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Around the world in 11 days: Bar-tailed godwit breaks own record, flying from Alaska to New Zealand – The Guardian

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A 12,000-kilometre non-stop round-the-world flight from Alaska to New Zealand would tire out even the most seasoned air traveller, without the help of a snack, a nap or some distracting entertainment. For the male bar-tailed godwit, on the other hand, it’s a piece of cake.

Scientists say the bird has set a new world record for avian non-stop flight, after tracking its route over 11 days from southwest Alaska to a bay near Auckland, flying at speeds of up to 55 km/h.

“They are designed like a jet fighter. Long, pointed wings and a really sleek design which gives them a lot of aerodynamic potential,” Dr. Jesse Conklin told

the Guardian of the bird’s feat.

Conklin is a scientist with the

Global Flyaway Network

, a worldwide partnership between researchers who study epic migratory patterns.

Researchers at the Pūkorokoro Miranda Shorebird Centre, southeast of Auckland, had caught and tagged the bird and 20 others in late 2019. The bird, labelled as 4BBRW due to the blue, blue, red and then white rings on its legs, had been fitted with a satellite tag on its back. Scientists say the bird, along with four others, left from the Alaskan mudflats on Sept. 16, where they had feasted for two months on clams and worms.

The birds, according to the scientists, headed south over the Aleutian Islands and then onto the Pacific Ocean, passing over Hawaii and Fiji. Scientists believe strong easterly winds along the way prolonged the birds’ journey and pushed them towards Australia.

“They are flying over open ocean for days and days in the mid-Pacific; there is no land at all. Then they get to New Caledonia and Papua New Guinea where there are quite a few islands and, we might be anthropomorphising, but it really looks like they start spotting land and sort of think: ‘Oh, I need to start veering or I will miss New Zealand’,” Conklin told the Guardian.

The satellite recorded a point-to-point flight of 12,854 kilometres, but scientists have estimated that the distance travelled will have been around 12,200 kilometres once rounding errors are accounted for. The previous longest non-stop flight on record was by a bird that flew 11,680 kilometres. That effort was recorded in 2007, and it was also by a bar-tailed godwit (on that occasion female).

While the male bird, which weighs between 190 grams and 400 grams, can double in size before a long flight, scientists say it’s also able to shrink its internal organs to lessen the carried load.

Scientists believe, but have not yet proven, that the birds do not sleep on their journey, despite flapping their wings non-stop. “They have an incredibly efficient fuel-to-energy rate,” Conklin said.

“There are other birds that make similar-scale flights of say 10,000 (kilometres) but there are not a whole load of places in the world where it is necessary,” Conklin said. “So it is not necessarily that this is the only bird capable of it – but it is the only bird that needs to do it.”

The route along the Pacific functions as an

‘ecological corridor,’

scientists suggest, mostly because it is relatively free of disease and predators. However, climate change could soon render it an unsuitable route, as the frequencies and strengths of the winds along the passage change.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020

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Surrey vet offers tips as Canada reports first COVID-19 case in dog in Ontario – News 1130

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SURREY (NEWS 1130) – As Canada’s first case of COVID-19 among dogs is reported in Ontario, a Surrey-based vet is providing some advice to pet owners who may have concerns.

Dr. Sajjid Ijaz with Lifetime Veterinary Clinic says research on COVID-19 in pets is still evolving, but at this point, there’s little evidence to suggest dogs can transmit the virus to humans.

He notes many owners have flagged their COVID-19 concerns with him and his staff over the past few months.

“Obviously, at this point because we do not have any data to give any concrete answers to them, so, we have just been telling them to be careful about going out of their own bubble, as far as their own personal self, as well as the pets themselves. So what we’ve been telling them is to try and limit the pet access to dog parks and all that stuff, and be careful about it,” he explains.

Ontario dog tests positive for COVID-19

A dog in Ontario’s Niagara area has been identified as the first canine to test positive for COVID-19 in Canada. Experts have said this isn’t cause for panic.

The dog apparently belongs to a household where four people tested positive for COVID-19.

Experts told the Toronto Star the dog “had no symptoms and a low viral load, suggesting that dogs remain at relatively low risk of becoming gravely ill or passing on COVID to others.”

Ijaz says while they’re not pushing that message too hard, he and his staff want pet owners to continue to be smart.

Pets and your social bubble

Because of the uncertainty around how the coronavirus is transmitted among pets, Ijaz says it’s wise to apply the same advice to pets when it comes to humans and their social bubbles.

“So, yes, I’ve been telling my clients to limit access, not just totally isolate them, but just to be smart about it,” he explains.

Ijaz understands that pets are often a big part of any family, which is why he believes it’s best to be safe rather than sorry.

“As much as we can limit the bubble, that will help,” he says, adding your social bubble shouldn’t exclude these animals.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, there’s been no report of pets spreading COVID-19 to people. There have been reports of possible transmission from mink at a farm in the Netherlands to humans, however, the federal government says this is still being studied.

-With files from 680 NEWS

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Hockey Twitter demands a Lunar Classic after NASA reveals moon has a lot more ice than previously believed – Russian Machine Never Breaks

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NASA made a special announcement on Monday that had the hockey world buzzing.

“Several studies have showed that water on the moon surface is in its permanently shadowed craters,” Paul Hertz, director of astrophysics at NASA Headquarters, said according to CBS News. “Today, we are announcing that for the first time, water has been confirmed to be present on a sunlit surface of the moon.

It is believed that there are at least 15,000 square miles of the moon’s surface that have deposits of water ice, meaning future astronauts could live off the land.

And Hockey Twitter is hoping those future astronauts are NHL players.

The ridiculousness began early in the day when the NHL on NBC Twitter photoshopped the Blackhawks and Bruins facing off on the moon. “MOON. HOCKEY. 🌕,” they wrote. “We’re ready, @NASA!”

“Call it the Lunar Classic,” the Ducks demanded.

“The Lunar Classic is going to be out of this world!” the Blackhawks added with an excellent pun.

The Hurricanes were excited about some “space hockey.”

So were the Devils.

Later, on their Instagram page, NHL on NBC photoshopped Alex Ovechkin, Roman Josi, and David Pastrnak as astronauts.

Hockey Twitter imagined hockey scenarios on the moon, while another fan, Matthew Henderson, created an elaborate media kit promoting a fake moon hockey event.

I want this to happen so badly now.

Headline photo: Pixabay images

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Water discovered on moon's sunlit surface – CityNews Toronto

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