New Year’s News Roundup

• North Atlantic right whale “Phantom” (#3808), Gulf of Maine, 2012/Cyndi Bowning, New England Aquarium, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution  • Geminid Meteor, Saukville, Wisconsin, Dec 14, 2012/Jeffrey Phelps, • Baby & Nepal, Tete d'Or Zoo, Lyon, Dec 19, 2012/Jeff Pachoud, AFP, • Rendering of male oviraptor displaying feathers during mating/Sydney Mohr, U. of Alberta, • Artic Cyclone, August 7, 2012/ • Bamboo shark embryo in egg case, location, date unknown/Channing Egeberg, BBC Nature News

Hello, Nature Lovers!

Hope your holidays were happy. Bet they were busy and didn’t leave much time for keeping up with Nature News. Understandable. With so much news breaking every day, it’s hard to keep up even when you want to. But it’s good to try.

Now that the holidays are past, GNN hopes you’ll make staying connected to and concerned about Nature a personal priority in 2013, because we can’t really appreciate or protect Nature if we don’t know what we’re learning about and doing to it, and the world becomes much more beautiful and precious when we do.

To encourage you along these lines and remind you what a magnificent, fragile and endlessly fascinating place the natural world is, GNN presents a roundup of some, just some, of the stories that have been making news lately.

The stories are sorted into rough categories, some overlapping, to make it easier for you to find an area of interest and perhaps discover new interests along the way.

Scroll through, click through (remember, live links don’t stay live forever) and please visit GNN regularly for more Nature News throughout the year. The categories:

  • Breaking News    
  • The Heavens   
  • Creatures Great & Small                                     
  • Dinosaur Discoveries    
  • Human History    
  • Good Humans/Bad Humans        
  • Mighty Nature    
  • Climate Change: Causes…    
  • … and Consequences                 
  • Science & Tech: Pro & Con    
  • Dolphins & Whales    
  • Our Wonderful World

Breaking News

Villagers watch trapped orcas surface to breathe through a hole in the ice near Inukjuak, Northern Quebec, January 8, 2013/Marina Lacasse, CP,

• Killer Whales Freed from Ice May or May Not Reach Open Sea (National Post, 1/11/13), and Climate Change May or May Not Be the Cause of their Problem (Voice of America, 1/13/12). Read more here and here. See video here.

New York Times Dismantles Environmental Desk, Reassigns Editors, Reporters  (Mediabistro, 1/14/13).

• Alaska Judge Blocks Federal Effort to Save Shore, Sea Ice for Polar Bears (Alaska Dispatch, 1/11/13). Read more here.

 2012 Hottest Year on Record in Continental U.S. (The Washington Post, 1/8/13).

• Drastic Effects of Climate Change Hitting U.S. Hard and Fast (Los Angeles Times, 1/11/13), but More Global Impact Could be Avoided  if We Act Now (Reuters, 1/13/13).

7-Part Series “Africa” Airing Now on Discovery Channel — See Videos (

• Third Wildlife Conservation Film Festival Set for Jan 30-Feb 2 in NYC (

Video still of Giant Squid, 2,000 feet below surface of Pacific Ocean near Chichi-jim Island, Japan, undated/NHK, NEP, Discovery Channel, ABC News

Giant Squid Caught on Underwater Video for First Time (The Register, 1/8/13). Read more here and here. Watch video here.

The Heavens

Geminid meteor over Saukville, Wisconsin, Dec. 14, 2012/Jeffrey Phelps,

December Geminid Meteor Shower Put On a Great Show — See Photos (, 12/17/12).

Newly Discovered Comet May Outshine Full Moon in Late 2013 (, 11/3/13), and Another Comet May Be Visible in March. Read more here.

Scientists Find Bits of Meteor that Hit Atmosphere at Record Speed, Burst into Fireball over California (Scientific American, 12/20/12).

2-Billion-Year-Old Mars Meteor Found in Sahara Dates to when Planet Was Warm, Wet, May Have Hosted Life (The New York Times, 1/3/12). Read more here and here. See great images here.

New Estimate Counts 17 Billion Earth-Sized Planets in Milky Way Alone (, 1/8/13), and 20 Could Be in Right Positions to Hold Water (, 1/8/13).

Hubble Space Telescope Image of UDFj-39546284, oldest light ever recorded, originating from 13.3 billion years ago, a mere 0.4 billion years after the Big Bang/NASA,

Hubble Space Telescope Detects Light Emitted 13.3 Billion Years Ago, Closest Yet to Big Bang — See Images (The Atlantic, 12/13/13).

(Celebrity) Star Power

Jeremy Irons on a beach in Lebanon, undated/Blenheim Films,

Jeremy Irons Discusses Making “Trashed” about Planet’s Big Garbage Problem (The New York Times, 12/14/12). Watch the trailer here. Learn more about the film here. Read a review here.

James Cameron Recruits Damon, Baldwin, Cheadle to Narrate TV Documentary on Climate Change (The Wrap, 12/3/12).

Bob Ballad of Titanic Fame Believes Village Under Black Sea is Evidence of Biblical Flood (Daily News, 12/14/12). Read more here and here. Learn more about Ballard’s Black Sea/Noah’s Flood Project here.

• Brigitte Bardot outside Elysee Palace, Paris, Sept 27, 2007/Eric Feferberg, AFP,  • Baby and Nepal, Tete d'Or Zoo, Lyon, Dec 19, 2012/Jeff Pachoud, AFP,

Bardot Vows to Leave France for Russia if Sick Elephants in French Zoo Are Destroyed (Reuters, 1/4/13). Read more here and here.

Creatures Great & Small

Uncollared female panther moves one of three kittens to a new den after a rain, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge, Sept 24, 2012/FPNWR trail camera, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

• Trail Cameras Snap Uncollared Florida Panther with Cubs, Raising Count of Near-Extinct Species (Huffpost Miami, 12/20/12). Read more here. See more photos here.

Camera Traps Show Adorable, Endangered Chinese Monkeys Move Around by Day and Night (Discovery News, 1/4/13).

Borneo’s Disappearing Double-Tongued Slow Lorises —World’s Only Venomous Primate — Just Got Harder to Protect (Voice of America, 12/14/12).

Exploding Feral Hog Population Wreaks Havoc in Texas — See Video (Bloomberg, 11/29/12).

Grackles Spreading from Central America Become Big Problem in Northern, Western U.S. (USA Today, 1/6/13).

• Urban Birds Use Cigarette Butts in Nests to Keep Pests Out, Warmth In (Discovery News, 12/4/12).

Guppies Can Learn, Females Fastest, But Smarts Come at a Cost (Scientific American, 1/4/13).

Bamboo shark embryo in egg case, location and date unknown/Channing Egeberg, BBC Nature News

 • Shark Embryos Sense Predators, Stop Moving, Breathing to Avoid Detection (BBC News, 1/10/13).

Dinosaur Discoveries

Artist’s rendering of male oviraptor displaying feathers during courtship/Sydney Mohr, U. of Alberta, Wired.comFeathered Dinosaur Shook Plumage in Courtship, Like Peacock (, 1/4/13). Read more here and here.

243-Million-Year-Old Bones Belonged to Dog-Sized Dinosaur, Oldest Species Yet Discovered (Science Recorder, 12/5/12).

Rare Woolly Mammoth Skeleton Found Near Paris (ABC News, 11/8/12), and Bits of Flint in Skull Suggest Neanderthal Hunters Killed, Ate Him (The Independent, 11/9/12). See video here.

Saber-toothed tiger skeleton, Page Museum, La Brea Tar Pits, Los Angeles, CA/Larisa DeSantis, Vanderbilt UniversityWear on Saber-Tooth Tiger Teeth Disproves Theory of Why They Died Out (Vanderbilt University Research News, 12/26/12).

Human History

Artist’s rendering of small-statured “Hobbit Human,” Homo Floresiensis/Susan Hayes, U of Wollongong, Discovery News

Small Humans, Homo Floresiensis, Did Exist, Had Mix of Modern, Ape-Like Features (Discovery News 1/10/13).

Neanderthals and Modern Humans May Have Interbred (Live Science, 12/7/12).

• Walking Upright Didn’t End Human Tree-Climbing, Still Common in Some Cultures — See Video (, 1/1/13).

Labyrinth hidden within Nazca Lines, Peru, undated/Clive Ruggles,, Discovery News

Researcher Finds Huge Labyrinth Hidden in Peru’s Mysterious Nazca Lines (Discovery News, 10/11/12).

Good Humans, Bad Humans

Ranger and blind baby rhino, Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, Kenya, undated/Marcus Westberg, Barcroft Media, Mail Online

Kenya Game Wardens Rescue Blind Baby Rhino, Hope to Restore Sight (, 1/6/13).

• India Weighs Ban on Animal-Testing Cosmetics (The Times of India, 1/7/13).

• Fisheries Set Catch Limits on Lowly Menhaden, “Most Important Fish in Sea” (The Washington Post, 12/14/12).

• Pacific Fishing Nations Agree to Kill Fewer Whale Sharks, Ignore Appeal to Catch Fewer Bigeye Tuna (The New York Times, 12/6/12).

• Ivory Poachers Kill 12 Elephants in Kenya, Worst Incident in Park History — See Video (NBC News, 1/10/13).

Americans, Canadians Charged with Smuggling Unicorn-Like Tusks of Narwhal Whales (The New York Times, 1/12/13).

U.S. Dealer Admits Smuggling Whole Dinosaur Skeletons out of Mongolia (CBS News, 12/27/12). See video here.

Chinese Smugglers Caught with Hornbill Beaks, Pangolin Skins in Jakarta Airport (Huffington Post, 1/7/13).

• Death of Show Pony after Injection Exposes Horse-Drugging in Competitions (The New York Times, 12/27/12).

Thousands of Sliced-Off Shark Fins Dry on Hong Kong Rooftop — See Video (Reuters, 1/4/13).

Police Officer Sam Carter with Bull Elk  "Big Boy,” Boulder, Colorado, Jan 1, 2013/ Laura Koenig,

Boulder Police Officer Shoots Bull Elk, Community Holds Candlelight Vigil — See Video (The Christian Science Monitor, 1/7/13). Read more here and here.

Mighty Nature

Great Arctic Cyclone, August 7, 2012/

Satellite Images of August Arctic Cyclone Creates Stir (Arstechnica, 12/29/12). Read more here.

Storms from Space: Satellite, Space-Station Views of Sandy, Noreaster — See Images (, 1/17/13).

Sandy Close Up: 222 Images of Storm’s Impact — See Photos (ABC News)

 Earthquake Rattles Part of Japan Hit by 2011 Tsunami — See Video (HawkkeyDavisChannel, 12/7/12), and New Quake Generates Small Wave — See Video (Tulisan Pusing,

Dust-thunderstorm (haboob) off Northwestern Australia, Jan 9, 2013/Brett Martin,,  Perth Weather Life, The New Zealand Herald

Huge Dust-Thunderstorm (Haboob) Hits Northwestern Australia (The New Zealand Herald, 1/11/13). See more photos here.

Climate Change: Causes…

Shell drilling rig Kulluk aground off Sitkalidak Island, Alaska, January 2013/U.S. Coast Guard, USA Today

EPA Charges Shell with Air Pollution, Other Violations of Arctic Drilling Permits (The Houston Chronicle, 1/12/13), while Drilling Rig Kulluk, Grounded in Heavy Seas, Is Finally Towed to Kodiak Island Bay (USA Today, 1/8/13). Learn more here. See video of rig being pounded by waves here. Watch videos of salvage operation here.

Woman with child on bicycle, Beijing China, January 13, 2013/Chen Yujie, AP,

Beijing Air Pollution Levels Hit Scary Levels, Possible Record High (The Washington Post, 1/12/13). Read more here.

… and Consequences

Ice swirls off southeast coast of Greenland, Dec 30, 2012/NASA Aqua Satellite Image, Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS, Rapid Response,

Scientists Expect More Ice Loss in Greenland after Worst Summer Melt in 35 Years (NASA Earth Observatory, 1/3/13).

West Antarctica Warming Faster than Expected, Researchers Fear  Ice-Sheet Collapse (The New York Times, 12/24/12). Read more here.

Greenland-Antarctic Ice Melt Could Send Sea Levels Soaring (, 1/7/13).

Heat, Drought, High Winds Fuel Wildfires in Australia (The New York Times, 1/10/13), as Australia Adds New Heat-Color to Weather Map as Temps Break Records (Slate, 1/8/13).

Acidic Oceans Killing Northwest Oyster Farming, Is Northeast Shellfishing Next? — Watch Video (PBS News Hour, 12/5/12)

Sign on beach in Sydney Australia after third shark attack in 3 weeks, March 1 2009/Ian Waldie, Getty, New York Daily News

Hot Oceans Off West Australia May Have Driven Sharks to Shore, Increasing Attacks (New York Daily News, 12/23/12).

Science & Tech: Pro & Con 

AquaBounty’s genetically engineered, fast-growing AquAdvantage salmon & regular Atlantic Salmon of same age/Barrett, AquaBounty Technologies, The New York Times

FDA Says Genetically Modified, Fast-Growing Salmon Safe to Eat, No Threat to Environment (The New York Times, 12/22/12). Read more here, here and here.

Attempt to Drill to Antarctic Lake Sealed Under Ice for Thousands of Years Hits Snag (BBC News, 12/27/12).

San Diego to Build Desalination Plant, Get Fresh Water from Sea at Potential Cost to Ocean Health (Forbes, 12/10/12).

Robotic Glider Crosses Pacific, Tracks Rogue Waves, Other Ocean Events Satellites Miss (Scientific American, 12/11/12). Learn more and see videos here.

North Atlantic right whale “Phantom” (#3808), Gulf of Maine, late 2012/Cyndi Bowning, New England Aquarium, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Marine Robots Record Whale Song, Help Scientists Track, Protect Species in Rough Winter Seas (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, 1/9/13). Read more here.

Dolphins & Whales

Blue Whale off Coast of California, undated/NOAA, Discovery News

California Shipping Lanes to Shift to Protect Whales, Reduce Ship Strikes (Los Angeles Times, 12/27/12). Read more here and here.

NOAA Satellite Tags Male Orca to Track Pod’s Movements Along Northwest Coast (Kitsap Sun, 1/5/13), while Orca Experts Express Concerns about Tagging — See Photos and Videos (, 12/31/12). Follow tagged orca pod here.

Mature Female Humpbacks Prefer Big Males as Mates (The New York Times, 1/1/12). Learn more here.

Endangered Cook Inlet Beluga Numbers Up a Little, Not Enough (Alaska Dispatch, 1/4/13). Learn about the threats facing this population here.

Feds Open Waters Used by Endangered Right Whales to Wind Farming (The Miami Herald, 12/13/12), and NRDC Negotiates to Minimize Harm (, 12/11/12). Read more herehere and here.

Craig George counting bowhead whales from sea-ice platform north of Barrow, Alaska, undated/N. Rozell, U of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical InstituteAlaskan Expert Says, By His Count, Bowheads Are Making a Remarkable Comeback (U. of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Union, 1/2/13).

Our Wonderful World 

Frost Flowers forming on new sea ice, September 2, 2009/Matthias Weitz,

Arctic Researcher Watches Frost Flowers Bloom on Sea Ice — See Photos (, 12/19/12). Read more and see more photos here. Learn more about frost flowers and see more photos on researcher Jeff Bowman’s blog here and here.

Lost Cat Walks Almost 200 Miles Home — See Video (ABC News, 1/13/13).

Dolphins Put on Show off Dana Point, California (, 1/6/13).

Happy New Year!

Close up w:Little Gash

More soon!

This entry was posted in Amazing Animals, Discoveries, Dolphins & Whales, Environment, Events, Heroes & Heroines, Photography & Images, The Heavens, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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