Life… The Universe…

It’s been a good month since my giant leap into the world of “blogging”, and the response of the world in general has been… Total ignorance! Well, thanks – It just goes to show you, doesn’t it? I reall am crap with technology ;-)

Leaving aside my digital don’t-know-how, I thought I’d mention one or two items of interest I’ve spotted in the news recently. First of all is the amazing photo I found in the Telegraph (I know, I know…!), of the first basking sharks of the season being spotted off the coast of Cornwall. The snaps were shot by diving instructor Charles Hood near Mount’s Bay, Penzance of a male shark, around 10 years old and 20ft long. Richard Pierce of Shark Trust said, “Normally it is the start of June when we start seeing them in numbers”. These incredible fish, secondary in size only to the Whale Shark (And possibly Mo Molam on a bad day!!) can reach up to 40ft in length, and survive by filter-feeding plankton from the water, which, for some reason, seems to be the best food to sustain anything over 30ft long in the oceans.

Something else that caught my eye, this time sifting through the Metro (Well-read, aren’t I?!) is that an African Black-Footed Cat has been successfully bred from nine-year-old frozen sperm using a common house cat as a surrogate mother. The resulting kitten, named Crystal, is being hailed as a world first along with her ‘mother’, Amelie. Five embryos were produced from thawed sperm samples, and Crystal was born 67 days after  the transfer. This kitten must be handled with kid gloves, however, as there are fewer than 10,000 of her kind left in the world, mainly due to loss of habitat in southern Africa. Ron Forman, the president of the Audubon Centre for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans, is optimistic that this experiment will open doors for more projects like it in conserving endangered animals all over the world. Though I’d like to see them use a house cat to surrogate a baby rhinoceros!!

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