Trip to 7-Eleven leads Bangkok police to tiger butchers
It isn’t every day that a man with bloody hands emerges from a convenience store and returns home to continue chopping up tigers, zebras and wild buffalo in an underground slaughterhouse.
So Thai police officers on a routine street patrol in north-east Bangkok had a lucky break when, by chance, they crossed paths with a member of a wild animal meat gang who had nipped out to buy some butchering supplies.
On following the man, Thai police discovered four other men chopping up a large male tiger. Zebra, crocodile, wild buffalo and elephant carcasses, along with 400kg of tiger meat, were also found in the building, ready to be sold as exotic meat and trophies.
“We found one tiger in an ice box, where it was being preserved with formaldehyde, and a lot of bones. On the floor, there were fresh cuts of white tiger, elephant and lion skins,” the Thai nature crime police commander, Colonel Norasak Hemnithi, said. “The suspects later told us that they had gone out looking for ice to store the fresh meats.”
Police have since arrested eight people, including the alleged mastermind, in what they and local wildlife organisations believe is a smuggling operation fronted by Bangkok zoos.
Read more at The Guardian
» Absolutely sickening. We have a long way to go with wildlife trade.
Firefly Lightpaintings by Tsuneaki Hiramatsu. The photos, taken in various places around Maniwa and Okayama Prefecture in Japan, are a series of slow shutter and multi-exposure composites that show fireflies as they mate after thunderstorms during the June to July rainy season.(via)
Embryonic turtles communicate to coordinate when they hatch
Murray River turtles communicate with their siblings while they are still in their shells, buried under the soil, in order to coordinate when they hatch.
Achieving this synchronicity isn’t easy. Although the eggs are always laid at the same time in the same nest, those at the top of the nest near the sun-drenched soil develop much faster than those buried deeper in the cooler soil. However, Murray River turtles are able to tell whether their fellow hatchlings are more or less advanced and adapt their pace of development accordingly, allowing the slow-coaches to play catch-up. [..]
The team concluded that the embryos must be able to communicate with each other while they are still in their shells, but it’s not clear how. They suggest that it could be down to changes in the nest that trigger certain hormones that change the turtles’ metabolism. Embryos produce more thyroid hormone when oxygen levels fall. The fast-developing embryos could use up the oxygen levels around the next and emit more carbon dioxide. The reduction in oxygen could cause the slower developers to produce more thyroid hormone and therefore grow faster.
I’m inspired. When’s the last time you put that much effort into cooperating with your siblings?