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Photos: Emma Thompson in Arctic; tortoise oldest animal, a well respected resident; dolphins at world's top surfing competitions


By WcP.Observer - Posted on 09 August 2014



Emma Thompson and daughter join Greenpeace ship on voyage to protect the Arctic. (Credit: Emma Thompson Fans / savethearctic.org / GreenPeace)



Meet Jonathan the Tortoise, the Oldest Animal in the World (182) (Credit: negreenplanet.org / seychellesnewsagency.com / puravidasail.com)


Octopus sets record for motherly care: deep-sea octopus broods eggs for over four years - longer than any known animal (Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute)



Surf's up! Playful dolphins put pros to shame as they ride the waves during prestigious surfing competition in South Africa (Credit: Stan Blumberg / Barcroft Media, Mail Online)

(quote)

Emma Thompson and daughter join Greenpeace ship on voyage to protect the Arctic
London, 1 August 2014 - Actor Emma Thompson and her 15-year-old daughter Gaia Wise will sail aboard a Greenpeace ship in August to raise awareness of the melting Arctic environment. The Harry Potter and Nanny McPhee star will join a Greenpeace crew aboard the ship Esperanza as it visits polar bear habitats, scientific research stations and the location for a major new BBC nature series.

Joining the pair is Gemini-award winning Canadian Cree actor Michelle Thrush, who will also be travelling with her 14-year-old daughter Imajyn. The trip departs from Longyerbyen, Svalbard on the 2nd of August.

Emma Thompson said:

"I'm seriously excited about this trip because I've always wanted to go to the Arctic. I'm also worried about what I might find. The Arctic is warming up faster than anywhere else, and this isn't just a problem for polar bears. It's affecting weather in places as far away as India, while rising sea levels are causing havoc for people across the world. Arctic warming is a massive threat to our survival.

My daughter and her generation are about to inherit the world we're responsible for, and I want to make sure that we leave the Arctic safe from oil companies and protected for good. I'm making this trip because I want Gaia's generation to grow up in a decent and sane world. In fact I'm making it so that her children can grow up."
...
Emma Thompson will be asking fans to support the campaign to save the Arctic at savethearctic.org/emma

Meet Jonathan the Tortoise, the Oldest Animal in the World (182) is a well respected resident
Jonathan the tortoise can. Jonathan is a rare Seychelles Giant Tortoise who calls the official residence of the Governor of the British Overseas Territories, located in St. Helena, his home. It’s unknown how Jonathan came to be at the property in the first place, though his age indicates that massive exploitation of tortoises for food between the 1600 and 1700s probably had something to do with it.

No one knows how Jonathan avoided that fate, but one thing is for certain. Jonathan is a well respected resident on the property and allowed free reign, clearly demonstrating that the members of the community know what it means to respect their elders! Though there are no records, it’s believed that Jonathan arrived in St. Helena at the age of 50 in 1882. He’s lived through 37 U.S. presidents, starting with Andrew Jackson! His life has also spanned 8 British Monarchs, starting with George IV, and 51 prime ministers.

Governor Capes, the 33rd Jonathan has met, sees to it “that he should be treated with the attention and care he surely deserves.” Cataracts have made hunting difficult, so his caretaker Joe supplements his diet with a bucket of fresh fruit and vegetables every Sunday. He loves to have his neck stroked!

With a life expectancy of 250 years, Jonathan should see many more years to come!

When it comes to flight, nature just has the edge on engineers. Hummingbirds edge out helicopters in hover contest This is according to a study comparing hummingbirds with one of the world's most advanced micro-helicopters. Researchers found that - in terms of the power they require to lift their weight - the best hummingbird was over 20% more efficient than the helicopter. The "average Joe" hummingbird, however, was on par with the helicopter, showing "how far flight engineering has come".

The findings are published in the Royal Society journal Interface. Lead researcher Prof David Lentink, from Stanford University in California, explained that the flight performance of a hummingbird - the only bird capable of sustained hovering - was extremely difficult to measure. "Imagine a 4g bird," he said. "The forces they generate are tiny. "As a result the drag of a hummingbird wing has never been measured accurately."

To make the laboratory measurements, they used wings from hummingbird specimens kept in museums. By putting these detached wings into an apparatus called a wing spinner, the team was able to measure exactly how much flapping power was required to lift the bird's weight. Prof Lentink's colleagues at the University of British Columbia in Canada also made recordings of wild hummingbirds in flight, to measure the exact movement of their wings - which beat up to 80 times per second.

Octopus sets record for motherly care - deep-sea creature protects its eggs for 4 1/2 years, longer than any known species in the animal kingdom, study reveals; ‘octomom’ never ate
A deep-sea octopus—being described by some as a real-life Octomom—has been observed protecting its eggs for 4 1/2 years, thus becoming the most patient of mothers known in the animal kingdom.

“As far as we know this is the longest brooding or gestation of any animal on the planet,” Brad Seibel of the University of Rhode Island who participated in the report told the Los Angeles Times. “Elephants gestate for 20 to 21 months and some deep-sea sharks carry their embryos internally for a couple years [basking sharks reportedly carry their young up to three years], but nothing is longer than this.”

Surf's up! Playful dolphins put pros to shame as they ride the waves during prestigious surfing competition in South Africa
These playful dolphins stole the show when they gatecrashed one of the world's top surfing competitions to ride the waves themselves.

The animals turned up as global surfing legends descended on Jeffreys Bay, South Africa, for the latest stop on the Association of Surfing Professionals world tour.

The 12-day J-Bay Open saw surfers compete for dominance off the shores of the Eastern Cape, famous for its dramatic waves and large numbers of bottlenose dolphins.

But things took a surprise twist when a school of almost a dozen dolphins set out to show they were the undisputed kings of the sea in these images captured by 62-year-old Stan Blumberg.

'Two surfers were in the water at the time when a few pods of dolphins swam past and a few surfed the waves as they usually do, without breaking the surface,' he said - then they broke through and put on their show.

He added: 'In my 62 years of living at the coast, I have surfed, scuba dived, been a member of a surf lifesaving club and can honestly say that I have never before seen dolphins surf like this before.'

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