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Ecologists: Alaska wildlife management threatens state's largest carnivores

Ecologists: Alaska wildlife management threatens state's largest carnivores

Science
Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Alaska's wildlife management plan puts the state's largest carnivores, wolves and bears, at risk, according to a group of ecologists at Oregon State University. In a new paper published in the journal PLOS Biology, ecologists argue the state's management plan privileges moose, caribou and deer over carnivores. By depressing carnivore numbers, wildlife managers can ensure moose, caribou and deer populations balloon -- a boon for hunters. "Gray wolves, brown bears and black bears are managed in most of Alaska in ways designed to significantly lower their numbers," William Ripple, distinguished professor of ecology at Oregon State's College of Forestry, said in a news release. "Alaska is unique in the world because these management priorities are both widespread and legally ...
Largest ever black hole collision detected by scientists

Largest ever black hole collision detected by scientists

Technology
An international team of scientists have detected the largest ever black hole collision through the ripples it made in space-time. US scientists discovered the space-time ripples - officially known as gravitational waves - in a breakthrough in 2016, although their existence was predicted by Albert Einstein roughly a century ago.Now academics at the Australian National University (ANU) have detected the collision between two black holes, which are believed to have formed a new black hole about 80 times larger than the Sun.The ANU team worked in partnership with other academic institutions through the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO), which is based in the US.ANU Professor Susan Scott said the team discovered four collisions in total by re-a...
Newly named dinosaur species named largest land animal of its time

Newly named dinosaur species named largest land animal of its time

Science
Sept. 27 (UPI) -- Paleontologists have discovered a new giant dinosaur species in South Africa's Free State Province. The plant-eating dinosaur weighed 12 metric tons and stood more than 13 feet tall at the hip, roughly twice the size of an African elephant. Scientists named the species Ledumahadi mafube, Sesotho for "a giant thunderclap at dawn." The Sesotho language is indigenous to the region where the species was discovered. "The name reflects the great size of the animal as well as the fact that its lineage appeared at the origins of sauropod dinosaurs," Jonah Choiniere, a professor of paleontology at South Africa's University of the Witwatersrand, said in a news release. "It honors both the recent and ancient heritage of southern Africa." The proportions of the newly named species r...
Extinct Madagascan species named 'world's largest bird'

Extinct Madagascan species named 'world's largest bird'

Science
Sept. 26 (UPI) -- After decades of disagreement and debate, scientists have agreed to name Vorombe titan, an extinct Madagascan species, the "world's largest bird." Some 12,000 years ago, Madagascar was home to several colossal, flightless bird species, dubbed elephant birds. The birds belong to the family Aepyornithidae, but disagreements over the structure of the family tree has led to confusion over which of the species deserved the title of world's largest bird. Through the years, various studies have described the existence of 15 different species of elephant birds belonging to two different genera. The latest research -- published this week in the journal Royal Society Open Science -- suggests there are only four distinct elephant bird species. The four species belonging to three ge...
The Latest: Progress made on California's largest wildfire

The Latest: Progress made on California's largest wildfire

Technology
The Latest on California wildfires (all times local): 8 p.m. Firefighters are making progress against the largest California wildfire ever recorded although thousands of homes and buildings remain under threat. State fire officials Wednesday night say the Mendocino Complex — twin fires that are being fought together — has destroyed 119 homes and 472 square miles (1,222 square kilometers) of brush and timber north of San Francisco. The complex is 47 percent contained. However, the smaller of the two blazes actually is 81 percent surrounded. Fire crews have kept the southern edge from spreading. Authorities lifted mandatory evacuation orders for most communities near the resort of Clear Lake. Meanwhile, a fire that destroyed more than 1,000 homes in and around Redding in Northe...