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Nature news of the past week

It’s time for another update on what has been happening in the world. Here is the nature news of the 19th to 25th of July.

You know how there are birds that switch partners constantly and birds that are (in principle) monogamous? Well, it turns out those supposedly monogamous birds can actually break up as well. And a new study shows that it is the females that usually end it when they get the chance to have a better territory. Quite smart, but maybe not so very nice to the faithful male bird, is it?  (source)

There is more bird-news! Another, completely different, study has been published, showing that honeyguide birds and human honey hunters actually interact with each other in a two-way conversation. Not only do the humans follow the birds to figure out where they can find honey, but the bird in their turn react to the special call sounded by the honey hunters. They seem to recognise the distinct words or call the hunters have been using for hundreds of years. Other sounds made by humans are nowhere near as effective in attracting the birds. Amazing! (source)

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More close to home, swimmers have been shocked by supposedly “jellyfish-attacks” in the waters near Camber, England. First reports said that three swimmers were stung by an exotic jellyfish, as there had some time earlier been a warning Portuguese man o’ wars could potentially be driven northwards by warm ocean flows. In the end, it turned out the men were just caught off guard by changing tides and a strong current. (source)

Even when it wasn’t the case in Camber, sometimes humans and wildlife just start to interact too much. To prevent visitors from harming themselves or the wildlife at Glacier National Park, a new initiative will be started where a dog is herding the wildlife away from the visitor centre. As conventional methods of keeping the animals away don’t work, the rangers hope that with their new “bark ranger”, Gracie, they have found the solution. (source)

In three of the four news items mentioned above, humans take central stage. It seems as if we manipulate nature wherever we go. But newfound proof in Madagascar shows that we are not to blame for all bad that happens to the earth. It has always been thought that the arrival of humans triggered an immense change it the way the tropical island looks. Now, however, a study on lemurs suggests that big changes in the environment were already going on by the time humans arrived. Even so, humans still had a huge impact by turning the original vegetation into one suitable for or used in agricultural practices. But at least we are not to blame for all of it. (source)

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And for a final, happy bit of news, a badly sunburned dolphin is on its way to recovery. The animal was sunburned when it had washed ashore on the mudflats of Cromarty Firth in Scotland. Rescue workers helped the dolphin back into the sea and it disappeared into the water immediately. Now, after two months, the dolphin has been sighted again and seems on her way to getting all healthy again. (source)

My, what a lot has been happening again. I hope you enjoyed reading and you have a great week!

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