Incredibly rare two-headed porpoise found in the North Sea

June 15, 2017 by  
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An unsuspecting fisherman recently stumbled across an incredibly rare two-headed dolphin. Only nine examples of conjoined twins have ever been found among cetaceans , according to Erwin Kompanje, curator of mammals for the Natural History Museum Rotterdam in the Netherlands . So he jumped at the chance to study a rare specimen of conjoined harbor porpoises caught the end of May by Dutch fisherman. But when he reached out to the fisherman, what happened next was a scientist’s nightmare. It’s not unheard of for trawlers to accidentally catch a porpoise. There are hundreds of thousands of the cetaceans near the coast of the Netherlands. But no one has ever caught conjoined twin harbor porpoises. The fisherman snapped photos, which made their way to Kompanje. He couldn’t wait to study the creature in the laboratory. Related: Fish with “human-like teeth” spotted in Michigan lakes Kompanje could tell the twins were male, and had likely recently been born – and he thinks they were born alive. They probably didn’t live for long; either they had two brains which might have told them to swim in different directions, or a single heart may have failed to pump enough blood to keep them alive. Conjoined twins are an extremely rare find. And these looked to be in good condition. Others that have been discovered were undeveloped fetuses – such as one found near Japan in 1970 in a dolphin’s womb – or have started to decompose, such as a dolphin with two beaks found in 2001. Kompanje reached out to the fisherman to try and obtain the specimen for study. But this story doesn’t have a happy ending for science. The fisherman thought it was illegal to catch the conjoined twins, so after the photographs, they tossed the creature back into the sea. Kompanje told The Washington Post, “For a cetologist, this is a real horror.” Based on the photographs he was still able to publish a paper in DEINSEA, the online journal of the natural history museum, joined by one scientist of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and one from Wageningen Marine Research . Sadly, we may never know more about the rare twins. Via The Washington Post Images via Kompanje, E.J.O.; Camphuysen, C.J.; and Leopold, M.F.

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Incredibly rare two-headed porpoise found in the North Sea

A group of wildlife biologists take their tiny research base with them on expedition

June 28, 2016 by  
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The tiny living unit will function as research base and home to wildlife biologists led by Katy Gavrilchuk and David Gaspard who plan to go on an expedition this summer to study the whale and dolphin species of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Canada. The scientists teamed up with non-profit organization, The Mingan Island Cetacean Study , is order to monitor large baleen whales in particular. They started their journey in Montreal earlier this month and will conclude the expedition in September. Related: Zero-energy Biosphera 2.0 prefab gives you the freedom to live almost anywhere Thanks to the donation made by Atlas Roofing, as well as other companies, Katy and David built the tiny house as a mobile research base which will allow them to stay comfortable while keeping their carbon footprint to a minimum. They made sure to use eco-friendly materials and components that are also energy efficient, lightweight , water and fire-resistant and manufactured through sustainable processes. + BigWhaleTinyHouse + Atlas Roofing

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A group of wildlife biologists take their tiny research base with them on expedition

World’s rarest cetacean could be extinct by 2018 due to illegal gillnetting

December 16, 2014 by  
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The vaquita is the rarest, smallest and most endangered cetacean in the world. It’s estimated that fewer than 100 of the small porpoises remain in their wild habitat in Mexico’s northern Gulf of California. To make matters worse, a surge in illegal gillnetting in the area — including in a marine refuge set up to protect the creatures — is resulting in about 18 percent of the vaquita population dying each year as a result of being caught as bycatch . At this rate, it is estimated the vaquita will be extinct in the wild by 2018. Read the rest of World’s rarest cetacean could be extinct by 2018 due to illegal gillnetting Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: bycatch , cetacean , critically endangered animals , desert porpoise , dolphins , extinction , gillnetting , Gulf of California , illegal fisheries , illegal fishing , illegal wildlife trade , IUCN , IUCN red list , marine mammals , mexico , Phocoena sinus , porpoise , prawn , rarest cetacean will be extinct by 2018 , S.H.R.I.M.P. , sea creatures , smuggling , vaquita , whales

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World’s rarest cetacean could be extinct by 2018 due to illegal gillnetting

Wooden Flight House is a mountain home inspired by the prospect of escape

December 16, 2014 by  
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Read the rest of Wooden Flight House is a mountain home inspired by the prospect of escape Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “natural materials” , cabin log , california architecture , Flight House , green architecture , mountain home , passive solar design , Sage Architecture , sustainably harvested wood , treehouse , wooden architecture , wooden house

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Wooden Flight House is a mountain home inspired by the prospect of escape

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