Author: CTV

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

LONDON — Zebra stripes are dazzling — particularly to flies.

That's the conclusion of scientists from the University of Bristol and the University of California at Davis who dressed horses in black-and-white striped coats to help determine why zebras have stripes.

The researchers found that fewer horseflies landed on the cloaked horses than on the ones without striped coats, suggesting that zebra stripes may offer protection from blood-sucking insects that can spread disease.

“This reduced ability to land on the zebra's coat may be due to stripes disrupting the visual system of the horse flies during their final moments of approach,” said Martin How, a research fellow at the University of Bristol. “Stripes may dazzle flies in some way once they are close enough to see them with their low-resolution eyes.”

From a distance, the flies were equally attracted to both horses and zebras, with the same number of insects hovering around both types of animals. But when the fl..

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Globally important fossil discovered in Prince Edward Island footprints

CAVENDISH, P.E.I. — Fossilized footprints discovered on Prince Edward Island last year have been matched with a prehistoric predator, giving the site newfound global significance.

Federal and provincial officials announced Thursday that the series of footprints found last May near Cavendish National Park have been confirmed to be those of the sail-backed Bathygnathus borealis.

The reptile-like mammal lived 100 million years before dinosaurs and is commonly known as the Dimetrodon.

It was considered the top predator of its time.

The footprints mark the only record of life on land in Canada during the Permian period, a geological age 300 million years ago.

Politicians and scientists welcomed the discovery as a feather in the cap for the province's history and research potential.

“The fossil legacy of the Island has reached a point where it stands proudly on the world stage,” said John Calder, a geology professor at Saint Mary's University.

In a news release Thurs..

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Israel aiming to land on moon with SpaceX launch

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — Israel aims to land on the moon after hitching a ride with SpaceX.

The Falcon rocket is scheduled to blast off Thursday night from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

A communications satellite for Indonesia is the main cargo. But Israel's privately funded lunar lander — a first not just for Israel but commercial space — is generating the buzz.

Israel seeks to become only the fourth country to successfully land on the moon, after Russia, the U.S. and China. The spacecraft — called Beresheet, Hebrew for Genesis or “In The Beginning” — will take nearly two months to reach the moon.

It will circle Earth in ever bigger loops until it's captured by lunar gravity and goes into orbit around the moon. Touchdown would be April 11 at the Sea of Serenity.

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4 dolphins moved from Arizona facility to Caribbean park

MIAMI — Four remaining dolphins at an Arizona facility where four other dolphins have died have moved into a new home in the Caribbean.

Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, announced the arrival of the four Atlantic bottlenose dolphins late Wednesday.

In a statement , the park said the dolphins are being cared for in a 69,000-square-foot (6,410-square-meter) ocean habitat enclosed by a mesh barrier that extends over 20 feet (6 metres) down to the ocean floor.

The animals are healthy and exploring their new environment, Lee Kellar, Coral World's general curator, told The Associated Press on Thursday.

All four dolphins were born in captivity, so this is their first exposure to natural sea water, waves, currents and squids and fish swimming with them.

They had been living at Dolphinaris Arizona. Four dolphins have died at the Scottsdale, Arizona, facility since it opened in 2016. It closed temporarily this month as experts investigate what caused the ..

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Swedish teen leads Belgian students on 7th climate march

BRUSSELS — Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg led a march of thousands of Belgian students who are skipped classes for the seventh Thursday in a row to march through Brussels and draw more attention to fighting climate change.

The 16-year-old Thunberg first addressed a European Union conference, chiding adults for their inaction in the face of such climatic global dangers. She said youngsters are being forced to skip school and protest because adults are not addressing climate issues quickly enough.

She told the European Economic and Social Committee plenary session that “we are school striking because we have done our homework” on the dangers facing the Earth.

Thunberg has become her generation's voice on climate change after inspiring students around the world to go on strike to express their anger and angst over global warming.

Also at the conference was EU Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker who said he was “glad to see that young people are taking to the streets fo..

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