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(Above) Two boys from a community commonly known as sea gypsies paddle their boat close to their home.
The Samah are an indigenous ethnic group from Malaysia and the Philippines who live a sea-based lifestyle in the Sulawesi Sea off Malaysia's state of Sabah.
The Sabah are one of a number of groups collectively known as Bajau, or sea gypsies.
Although sea gypsies are Muslims, they also revere the gods of the sea and make offerings when a large catch is brought in.
Originally the sea gypsies lived a nomadic lifestyle in boats. Nowadays most live in small communities, building houses on stilts in the coastal shallows without fresh water or electricity.
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Australian wildlife rescuers and 100+ island volunteers race to save 200 stranded whales and dolphins off Tasmania
Australian wildlife rescuers were using jetskis and small boats today to try to save nearly 200 pilot whales and a small pod of dolphins beached on an island between the mainland and Tasmania.
Rescuers said only 54 of the 194 whales stranded on King Island had survived, and seven dolphins were still alive. It is the fourth beaching incident near Tasmania in recent months.
Rescuers dug trenches in the sand to channel water close to the whales as volunteers doused them with water and draped wet fabric over their bodies to keep them cool. More than 100 volunteers used stretchers to carry dolphins into the shallows, and other officials used small boats and a jetski to pull whales out to sea.
Whale strandings happen periodically in Tasmania during their migration to and from Antarctic waters, but scientists do not know why it happens. It is unusual, however, for whales and dolphins to get stranded together. read more »
Wildlife Conservation Society and Goldman Sachs work together to safeguard Chile's Karukinka nature reserve
It is not every day that a Wall Street bank finds itself in possession of a chunk of land 50 times the size of Manhattan, covered in pristine forest, windswept grassland and snow-capped mountains. But that's the position Goldman Sachs found itself in, in 2002 when it bought a package of distressed debt and assets from a US company called Trillium.
The resulting conservation project in the very south of Chile has been hailed by the bank and its partners, a US-based NGO, as an example of how the public and private sectors can work together to safeguard the world's last remaining wildernesses. Chilean environmentalists are more skeptical but, even so, have largely applauded the project.
The story of what is now known as the Karukinka nature reserve dates back to the 1990s when Trillium bought land on Tierra del Fuego - a cluster of inhospitable islands between Chile and Argentina - clinging to the southernmost tip of South America. The company planned to use the land for logging and wanted to cut down the lenga - a type of beech tree found only in this part of the world.
The Science of Snowflakes, as an art form - some of the basics behind these miniature miracles of nature
Caltech physics professor Kenneth G. Libbrecht has turned his passion for the study of ice crystals into an art form. In his books and website, snowcrystals.com, he breaks down some of the basics behind these miniature miracles of nature
These common snowflakes (above) are thin, plate-like crystals with six broad arms that form a star-like shape. Shapes like these form around 28 degrees Fahrenheit, while columns and slender needles appear near 23 degrees. Plates and stars again form near 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Snowflakes are not frozen raindrops (that is better known as sleet). They form when water vapor condenses directly into ice, which happens in the clouds. In their most basic form, snow crystals are hexagonal prisms like the sample, above, but other, more complex forms are famously possible.
The simplest sectored plates are hexagonal crystals that are divided into six equal pieces, like the slices of a pie. More complex specimens show prominent ridges on broad, flat branches.
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we..
I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in.
Photos: ox born ahead of Valentine's Day with heart-shaped birthmark, faithful geese couple, baby zebra & mother
A pair of Andean geese, George and Mildred, smooching like young Valentines despite being together for eight years and rearing 40 goslings.
The ox 'Heart', having a heart-shaped marking on his forehead, relaxes at Yamakun Farm in Yokohama, Japan. Born in the year of the ox and ahead of Valentine's Day, the ox has drawn attention from around the country.
The baby Grant's zebra was born on Jan. 26 and is Peru's fourth ever born in captivity as part of a preservation program. The foal's name will be chosen in a special competition
Ocean Mysteries: 'Immortal' jellyfish from Caribbean capable of reverting to younger self spreading all over world
Marine biologists say the jellyfish numbers are rocketing because they need not die. Dr Maria Miglietta of the Smithsonian Tropical Marine Institute said: "We are looking at a worldwide silent invasion."
The jellyfish are originally from the Caribbean but have spread all over the world. Found in warm tropical waters Turritopsis is believed to be spreading across the world as ships’ ballast water is discharged in ports.
Turritopsis Nutricula is technically known as a hydrozoan and is the only known animal that is capable of reverting completely to its younger self. It does this through the cell development process of transdiff- erentiation. Scientists believe the cycle can repeat indefinitely, rendering it potentially immortal.
Though solitary, they are predatory creatures and evolve asexually from a polyp stage. While most members of the jellyfish family usually die after propagating, the Turritopsis nutricula has developed the unique ability to return to a polyp state. read more »