November 5, 2014 - EARTH - The following constitutes the latest reports of unusual and symbolic animal behavior, mass die-offs, beaching and stranding of mammals, and the appearance of rare creatures.
36 stranded pilot whales die in New ZealandAbout 36 pilot whales that had become stranded in the Eastern Bay of Plenty in New Zealand have died.
Two whale pods beached themselves in the Ohiwa harbour on the north-east coast on Monday.
Wildlife conservationists launched a rescue operation and helped one pod to be refloated on Tuesday, while 21 more whales were successfully herded out to sea on Wednesday.
The reasons for mass pilot whale strandings are not well understood.
Pilot whales are particularly prone to stranding behaviour. The largest known pilot whale stranding involved an estimated 1,000 whales at the Chatham Islands in 1918, according to the DOC.
Steve Brightwell from the DOC said the whales came into Ohiwa harbour after one of them was unwell and beached itself, reported Radio New Zealand.
Eleven of the whales were euthanized on welfare grounds on Tuesday, the Department of Conservation (DOC) said. About 25 pilot whales were found dead early Wednesday morning.
At about 05:00 local time on Wednesday (16:00 GMT Tuesday) volunteer medics from Project Jonah, a non-profit organisation, along with the DOC began an operation to guide those whales that were still alive back out to sea.
"We did it! All 22 whales were shepherded through the mouth of the harbour to the ocean and were last seen heading towards deeper water," Project Jonah said on Facebook.
New Zealand on average has more whales stranding themselves than any other country in the world, Daren Grover, general manager of Project Jonah told the BBC.
"It's something we have lived with and we are quite geared up to respond to," he said.
WATCH: Volunteers save pilot whales beached in New Zealand.
"Today was a great effort - all those that were alive were refloated."
Scientists believe individual whales strand themselves because they have a disease and are coming to the end of their life.
However, there are numerous theories around mass stranding including their highly sociable behaviour. One theory is that as one whale becomes stranded the other members of its pod try to help and become stranded themselves.
Pilot whales are the largest member of the dolphin family. They get their name from the fact that researchers believe that each pod follows a "pilot" in the group.
Their distinguishing feature is a large bulbous forehead, which protrudes beyond the mouth and small beak. - BBC.
A second tropical pufferfish washes up dead in Europe within a weekThe poisonous Oceanic pufferfish - Lagocephalus lagocephalus is a delicacy in Japan but they rarely enter British waters
A Beach walker was stunned when he found a deadly pufferfish - washed up in Dorset.
At first glance the bizarre-looking fish appeared to be a large bloated mackerel.
But it soon became apparent it was a deadly pufferfish, normally only found in sub-tropical waters.
It appears to have died while in full defensive mode, with its stomach fully inflated.
The species is well-known for ballooning in size by filling their bodies with water or air to deter predators from attacking them.
The 12 ins long specimen was found by Richard Fabbri, having been swept on to Chesil Beach in Dorset.
But had any beach forager picked up the silver fish and taken it home for their supper they would have been in for a nasty and fatal shock.
All pufferfish are poisonous and carry a toxin in their internal organs that has no known antidote.
There have been several incidents of people who have died after consuming a pufferfish believing it to be a harmless species.
Oceanic pufferfish - Lagocephalus lagocephalus in Latin - are very rare visitors to UK waters which is usually too cold for them.
Only a very small number have been recorded before, all off the south west coast.
Richard, who works at Weymouth Watersports, said: "It looked very odd. It had this big puffy belly that was under its throat but the rest of its body looked more like a mackerel."
Peter Tinsley, of the Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: "It is an oceanic pufferfish. We know of one that was actually caught off Chesil Beach in the 1980s so it is very rare to see them here.
"The waters of the west coast of England are a bit warmer than the rest of the country, mainly due to the effects of the Gulf Stream.
"It is quite a slender fish and they only inflate their bellies when they feel threatened."
Most pufferfish are found in sub-tropical and tropical waters in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans.
They have four large teeth which are used for crushing the shells of crustaceans and mollusks, their natural prey. - Daily Mirror.
Python emerges from toilet, bites Thai woman and tries to drag her back to its nest
Rampeung Onlamai, 57, of Samkok, Thailand, was taking a shower at her apartment north of Bangkok when the huge snake sank its fangs into her right hand and attempted to drag her down the drain, Metro reports.
Rampeung grabbed a nearby broom to fend the animal off and called out for her daughter, who jumped in to save her and pull the python's head off her hand, Metro reports. The python then returned to its toilet nest.
Rampeung was taken to a local hospital, where she needed 20 stitches to close the wound.
Khaosod reports that Samkok district officer Metha Taweekunchai ordered his officers to capture the snake, so the family can start using the toilet again.
Lesson learned: In the future, always check to make sure a giant python doesn't suddenly emerge from the toilet before you start doing your business. - Opposing Views.
Hundreds of dead fish found floating in a lake in Zigong, China"White hemp on the water full of dead fish floated, at least several hundred pounds, is it a problem with the water quality?" Yesterday morning, people call our news hotline 96111 Liu claimed that he Zigong West Railway Station next morning West Wetland Park while running and found a large number of dead fish floating on the lake.
|West within Zigong dead fish floating wetlands|
|Staff salvage of dead fish|
It is understood, of the Park from noon on the 3rd of dead fish began to appear one after another, the staff has already scooped four or five hundred pounds. WAB Gongjing District relevant staff analysis, the emergence of dead fish and water and weather upheaval caused by hypoxia less body water, and reminded the public not to eat dead fish salvage privately to avoid stomach upset and so on. - China News. [Translated]
Mass die off of fish in a lake in Nanning, China
|Cause of death unknown fish, Nanning environmental protection department under investigation|
November 3 at noon, two fishing boat back to seven-string folk Lake bridge, the ship filled with dead fish, large and small, both palm-sized pomfret, there are small fish finger Aberdeen, there are many up to half a meter, weighing a few kilograms of Egypt Tong Kok fish. Crowd of people their noses and said: I did not expect so rich folk Lake nutrition, raising so many big fish.
Field staff responsible for the salvage of dead fish, said: "Today we begin salvage 7:00 clean-up operations, and now only about a quarter of the work completed, the estimated needs cleaned of dead fish in the lake two days." And only two ships salvaged dead fish, there are nearly hundreds of kilograms. After lunch, more than 20 staff in the presence of dead fish began to continue fishing. Red raft upstream, there are a lot of dead fish floating in the lake to folk come.
Folk large number of dead fish lake overnight, what is the reason? Some netizens asked, they would not be cool these days because of the cold dead, right? Reporters from the experts at the Guangxi aquaculture industry has learned that the day before the big plunge temperatures are unlikely to cold dead fish, but will make the fish hypoxia. In the above temperature 4 ℃, density and inversely proportional to the temperature of the water, a sharp decline in the seasons when the temperature of the water, the water density difference will float underwater nutrients, substances causing eutrophication following the fermentation to produce biogas ammoniated material make the water destroyed, resulting in reduced oxygen content in water. A salvage crew also said that this year there are several large-scale phenomenon of dead fish, and is followed by a long time after a heavy rain, no rain weather appears. Import large amounts of rain suddenly rushed the raft, the mud embankment flips, it makes the water body severe hypoxia, which may be a cause of the emergence of a wide range of dead fish.
Nanning Watertown office said a staff member, before there have been a result of the discharge of sewage to nearby shops folk lake, causing the lake's fish swarms case of death, after rectification has improved the water quality of the lake. The large area of dead fish is unprecedented, in order to investigate the cause, Watertown Office has made contact with the Nanning Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, the date of the existing staff to the folk lake water quality survey results have not yet come. - Oeofo. [Translated]