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March 2011

The Smallest Species

Tue 29th March 2011 (0 comments)
Bumblebee Bat

Bumblebee Bat

We know so much more about the animals that we share our planet with than we ever thought we could, but, are the unseen species affected by the fact that they are simply too small to "worry" about? Many of the world's smallest creatures inhabit specific environments without even being spotted so here are the world's smallest animals:

MAMMAL - Kitti's Hog-nosed Bat
Size: 2.9cm - 3.3cm long
Location: Thailand
Conservation Status: Critically Endangered
Fun Fact: It is also known as the Bumblebee Bat!

Earth Hour 2011 - Going Beyond The Hour

Fri 25th March 2011 (0 comments)
Our Planet

Our Planet

The time of year for us to make a global stand against the impact we are having on climate change is upon us again. At 8:30pm on Saturday 26th March, people in more than 100 different countries will switch off their lights for Earth Hour 2011. However, it is not just households that will go dark, some of the world's major landmarks will turn off their iconic glows in support of this worldwide event.

Earth Hour began in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when 2.2 million people and 2,000 businesses, turned their lights off to make a stand against climate change. By 2008, the event had become a global phenomenon when 50 million people across 35 different countries participated. Earth Hour 2009 then became the world's largest global initiative against climate change, when hundreds of millions of people took part in over 4,000 cities.

The Tragic Loss Of Knut

Wed 23rd March 2011 (1 comment)
copyright Berlin Zoo

copyright Berlin Zoo

Much of the world is still in shock after the loss of one of Germany's most famous celebrities at the weekend. On the afternoon of Saturday March 19th 2011, Knut the polar bear sadly passed away suddenly in front of a horrified crowd of nearly 600 people. Although it was initially suspected that he had a heart attack, new information suggests that he died from an undiagnosed brain disorder.

Knut shot to fame in 2007 when he was tragically rejected by his mother and had to be hand reared by a team of keepers at the zoo. His main keeper, Thomas Doerflein, even camped out at Berlin Zoo to ensure that Knut would get his feed every two hours. Naturally, the two formed an incredibly close bond and people began to flock to the zoo to watch bear and keeper playing together.

Challenging Our Origins

Fri 18th March 2011 (0 comments)
Bushmen Rock Painting

Bushmen Rock

According to a recent BBC news report, a study that has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that modern humans may have actually originated in southern Africa, rather than eastern Africa as previously thought. It is widely believed that Homo Sapiens originated on the African continent, but the exact location is hard to pinpoint.

The extensive genetic study looked into the patterns of genetic diversity in 27 distinct African populations, to try and determine which of these hunter-gatherer people contained the most varied genetic material, and which therefore is the most ancient population. The results concluded that these hunter-gathers are found in parts of southern Africa, where they would have roamed a vast area 60,000 years ago.

Devastation In Japan

Tue 15th March 2011 (0 comments)
copyright stephendavidsmith.net


On Friday 11th March 2011, the worst earthquake to hit Japan in 140 years shook towns and cities across the north-east of the country including it's capital, Tokyo. The earthquake was recorded at being a magnitude of 8.9 - 9.0 on the Rictor scale, with it's epicentre occurring just 130km east of the town of Sendai (capital of the Miyagi Prefecture), which was one of the towns most devastated by the events.

Japan is the world's third largest economic power and has the 10th largest population. The country is made up of 6,852 islands, with the four largest comprising 97% of it's land. Most of Japan's islands are volcanic and contain 10% of the world's active volcanoes. The country lies on one of the most active fault lines on the planet and as many as 1,500 earthquakes are reported there every year. It is part of the infamous Ring Of Fire, a 40,000 km horseshoe shape in the Pacific Basin, that contains 75% of the world's active volcanoes and 80% of the largest earthquakes.

The Lemurs Of Madagascar

Fri 11th March 2011 (3 comments)
An Indri

An Indri

One of the world's largest islands, the secluded island of Madagascar, has been separated from Africa for millions of years and has consequently evolved into an island of uniqueness and mystery, and one that is extremely rich in biodiversity. Today, this magical land is home to some of the rarest animals in the world, with more than 70% of it's native plant and animal species found nowhere else on Earth.

One of Madagascar's most distinctive groups of animals are the Lemurs, which are unique primates found across the island in a variety of habitats. Their ancestors were originally thought to have arrived on Madagascar on natural rafts from Africa, and these primates have adapted impeccably to their new surroundings since. There are now nearly 100 different species of Lemur recorded living on the island today.

Bushmeat: Protection Vs Profit

Tue 8th March 2011 (0 comments)
The Gorilla

The Gorilla

For thousands of years, all around the world, wild animals have been hunted by humans for food, and Africa is no exception. Commonly known as bushmeat, the meat of wild animals has sustained human populations throughout the continent for generations with around 1 million tonnes thought to be consumed by locals every year in Central Africa alone.

Although the consumption of bushmeat in general is not illegal, the hunting and killing of species that are listed as being endangered most definitely is, with the estimates of great apes poached every year being well into the thousands. However, the trend is turning from selling these animals as bushmeat in order to expand profit margins, as more money can be made elsewhere.