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Living world news archive: January-March 2009

Brush-tipped chimp termite fishing rod
Chimps craft ultimate fishing rod
(Mar 5, 2009)

Scientists believe they have solved the mystery of why some chimpanzees are so good at catching termites. A team working in the Republic of Congo discovered that the chimps are crafting brush-tipped "fishing rods" to scoop the insects out of their nests. They filmed the wild primates using their teeth to fashion the tools.

Read more. Source: BBC

Limacina helicina occurs in both Arctic and Antarctic waters
Ice oceans 'are not poles apart'
(Feb 17, 2009)

At least 235 marine species are living in both polar regions, despite being 12,000km apart, a census has found. Scientists were surprised to find the same species of "swimming snails" at both poles, raising questions about how they evolved and became so dispersed. The census, involving 500 researchers from more than 25 nations, was carried out during International Polar Year.

Read more. Source: BBC

Hispaniolan solenodon
Venomous mammal caught on camera
(Jan 9, 2009)

Rare footage of one of the world's most strange and elusive mammals has been captured by scientists. Large, and with a long, thin snout, the Hispaniolan solenodon resembles an overgrown shrew; it can inject passing prey with a venom-loaded bite. Little is known about the creature, which is found in the Caribbean, but it is under threat from deforestation, hunting and introduced species.

Read more. Source: BBC

'Spookfish' has mirrors for eyes
(Jan 7, 2009)

A Pacific fish uses mirrors as well as lenses to help it see in the murky ocean depths, scientists have revealed. The brownsnout spookfish has been known for 120 years, but no live specimen had ever been captured. Last year, one was caught off Tonga, by scientists from Tuebingen University, Germany.

Read more. Source: BBC


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