they become a winning team again they remain a losing one, fans are obliged to keep looking to numbers and trends, searching for arcs and developments good and bad, from which to try to glean meaning.

Thusly couched … there was good to be found.

RB Alfred Morris (25 carries, 121 yds.) ran over, through and around the Dolphins all afternoon, and after one week is the 4th leading rusher in the NFL.  Even better, combined with rookie Matt Jones, the Redskins head into week two ranked third in the league in rushing. 

The right side of the offensive line, featuring top rookie draft choice RG Brandon Scherff and second-year RT Morgan Moses, acquitted themselves just fine, thank you, despite apocalyptic predictions, against a Miami defensive front expected to overwhelm them.

And new defensive coordinator Joe Barry’s defense, new scheme, multiple players, missing and injured starters and all, allowed 10 points.  Only one team in the NFL would have lost on opening weekend allowing just 10 points—the woebegone Jacksonville Jaguars, who scored nine in a home loss to the Carolina Panthers.

Unfortunately for the Redskins (here comes some bad stuff), NFL teams are also expected, from time to time, to field Special Teams, and the 2015 Redskins picked right up in that area where they have left off for more years than we care to recall.  In a seven-point loss, the Redskins special teams directly cost the team ten points; a missed 46-yard FG under ideal conditions, and a lethal, game-deciding 69-yard punt return touchdown, straight up the middle, with nary a fingertip laid upon grateful Dolphins return man Jarvis Landry.

Not to rub salt in the wound, but the 17 total points surrendered by the Redskins would have been enough to win any game played in the NFL opening weekend … except for the one they actually played in. Which is a roundabout way of saying that scoring 10 points just is not going to get it done.

The offense moved the ball (349 total yards), but could not score—an all-too-familiar formula.

Special teams, once again, were an albatross with an anvil tied around its ankle (assuming albatri have ankles).

And the aforementioned defense, while playing well enough to limit Miami to 10 points, left seven points on the field as well, as a sure pick-six interception somehow defied physics and passed through new starting CB Chris Culliver into the surprised and relieved hands of a beaten Dolphins receiver.

Bottom line?  The good stuff could not overcome the bad stuff, and the 0-1 Redskins head into week two, against a St. Louis Rams team fresh off beating the two-time defending NFC Champion Seattle Seahawks, knowing that, but for a blown play here and there, they could be 1-0 and handing out sunglasses.

Instead, Rebirth will have to wait another week.


Meanwhile, until we have something more uplifting (and by that I mean winning) to talk about, we’ll start tracking some of the more relevant stats here that, over the course of a season, more often than not support the “winning team” versus “losing team” formula when all is said and done.

QB Play
Kirk Cousins: 21 for 31 (67.7%), 196 yds., 1 TD, 2 INT (21st yds., 29th QB rating)

Turnover Differential
1 takeaway, 2 turnovers (-1, T20th NFL)

Third Down Conversions
Offense – 6 for 14 (43%, 15th NFL)
Defense – 5 for 12 (42%, 14th NFL)

Happy Birthday, Dad!

          The 10 Best Beaches In North Carolina For 2017        
<p>Looking for a calm and relaxing place to get away from the hustle and bustle? Well look no further! Whether you’re on the hunt for waves, sun, or simply a little peace and quiet, the beaches of North Carolina have got you covered. Here are our top 10 best beaches to visit in North Carolina:</p><p><br></p><h2>Visit The Top 10 North Carolina Beaches In 2017</h2><p><br></p><h2><strong>1. Atlantic Beach</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1328/atlantic-beach-Tripping.jpeg"><br>(<em>Image Credit: www.abuddy4ben.com)</em></p><p>Located in Carteret County, NC, Atlantic Beach is one of five communities in the Bogue Banks portion of “North Carolina’s Crystal Coast,” so-called for its crystal water beaches. This sunny spot is popular for a getaway with friends or a family vacation. The infamous pirate Blackbeard ran his flagship <em>The Queen Anne’s Revenge</em> aground a few miles from the beach, and buccaneers of all ages can learn more about the ship’s history at the North Carolina Maritime Museum in nearby <a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/beaufort" target="_blank">Beaufort</a>.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/atlantic-beach-north-carolina" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina</a><br></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>2. Bald Head Island</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1331/bald-head-island-Tripping.jpg"><em><br>(Image Credit: livinginbrunswickcounty.com)</em></p><p><v:shapetype> <v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> </v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:formulas> <v:path> <o:lock> </o:lock></v:path></v:stroke></v:shapetype><v:shape> <v:imagedata> <w:wrap> </w:wrap></v:imagedata></v:shape>Bald Head Island is situated in Brunswick County, N.C., near the city of <a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/wilmington-north-carolina" target="_blank">Wilmington</a>. Only accessible by ferry from the town of Southport, the abundance of sea turtle nests have led many visitors to coin the phrase “I’m on Turtle Time,” referring to the “care-free/car free” environment of Bald Head Island. For beach-goers, there is a long stretch of sandy coastline along Cape Fear. The island is also home to a now out-of-service lighthouse fondly called “Old Baldy” which is the oldest lighthouse in the state, built in 1817.<strong></strong></p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/bald-head-island" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental on Bald Head Island, North Carolina</a><strong></strong><br></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>3. Carolina Beach</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1333/carolina-beach-Tripping.jpg"><br>(Image Credit: wikipedia.com)</p><p><v:shapetype> <v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> </v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:formulas> <v:path> <o:lock> </o:lock></v:path></v:stroke></v:shapetype><v:shape> <v:imagedata> <w:wrap> </w:wrap></v:imagedata></v:shape>Located in New Hanover County, Carolina Beach’s white sand shoreline is perfect for surfing, fishing, and seafood. The rides and games of the beach boardwalk make this spot a particularly kid-friendly location. If you’re the type that prefers a stroll to sitting out in the sun, the town’s small strip includes several local eateries, including the famously delicious Britts Donuts shop. Summer visitors can often enjoy an evening of live music and fireworks.</p><p> <a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/carolina-beach" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental in Carolina Beach, North Carolina</a><u><strong></strong></u><br></p><p><u><strong><br></strong></u></p><h2><strong>4. Carova Beach</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1335/carova-beach-Tripping.jpg"><em><br>(Image Credit: outerbanksvoice.com)</em></p><p>Carova Beach is the most isolated of North Carolina’s <a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/outer-banks" target="_blank">Outer Banks</a> beaches, largely due to the lack of paved roads. However, those looking for a private getaway with clean white sands may love this out-of-the-way destination. Animal lovers can also keep their eyes peeled for the wild mustangs roaming the shore. Carova Beach is generally accessible by 4x4s only, and vacation rental homes are available for accommodation. It is strongly recommended that guests make reservations several months to a year in advance of their trip, as spots fill up quickly.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/corolla" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental near Corova Beach, North Carolina</a><u><strong></strong></u><br></p><p><u><strong><br></strong></u></p><h2><strong>5. Coquina Beach</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1336/coquina-beach-Tripping.jpg"><br><em>(Image Credit: travellingscorner.com)</em></p><p>Coquina Beach is part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and gets its name for the colorful coquina clams that amass on the margins of the beach. This beach features golden sun-kissed sand dunes and is home to the shipwreck of <i>Laura Barnes</i>, a 4-masted schooner that was blown off-course from Maine in 1921. Coquina Beach is ideal for those who like to surf, swim, fish, and birdwatch. The best time to visit is during the warm spring and summer months when the shore becomes a beachcomber’s heaven with various shells, coquina clams, sea glass, and the occasional starfish or sand dollar.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/nags-head" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental near Coquina Beach, North Carolina</a></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>6. Topsail Beach</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1339/topsail-beach-tripping.jpg"><br><em>(Image Credit: topsailbeach.org)</em></p><p>Situated in Pender County, Topsail Beach is a common summer nesting place for the loggerhead sea turtle. This beach boasts the best conch shells on the East Coast, and there is also justifiable pride for the entertainment and dining options in nearby <a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/surf-city" target="_blank">Surf City</a>. Visitors have a whole array of beachside activities to choose from: sunbathing, surfing, fishing, boating…even ice skating!</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/topsail-beach" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental on Topsail Beach, North Carolina</a></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>7. Shackleford Banks</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1343/shackleford-banks-tripping.jpg"><br><em>(Image Credit: <span class="irc_ho" style="line-height: 1.6em; background-color: initial;">experienciasdeviagens.wordpress.com</span>)</em></p><p><v:shapetype> <v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> </v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:formulas> <v:path> <o:lock> </o:lock></v:path></v:stroke></v:shapetype><v:shape> <v:imagedata> <w:wrap> </w:wrap></v:imagedata></v:shape><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=shackleford-banks" target="_blank">Shackleford Banks</a> is located in Carteret County, N.C. and is part of the <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=cape-lookout" target="_blank">Cape Lookout</a> National Seashore. This seaside town is home to feral ‘Banker’ horses that can occasionally be spotted along the coast. This is a great place to go shelling, scalloping, and camping. In the summer, Shackleford Banks becomes a nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles which come back to the shore each summer to lay their eggs before they return to sea.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/beaufort" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental near Shackleford Banks, North Carolina</a></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>8. Kure Beach</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1344/kure-beach-Tripping.jpg"><br><em>(Image Credit: wunderground.com)</em></p><p><v:shapetype> <v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> </v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:formulas> <v:path> <o:lock> </o:lock></v:path></v:stroke></v:shapetype><v:shape> <v:imagedata> <w:wrap> </w:wrap></v:imagedata></v:shape>Colorful homes and billowing palmetto trees line Kure Beach, a white sandy beach located in New Hanover County, N.C.. History buffs can visit the Civil War relic Fort Fisher, while nature lovers take in the variety of marine critters at the aquarium including alligators, venomous snakes, sharks, stingrays, moray eels, seahorses, and sea turtles. Kure Beach is also a good place to get in a round of golf or explore the ocean by surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, or fishing. With its multitudes of shops and family-owned restaurants, Kure Beach is sure to please even the pickiest traveler.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/kure-beach" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental in Kure Beach, North Carolina</a><u><strong></strong></u><br></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>9. Harkers Island</strong></h2><p><v:shapetype> <v:stroke> <v:formulas> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> <v:f> </v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:f></v:formulas> <v:path> <o:lock> </o:lock></v:path></v:stroke></v:shapetype><v:shape> <v:imagedata> <w:wrap> </w:wrap></v:imagedata></v:shape>Situated in Carteret County, NC, Harkers Island has a little of everything: white sand beaches perfect for sunbathing, nature trails for hiking, and Cape Lookout lighthouse for historical exploration. The main industries of this town are duck hunting, fishing, boat building, and traditional waterfowl decoy carving. Interestingly, as a result of being in largely in isolation from the rest of the Outer Banks for 250 years, the local people of Harkers Island speak a very distinct dialect commonly known as “High Tider” which can be traced back to Elizabethan England.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/beaufort" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental near Harkers Island, North Carolina</a><u><strong></strong></u><br></p><p><br></p><h2><strong>10. Emerald Isle</strong></h2><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/1349/emerald-isle-tripping.jpg"><br><em>(Image Credit: seaturtleexploration.com)</em></p><p> Situated in Carteret County, NC, Emerald Isle is a great family-friendly location with quiet beaches and the occasional bottlenose dolphin sighting. Fishermen can aim for catches like wahoo, speckled trout, king mackerel, and red drum. Emerald Isle prides itself on an ‘unspoiled’ atmosphere with no oceanfront hotels, so visitors should look to book a vacation home there or in nearby Swansboro or Bogue.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/north-carolina/emerald-isle" target="_blank">Find a vacation rental on Emerald Isle, North Carolina</a><u><strong></strong></u><br></p><p><br></p><h3><strong>Which beach will you visit next? Find your beach rental now on <a href="http://www.tripping.com" target="_blank">Tripping.com</a>.</strong></h3><p><br></p><p><em>This article was written by Content Contributor <em>Laura Hu </em>and edited by Anne Harris.</em></p>
          The 10 Best Florida Beaches For 2017        
<p>The Sunshine State is calling! If you need a break by the coast, maybe it’s time to stop dreaming of sand, sea, and sun, and book a real vacation. To help plan your escape, check out our list of ten best Florida beaches offering relaxation and recreation any time of year.</p><p><br></p><h2>Visit These 10 Beautiful Florida Beaches</h2><p><br></p><h3>1. <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Clearwater+Beach%2C+Clearwater%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Clearwater Beach</a><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6832/clearwater-beach-467984_1280.jpg"></h3><p>This welcoming beach lies on a peninsula between Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Offering warm gulf waters, sugar-white sand, and plentiful Florida sunshine, Clearwater Beach makes for prime seaside fun. It is cherished by families thanks to its gentle waves, beach activities, and attractions like the Clearwater Marine Aquarium.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Clearwater+Beach%2C+Clearwater%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Clearwater Beach</a></p><p><br></p><h3>2. Siesta Beach - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Siesta+Key%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Siesta Key</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6833/siesta-1610314_1280.jpg"></p><p>Swimmers flock here for some of the finest and coolest sand in the state, calm warm water, and convenient facilities. Siesta Beach is located on Siesta Key, a barrier island minutes from Sarasota, and is a perfect spot for families. In addition to amenities like picnic tables, changing rooms, and playgrounds, Siesta Beach is also prime for beachcombing and kayaking.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Siesta+Key%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Siesta Key</a><br></p><p><br></p><h3>3. <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Sanibel+Island%2C+Sanibel%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Sanibel Island</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6835/sea-shells-1886613_1280.jpg"></p><p>Sanibel Island is a barrier island on Florida’s southern gulf coast offering a serene escape for families and couples. Known for an abundance of seashells, bird species, and “zero traffic lights” (seriously!), it’s a perfect destination for a relaxing crowd-free beach trip without sacrificing the warm clear water and abundant sun you expect from the Sunshine State. Sanibel is perfect for anyone looking to relax and is a must for seashell lovers!</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Sanibel+Island%2C+Sanibel%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals on Sanibel Island</a><br></p><p><br></p><h3>4. South Beach - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Miami%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Miami</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6837/beach-1047875_1280.jpg"></p><p>If it’s the bustling vibrant Miami atmosphere you’re after, don’t discount South Beach. This famous Florida beach boasts typical crystal blue Atlantic waters and bright white sand along with less typical views of Art Deco architecture. Known as the American Riviera, South Beach offers stunning photo-worthy art and architecture, A-list shopping, and a buzzing nightlife.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Miami%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Miami</a></p><p><br></p><h3>5. Caladesi Island State Park - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Dunedin%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Dunedin</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6839/3715650330_a2b04914b1_z.jpg"></p><p><em>Image credit: Dorothy Finley/<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/santafeegret/3715650330/in/photolist-6EkFoJ-62snd8-4D2F36-2HV7wg-2HV7vD-2HV7vM-R4wWVV-aiDQyL-RHPmhS-8Ff4j2-7aGLKT-nm9U8v-e8eY22-4CDm4Z-2HV7vp-7RcgbS-8Ff3ZP-aiB2Yc-4CHBSu-btNooK-aaHb12-cXZyZ9-S7qiRP-ajXqBT-S4QggE-hCAXBx-6nnVZg-7b5Cb5-aiB2WV-61qcGo-S7qkbx-7c8weV-hCA6rU-ajXmMF-bsP1kq-58bdor-6EgzkP-nCmnkc-ak19FU-nCqpjW-nm9RWM-hCAWWe-6gBheM-2TLHy-aiDQAm-2HV7wz-6EkCmC-4CHBJo-6EkE2S-hKipYW" target="_blank">Flickr</a> CC-BY 2.0</em></p><p>Looking for the polar opposite of colorful South Beach? Why not visit a secluded island only accessible by boat? Caladesi Island State Park offers some of the last unaltered coast in Florida. Swim in the balmy gulf waters, sunbathe on pristine sand, and witness an abundance of natural life while hiking or kayaking around the protected land and waters.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Dunedin%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Dunedin</a></p><p><br></p><h3>6. Pensacola Beach - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Pensacola%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Pensacola</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6841/1453593142_39f7a9d803_z.jpg"></p><p><em>Image credit: Robert/<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/robrrt/1453593142/in/photolist-3ds3AJ-mBsWdS-eYFfmF-oQ9cdF-bDq8Ws-84y4z-ozMHkv-gecGF4-892rVC-fukLgJ-9v2fEW-n5RDjU-cuSGrE-7Pv1fd-8cxBEP-b1FqKK-657bU-87F8BH-gbP13f-kbYETa-kbY7eK-hZTAXZ-hZTLZ3-8Fou7P-gdYUHg-5ryNmp-7Pr1vc-gdZ4xG-kc1mgC-hZTQSd-qWm4bf-mFah45-87F69c-8oN8ia-5rD8YJ-vNxb-7Pr2TF-yiSYH-fvEGpa-5wTjJD-5NWLzE-yiSYF-b1ihVD-oY5r7q-kbY88i-3dxy6w-8f6gXh-euvUb5-6EAyLg-wVLwc" target="_blank">Flickr </a>CC-BY 2.0</em></p><p>Located on the Gulf Islands National Seashore along Florida’s panhandle, Pensacola Beach offers family fun and seaside recreation at it’s best. The cerulean waters of the Gulf are bathtub warm and ideal for swimming, boating, surfing, and snorkeling. You might even spot a sea turtle or dolphin!</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Pensacola%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Pensacola</a></p><p><br></p><h3>7. Fort de Soto Park - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Tierra+Verde%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Tierra Verde</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6843/15845808946_d8c2163585_z.jpg"></p><p><em>Image credit: Reinhard Link/<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/129472585@N03/15845808946/in/photolist-q9eUWw-f6UYY3-kJgcbP-aipyES-hyGUt2-q4rH11-7KuTRG-7KuVKL-qbsVCu-7KqVBx-m7sTAb-81p8Ec-uR1mT4-hy4WHe-QHHTRJ-C6q43g-6ZEkuA-81bMov-bm8ouY-81UGF4-qbweYK-9eram-7KuM7W-7KpZbk-4XUThv-7Kr2sk-Q4m87X-7qQixa-hyGZtd-pNNUu8-pwB5BZ-hyJHwM-aipyUY-aipzgf-pwAC13-oSeLLK-9eqYt-aimL8R-grymGH-pbKo84-7qX4bk-5A7bnH-7KqUVR-pNNHgX-5Abt7m-7r1YqU-aimLfn-aimKSp-aipz3N-5A7bkz" target="_blank">Flickr</a> CC-BY 2.0</em></p><p>Named one of USA Today’s best Florida beaches for families, Fort de Soto Park has earned many other accolades and offers fun and relaxation to fit any family’s style. Whether you just want to chill on the pristine sandy beach or pack your visit with boating, swimming, surfing, and more, this park near St. Petersburg has it all. In addition to sprawling white sands, Fort De Soto boasts a kid-friendly tidal pool perfect for curious future marine biologists.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Tierra+Verde%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Tierra Verde</a></p><p><br></p><h3>8. Lovers Key State Park - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?guests=1&amp;topLat=26.45572795066562&amp;leftLon=-81.93259389677337&amp;bottomLat=26.3294836701415&amp;rightLon=-81.80728109159759&amp;zoom=13&amp;query=Lovers%20Key%20State%20Park%2C%20Estero%20Boulevard%2C%20Fort%20Myers%20Beach%2C%20FL%2C%20United%20States&amp;currencyCode=USD&amp;rdbk=0&amp;search=v2" target="_blank">Estero Island</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6845/beach-1042359_1280.jpg"></p><p>This state park, located on a barrier island between Naples and Fort Myers, is a sanctuary for a wide array of wildlife, like bald eagles, manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and much more. It’s equally welcoming to people, with miles of pristine sand and warm turquoise water just begging you to swim, surf, and sunbathe. If you can pull yourself away from the beach, paddle a kayak around the calm waterways or hike the nearby trails.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?guests=1&amp;topLat=26.45572795066562&amp;leftLon=-81.93259389677337&amp;bottomLat=26.3294836701415&amp;rightLon=-81.80728109159759&amp;zoom=13&amp;query=Lovers%20Key%20State%20Park%2C%20Estero%20Boulevard%2C%20Fort%20Myers%20Beach%2C%20FL%2C%20United%20States&amp;currencyCode=USD&amp;rdbk=0&amp;search=v2" target="_blank">See vacation rentals on Estero Island</a></p><p><br></p><h3>9. Pass-a-Grille Beach - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=St+Pete+Beach%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">St. Pete Beach</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6847/14125632205_c1542e8fb6_z.jpg"></p><p><em>Image credit: Holmes Palacios Jr./<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/holmesjr/14125632205/in/photolist-nweyjR-bu9Eyy-bUuwTi-bu9Epq-e3EhCE-cbRLJs-icZUHd-5mxGTX-rRQgXj-5P1aa4-5mxGTe-5P5oTG-bakDhR-icZHuy-w3jiuv-5jecvo-bUuxdB-44Eo3Q-9kv7H-dpuoRY-rRZeHx-dpupwY-dpufA4-dpuf5n-icZxfp-dpufJr-rcDuH4-4gnjqG-qfQ9ED-44EnMJ-icZWcL-dpuq8N-5jecby-5j9V3x-5jecwS-fGBFYe-4gnhb5-4ghAeB-4EV27G-cbRHN3-4gipqt-fng2rK-fngt6M-fnvhjU-fnge7F-fnvzVY-4M8LdU-5mBXns-fnvtou-fngpfr" target="_blank">Flickr </a>CC-BY 2.0</em></p><p>At the southern end of popular St. Pete Beach, you’ll find Pass-a-Grille Beach. In addition to the requisite white sands and crystal clear water, you have the stunning backdrop of the Spanish-style Don CeSar Hotel in the distance. The town of Pass-a-Grille is a quaint and historic beachside community with plenty of shopping and family-friendly eateries and activities.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=St+Pete+Beach%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in St. Pete Beach</a></p><p><br></p><h3>10. Fort Lauderdale Beach - <a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Fort+Lauderdale%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">Fort Lauderdale</a></h3><p><img src="//static.tripping.com/uploads/image/0/6849/florida-2061777_1280.jpg"></p><p>Don’t panic: what was once a Mecca of keg-toting spring breakers has calmed into a chic vacation destination with high-end shopping and dining. Stretches of clean white sand and green-blue waters still beckon for sunbathing and swimming and the iconic palm tree-lined promenade winds along the beachfront, perfect for walking, biking, rollerblading, or just people-watching with an ice cream cone in hand.</p><p><a href="https://www.tripping.com/search?search-input=Fort+Lauderdale%2C+FL%2C+United+States" target="_blank">See vacation rentals in Fort Lauderdale</a></p><p><br></p><p><em><br></em></p><p><em><br></em></p><h3><strong>Ready to hit the beach? Find your perfect vacation rental now on <a href="https://www.tripping.com/vacation-rentals/united-states/florida" target="_blank">Tripping.com</a>.</strong></h3><p><em><br></em></p><p><em>This article was written by Katie Vaughan.</em><br></p>
          "The animals were in hell"        
Marineland is one of the biggest tourist destinations in Niagara Falls. It features the world's largest habitat for viewing orcas, houses a world record 41 beluga whales in their exhibits, and offers a variety of daily shows featuring bottlenose dolphins, harbor seals, sea lions and walruses. On Tuesday, the Toronto Star published the results of an extensive investigation, alleging "a pattern of neglect that has repeatedly resulted in animal suffering." Video. Slideshow. Demonstration protests are scheduled for Saturday. Marineland denies mistreatment.
          Ensign Flipper? Dolphins in the U.S. Navy        
The U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program has been training the bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) and the California sea lion (Zalophus californianus) in mine and swimmer detection for many years. (The program was declassified in the 1990s.) Military dolphins were used in the first and second Gulf Wars, and there are rumors they are deployed in the Gulf today. These animals could be important if Iran blockades the Hormuz Strait as threatened.
          First Mom/Calf of 2017 Season Visits Brevard Co.!        
Tail flukes of right whale #1711's calf off Melbourne Beach, FL on 1/15/17.  Photo by J. Albert/MRC

Right whale #1711 with her 3rd calf  and a bottlenose dolphin with its calf in the background off Melbourne Beach, FL on 1/15/17.  Photo by J. Albert/MRC
Brevard County enjoyed its first North Atlantic right whale sightings of the season this past weekend. Tentatively ID'd as Catalog #1711, this 30-year-old mom cruised southward through Satellite Beach Saturday, Jan. 14, 2017 with her 3rd calf. She was spotted moving through Melbourne Beach waters on Sunday, Jan. 15th and at 6:00 pm was about a mile north of Sebastian Inlet. FWC officers at the inlet say the pair spent a few hours west of the bridge during the night, but made it safely out around 12:25am Monday morning. #1711 gave birth to the first of 3 calves this season so far. She last calved in 2009. #1711 is one of only 4 adult North Atlantic right whales known to be in the southeast U.S. right now (3 of which have given birth, making a total of 7). It's been a very slow season with few whales, few calves, and with sightings happening later than usual. So, for those of you who have seen her so far, count your lucky stars! For those of you who haven't, she was headed south when she left Sebastian Inlet, so she's got to turn around and head north at some point! Enjoy any chance you get to see them, but remember to keep your distance.  The legal approach limit is 500 yards.

          Beggar the Dolphin Found Dead in Florida        
One of Florida’s most iconic and beloved wild dolphins was found dead this past Friday. Beggar (or Mooch as some people called him) was a bottlenose dolphin who lived in the Nokomis area of Florida. Beggar hung around under the … Continue reading
          Tom and Misha – Turkish Captive Dolphins Set Free!        
Tom and Misha are two male bottlenose dolphins who had been living in a very small and dirty hotel pool in Turkey. They had been captured from the wild about 6-7 years ago and neglected since then. The Born Free … Continue reading
          Where to Watch Bottlenose Dolphins in Florida        
I am excited to announce my new ebook: The Dolphin Watcher’s Guide to Southwest Florida. I’ve been visiting Florida’s wild bottlenose dolphins for many years. During that time, I have found some wonderful spots and had some incredible encounters. I … Continue reading
          Work : Life Balance        
I seem to have got my Work/Life balance, well, off-balance.
It's been weighing down in favour of Life, not Work!

Which way next??
We seem to be always on the move.
Exploring, wandering, gazing. 

Dunrobin Castle - beautiful!

Up the east coast of Scotland,
taking in a few little houses on the way. 
This one's back yard looked out over a glistening sea - beautiful!

Spectacular abandoned beaches on the northern coast of the UK.

Saying Hello to the locals!

  He was completely oblivious of the wonderful
 snow-capped mountains in the background.

Balnakeil Beach near Durness on the north coast

Saw a mad woman doing a highland fling on a beach at sunset.
  Dunno who she is??!

Braemar Castle

 Down through the Cairngorms and a few more wee houses.

Scone Palace

 Up to the top of Aviemore where the weather
was distinctly chillier than at the bottom.

Felt privileged to sit and watch this bottlenose dolphin
bobbing up and down in the Moray Firth.

No ... it's not a shark!
And for some reason,
the pottery that I have got around to making
has come out with little boats
all around the border.

available from www.catherinedanielceramics.com
Maybe a good work/life balance
would be to make pottery indoors all winter
and then go out and have fun all summer. 
Sounds good to me!

x Cathy

          â€˜Mysterious’ sea creature with furry tail washes ashore in Russia’s Far East        

The following was published by RT on July 01, 2015: The enigmatic remains of a giant marine animal with a furry tail found in Russia’s Far East have puzzled locals and social media, but scientists have managed to identify the odd creature. A mysterious sea animal washed ashore near the airport at Shakhtersk on Sakhalin Island this weekend, Sakhalin Media web portal reported on Wednesday. The remains, a few meters in length, featured a furry tail and a huge nose, making it very difficult to identify the creature. Social media reacted to pictures posted online with a variety of explanations for the appearance of a never-before-seen creature in Russia. While it reminded some people of an ancient dinosaur, the most popular guess was that it was a Ganges River dolphin from India. “Probably, our summer is so cold that even the Indian Dolphins getting into local waters are covered with fur,” a commentator joked. However, according to experts, it would be impossible for a fresh water dolphin to survive the swim in the salty ocean. Besides, they don’t have any fur and are smaller in size. “We have gathered a group of scientists. We studied all the versions and came to the conclusion that the fossils found ashore belong to a whale cub,” Nikolay Kim, Deputy Head of the Forecasting department of the Sakhalin Research Institute of Fisheries and Oceanography, told Sakhalin Media. Kim added that the cub must have been a giant beaked whale, a species that is quite common for the region, so the discovery is a“no wonder.” Besides, all dolphins and whales are born with a hair coat that disappears with age. Berardius bairdii, also called “giant bottlenose whales,” is the largest of all beaked whales, reaching up to 12 meters in length, and found in the North Pacific. It is listed in the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).

The post ‘Mysterious’ sea creature with furry tail washes ashore in Russia’s Far East appeared first on The Black Vault Case Files.

          [Environnement] Bestiaire de ShipWrecked        

Voici un supplément plutôt bien garni de la faune apportée par le DLC ShipWrecked. Notez cependant que la plupart des fiches sont incomplètes, je les remplierais au fur et à mesure.

~ Créatures passives ~

http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestaire-parrot-perroquet.html http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestaire-perroquet-pirate-parrot-pirate.html http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestaire-mouette-seagull.html http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestiaire-toucan-toucan.htmlhttp://dontstarvefr.blogspot.fr/2016/04/dodo-doydoy.html

Poissons & crustacés


~ Créatures neutres ~


http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestiaire-beefalo-deau-water-beefalo.html http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2015/12/faune-singe-primitif-prime-ape.html


~ Créatures agressives de petite taille (100 à 200 points de vie) ~

Créatures Venimeuses


~ Créatures agressives de taille moyenne (300 à 800 points de vie) ~

http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestaire-baleine-blanche-white-whale.html http://dontstarvefr.blogspot.com/2017/02/bestiaire-chevalier-flottant-floaty.html

Créatures Volcaniques

~ Créatures agressives de grande taille (> 1000 points de vie) ~ 

à  venir...

          [Bestiaire] Bottlenose Ballphin (Grand Dauphin)         

Un dauphin au nez proéminent, ce qui n'est pas sans conséquence sur son loot.

Cet objet nécessite l'extension ShipWrecked.

Nom : Bottlenosed Ballphin (Grand Dauphin)

Lieu de vie : Océan

Points de vie : 100

Points de dégâts : 10

Objets donnés si tué :

100% de chance
50% de chance

Cycle de vie : chaque groupe de dauphins est constitué de 12 membres, si vous les tuez ils réapparaitront lors de la saison calme.

Comportement :

Le Grand Dauphin est neutre envers tous les personnages sauf Webber, envers lequel il est agressif.

Il attaque certaines créatures qui passent à côté de lui :


          Gulf Oil Spill        
I try to avoid reposting others, but this is one of those times when it is needed. Many of us do not live on the Gulf coast, and aren't seeing the devastation. Today, I'm sharing a post with you from Washington's Blog. The photos are striking. Please consider what you can do to help with the clean up, and prevent more disasters like this in the future.

SUNDAY, JULY 11, 2010

Preface: The title is a parody of the fact that the government has effectively made it a felony to take pictures of oiled wildlife.
While most of these pictures have previously been published by the mainstream media - and presumably will remain publicly available - that assumption is not 100% certain. By way of analogy, the government sometimes reclassifies as top secret information which was previously declassified.

More importantly, while some of these photos have been widely seen, most have not, and I have never seen them rounded up in a single page before.

Jonathan Elinoff has rounded up rarely-seen videos and pictures of the gulf oil spill:

A pod of Bottlenose dolphins swim under the oily water Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, Thursday, May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
This is a photo of a dolphin pulled from the gulf....

Below you will find a picture of millions of dead fish. These are small fish, possible baby fish. They are slowly washing ashore and towards the ports. Over 9,000 species of animals will be under threat of extinction in this region, we might not ever see again on the planet. Click the image to enlarge it.

A Greenpeace activist steps through oil on a beach along the Gulf of Mexico on May 20, 2010 near Venice, Louisiana. (John Moore/Getty Images)
A Brown Pelican sits in heavy oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A pair of Brown Pelicans, covered in oil, sit on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast, Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A dead turtle floats on a pool of oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in Barataria Bay off the coast of Louisiana Monday, June, 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A sea bird soaked in oil sits in the surf at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A Brown Pelican is seen on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast on Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A bird covered in oil flails in the surf at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A Brown Pelican is mired in heavy oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast on Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A Brown Pelican covered in oil sits on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast on Thursday, June 3, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
A ship's wake cuts through a pattern of oil near the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico Monday, May 17, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill pools against the Louisiana coast along Barataria Bay Tuesday, June 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel) #

APTN photographer Rich Matthews dives into the water to take a closer look at oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill on June 7, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico south of Venice, Louisiana. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A dead Northern Gannet covered in oil lies along Grand Isle Beach in Grand Isle, Louisiana May 21, 2010. A member of Tri-State Bird Rescue and Research tagged the spot of the location of the incident. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)
Collected oil burns on the water in this aerial view seven miles northeast of the Deepwater Horizon site over the Gulf of Mexico, May 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)
Oil is seen on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico about six miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana May 21, 2010. (REUTERS/Sean Gardner)

A sea turtle is mired in oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Grand Terre Island, Louisiana June 8, 2010. (REUTERS/Lee Celano)
Oil floats around booms and through marshlands of the Mississippi Delta on May 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)
Maura Wood, Senior Program Manager of Coastal Louisiana Restoration for the National Wildlife Federation takes a sample of water in a heavily oiled marsh near Pass a Loutre, Louisiana on May 20, 2010. (REUTERS/Lee Celano)
A suction hose is used to remove oil washed ashore from the Deepwater Horizon spill, Wednesday, June 9, 2010, in Belle Terre, Louisiana. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) #
An oil-soaked pelican takes flight after Louisiana Fish and Wildlife employees tried to corral him on an island in Barataria Bay on Sunday, May 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Oil is scooped out of a marsh impacted by the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in Redfish Bay along the coast of Louisiana, Saturday, May 22, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
A sheen of oil sits on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico close to the site of the BP oil spill as a boat uses a containment boom to gather the oil to be burned off approximately 42 miles off the coast of Louisiana May 18, 2010 (REUTERS/Hans Deryk)
Crews try to clean an island covered in oil on the south part of East Bay May 23, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)
A ship maneuvers and sprays water near a rig in heavy surface oil in this aerial view over the Gulf of Mexico May 18, 2010, as oil continues to leak from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)
An outboard boat motor breaks up a thick layer of oil as Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal and Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser toured the oil-impacted marsh of Pass a Loutre on Wednesday, May 19, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill coats marsh grass at the Louisiana coast along Barataria Bay Tuesday, June 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

A brown pelican coated in heavy oil wallows in the surf June 4, 2010 on East Grand Terre Island, Louisiana. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A shrimp boat is used to collect oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana on May 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
A helicopter flies over surface oil in this aerial view over the Gulf of Mexico, May 18, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra/Greenpeace)
A young heron sits dying amidst oil splattering underneath mangrove on an island impacted by oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in Barataria Bay, along the the coast of Louisiana on Sunday, May 23, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Seawater covered with thick black oil splashes up in brown-stained whitecaps off the side of the supply vessel Joe Griffin at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, May 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

A tugboat moves through the oil slick on May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. (Michael B. Watkins/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
Oil burns during a controlled fire May 6, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico. The U.S. Coast Guard is overseeing oil burns after the sinking, and subsequent massive oil leak, from the sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil platform off the coast of Louisiana. (Justin E. Stumberg/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico, May 6, 2010. The U.S. Coast Guard working in partnership with BP PLC, local residents, and other federal agencies conducted the "in situ burn" to aid in preventing the spread of oil. (REUTERS/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg-US Navy)
The crew of a Basler BT-67 fixed wing aircraft releases oil dispersant over parts of the oil spill off the shore of Louisiana in this May 5, 2010 photograph. (REUTERS/Stephen Lehmann/U.S. Coast Guard)
A man holds a plastic bag with seawater and oil from the Gulf of Mexico oil spill south of Freemason Island, Louisiana May 7, 2010. (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Oily water is seen off the side of the Joe Griffin supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill containment efforts in the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, May 8, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
One of the New harbor Islands is protected by two oil booms against the oil slick that has passed inside of the protective barrier formed by the Chandeleur Islands, as cleanup operations continue for the BP Deepwater Horizon platform disaster off Louisiana, on May 10, 2010. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Blobs of oil from the massive spill float on the surface of the water on May 5, 2010 in Breton and Chandeleur sounds off the coast of Louisiana. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Mississippi River water (left) meets sea water and an oil slick that has passed inside of the protective barrier formed by the Chandeleur Islands, off the coast of Louisiana, on May 7, 2010. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Oil from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill makes its way to shore on Chandeleur Islands in Louisiana on May 7, 2010. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Vernon Bryant)
This image provided by NASA shows the Mississippi Delta (top right) and the growing oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico on May 5, 2010. Photo was taken by International Space Station Expedition 23 flight engineer Soichi Noguchi. (AP Photo/NASA - Soichi Noguchi)
Oil and oil sheen are seen moving past an oil rig, top right, in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, Wednesday, May 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
An oil soaked bird struggles against the oil slicked side of the HOS Iron Horse supply vessel at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Louisiana Sunday, May 9, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
An aerial view of the oil leaked from the Deepwater Horizon wellhead, May 6, 2010. (REUTERS/Daniel Beltra)
Dark clouds of smoke and fire emerge as oil burns during a controlled fire in the Gulf of Mexico May 7, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/Released)
Bruce Padilla, left, and Adam Shaw, Louisiana oilfield divers, return through blackened seawater from watching a controlled oil burn in the Gulf of Mexico May 7, 2010. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Justin Stumberg/Released)
Oil, scooped up with a bucket from the Gulf of Mexico off the side of the supply vessel Joe Griffin, coats the hands of an AP reporter at the site of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, May 10, 2010. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Shrimp boats are used to collect oil with booms in the waters of Chandeleur Sound, Louisiana, Wednesday, May 5, 2010. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Note: The descriptions are Elinoff's and/or of the sources from which he obtained them. However, I have edited to remove many of Elinoff's editorial comments and arguments regarding BP's wrongful actions or potential future scenarios, to focus on the present effects of the oil spill itself.

All photographs and text are copyright of their respective owners. They are being reproduced under the Fair Use exception to copyright law, 17 U.S.C. § 107, as it is for educational purposes and is intended as political commentary on important social events of the day.

In addition, use of such images is also protected under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Specifically, reproduction is protected under the "Mai Lai/Zapruder line of cases", since:
(1) The images are of historical significance;

(2) They show facts which cannot be conveyed effectively in any other manner, and

(3) Therefore the Constitution trumps copyright law.

          If only........        
I visited the lovely Aimees' blog (CageFree Family) today and was once again struck by the generosity and just general kindness of ordinary people. They've had a run of poor luck over the last couple of weeks and found themselves stuck in a hotel for a few days as the heater on their Rv has gone on strike. She was feeling a bit sorry for herself with all the holdups and everything, not to mention the pain she was in caused by trying to be supermam. So out they trudged, also feeling a little concern with regards to their bank balance.

So, they decided to do a bit of shopping at whole foods as for xmas they recieved a $400 voucher for that shop. However, on entering the shop they didn't grab a trolley and do a supermarket sweep in 5 mins flat, instead they decided to donate their gift to the charity. All of it. Despite their concern regarding their own finances, the fact that they could've easily found useful purchases for this amount and they don't have a regular income right now. not only did they donate all of their giftcard, they added to it with $100 of their own limited funds, so that 2,000 kids're going to get fed. How amazing is that? To me, this shows what we ordinary people are capable of.

Of course we can't all manage to feed 2,000 kids on a regular basis, but we CAN all do our little bit to try and make a difference. It's also the example we set for our kids. They see us behaving in a certain way, so they copy it. I doubt that very many of us are mega money millionaires - if you are, all donations gratefully recieved! Lol! - but clearly none of us are on the poverty line either, if we were, we wouldn't be online would we? Here in England i'm classed as the bottom of the ladder but there's no way that i'm poor. We have a roof over our heads- and it keeps out the rain!- we live in a beautiful place, we have food, warmth, basically everything that we need and even some of the things that we want. It always amazes me when people complain about their lot, whilst wearing the latest clothes and gold jewellery, trainers that cost upwards of £80. How can they be poor? Poor is not having enough to eat, no money for medicine for your sick kids, sleeping under corrugated sheets at night on a hard stone floor. We most certainly are NOT poor.

Those of you who've been here before know my opinion on xmas, just a quick gentle recap for any newbies amongst you i I HATE XMAS!!! - but this year the pressure was even greater than usual, like most people the belts needed to be even tighter than normal, the prices were shooting up whilst incomes were definately not. I asked the smalls what they wanted, explaining that the list couldn't be very long.(**in our house we still have one believer,Little Miss R, young Master B has got it sussed but was warned on pain of death and other nasties not to let on to his sister what he knew - a barbie coat for school was one suggestion, lol!- The deal is that mam has to send money to santa, anyone who lives far away sends their gifts to him to deliver, there's nothing for free unless you've been absolutely super duper good with bells on and even then it's only one small thing 'cos there are too many kids in the world for all the swag to be for free. It also helps explain why some kids have hundreds of pounds spent on them and some don't, a harsh lesson but one we all need to learn**)

They spent some time pondering the swag options, a lot of time hidden by the argos catalogue, Master B was in his glory here as he was'pretending' to be excited about santa, being such a wiser and older brother it gave him a sense of maturity, keeping the secret from the'little kids'. It's so old you know,being nearly 10,( double figures!Gasp!) there was also quite a bit of muttering and hushed conversations rapidly stopped as i entered the room. Finally they came to me with their lists. B knew he was going to spain with his dad so i'd had to get him a passport and new clothes etc, books, lots, a watch, two actually, a wallet and some dvds, Little miss R wanted a skateboard, a watch, a couple of cds and some makeup thing. They showed me their lists and hovered around for a while whilst i read them. "We know we can't have all of these things but we've put more so if you can't get one there's always something else" -not daft my kids let me tell you!- " but the most important thing we want isn't in the argos, it's on the telly". i gulped and did a quick mental search to see if there was anything under £50 advertised on tv.i drew a blank. I took a deep breath ans said "Well, you know kids the toys that they show on the tv..." i was going to say 'are VERY expensive' but was cut off by them saying " No mam it's not a toy, we want to do something else". I was speechless for a moment, then they proceeded to tell me all about their plans, what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it.

So now Master B is the sponsor of a bottlenose dolphin that goes by the name of Sundance, who swims in the Moray Firth(scotland) and sometimes the Solway Coast (where we are!) how lovely is that? Little Miss R is the sponsor of a collie dog named Spot, who has one blue eye and one brown eye. I was choked. The icing on the cake is the gift that they 'got' me. A monthly donation to UNICEF, to 'feed the poor children' is what they decided that i needed the most.( of course i have to pay it, they didn't get as far as that concept but that doesn't matte one bit). I'm pretty sure i've not felt prouder than this for a long time.

If a 7 and 9 year old can see past the hype and think to do something nice at xmas why can't most adults? My kids're not perfect -far from it - they wanted toys too, of course they did. I'm pretty sure that if all they recieved on xmas morning was their respective sponsorship packages there d've been tears and stropping all over the place. BUT - and this is a big but, they did stop for a moment and think beyond their own needs and wants. My kids don't know we live on the 'poverty line', pah, a load of s**t in my opinion, they did know that they weren't going to get x boxes or plasma screen tellys or anything like that as money was very tight but they still stopped to think beyond themselves. These are our kids, our future.

Sometimes when i think about the future it scares me. All the fighting, suffering, starvation, poverty, greed and all that is wrong in this 'modern' world that we live in. Every day the news brings more sadness into our homes, it's gotten so bad that we hardly flinch at the news another kid has been stabbed, a postmasters son was shot, another buisness has gone bust, another bank has gone under. We just shrug and maybe even pause for a minute but then carry on with our lives. It's the age of 'it's nothing to do with me' when people see others breaking the law and say nothing for fear of reprisals, 'i'm allright Jack' when more people lose their jobs, another buisness goes under. As long as it doesn't affect our imediate lives then we just walk on by. Not painting such a great picture here am i? ....

Thankfully, at this point, something that the lovely Leanne over at Somerset Seasons said to me springs to mind here. I'd left a comment on her blog thanking her for helping me to see the little part of the world we live in through different eyes. She said that"The world is full of colour Sarah, if you just take a look." How right she is! Instead of thinking about the bad, think about the good. If two little kids can think about others as well as themselves at xmas, then anyone can. We're ALL capable of doing something, however small. Recycling your waste, using proper shopping bags instead of carrier bags, buying fairtrade tea bags, sponsoring a child, anything. It ALL counts. Never think that it's too small to make a difference. Everything counts. We can show our kids that WE, you,me our neighbours, anyone and EVERYONE can help. it's just that first step, the one that starts the journey for you. Once you've taken that you're away,AND, let me tell you, you'll feel great. We don't have to fund another wing for the library or start wearing sackcloth and ashes - unless you really want to of course?! - to make a difference either. It doesn't matter if no one else in the world knows what you've done, you'll know and thats all that counts. Just imagine what it'd be like if we all did just one thing! then another, then another........

          Some Historically Fueled Guesses on What Russia Will Do With Its War Dolphins        

Earlier this month, the Russian government announced it was looking to buy five combat dolphins: two females and three males, physically unblemished, and in possession of “perfect teeth.” Naturally, Russia did not reveal what it planned to do with the dolphins. That allowed the Internet to have a field day speculating for what nefarious tasks these dolphins might be used—including recovering sunken torpedoes, killing enemy divers, or planting bombs.

But Russia wasn’t being serious, right? Well, actually, it probably was. For Russia, dolphin deployment is nothing new: During the Cold War, the country used these slippery soldiers to do things like detect submarines, flag mines, and protect ships and harbors, according to retired colonel Viktor Baranets. In fact, countries have been enlisting these smart, adaptable creatures to perform underwater military tasks for more than 50 years.

But let’s be clear: Assembling a dolphin army wasn’t the Russians’ idea. It was ours.

The story of America's war dolphins starts innocently enough. In 1960, military researchers wanted to design better missiles. And dolphins—graceful, lithe, aerodynamic in the water—seemed like the perfect animal to imitate. However, upon examining a female Pacific white-sided dolphin named Notty, researchers quickly realized that dolphins weren’t just well-designed. “They were also trainable, and adaptable, and amenable to training,” says Ed Budzyna, a Navy spokesman. “That led to ... other things.”

“Other things” became the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Training Program in San Diego, California, which today houses 85 bottlenose dolphins. (This is down from peak-marine mammal reserves, which occurred in 1995 when the U.S. possessed more than 150 trained dolphins and belugas and nearly 50 sea lions.) Before settling on dolphins, the Navy also tried out other marine mammals. For example, they found that killer whales could recover objects at depths of 1,654 feet, while white whales, or belugas, could dive up to 2,100 feet. But when it came to precision, no other cetacean could outperform the dolphin. 

The choice to use dolphins to perform military tasks is a logical one, says Terrie Williams, a large mammal physiologist at the University of California at Santa Cruz who has studied dolphins since 1990. “If you wanted a water watchdog, that’s what I would choose,” she says. She should know: Williams, who has published studies on dolphin diving physiology, worked as a researcher in the Marine Mammal Program during the 1990s. Why not sharks? “For the obvious reasons,” she says—training sharks is both harder and potentially more dangerous. 

Navy dolphins are trained mainly in two tasks, neither of which involve combat. First, they are taught to find underwater mines—often ones that are tricky to locate, half-buried, and hundreds of meters deep—so that the Navy can map their presence and avoid them in combat. Second, they learn to flag the presence of enemy swimmers, again to alert the Navy rather than attack. To do this, dolphins work with handlers, who equip them with conical buoys around their snouts. When a dolphin finds a swimmer, it releases the buoy, which floats up and flashes so forces can find the swimmer.

In these arenas, dolphins have two qualities that make them unbeatable: diving and sonar. Like most cetaceans—the order of marine mammals that includes whales, dolphins, and porpoises—dolphins can dive deep, for up to 10 minutes at a time. Once they have identified an underwater object, they can reach it quickly and efficiently. But their sonar, says Williams, is "off the charts." She describes dolphin sonar as akin to being able to take X-ray after X-ray of your surroundings and then compiling them into a 3-dimensional picture.

“We barely have calibers to measure the way these animals are able to differentiate between things in the water," she says. "No technology has been able to match it yet.” 

In other words, they're basically the world’s best fetchers.

Budzyna agrees. As technology gets better, it’s possible that the Marine Mammal Program will be rendered obsolete, he says. But right now, when it comes to locating underwater objects—and particularly enemy swimmers, who are more dynamic and unpredictable than stationary mines—you just can’t beat dolphins. “They’re just extremely well-adapted to their environment,” he says.

So even though the Marine Mammal Program has been around since 1960, its dolphins have never actually seen combat, says Budzyna. The closest they’ve gotten was during the Vietnam War, when they were deployed to protect ships and submarines at the American base in Cam Rahn Bay. This happened again during the Iran-Iraq war, when they were used to watch vessels and a floating helicopter platform in the Persian Gulf, according to the New York Times. Additionally, during the 1996 Republican National Convention in San Diego, dolphins and their handlers were on standby in the waters next to the Convention Center, according to Budzyna—but fortunately, their services weren't needed.

In the 1980s, the Navy flirted with the idea of using dolphin guards to patrol the Trident nuclear submarine base in Washington. According to the Times, the dolphins would “detect possible saboteurs.” That plan was foiled by animal rights activists, who sued in 1989, blaming the death of one dolphin during training on the Navy’s allegedly cruel practice of making warm-water animals work in icy conditions in Puget Sound. The Navy settled the suit, agreeing to both suspend the project and stop taking dolphins from the wild.

On purely emotional grounds, there is something perverse about the idea of using a dolphin as an instrument of war. We’re taught to think of dolphins as the hippies of the animal kingdom: social, emotional, gregarious, giddy. They break into chirping laughter. They protect their loved ones. They even practice free love. When we picture a dolphin, we see a playful creature bobbing above the water’s surface, mouth broken open in what we see as a wide, toothy grin. (That's to say nothing of their renowned intelligence and prodigious memories.)

The U.S. has always claimed that it has never trained dolphins to kill. It has made this assertion despite the fact that former Navy dolphin trainers have said otherwise, including Richard L. Trout, a civilian mammal trainer for the Navy from 1985 to 1989, who told the New York Times in 1990 that Navy dolphins “were learning to kill enemy divers.” But using dolphins for combat purposes “just wouldn’t make sense,” says Budzyna, who believes much of this speculation came out of the 1973 movie The Day of the Dolphin. “They’re not trained to make decisions,” he says. “So it would be ridiculous to expect them to make choices underwater as to whether it’s a friend or a foe and what they should do about it.”

But Russia, which started investing in marine mammal programs in 1965 after witnessing the U.S.’s success, has made no such promises. So could Russia be training its war dolphins to kill enemy divers? I asked Williams how dolphins might be used for more odious porpoises—I mean, purposes—than flagging mines. After dismissing the idea of equipping dolphins with knives or bullets on their heads as “pretty far-fetched,” Williams did admit that, conceivably, you might train dolphins to ram an enemy swimmer as they do sharks in the wild, butting them again and again with their hard snouts.

“Are they capable of doing it? Yeah,” she says. “They can bust up a shark pretty good.”

But in the wild, ramming a shark isn't a common occurrence, it’s a desperate measure of self-defense. Since their heads house their delicate sonar equipment, dolphins are more likely to protect it rather than repeatedly bash it against something, Williams says. And beyond ramming, a dolphin doesn’t have aggressive jaw capabilities; their teeth are meant merely for grabbing fish, not ripping and tearing. “There are behaviors you can build off of,” Williams says. “But the training would be hard for the animal. Not because it’s a pacifist, but simply because it’s not built to do those kind of tasks.”

Don’t just take it from her. As other former military experts told the Times, dolphins are simply too “benign and unreliable” to perform these kinds of tasks. Perhaps the most adorable testament, from Trout:

''When they were supposed to ram us with the guns,'' he said, ''they either swam away or put their snouts on our shoulders, very affectionately. They were the worst at taking orders.''

Williams adds that, given the years of training the Navy puts into them, these dolphins are invaluable. If you had to put dollar price on them, they’d be worth hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars—as compared to the $25,000 Russia was reportedly starting its bidding at. That’s yet another reason not to send them into active combat: It would be a waste to put such a valuable piece of “military hardware” on a mission where it would be exposed to lethal dangers. “These weren’t suicide mission animals, by any stretch of the imagination,” says Williams. “Never.”

(The fact that almost all U.S. military dolphins survive their experience introduces the strange question of how such a creature retires. After all, bottlenose dolphins can live 40-45 years in the wild. Budzyna says they generally remain under the military's purview, for use in research projects.)

At any rate, it’s impossible to know exactly what plans the Russians have for their new recruits. But if they're looking to train dolphins to kill, they probably won’t get terribly far. Here’s to hoping that these mammals’ docile nature will save them from the worst that warfare has to offer.

          The Strangest, Most Amazing Lactation Methods Ever Seen in Mammals        

My wife has amazing breasts.

I should explain that I’m talking about her mammary glands, in particular. (All mammals have mammary glands, though not all mammals have breasts. Some of them don’t even have nipples. But we’ll get to that.)

A few weeks ago, my wife and I welcomed our second child into the world—a wee little squeaker named June. After nearly nine months of sipping her meals through a straw in her belly, this bitty baby popped out, threw some shade at the doctor, and immediately began to suckle from my wife’s breast.

And I guess that’s when it struck me—not only did my wife’s body just funnel all of its resources into the creation of this animal, rearranging organs and increasing its blood supply by 50 percent in the process, but once it had expelled her, my wife’s body shifted modes like a Transformer to further accommodate its mewling creation.

In the hours and days to come, my daughter’s near-constant stimulation would trigger hormones to wash over my wife’s body, initiating lactation. Her mammary glands would produce colostrum, a concentrated proto-milk full of immune cells, antibodies, and protein that kick-starts the infant’s digestion and growth. The colostrum would give way to a more regular supply of milk composed of thousands of bioactive molecules that ward off infection, prevent inflammation, promote immunity, spur organ development, and cultivate a healthy microbiome.

My wife’s body would produce just as much milk as my daughter could drink, replenishing the supply in between feedings, and tweaking the recipe as the baby grew. Human milk is made to order depending on the time of day, the length of the feed, and the diet of the mother.

Like I said: absolutely sucking amazing.

So in honor of my daughter, my wife, and amazing mammary glands, I did some digging into the wonder that is mammalian lactation.

More than 200 million years before the “Got Milk?” campaign, the first mammals crawled onto the scene. Mammary glands are the main unifier of all us mammals—from moles, dogs, and koalas to tigers, lemurs, and platypuses.

“There are over 5,600 species of mammal, probably closer to 6,000 once they all get described, and they all start life on a diet of milk,” says George Feldhamer, professor emeritus at Southern Illinois University and author of the widely used textbook Mammalogy. But as Feldhamer points out, lactation can differ greatly among those of us in the milk-maker tribe.

Human milk, for instance, is a watery brew with just 3.8 percent fat and 1.2 percent protein. Compare that with the milk of a blue whale, which is 38.1 percent fat and 12.8 percent protein. Blue whale milk has the consistency of “loose, runny cheese” and smells like it was made in a Bass-O-Matic.

As the largest creatures to ever live, blue whales also hold the record for the biggest bazookas—each mammary gland is nearly 5 feet long and weighs almost 250 pounds. Like humans, blue whales have two such glands, which means each adult female is carrying around a quarter of a ton of milk-producing machinery. Of course, all this milk-making power is what helps the blue whale calf pack on 37,500 pounds during its suckling period.

But the leviathans aren’t even the fattiest milk producers in the animal kingdom. That prize goes to hooded seals. Their milk can reach 61 percent fat, a richness even Paula Deen would find excessive.

But decadence in nature is never needless—hooded seal mothers nurse their pups for just four days on pack ice before returning to the sea to find food. This is the shortest lactation period of any mammal. That means the pups must pack on as much weight as possible, as quickly as possible, or die alone on the ice. Drinking nearly 45,000 calories of liquid butter each day is the only way such an arrangement can work.

While we’re talking about marine mammals, I should probably clarify that neither seals nor whales are swimming around with anything resembling cleavage. All marine mammals lack breasts as we know them and keep their working parts inside the body proper.

The pinnipeds (seals, sea lions, and walruses) have retractable nipples, which sounds like a burn straight out of the junior-high locker room but in truth just means the nipples tuck inside when they’re not in use. This likely cuts down on drag in the water and protects the tidbits from the cold.

The cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises, narwhals, and the like) take this trick a step further by burying their nursing parts below a fold of skin called the “mammary slit.” These nipple-housing envelopes are found on either side of another, longer slit, which contains the genitals.

Because dolphins and whales don’t really have lips like most mammals, it’s been posited that the mother’s abdominal muscles actually squeeze the mammary glands and eject milk into the calf’s mouth. There’s some evidence that the babies can assist the process by curling their tongues into troughs, the better to create suction and gulp down their liquid lunches.

Of all the sucklers though, opossums are the most committed. Following a gestation period of just 12 days, baby opossums emerge from their mother’s vaginas blind, deaf, naked, and with brains that are only 9 percent developed, which isn’t much of a brain even for an opossum. About the only thing these marsupials have going for them is a massive set of claws, which they use to climb up the mother’s body and into her pouch. Once inside, those who find a teat latch on and don’t let go for two straight months.

The nipples swell inside the babies’ mouths, creating a lock so tight that scientists have found that trying to forcefully separate a baby from its mother can result in torn lips and nips. (I think I just heard my wife shudder from the next room.)

Over the course of 60 days, the opossum’s nipple will stretch and grow up to 35 times its original length. This creates a tether between mother and child not unlike an umbilical cord and every bit as vital. A baby opossum that does not find a nipple after birth will be dead in minutes. And the same goes for any offspring that become detached before they’re ready to wean.

Nipples—what strange little bio-valves they are. For all the time we spend talking about nip slips and Instagram’s nipple censorship policies, we pay scarcely little attention to the wild nipples all around us.

According to the 2015 edition of Guinness World Records, the animal with the most nipples is the female shrewish short-tailed opossum, which can boast a 27-gun salute. When scientists dart and collar female polar bears, they can determine an approximate age by nipple size, since the teats get longer and wider as the animals become teenagers. Kangaroos nurse two different generations of joeys at a time, which means one nipple is devoted to carbohydrate-rich milk for the neonate in its pouch and another nipple delivers fat-rich milk for the yearling living outside. (Kangaroos are baby-making machines.)

In porcupines, bleached fur around the nipples is proof that the female has reared young in the past. Uldis Roze, porcupine expert and author of The North American Porcupine tells me that porcupettes (really, that’s what they’re called) have also been documented to play a little game of Simon with their mother’s nipples. They first tug at one nipple, then another, then another, suckling milk from each gland in an order that they will repeat throughout their nursing months.

Anyone who has owned a cat or dog knows that nipple placement also varies throughout Mammalia. Ours are near our armpits, as are elephants’. But many other animals—cows, squirrels, giraffes—keep theirs toward the hindquarters.

And then there are bats. Bats are already pretty special when it comes to mammals, because they’re the only ones that said, “Eff it, we’re conquering the sky!” Bats also have fascinating sex lives. So perhaps it’s not so surprising that they have awesome nipples.  

Like us, bats nurse from teats on the upper body. But reports kept coming in over the years from scientists seeing another set of nipples located down on the pelvis of some species. In many cases, the “pubic teats” did not seem to be attached to functioning mammary glands. So what possible purpose could these extra nipples serve? Oh, an awesome one.

Pubic teats “are used as devices for the young to hold onto when the mother is flying,” says Nancy Simmons, curator-in-charge of mammals at the American Museum of Natural History.

The pup simply latches onto the mom’s pubic teat, wraps its legs around her neck like it’s doing a reverse-hurricanrana, and then the two fly off into the night.  

All of this is described in Simmons’ 1993 paper in which she examined the nipples on 1,723 bat specimens representing 206 species. Her work remains the definitive word on bat nipples—which one can only hope affords her plenty of free drinks in every bar on Earth.

While we’re talking about lactating Chiropterans, I should at least mention that the only male mammal that has been shown to produce milk in the wild is also a bat.

Dayak fruit bats captured in Malaysia have been shown to express a relatively small amount of what appears to be milk. However, before you start lauding these guys for being some sort of male milk nurses, I should also say that there’s no evidence that they help nurse the pups. And their drippy nips may be more of an effect of their diet than some sort of evolutionary advance.

“It is likely that Dayak fruit bats ate leaves or fruits containing plant estrogens, which stimulated their mammary tissue, which then produced some secretion,” says Paul Racey, professor emeritus at the University of Aberdeen and author of a dissenting opinion on whether male bats truly lactate.

Whatever the case, there’s a yet more impressive feat than males making use of their nipples—and that’s nursing young without any nipples at all.

I refer of course to the monotremes, the only mammals left alive that lay eggs.

“The platypus and echidnas don’t actually have nipples,” says Feldhamer. “They have mammary glands, they secrete milk, but it just drips out onto tufts of fur.”

Still, there’s a lot to be said in support of nipples. In addition to guiding the milk directly into the baby’s yawning maw, nipples minimize the milk’s exposure to microbes. Perhaps this is why scientists have found the presence of an antibacterial agent that occurs exclusively in monotreme milk.

This is far from an exhaustive list of everything interesting about mammalian lactation. The Stejneger’s beaked whale, for instance, has milk that’s blue-green in color. Rodents and many other mammals (including humans) tend to have half as many offspring per brood as they do nipples. The dwarf mongooses of Tanzania are one of the only wild mammals in which females that have never been pregnant will spontaneously lactate to cooperatively care for other young in the pack.

Every way you look at it, lactation is biological alchemy. That jug of cow’s milk in your fridge or breast milk in the freezer? It’s evolution in a bottle.

But now if you’ll excuse me, I have a baby to burp.

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          I’m Back in Taiji        
By Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

Lincoln and I have returned to Taiji on short notice, planning to attend an interesting (to say the least) meeting with the Mayor of Taiji and the fishermen next week. The meeting is not open to the public, but will be open to the media.

A local activist and nationalist in Wakayama Prefecture organized the meeting, persuading Taiji Mayor Kazutaka Sangen that dialog was important with Westerners. We have sought a meeting with the Mayor for several years, most recently when I returned to Japan on September 1st of this year. The Mayor has continually turned us down.

On one of our first visits to Taiji back in 2004, my wife Helene and I held a meeting with the fishermen (this meeting is alluded to in the film The Cove). We had an open discussion about the dolphin slaughter – I even asked the fishermen to tell us what it would cost us to pay them to stop killing dolphins. They came back with the astonishing answer that they were engaged in “pest” control, convinced by the notorious Japanese Fisheries Agency that the dolphins were eating all their fish! It is remarkably sad when the Japanese fishermen start believing their own propaganda to be true.

Now we will need to convince the skeptical Mayor and fishermen of Taiji and the Japanese media, which is sympathetic to the fishermen, that we want to help, that we are not here to confront the fishermen, and that we believe the people of Taiji will benefit from stopping the dolphin killing.

Joining me in Taiji is author Leah Lemieux and her filmmaker friend, Suzanne Chisholm, visiting Taiji for the first time as volunteer observers and chroniclers. Leah is the author of Rekindling the Waters, a description of what it is like to be with dolphins in captivity and an indictment of the captive industry. I highly recommend it. She has also gone around Canada and the United Kingdom giving talks about The Cove and her efforts to protect dolphins. Now she is here at the proverbial ground zero – I quote from her first two blogs:

“Oct. 27th: I arrived in Taiji today with film maker Suzanne Chisholm around noon. Only a few hours earlier, nearly 60 pacific spotted, bottlenose and Risso’s dolphins, including tiny babies, were murdered by the infamous Taiji dolphin killers. Today was their last sunrise. The dolphin killers have been going to increasing lengths to hide this profane practice behind tarps and closed doors trying to keep the blue waters from obviously running red.

Bloody chunks of cetacean meat for sale.
Photography by Leah Lemieux.

“Over and over it strikes you, how beautiful this place is and how the killing of dolphins stains this beautiful place. Our tour ended with a visit to the Dolphin Resort Hotel. We arrived just in time to see a group of school kids, who had all paid to play at ‘being a trainer for a day’. We stood, over-looking the floating pens where around 22 dolphins taken from the cove are held captive to perform and for tourists to swim with.

“Today these dolphins had to listen as others of their marine community were murdered… I was shaking and struck silent, looking at these dolphins, restlessly pacing and circling in the tiny pens and watching all these school children, being fed lies. These dolphin trainers know full well that the families of all these captives were cruelly killed a stone’s throw away. And they must know it’s the money coming from the pockets of tourists that goes straight into the pockets of the dolphin killers and thus perpetuates the dolphin slaughter. Yet with smiles on their faces, surrounded by cartoonish depictions of ‘happy happy dolphins’, they ignore their essential part in this chain of pain and death.

Wild Taiji dolphins condemned to captivity for the rest of their lives.
Photography by Leah Lemieux.

“This natural beauty is shamed and stained and marred by what happens here. This place represents a microcosm of the same battle being fought all over this Earth by those who value life and the living world and those who kill and destroy and turn living beings into dead blood money.

“If there is any hope for the future of all and any of us, this has to change. If we cannot change what happens here, what hope is there?”

Leah and Suzanne and many others are making a difference for dolphins by their volunteer efforts. They deserve our grateful thanks. You can read more of Leah’s eloquent Blogs on her website:


The good news is that the weather today and yesterday is preventing the dolphin-killing boats from going out to sea. Bad weather is good news for dolphins off the coast of Taiji.

There is more to come as we prepare for our meeting next week with the fishermen of Taiji.
          The Latest from Taiji: More Dolphins Released        
By Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

Hans Peter Roth and Kyoko Tanaka, members of our Save Japan Dolphins Team from, respectively, Switzerland and Japan, are in Taiji now, checking the activity in the infamous Cove.

Hans Peter Roth at the Cove in Taiji.
Photo by Kyoko Tanaka, Sept. 12, 2010.

Three days ago, they watched as a pod of nine Risso’s dolphins were herded into the Cove. Once again, five were kept for captivity purposes and transferred to pens at the Taiji Whale Museum, and four were released back. The “no-kill” policy we have seen so far this season, since Sept. 1st, has held. But will it continue to hold?

Hans Peter reports:

“There is no Sunday holiday for dolphin hunters. If the weather is right and the sea is calm, out they go in their thirteen boats for the hunt. Just like yesterday, the 12th of September. Banging on pipes they thrust into the water, they drove about fifty-to-sixty bottlenose dolphins into the Cove. This is by far the largest catch of dolphins this season up to now. So far, at least a dozen or more dolphins have been pulled from their families to be put in captivity.

“Kyoko and I have been on location to document and count. So have other organizations, and so have the police to watch over things. (Ric talked with the police via my computer on Skype from Miami: He offered to show them his passport, which got a laugh from the police.)

Police at the Cove in Taiji.
Photo by Hans Peter Roth, Sept. 13, 2010.

“Yesterday, we were also joined by a new group of the ultra-nationalists in their black cars, so things are tense with all the crowd on the beach watching the dolphin trainers and the dolphin killers at work. The nationalists have been blasting us with their loudspeakers, complaining about us (like “Americans should apologize for Hiroshima and Nagasaki” and claims “The Cove” movie is “anti-Japanese”). But the police presence should be enough to avoid problems – they are as always very professional and fair. They escorted us to our rental car when we temporarily left to re-charge batteries.”

Bottlenose dolphins behind nets in the Cove at Taiji. About 15 were kept for captivity; the rest were released and herded back to sea.
Photo by Kyoko Tanaka, September 12, 2010.

Late on Monday afternoon, Hans Peter and Kyoko reported that the remaining dolphins in the pod, held since Sunday, were finally released back into the wild. About fifteen of their family members – mostly young females – will spend the rest of their lives in small aquariums and/or swim-with-dolphins programs.

Hans Peter reports:

“I returned alone to the cove about 2 pm. Things had completely quieted down. The nationalists had gone. But still five police cars were parked there. I had come not a moment too soon. Fishermen were just about to open the last, outermost net that had sealed off the Cove, as I unpacked the camera. Six hunting boats took position outside the cove. At first the bottlenose dolphins did not realize that they were free. Then they did and started taking off slowly, then ever faster. The hunting boats started driving them out to sea in a sort of reverse drive hunt, but not as violently as they had driven them in the day before. In the end the dolphins were just literally flying towards the open ocean, thrashing up a lot of white water. This could be seen for miles before they disappeared towards the horizon.“

The “no-kill” policy continues to be in effect in Taiji.

You can help by signing our online petitions, and getting your friends and family to sign as well. We are already at 1.8 million signatures and counting. If you are on Facebook, you can sign:


For those who have trouble signing on Facebook, we have another petition at:


Thanks to all of you for your support of our Campaign. Your donations help us field people like Kyoko and Hans Peter at the Cove to report to us the status of the dolphin hunts. We are also planning our next rounds of events and media activities to spread the truth in Japan about the dolphin hunts.

I’ll be going back to Japan soon, as will other members of our Save Japan Dolphins Team, so stay tuned here to find out the latest on our continuing efforts to end the dolphin slaughter.
          Update from Taiji and a Talk to the Media in Tokyo        
By Ric O’Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

According to our volunteers in Taiji, on Sunday the dolphin drive boats went out and found ten bottlenose dolphins, which were herded into the Bay near Taiji. One major change from previous trips (an alternative which some of our people observed towards the end of last year’s season in March 2010): There is a floating dock with sea pens in the middle of the Bay, well away from the Cove depicted in the documentary. It appears that the fishermen, in order to elude hidden cameras, are now using this floating dock for dolphins.

On Monday morning, reportedly five dolphins were kept for captivity and the remaining five were released back into freedom, a partial victory for us as the “no kill” policy appears to remain in effect.

But as we saw last year, this “no kill” policy is unlikely to remain in place. We must continue our efforts to keep the pressure on the dolphin killers and the Japanese government to end the slaughters and all of the dolphin captures once and for all.

A Good Showing at the FCCJ:

I was made an honorary member of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan when I was in Tokyo last year. So on Monday, I addressed a luncheon there of foreign and Japanese correspondents about the dolphin slaughter and our efforts last week, and gave them a peek at the new Animal Planet TV series, “Blood Dolphins”, produced and directed by my son, Lincoln O’Barry.

I was pleased by the reaction in the Japanese media. Stories about my talk were accurate and gave me a good forum for talking to the Japanese people about the slaughter. There were tough questions, but apparently the Japanese media liked my responses. The “confrontation” approach of “Us vs. Them” of previous media stories was gone.

Ric O’Barry addresses the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan on Sept. 6th.
Photo by Miyuki Takamatsu.

Here is a good example in English on the “Japan Today” website.

This is why I have avoided confronting the Japanese dolphin killers or breaking Japanese laws. It is easy to break such laws, but doing so damages your credibility beyond repair among mainstream Japanese. I have worked hard to get the Japanese media to understand that I am not condemning the Japanese people nor Japan’s culture. I am only condemning the slaughter of dolphins, and I believe I have positive alternatives, such as ecotourism, to offer the people of Taiji and other communities in Japan that still slaughter dolphins.

A number of our volunteers this past week in Tokyo, for example, went down to the coastal village of Futo and went dolphin-watching with Mr. Ishi, a former dolphin hunter who now runs an ecotourism business. Futo fishermen used to slaughter thousands of dolphins, but have not caught any since 2004. Mr. Ishi has shown the way for dolphin killers to become dolphin lovers, without anywhere near the labor required to herd and slaughter the mammals.

I hope the Japanese media is beginning to “get it” – Japanese local communities can benefit far more from eco-tourism, sustainable fishing practices, and being open to foreign visitors than they can from running secretive dolphin-killing ventures. And Japan can avoid another Minamata-style disaster with mercury poisoning if it stops the sale of contaminated dolphin meat.

Phone Calls Jam Japan Embassy Lines:

Last week, while I was leading our volunteers and talking to the Japanese media about the dolphin hunts and presenting 1.7 million signatures to the US Embassy in Tokyo, our Save Japan Dolphins Team launched an online campaign for our Facebook supporters, urging them to call the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC and other countries.

They flooded the US Embassy and also called Embassies and Consulates in New York, Seattle, Ottawa, London, Nashville and Denmark, and others I'm sure. Our team stressed that they be polite and respectful, and some reported that they had nice conversations - at least one person at a Japanese Embassy had no idea of the hunts and was appalled to hear about it!

This is the kind of combined outside pressure and inside pressure that will, together, end the dolphin hunts in Japan. No government can long withstand this level of opposition to their basic policies that hurt their own people. We can end this dolphin slaughter by pledging to remain active until it stops and never give up.

Ric’s autograph.
Photo by Miyuki Takamatsu.

My thanks and the thanks of our whole Save Japan Dolphins Team to all those who called the Embassies and Consulates. If you have not done so yet, I urge you to do so now and politely ask them to end the dolphin hunts in Japan.
          Earth Island Volunteers in Taiji -- Dolphins Released; None Slaughtered!        
by Ric O'Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

We have several small, but I think, significant victories today to report.

I chose not to go to Taiji this trip in order not to inflame an intense situation and give the Japan media an excuse to focus on the controversy rather than the true issues. The first part of our mission was to make the world and especially the Japanese people aware that the annual dolphin slaughter has begun once again. After all, the media is based here in Tokyo, not in Taiji. It is very difficult to get the media, especially Japanese media, to travel to the remote, isolated location of Wakayama Prefecture, about a 7-hour train ride from Tokyo.

Ric at a Shinto Shrine near Tokyo.
Photo (c) Mark J. Palmer

Our strategy has proven extremely successful, as our efforts in Tokyo have been featured on international wire services. Every major media outlet in Japan covered our presentation of 1.7 million signatures to the US Embassy on Thursday. Just as important, the Japanese media reported our work as respectful of the Japanese people, building the foundations for our Campaign's success. In the past, they have emphasized confrontation rather than our very careful approach to the issues. Our fight is not with the people of Japan. We have turned up the heat in Japan and turned another corner in getting positive media coverage, thwarting the Japan Fisheries Agency's efforts to paint us as the enemy.

Now, millions of people in Japan are hearing, most for the first time, about the dolphin slaughter, precisely what the Japan Fisheries Agency has successfully covered up in this country for decades. (But we are still having trouble conveying the dangers of mercury poisoning, which is a major part of our Save Japan Dolphins Campaign opposing the dolphin killing in Japan. So far, the media in Japan has done little to convey this important information to Japanese consumers.)

Impromptu demonstration to Save Japan Dolphins at Shibuya Station, Tokyo.
Photo (c) Mark J. Palmer

If enough people around the world and in Japan learn about this barbaric and anachronistic dolphin slaughter, we can stop it once and for all.

Canned whale meat in our hotel vending machine in Tokyo.
Photo(c) Mark J. Palmer

But, despite our Tokyo focus, we have not neglected the dolphins in Taiji. On Sept. 1st, the first day of the hunt season, the dolphin drive boats went out, but returned without any dolphins. On Sept. 2nd, though, the fishermen herded 20 dolphins into Taiji. It looked like another tragedy was unfolding.

Fourteen of our volunteers here with us in Tokyo went down to Taiji, and are still there on the ground, watching and walking around town. The decision was their's to go -- we did not encourage them and informed them of the dangers and advised them of their best steps. We will have other watchers down in Taiji during the seven-month hunt season this year.

Once our volunteers arrived on the afternoon of Sept. 3rd, Taiji was oddly like a ghost town. At the notorious Cove, several of our volunteers were questioned by police who showed up in minutes. But, as usual, the police were very professional and, once questions were answered and they warned against breaking any laws, they left our volunteers alone. Several volunteers asked if they could go up to Tsunami Park, which overlooks the killing Cove from the movie. At first the police said no, but finally agreed to let them go. Our volunteers, up on the overlook of the killing Cove, saw no dolphins nor was there any blood around. Several friends arrived a bit later and reported the same thing -- polite police, no dolphin killers, and no dolphins.

What happened to the dolphins caught the day before?

We learned later that apparently our Campaign and the intense media scrutiny was too much. Several dolphins were kept by the fishermen and the Taiji Whale Museum for captive purposes. They will be condemned to a life of imprisonment away from their families. But the fishermen released the majority of the dolphins on Sept. 3rd.

There was no dolphin slaughter, and no blood was shed in the Cove.

The drive boats went out this morning, but again came back without any dolphins.

If you wil recall, the Taiji fishermen did the same thing last year in the two months or so of the dolphin-hunting season. Our Save Japan Dolphins Team were in Taiji, and the fishermen caught a large number of bottlenose dolphins and then released them, after keeping several for captivity.

Now, we know that last year the fishermen eventually returned to killing and butchering other species, such as pilot whales, Risso's dolphins, false killer whales, and others, including some bottlenose dolphins. We believe our Campaign pressure reduced the total number of dolphins killed in the Cove that year, but we are not sure. The kill statistics are held closely by the Japanese Fisheries Agency, which has so far refused to release them to our Japanese partners. But the killing still continued last year, and we believe the killing will continue again this season, likely once the interest of the media dies down.

We also had a nice little victory for whales yesterday. One of our volunteers, Craig Davidson (whom we all call "Kiwi" from New Zealand and husband of the lovely NASCAR driver Leilani Munter), found canned whale meat for sale in the vending machines in our hotel lobby. On Thursday night, we bought two cans and gave them to Boyd Harnell, a reporter with "The Japan Times", to have them tested. Then on Friday morning, Mark Berman of our Save Japan Dolphins Team went to the hotel management to tell them about the whale meat, complain about its presence, and that it was a potential problem if American visitors tried to bring some back to the US (a violation of the US Endangered Species Act). A bit to our surprise, the hotel management immediately took out all the remaining cans of whale meat in the machine and said they would talk to the vendor who owned the machine. Hopefully, the meat will be rejected in the future by the hotel! One of our volunteers here in Japan will be checking back periodically to make sure the whale meat stays out.

It is a small step, but shows that individuals can have an impact, even in whale-eating Japan!

My deepest thanks to all our volunteers, including those who went down to Taiji under difficult and potentially dangerous conditions. They are a brave bunch, and I love them all.

And thanks again to all our donors who made this trip possible. You have really helped with these crucial next steps in our Campaign. We have a couple of small victories here in Japan -- we hope you share our joy in them, and that you are with us in seeing this Campaign through to the end.

You can help: Click Here to Donate
          Major Media Coverage of 1.7 Million Signatures in Tokyo!        
by Ric O'Barry
Campaign Director
Save Japan Dolphins
Earth Island Institute

Today was our big day to make a splash in the media in Tokyo about protecting dolphins. And we succeeded.

We have kept our presence fairly quiet up until yesterday, Sept. 1st, the start of the bloody dolphin hunting season. We needed to keep a low profile in order to avoid pulling out the extreme nationalist groups in protest. While the threat of violence is very low here in Tokyo, the major problem would be us all getting kicked out of our hotel. The nationalist groups make a lot of noise with bullhorns and trucks with loudspeakers, and they basically make life unlivable for Japanese people. They could cause a lot of grief to our hotel, and the hotel would in turn blame us. (Indeed, we already have run into several problems with our hotel. For example, we had planned on having interviews with media in my room, but that was canceled when the hotel staff found out what we were doing. Now I have to go to TV studios or do press interviews in coffee shops around the area, rather than stay in my hotel)

So today, we began by bringing all our international volunteers to a plaza near the US Embassy. The Japanese police, charged with protecting the Embassy, would not let us get too close with our crowd, but we had TV cameras and print journalists from all the major Tokyo media outlets, so our message went out nationally today to the people of Japan. Our volunteers from around the world, holding flags representing the 151 countries from which we garnered 1.7 million signatures on our online petitions, were lined up. Several held strands of origami dolphins prepared by artist Peggy Oki, and we also had several inflated dolphin balloons for the cameras. I unfurled our long petition -- about 15 feet long -- for the cameras.

I told the dozens of reporters that we were here to ask the Obama Administration to help end the killing of dolphins. The Obama folks can talk to their counterparts in the Japanese government, telling them just how damaging the dolphin hunt is. I urged President Obama, when he comes to Japan in November, to talk to the new Japanese Prime Minister about dolphins and mercury. The government of Japan must take care of its natural biological heritage as well as the health of its people.

(The government in Japan is in flux now with elections coming in two short weeks. For this reason, our partner organizations in Japan advised us to hold off trying to present our petition to the Japanese Ministry of Health (which handles issues of food contamination) and the Ministry of Fisheries. We will go to them when the time is right, and we will have many more signers on our petitions by then.)

I was then escorted by the Tokyo Police, with media following along across the street, up to the US Embassy, along with volunteers Alyson Richards and Melissa Carbonne (who work with Hollywood celebrities in support of environmental issues), NASCAR driver Leilani Munter (who only accepts green sponsors for her winning race cars), and my colleague from Earth Island, Mark J. Palmer, with his ever-present camera.

With me went our beautiful "nobori" (a traditional Japanese banner) with dolphins and the name of our campaign in Japanese. It really stood out. Earlier we had asked supporters to help us come to Japan and get their name printed on the nobori so they could come with me in spirit. For all of you who donated, I thank you for your support and wanted you to know that your names went with me up to the gates of the US Embassy in Tokyo. Someday, hopefully soon, your names will go with me to Japan in celebration of the end of the dolphin hunts.

In front of the gates of the embassy, I met Mr. Bruce Howard, Counselor for Science, Environment and Health, representing the American Ambassador. He accepted our petition, as I urged him to see that it gets to the President. (We plan to follow up with a similar ceremony in Washington DC, to present the petitions to the White House and the Japan Embassy.)

Our three volunteers each then talked with Mr. Howard. telling him their own story of why they had come half-way around the world to be here with me in Tokyo. We are here to protect the lives of dolphins and to protect the lives of the people of Japan from mercury poisoning.

Afterwards, I was whisked away by a cab to do an hour interview with CBS News.

Was it worth it? I think it was. We educated millions of Japanese people who read the papers and watch the television news. With "The Cove" still showing in theaters in Japan, more and more people are learning the truth about the dolphin hunts.

There's more. We just heard from our Japanese friends that the extreme nationalist groups, that had been building up to confront us in Taiji this year and who almost blocked "The Cove" movie from being screened in Japan, have announced on their web page that they will no longer actively protest "The Cove" or Ric O'Barry in order to focus on other priorities in Japan.

And while the dolphin hunters of Taiji failed to find any dolphins yesterday, they did reportedly find 20 bottlenose dolphins offshore and herded them into the Cove this morning. But we further heard that, while they kept several (as many as ten?) for the aquarium trade, they released the rest as they did last year. None were butchered for meat. We are working to confirm this claim.

We of course do not want to get our hopes too high -- we do expect dolphins and small whales to be butchered in the Cove, and the process of chasing and netting-in the dolphins is extremely damaging to dolphins (they die of capture stress and get entangled in the nets and drown), the news that once again the dolphin hunters decided, in the glare of publicity, to release some dolphins is a good sign for us.

But we cannot give up. This kind of victory is fleeting, and we will not rest until the killing stops for good.

Again, my thanks to all our volunteers who traveled here to be with me on behalf of the dolphins. Thanks especially to Leilani, Alyson and Melissa, who spoke to the US Embassy from their hearts today on behalf of dolphins. We cannot ignore their message -- 1.7 million people, so far, have supported their message. Our campaign to Save Japan Dolphins will only grow and grow, and we will stop the killing, that I guarantee.
          Theme Park Review: Adventure Cove Waterpark - Sentosa Island, Singapore         


Singapore is hot. It’s that tropical and humid kind of hot. Unless you are one of the lucky ones staying in a fancy hotel or condo building, finding a place to cool down can be tricky. Rather then visiting a public pool or retreating to an air conditioned shopping center, we spent a day at Adventure Cove Waterpark on Sentosa Island and can say with certainty that it is Singapore’s most entertaining venue to get take a cool dip.

The role of ‘Waterpark Reviewer’ should probably be played by someone a lot younger than myself. But to hell with it, even as an adult this park is a damn good time.

Adventure Cove lies amongst Resorts World Sentoa, right next door to Universal Studios and S.E.A Aquarium. From Harbour Front train station, take your pick of the monorail, chairlift or new boardwalk to get there. It can be hard to find as it’s nestled behind the Aquarium, but once you are there you are you are in for a whale of a time. Excuse the pun.


Let’s start at Rainbow Reef. A unique attraction for a waterpark, the Reef is your chance to snorkel with tropical fish. The cold water is a shock to the system, but worth pushing past as it delivers a peaceful 10-minute swim with the current, letting you peek from above into the lives of over 20,000 very colourful sea creatures. The sheer abundance of fish below gives the feel more like you are swimming in an aquarium.

Understandably sporting the biggest line for the day, the Riptide Rocket delivered the biggest thrill. One of the park’s six main slides, this is Southeast Asia’s first hydro-magnetic roller coaster. With two people to an inflatable tube, it pulls you up ever so slowly building suspense with every click of the belt, and releases you to a gripping drop. But unlike a traditional waterslide it pulls you up and drops you down time and time again. At the end of 225 meters of track you are spat out with plenty of force. The Riptide Rocket is definitely one of the most unusual and unsuspecting waterslides you’ll experience.

One staircase at the park will take you to two giant slides – the Spiral Washout and the Whirlpool Washout. Both are double tube rides with twists, drops and dark tunnels to keep you guessing every second (for your first ride, at least.) A few key surprises set the Whirlpool and the Spiral apart, but you really should discover these for yourself (hint, there namesake is a clue). A sneaky tip is that most people in the line are waiting for the Spiral Washout. The Whirlpool Washout was equally as wild with slightly less waiting time.


Don’t mistake the Big Bucket Treehouse for cubby for kids, because once inside it becomes a hilarious playhouse for the mischievous. Make your way to the top through a maze of ropes and ladders and there’s a slippery dip to throw you back our to the pool below. However behind every corner is the cheeky grin of a stranger. Watching. Waiting for the right moment to drop a troth full of water on your head or spray you with a hose from two stories above. In the Big Bucket Treehouse, either watch where you are standing or be the one holding the ammo.


If time permits, check out the Tidal Twister and the Pipeline Plunge. But if speed is your aim, you’ll want to head straight to the Dueling Racer where you can compete against a mate down a straight and steep decent.

Slides aside, there is a wave pool called Bluewater Bay, the Adventure River for a lazy float and plenty of other water-based activities for families, kids and those less adrenaline-seeking. We followed signs to the Wet Maze which lead up a seemingly neverending set of stairs to the tip of a man-made mountain.

The mountain offered views over the park and Singapore Harbour but compared to most other activities the maze under-delivered on our expectations… maybe this one is best kept for the under 10s.

If you are interested in an encounter that is more daring, Adventure Cove offers marine life experiences such as meet and greets with bottlenose dolphins, manta rays and even sharks. Each experience is available at an additional cost with sessions either daily or hourly. Book ahead to help plan your day.

A day pass to Adventure Cove costs $38 (SNG) per adult or $26 for kids and seniors. For a full day of fun and thrills, and the opportunity to escape the city’s heat, the park will not disappoint – both for the young, and those who are pretending to be young. We had a day seriously full of laughs and wouldn’t think twice about a return visit.

Here are our #4 top tips for your visit to Adventure Cove;

1) Do check the weather before planning your visit. Rides may be temporarily shut down during bad weather.

2) Take minimal valuables with you to avoid the $10 (small) or $20 (large) locker charge. There are pigeonholes near each ride for you to leave your shoes and towel.

3) Try to visit on weekdays or off peak times to avoid queues.

4) Take a waterproof pouch for your smartphone or camera so you can take some splash shots for your ‘gram.

All images supplied by Resorts World Sentosa.

          Dolphins and Taiji         

Every year in Taiji Japan countless dolphins are brutally murdered or are ripped apart from their families to spend the rest of their lives being slaves to humans. It breaks my heart to see what is being done to these beautiful creatures of our oceans. And it's sad that how many people still go and see them at stupid dolphin shows to see them doing stupid tricks for dead fish. Most of those people don't realize what these poor dolphins go through for their stupid moment of fun for the day. I think most people don't care. People say they love dolphins and other animals and still they go and see them locked up behind bars like they are criminals. Their only crime being that they can't speak like us and tell us they'd rather be free. I know the feeling of wanting to be up close and seeing them in person feels like, but I never really thought of the cost to them. I did in a way, but I have gone to the zoo and have wanted to cry for them. I've gone to Seaworld twice in how many years, but have not gone for a long time and never again. After reading and seeing what those poor dolphins and whales endure.  How many of them get ripped away from their families, have their babies taken away and get separated because someone sells them just like they own them. No one should be allowed to own any living breathing sentient creature on this planet. In fact, no one really owns anything on this planet. You can pay money for land or whatever, but you will never really own it. It belongs to everyone and it's sad that people think they have to own anything or they want more and more and don't care if someone has nothing. 
I'm writing this post because it's been so heartbreaking to watch that big pod of bottlenose dolphins being ripped apart for the last four days in Taiji and listening to those heartless monsters laughing. Mothers and babies being ripped away from each other and how many of them dying trying to get away from these evil men. I think if I was one of those dolphins, I'd rather those evil scum killed me, then have to be tortured and broken and end up in a small tank or worse for years to come. It's hard to believe this evil has been happening for as long as I've been alive. I will never go to Seaworld again because they helped to start all this crap. Yes, most of their current dolphins have been bred in captivity, but their ancestors came from these drive hunts. I don't know how anyone with a heart and soul could do this to these dolphins and say they love them. 
Another thing that made me mad this past weekend was watching that stupid march all across this country. They called it a woman's march and it was for civil rights for women. What rights don't women have here in America? We have so much that sometimes I just get so mad at people because they just want more and more. I think most of those women didn't even know why they were marching and they just went along with other women. How many of them don't like our current president and that's why they were marching? I just wish people would get together and start marching for the ones that really don't have rights like animals and children. People need to be responsible for themselves and not think everything should just be on one person or that one person is going to change everything that's wrong or that they are going to do all kinds of horrible things. Enough of this crap. I stopped following even more people and lost respect for even more people that I love. I still love them, but I don't respect them anymore. I think a lot of people really need to start respecting themselves and not demand respect from others, but earn it by what they do and not by following along like a sheep with others. That's it for this crap.

Back to the dolphins. I just wish the world would get together and start protesting stuff like this happening. These poor dolphins belong to themselves and the ocean. They should not be stolen and bought and sold like property. How many other animals as well? There is a lot of injustice in the world and I wish people would stand up and fight against it for the ones who can not and that don't have a voice. 
I was going to write about this days ago because it's something I remembered from when I was younger. I remember I used to go around and round in a pool my family used to have and think all I wanted to be was free to swim away. I think I used to think I was a dolphin or some other animal that was stuck inside that tank and was waiting for freedom. I also remember crawling on my knees and pretending I was a big cat like a lion or tiger and I finally got free from somewhere. It's interesting that I did that. Maybe my family had went to the zoo and even when I was a kid, I knew those animals did not want to be there. I remember going to the zoo when I was a kid and all I remember it not the animals, but wanting a wax figure of a lion. I loved those. I just wish one day that all zoos, all circuses and any place that keeps animals in captivity for profit will be shut down. Animals should be free and human beings should have been intelligent enough to realize that we should not have overpopulated ourselves, so that there is no room left for them in the wild. Us humans claim to be so intelligent, but from what I can see, we are pretty stupid and worse than animals. We are destroying our place to live and one day we will destroy ourselves and everything else. 

          Is BP Responsible For The Deaths Of Over 1,000 Dolphins Along The Gulf Coast?        
A report published last month found that an unusually high number of bottlenose dolphins have been dying all along the Gulf Coast since February 2010....
          Bone to pick: volunteers invited to rebuild 157-year-old whale skeleton        

Whale Weekender at Grant Zoology Museum calls on public to clean then reassemble bones of 8-metre mammal

The public is invited to help reassemble a giant jigsaw in a London museum, 157 years after two Somerset fishermen went out to catch a “great fish” and brought back a northern bottlenosed whale more than eight metres (26ft) long.

Their catch was a local sensation: the carcass went on a west country tour then the skeleton was displayed for years hanging from the ceiling of the museum in Weston-super-Mare.

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