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Albatrosses counted from space

Albatrosses counted from space

Media captionPeter Fretwell: “We’re working on algorithms that will automatically count the birds” Scientists have started counting individual birds from space. They are using the highest-resolution satellite images available to gauge the numbers of Northern Royal albatrosses. This endangered animal nests almost exclusively on some rocky sea-stacks close to New Zealand’s Chatham Islands. The audit, […]

Jurassic animal found on Skye ‘fed milk to young’

Jurassic animal found on Skye ‘fed milk to young’

Image copyright Elsa Panciroli Image caption An illustration of Wareolestes rex Palaeontologists believe an animal that lived in what is now Skye 165 million years ago fed milk to its young. Milk teeth have been discovered in the fossil jaw of a juvenile Wareolestes rex, a species of mammal from the Middle Jurassic. Scientists suggest […]

Nasa runs competition to help make old Fortran code faster

Nasa runs competition to help make old Fortran code faster

Image copyright NASA Image caption Nasa develops designs on computer long before the craft take to the air Nasa is seeking help from coders to speed up the software it uses to design experimental aircraft. It is running a competition that will share $55,000 (£42,000) between the top two people who can make its FUN3D […]

‘Shocking’ levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu

‘Shocking’ levels of PCB chemicals in UK killer whale Lulu

Media captionLulu was one of the most contaminated killer whales ever found (Image: John Bowler/RSPB Scotland) One of the UK’s last killer whales was contaminated with “shocking” levels of a toxic chemical, scientists say. The animal, called Lulu, was found dead on the Isle of Tiree in Scotland last year after becoming entangled in fishing […]

Bumblebees: Pesticide ‘reduces queen egg development’

Bumblebees: Pesticide ‘reduces queen egg development’

Image copyright Royal Holloway University of London Image caption Bumblebees may come into contact with pesticides when foraging or nesting Use of a common pesticide in spring could have an impact on wild bumblebees by interfering with their life cycle, a UK study suggests. The team, who looked at wild bumblebees caught in the English […]

Busy shipping lanes could cause ‘seal hearing loss’

Busy shipping lanes could cause ‘seal hearing loss’

Image copyright Science Photo Library Image caption Seals could suffer temporary hearing loss according to the research study Seals may experience hearing loss from underwater vessel noise, researchers at the University of St Andrews have said. The study compares seals inhabiting the UK’s busy shipping lanes to humans living in noisy cities. Lead author Esther […]

Antarctic iceberg crack develops fork

Antarctic iceberg crack develops fork

The crack in the Larsen C Ice Shelf that looks set to spawn a giant berg has suddenly forked. Satellite imagery of the 180km-long fissure acquired in recent days shows a clear branching behaviour at its tip. Quite what this means for the future evolution of the crack and the putative 5,000-sq-km berg remains to […]

Ministers will not appeal pollution ruling

Ministers will not appeal pollution ruling

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Air pollution has been described as a “public health emergency” The UK Government will publish its draft plan to tackle illegal levels of air pollution after it decided not to appeal against a High Court ruling. Last week, the High Court’s rejected a bid by ministers to delay publication […]

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

DNA of extinct humans found in caves

Image copyright MPI For Evo Anthro / J. Krause Image caption The remains of Neanderthals had previously been found at Vindija Cave in Croatia The DNA of extinct humans can be retrieved from sediments in caves – even in the absence of skeletal remains. Researchers found the genetic material in sediment samples collected from seven […]

Nasa waits on Cassini radio contact from Saturn

Nasa waits on Cassini radio contact from Saturn

Image copyright NASA/JPL-CALTECH Image caption Artwork: Cassini will run the gap between the planet and the rings on 22 occasions Controllers and scientists must wait until Thursday to hear from Cassini. The probe was due early on Wednesday to make the first of 22 dives in between Saturn’s cloudtops and the inner edge of its […]