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Environment

  • Dog domestication dates revised

    Dog domestication dates revised

    Domestic dogs may have a pedigree that dates back almost 40,000 years to when modern humans started colonising Europe and Asia, new research has shown. Previous studies have indicated that the ancestors of modern-day dogs diverged from wolves no...

  • Auction winner kills rare rhino

    A Texan who bid $350,000 to hunt a black rhinoceros in Africa in what was billed as a conservation fundraiser has killed one of the endangered animals, a Dallas Safari Club official has said. Corey Knowlton, of Dallas, shot a black rhino in...

  • Not all weed is bad for the local environment

    Not all weed is bad for the local environment

    A weed is a plant that grows where it is not wanted. The same concept applies to pests and to dirt which has been described as matter out of place. For a farmer, any plant that grows in sufficient quantities to compete with his crops is a weed.

  • Snake ancestor had ankles and toes

    Snake ancestor had ankles and toes

    Modern snakes had an ancient forest-dwelling forebear with tiny ankles and toes that hunted at night and lived alongside the dinosaurs, say scientists. Researchers came up with a portrait of the ancestral serpent after examining snake DNA and...

  • Putting the cart before the horse

    Putting the cart before the horse

    The proposed nine-hectare (equivalent to 12 full-size football pitches) American University in an Outside Development Zone area in Żonqor has understandably raised the bristles of many, not just of environmentalists, but also of level-headed...

  • Turning the south into one giant scrapyard

    Turning the south into one giant scrapyard

    The south of Malta is renowned for its large concentration of scrapyards, which blight the landscape as mounds of haphazardly-piled up cars in fields in places like Birżebbuġa (the Wied Żembaq scrapyard is the most notorious), Għaxaq, Mqabba and...

  • Ekoskola children discuss solutions for local, global problems at summit

    Ekoskola children discuss solutions for local, global problems at summit

    Over 100 Ekoskola primary and secondary students from 22 schools discussed the Millennium Development Goals and local and global problems and proposed possible solutions at an annual children’s summit. The event at Le Meridien Hotel and Spa, St...

  • Practical training for environmental conservation students

    Practical training for environmental conservation students

    Students on the higher diploma course in environ­mental con­servation at the Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology’s Institute of Applied Science participated in a week of practical training activities. The students were introduced to lab...

  • The death of an ice shelf

    The death of an ice shelf

    The last intact section of one of Antarctica’s mammoth ice shelves is weakening fast and will likely disintegrate completely in the next few years, contributing further to rising sea levels, according to a Nasa study. The research focused on a...

  • Bear’s breeches

    Bear’s breeches

    The bear’s breeches is an impressive indigenous plant which is not appreciated locally as much as it should be. It is a perennial species native to the Mediterranean. In several countries, where it is not an indigenous species, it is cultivated as...

  • Blue whales at risk from ships

    Blue whales are vulnerable to cargo ship strikes because they are so used to being the largest animal in the ocean that they often fail to avoid the vessels, a Stanford University biologist has found. The study, published in the latest edition of...

  • Some hunters just can’t help it

    Some hunters just can’t help it

    With the spring hunting season mercifully over hunters are already setting their sights on the autumn. Ahead of the spring hunting referendum, a strong appeal came from the hunters’ federation for the law to be observed. But it seems that birds...

  • Maltese seismologists present research to European peers

    Maltese seismologists present research to European peers

    Research by the University’s Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit was presented at the European Geosciences Union’s annual general assembly in Vienna. Over 11,000 scientists from 108 countries participated in the event. Pauline Galea, Matthew...

  • Quake Watch

    Quake Watch

    The seismic waves of the series of strong tremors that struck Nepal on April 25 were so powerful that they were recorded even in Malta. The main shock had a magnitude of 7.8, followed by two relatively strong aftershocks of magnitude 6.7 (red...

  • Spot the Jellyfish campaign gears up for sixth summer

    Spot the Jellyfish campaign gears up for sixth summer

    In the run-up to summer, information boards on jellyfish are being set up at Malta’s most popular bays and printed material is being distributed to scuba diving clubs and local councils in coastal regions as part of the Spot the Jellyfish...

  • Largest genus of terrestrial slugs

    Largest genus of terrestrial slugs

    The deroceras are a genus of slugs represented locally by two species, one of which could be endemic to the Maltese islands. The genus consists of about 123 species of small to medium terrestrial slugs. Most species are between 30 and 35...

  • Secret behind gaping whale mouths revealed

    Secret behind gaping whale mouths revealed

    When the fin whale gets ready to eat, earth’s second-largest animal opens its mouth so wide that it can gulp an amount of water larger than the volume of its own body as it filters out meals of tiny fish and shrimp-like krill. When feeding, this...

  • Fjords are nature’s allies

    Fjords are nature’s allies

    Fjords from Alaska to Norway soak up potentially damaging carbon from the atmosphere, making the steep-sided inlets an overlooked natural ally in offsetting man-made climate change, a study showed. Fjords cover only 0.1 per cent of the world’s...

  • Climate change threatens China’s major projects

    Climate change threatens China’s major projects

    Climate change threatens some of China’s most important infrastructure projects, China’s top meteorologist warned in a state newspaper, adding the country’s rate of warming was higher than the global average. Zheng Guoguang, head of China’s...

  • End of the line for land squatters?

    End of the line for land squatters?

    Last week, MP Jason Azzopardi unveiled in Parliament, on behalf of the Opposition, a Bill that aspires to put its finger on what actually constitutes the ‘public domain’. Normally, this phrase is reserved for information that has been released for...

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