Federal authorities are searching for an unidentified swimmer who was videotaped riding a sperm whale off the Florida coast hours before the animal was found dead. Witnesses along Pompano Beach said the animal appeared to be on its last legs and drifting toward the shore when a swimmer began climbing onto the creature’s back. Though the whale’s exact cause of death is still unknown, it is a federal offense to badger a marine mammal. “This type of harassment could have caused ... Read More
Baby fish exposed to hormone-laden water from Indiana farms were more likely to become male, according to a new study from Purdue University. Researchers raised fathead minnow embryos in water taken from two separate streams, each contaminated with a variety of hormones from fertilizer used on nearby fields. While fish typically birth roughly equal numbers of males and females, the fish in the study turned 60 percent male.
Livestock naturally excrete estrogen and testosterone, but many animal... Read More
A Russian zoo director is claiming that circus trainers were able to save their elephants from the brutal Siberian cold by giving them vodka. Trainer Leonid Labo was forced to lead his animals out into sub-zero temperatures after their trailer caught fire. To fortify them, he had the animals, aged 45 and 48, drink 10 liters (2.6 gallons) of vodka mixed with warm water. "They started roaring like if they were in the jungle! Perhaps, they were happy," a local official told Russia's Ria Novosti n... Read More
Famed French mountaineer Maurice Herzog, who became the first person to scale an 8,000-meter peak in 1950, died of natural causes on Friday. Herzog, 93. climbed 26,545-foot Annapurna with Louis Lachenal, losing all of his fingers and toes in the process. Following news of Herzog's death, President Francois Hollande said that the climb had been "engraved enduringly in our collective memory." Herzog later wrote a best-selling book about the climb, and went on to become a member of the Internatio... Read More
After a year of record drought, shipping on the Mississippi River could come to a halt in the next few weeks. "All the ingredients for us getting to an all-time record low are certainly in place," said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration hydrologist Mark Fuchs. "I would be very surprised if we didn't set a record this winter."
Projections suggest that a choke point near Thebes, Missouri, could become impassable before year’s end. Around $7 billion of commodities typically m... Read More