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Why You Want To Wear Hippo Sweat

Filed under: Science!Hippos

hippo sweat

Yummy!

Hippos can stand in the hot sun all day without getting a sunburn, and now researchers know why: a red-colored glandular secretion known as "hippo sweat" contains microscopic structures that scatter light, protecting the hefty mammals from burns, according to a new study

In the future, scientists hope to create a product inspired by hippo sweat that we may be slathering on our bodies before long. The stuff could be an advertiser's dream.

"It would be nice to also try and replicate the antiseptic and insect-repellent characteristics of the sweat, to obtain a four-in-one product: sunscreen, sunblock, antiseptic, insect repellent. Just so long as the stuff doesn't smell like hippo,"

dreamt the study's co-author Christopher Viney.

This sounds ultra fab. Especially if this means we'll see hippos wrapped in towels in a luxurious sauna!

[Image via WENN.]

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Seven New Species of Mammals Discovered in Philippines

Filed under: DiscoveryMouse

Seven New Species of Mammals Discovered

Adorable Find!

Seven new forest mouse species have come out of hiding on Luzon, the largest island of the Philippines, researchers announced Monday.

Observations of each mouse's morphology as well as genetics suggest the seven newbies are part of a new subgenus called Megapomys, which is part of the genus Apomys. These mice are relatively large, weighing less than a half pound tails that are as long as, or slightly shorter, than the length of the animal's body and head.

"It is extraordinary that so many new species of mammals remain to be discovered in the Philippines, And we are nowhere close to the end of our discoveries. The Philippines may have the greatest concentration of unique species of animals of any country in the world,"

according to Danilo Balete, leader of the project's field team.

There's hoping they discover a dragon or a unicorn next!

Photo: Velizar Simeonovski, The Field Museum

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Obama's Team Looking To Protect More Endangered

Feds announce plans for 250 imperiled species

That'a President!

The Obama administration announced Tuesday that it intends to work through a backlog of more than 250 imperiled animal and plant species over the next six years to decide if they need protection under the Endangered Species Act.

The propo stems from a court agreement with an environmental group, WildEarth Guardians. The agency has been sued numerous times over its handling of species as diverse as greater sage grouse and Canada lynx.

Those are included on a long list of fish, birds, mammals, plants and even snails that scientists say need greater protections.

Through November of last year, Obama had provided Endangered Species Act protection to 51 plants and animals, an average of 25 a year. By comparison, the Clinton administration protected an average of 65 species per year, and the Bush administration listed about eight species a year.

[Image via WENN.]

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Our Noise Kills Giant Squids

Filed under: Sad SadScience!Sea Creatures

live_giant_squid_first_image.jpg

So sad.

When giant squid washed up ashore along Spain's Asturias province in the early 2000s, the events occurred suspiciously close to when ships had used air guns to conduct low-frequency sound-pulse exercises in the region, Ocean Leadership reports.

While the noises were a possible cause for the squids' deaths, it was not confirmed until a recent study completed by a marine bioacoustician at Barcelona's Technical University of Catalonia and his team.

We have known for some time that whales and other marine mammals which rely on sound for communication and navigation have been harmed by the noise pollution in the ocean — either by not being able to hear, and therefore find, one another, or by being so blasted by loud sounds that they beach themselves or are killed by the trauma caused inside their skulls.

The study showed that among specimens of two species of squid, one species of octopus and one species of cuttelfish exposed to low-frequency sound for two hours, all showed signs of damage to their statocyst tissue, with the damage becoming worse the longer after exposure the animals lived.

[Image via wikipedia.]

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5 Dolphins Killed By Navy Training

Filed under: Sad SadAnimal RightsDolphinsAnimal CrueltyDanger!

dolphin safety

This has to stop!

A Naval training exercise that included an underwater blast off San Diego's coast has been linked to at least three dolphin deaths earlier this month, prompting a probe into whether the military violated the federal law that protects marine mammals.

Navy officials, who reported the deaths of the long-beaked common dolphins following the March 4 detonation off the coast, say they were following proper procedures and will continue with the training.

Along with the three deaths reported to the fisheries service, two other dead dolphins were found later, but it's not clear if they were injured by the Navy exercises.

Environmentalists have called on the Navy to suspend activities involved in the deaths and conduct a transparent investigation.

But Navy officials said the program it calls "mission-critical" would continue

They said there were no dolphins in view when the training countdown began, and when they could be seen it was too late to stop safely.

Oh, the ol' "Look Both Ways Before You Blow Up The Ocean" safety procedure.

Natural Resources Defense Council, which years ago sued the Navy to minimize damage to whales by sonar, said the Navy doesn't have the best environmental record when it comes to ocean life.

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