Connect with us

Animals

Scientists Were Left ‘Speechless’ After an Arctic Fox Walked 2,176 Miles in Just 76 Days

A young arctic fox has made a spectacular journey of 2,176 miles from Norway to Canada in a mere 76 days.

Published

on

Arctic Fox Walks 2,176 Miles
Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

(TMU) — A young arctic fox has made a spectacular journey of 2,176 miles from Norway to Canada in a mere 76 days, leaving researchers at the Norwegian Polar Institute speechless.

Scientists had fitted the 1-year-old coastal or blue fox with a GPS tracking device in July 2017, according to the Guardian, before freeing her into the wild. The fox left the east coast of Spitsbergen, the main island of Norway, on March 26 of last year.

After a 1,000-mile, 21-day trek across the frozen sea ice, she landed in Greenland on April 16, 2018. She then walked approximately 1,242 miles out to Ellesmere Island in Canada, where she arrived on July 1st.

https://giphy.com/gifs/Q67UV1IkG36cGlz1dd

Eva Fuglei, a researcher who tracks how foxes deal with the dramatic changes in Arctic seasons, was stunned by the unprecedented speed and distance of the young fox’s journey. On some days, the female fox managed to travel over 96 miles.

The Norwegian Polar Institute said in their research paper, One female’s long run across sea ice, that they had initially wondered if the fox’s collar was removed and taken on board a boat—a scenario they eventually realized was unfeasible because of the inability of boats to travel so far into the ice.

“This is, to our knowledge, the fastest movement rate ever recorded for this species,” Fuglei remarked in the paper.

Fuglei told Norwegian public broadcaster NRK:

“We couldn’t believe our eyes at first.

We thought perhaps it was dead, or had been carried there on a boat, but there were no boats in the area. We were quite thunderstruck.”

Continuing, she explained:

“There’s enough food in the summer, but it gets difficult in winter.

This is when the Arctic fox often migrates to other geographical areas to find food to survive. But this fox went much further than most others we’ve tracked before – it just shows the exceptional capacity of this little creature.”

And while the fox may well have traveled even further, her transmitter stopped working in Canada this past February.

Food sources are rather scarce on Ellesmere Island where the fox’s diet likely consisted of small rodents such as lemmings rather than the marine diet she enjoyed in Svalbard, Fuglei said.

Arctic foxes are capable of surviving extremely cold temperatures as as low as -58 degrees Fahrenheit. Their short muzzle, short ears, and fur-soled paws give them an incredible ability to survive cold climates.

During the winter, the fox largely consists on the leftovers, such as reindeer carcasses, of larger predators like polar bears.

Researchers believe that the fox’s journey shows the crucial role that sea ice plays for the migration of species between the continents and ecosystems in the arctic.

The journey also shows how climate change could drastically limit the migratory options available to animals in the region.

Norway’s climate and environment minister, Ola Elvestuen, told the Institute:

“This is another example of how important sea ice is to wildlife in the Arctic.

The warming in the north is frighteningly fast. We must cut emissions quickly to prevent the sea ice from disappearing all summer.”

By Elias Marat | Creative Commons | TheMindUnleashed.com

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Animals

Dolphin Swims Through Louisiana Neighborhood in Aftermath of Hurricane Ida

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A Louisiana family was shocked to find a dolphin swimming through their neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida.

Amanda Huling and her family were assessing the damage to their neighborhood in Slidell, Louisiana, when they noticed the dolphin swimming through the inundated suburban landscape.

In video shot by Huling, the marine mammal’s dorsal fin can be seen emerging from the water.

“The dolphin was still there as of last night but I am in contact with an organization who is going to be rescuing it within the next few days if it is still there,” Huling told FOX 35.

Ida slammed into the coast of Louisiana this past weekend. The Category 4 hurricane ravaged the power grid of the region, plunging residents of New Orleans and upwards of 1 million homes and businesses in Louisiana and Mississippi into the dark for an indefinite period of time.

Officials have warned that the damage has been so extensive that it could take weeks to repair the power grid, reports Associated Press.

Also in Slidell, a 71-year-old man was attacked by an alligator over the weekend while he was in his flooded shed. The man went missing and is assumed dead, reports WDSU.

Internet users began growing weary last year about the steady stream of stories belonging to a “nature is healing” genre, as people stayed indoors and stories emerged about animals taking back their environs be it in the sea or in our suburbs.

However, these latest events are the surreal realities of a world in which extreme weather events are fast becoming the new normal – disrupting our lives in sometimes predictable, and occasionally shocking and surreal, ways.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Animals

Mom in LA Suburbs Fights Off Mountain Lion With Bare Hands, Rescues 5-Year-Old Son

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

A mother in Southern California is being hailed as a hero after rescuing her five-year-old son from an attacking mountain lion.

The little boy was playing outside his home in Calabasas, a city lying west of Los Angeles in the Santa Monica Mountains, when the large cat pounced on him.

The 65-pound (30 kg) mountain lion dragged the boy about 45 yards across the front lawn before the mother acted fast, running out and striking the creature with her bare hands and forcing it to free her son.

“The true hero of this story is his mom because she absolutely saved her son’s life,” California Department of Fish and Wildlife spokesman Captain Patrick Foy told Associated Press on Saturday.

“She ran out of the house and started punching and striking the mountain lion with her bare hands and got him off her son,” Foy added.

The boy sustained significant injuries to his head, neck and upper torso, but is now in stable condition at a hospital in Los Angeles, according to authorities.

The mountain lion was later located and killed by an officer with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, who found the big cat crouching in the bushes with its “ears back and hissing” at the officer shortly after he arrived at the property.

“Due to its behavior and proximity to the attack, the warden believed it was likely the attacking lion and to protect public safety shot and killed it on sight,” the wildlife department noted in its statement.

The mountain lion attack is the first such attack on a human in Los Angeles County since 1995, according to Fish and Wildlife.

The Santa Monica Mountains is a biodiverse region teeming with wildlife such as large raptors, mountain lions, bears, coyote, deer, lizards, and snakes. However, their numbers have rapidly faded in recent years, causing local wildlife authorities to find new ways to manage the region’s endemic species.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Animals

Blue Whales Return to Spain’s Coast After Disappearing for 40 Years

Published

on

Like this article? Get the latest from The Mind Unleashed in your inbox. Sign up right here.

Blue whales have been returning to the Atlantic coast of Spain after an absence of over 40 years in the region, when whaling industries drove the species to the brink of extinction.

Blue whales, which are the world’s largest mammals, had long disappeared from the region until the recent sightings.

The first was spotted off the coast of Galicia near Ons Island by marine biologist Bruno Díaz, who heads the Bottlenose Dolphin Research.

Another one of the majestic creatures was spotted the following year in 2018 and yet another in 2019. In 2020, two whales again made their return to the area.

It remains unclear as of yet as to why the creatures have returned to the area, but controls on local whaling industries are believed to play a role.

“I believe the moratorium on whaling has been a key factor,” Díaz remarked, according to the Guardian. “In the 1970s, just before the ban was introduced, an entire generation of blue whales disappeared. Now, more than 40 years later, we’re seeing the return of the descendants of the few that survived.”

Whaling had been a traditional industry in Galicia for hundreds of years before Spain finally acted to ban whaling in 1986, long after the blue whale’s presence in the region had faded away.

Some fear that the return of the massive sea mammals is a sign of global warming.

“I’m pessimistic because there’s a high possibility that climate change is having a major impact on the blue whale’s habitat,” said marine biologist Alfredo López in comments to La Voz de Galicia.

“Firstly, because they never venture south of the equator, and if global warming pushes this line north, their habitat will be reduced,” he continued “And secondly, if it means the food they normally eat is disappearing, then what we’re seeing is dramatic and not something to celebrate.”

Díaz said that while the data certainly supports this theory, it is too early to determine climate as the precise cause.

“It is true that the data we have points to this trend [climate change] but it is not enough yet,” he told Público news.

Another possibility is that the ancestral memory of the old creatures or even a longing for their home may offer an explanation, according to Díaz.

“In recent years it’s been discovered that the blue whale’s migration is driven by memory, not by environmental conditions,” he said. “This year there hasn’t been a notable increase in plankton, but here they are. Experiences are retained in the collective memory and drive the species to return.”

In recent years, researchers have found that migratory patterns are also driven by the cultural knowledge existing in many groups of species.

Researchers believe this type of folk memory, or cultural knowledge, exists in many species and is key to their survival.

A typical blue whale is 20-24 metres long and weighs 120 tonnes – equivalent to 16 elephants – but specimens of up to 30 metres and 170 tonnes have been found.

Typos, corrections and/or news tips? Email us at [email protected]

Continue Reading

Trending

The Mind Unleashed