News-in-Transition

12 January 2018

 - Orangutans may have knowledge of medicines unknown to humans, a study has found.

The great apes have been filmed chewing plants into a lather - which they then use as an ‘ointment’ on their aching limbs. The plant is also used by the orangutan’s indigenous human neighbours in the forest.

Now scientists are investigating the possibility the apes may know of further medicinal plants that could be used by mankind.

Researchers from the Borneo Nature Foundation have filmed the apes since 2003 – collecting over 20,000 hours of recordings. The apes were spotted using their own herbal medicine in the Sabangau Forest, in Central Kalimantan, Indonesian Borneo.

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10 January 2018

Alligators beat ‘bomb cyclone’ by freezing themselves in place (PHOTOS, VIDEOS) -The ‘bomb cyclone’ that froze the eastern seaboard of the US last week forced many to take extreme measures to stay warm and stay alive, including a group of rather inventive alligators in North Carolina.

Footage captured by the staff of the Shallotte River Swamp Park in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina shows the somewhat surreal survival technique employed by the cold-blooded reptiles which allows them to be frozen in place in the park’s pond. Even the 'bomb cyclone,' which wrought havoc across the eastern seaboard of the US, couldn’t catch these crafty creatures off guard. 

The gators instinctively know when the water around them is about to freeze and raise their snouts at just the right time, allowing them to enter a state of brumation, a kind of hibernation that also involves slowing down an animal’s metabolism.

Videos showing the alligators “just hanging out in the water,” have garnered tens of thousands of views since they were published over the weekend.

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21 December 2017

2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards "On the Land" category winner - The 2017 Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards winners have been announced, and this year's crop doesn't disappoint in the humor department with hilarious expressions, amusing antics and even a little fun with perspective.

It wouldn't be the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards without a little laughter! This adorable, pint-sized mouse is basking in the flow of flowers in this year's "On the Land" winner, captured by photographer Andrea Zampatti.

While you may laugh out loud (or at least crack a grin), keep in mind the contest has a serious goal: highlighting wildlife conservation efforts.

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2 December 2017

Image: Animals experience emotions and exhibit distinct personalities, science confirms -

It won’t come as much of a surprise that horses are very emotional, given their social nature. Any horse owner will tell you their horse has feelings, but it actually goes much further than that.

Researchers have found that one of the factors with the biggest influence on horses’ emotions is the way they are housed. Horses that were kept outdoors in fields had a lower tendency to be afraid of new objects than those who were kept individually in boxes. They found the animals are capable of experiencing both anxiety and fear.

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18 October 2017

 - They work together, talk to each other and use tools. A new study links the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.

Whales and dolphins (Cetaceans) live in tightly-knit social groups, have complex relationships, talk to each other and even have regional dialects – much like human societies. A new study, published in Nature Ecology & Evolution on October 16, 2017, has linked the complexity of Cetacean culture and behavior to the size of their brains.

The study created a large dataset of information on brain size and social behaviors of 90 different species of dolphins, whales, and porpoises. It found overwhelming evidence that the animals have sophisticated social and cooperative behavior traits, similar to many found in human culture.

According to the study, these societal and cultural characteristics are linked with brain size and brain expansion, known as encephalisation, defined as the amount of brain mass related to an animal’s total body mass.

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27 August 2017

 - When I became a father for the first time, at the ripe old age of 44, various historical contingencies saw to it that my nascent son would be sharing his home with two senescent canines.

There was Nina, an endearing though occasionally ferocious German shepherd/Malamute cross. And there was Tess, a wolf-dog mix who, though gentle, had some rather highly developed predatory instincts. So, I was a little concerned about how the co-sharing arrangements were going to work. As things turned out, I needn’t have worried.

During the year or so that their old lives overlapped with that of my son, I was alternately touched, shocked, amazed, and dumbfounded by the kindness and patience they exhibited towards him. They would follow him from room to room, everywhere he went in the house, and lie down next to him while he slept. Crawled on, dribbled on, kicked, elbowed and kneed: these occurrences were all treated with a resigned fatalism.

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23 August 2017

 - “Have you ever felt that your cat or dog can see something you don’t? Well, you may be right, according to a new study. Cats, dogs, and other mammals are thought to see in ultraviolet light, which opens up a whole different world than the one we see, the study explains.

UV light is the wave length beyond the visible light from red to violet that humans can see. Humans have a lens that blocks UV from reaching the retina. It was previously thought that most mammals have lenses similar to humans.

Scientists studied the lenses of dead mammals, including cats, dogs, monkeys, pandas, hedgehogs, and ferrets. By researching how much light passes through the lens to reach the retina, they concluded that some mammals previously thought not to be able to see UV actually can.”

However, I believe there is something more to this phenomena that delves into the metaphysical realm.

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7 August 2017

 - It was recently brought to my attention that even mainstream science recognizes cats, dogs, and other animals can see frequencies humans can’t.

After reading about it a little bit, it makes sense scientifically in a separate way from spiritually. It’s simple really: the scientific explanation is that cats and dogs can see UV light and a few other rays, which human retinas don’t have the ability to see.

It was previously believed that all mammals had similar eyes to humans, incapable of seeing UV rays, but scientific evidence suggests many mammals can.

A study conducted a few years ago by biologists at City University London, UK provided evidence for this differential in sight between species.

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28 July 2017

An underwater photographer has captured a rare and enthralling set of images of a pod of sleeping whales. More pics and info at this link

24 May 2017

 - Crows are incredibly clever birds. Some species use tools, for example. Some also recognize human faces, even "gossiping" about who's a threat and who's cool. Crows can hold long-term grudges against people they deem dangerous, or shower their allies with gifts. Oh, and they can solve puzzles on par with a 7-year-old human.

With wits like this, it's little wonder crows have adapted to live in human cities around the world. Yet despite all their uncanny displays of intelligence, a recent example from Japan is eyebrow-raising even for these famously brainy birds.

Wild crows had learned to raid a research building in Iwate Prefecture, stealing insulation to use as nest material. But as the Asahi Shimbun reports, they abruptly quit after a professor began hanging paper signs that read "crows do not enter."

The idea was suggested by a crow expert from Utsunomiya University, and has reportedly worked for the past two years. This doesn't mean the crows can read Japanese, but it may still shed light on their complex relationship with people.

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25 April 2017

 - A caterpillar commonly used as fishing bait has been shown to have an extraordinary appetite for plastic, which scientists say could help tackle pollution.

Roughly 80 million tons (metric) of polyethylene are produced on the planet each year, a large percentage of which ends up in countless landfills around the world. The substance is notoriously hard to break down and can take centuries to degrade.

The wax worm seems to be nature's own solution to the problem and scientists have a chance discovery to thank for it.

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8 April 2017

 - New research shows that octopuses and other cephalopods have a tremendous capacity to alter and edit their own genes, which scientists believe to be the reason behind their shocking intelligence and ability to learn.

An octopus really shouldn't be intelligent by all rights. Their brains have 1/20th the amount of neurons as humans, and it isn't centralized in their body. Instead, they have a miniature brain in the bases of their arms.

And yet the octopus has both short and long-term memory. It can solve mazes and other simple problems. They've been observed using tools and building things. While their intellect is well-known, scientists have struggled to understand why such prodigious intelligence manifested in such an unlikely creature.

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5 April 2017

 - Man’s best friend is known for being capable of amazing feats. For years dogs have been trained to do many extraordinary tasks. They have been trained to assist people with disabilities in a number of different ways or to become therapy animals. Our four-legged furry friends are also often taught how to sniff out bombs, drugs or people in need of rescue, to boot. Researchers have also found that our beloved canines can even help to detect cancer with their super-sensitive noses.

Impressive results from a diagnostic trial found that a pair of specially trained German Shepherds could detect breast cancer with 100 percent accuracy. The technique is described as “simple, non-invasive and cheap” and could replace mammograms, particularly in areas where the diagnostic method is hard to come by. Project Kdog, the name the initiative goes by, has shown marked success and could stand to shake up current diagnostic practices.

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Calendar of Events

Group distant healing events planned for 2018:

20 March - Equinox

21 June - Solstice

22 September - Equinox

21 December - Solstice

Boycott Israeli Goods