Powered by Blogger.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Snapshots of an ever-changing world: The incredible moments in nature that will shock and delight

By Daily Mail Reporter

These incredible photographs show nature's beauty and brutality in equal measure.
Some will delight, others will shock, but all capture the stunning variety that exists in the animal kingdom and the interactions that go on there.

In one, an eagle lunges at a hungry fox, while another shows a terrified baboon struggling to free itself from its shackles among a group of children.

Get off my lunch: This eagle was eating a carcass in Bulgaria's Sinite Kamani National Park when the fox tried to snatch the meal. But the bird was having none of it

Distressing: A terrified yellow baboon tries to break free from its shackles as it is carried by a group of children in north-eastern Mozambique, Africa

Fly-by drinking: This picture of a bat swooping on the water's surface for some much-needed hydration was commended in the endangered species category of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition

Sad: A tiger and its two tiny cubs walk among the tourists at a Buddhist forest monastery and animal sanctuary in Kanchanaburi province in Thailand, now better known as Tiger Temple

Others provide a snapshot of intimate moments between two cheetahs surveying the savannah for lions and two flies appearing to kiss.

They are among more than 100 pictures commended in the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition which were shortlisted from more than 48,000 entries from 98 countries.

Jim Brandenburg, chairman of the judging panel, said: 'It amazes me to discover new and startling moments that have never been seen before.

'Secret moments in nature combined with a talented eye have given us rare photographs that we will truly be enjoyed forever and I am honoured to play a role in such an important competition.’

Moment of reflection: Two cheetahs form a symmetrical image while looking out for lions in the Gol Kopjes area of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. The picture was shot in infra-red on a specially converted camera

In the heat of battle: Two neriid long-legged flies appear to kiss, but are in fact engaging in a combat dance before flying off to mate with nearby females

High-quality: The pictures are among more than 100 commended in the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition which were shortlisted from more than 48,000 entries from 98 countries

Duel: Around 30 of best images from the contest, co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, will debut in the acclaimed London exhibition in October, before embarking on an international tour

Some also cast a light on our ever-changing relationship with the natural world.

One of those was taken by African photographer Jabruson who exposes the shocking cruelty that some wildlife face in our hands as a terrified baboon vies for freedom from a group of children.

Jabruson explains: 'This young animal was caught during a troop crop raiding on the highway in north-eastern Mozambique. I realised that if I could take an image I could help highlight the situation.'

From the opposite corner of the globe, a cheeky fox learns his lesson as an eagle attacks it for attempting to steal its prey, while Klaus Tamm's Sizing up appears to depict the intimate caress of two flies.

Caught in the act: This fox wasn't as cunning as he thought as he is pictured with the evidence of his misdeeds plain to see. This image was commended in the 10 years and under category

Top quality: The competition is open to photographers, both professional and amateurs alike, and is judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals

In the spotlight: A lion poses up a tree in Queen Elizabeth National Park, Uganda, in one of the more artistic offerings in the shortlisted images for the competition

How cheeky is that! A bird tries to snatch a fish from the jaws of its dining rival in a snapshot that reveal just how competitive nature can be

The two male neriid long-legged flies were, in fact, engaged in a combat dance which finished with them stretching up to their full height, before flying away and mating with nearby females.

Tamm said: 'I was so impressed by the harmony in the combat dance that I ended up photographing them for several hours.'

The competition is open to photographers, both professional and amateurs alike, and is judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals.

Around 30 of best images from the contest, co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, will debut in the acclaimed London exhibition in October, before embarking on a UK and international tour.

Overall winners are expected to be named in October.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Who are you calling two-faced? Meet Venus the famous chimera cat who's winning fans world-wide with her striking appearance


When there seems to be a new cute kitten gaining YouTube fame each week, it’s tough to stand out from the cat crowd.

But that’s certainly not a problem for Venus – the ‘two-faced’ cat who is the internet star du jour.

The feline’s face is perfectly divided in two – one half is jet black while the other is calico. And, as if this wasn’t enough, her eyes are different colours too – one is ice blue, the other is green.

Who you calling two-faced? Venus - with her face perfectly divided into two colours and with her different coloured eyes - is the internet star of the moment

Venus is known as a chimera cat because of her genetic composition and her different eye colours are caused by heterochromia.

Janus, the Roman god with two faces, would have perhaps been a more obvious deity to name the three-year-old cat after, even if she is a female.

Venus has several YouTube videos which have been seen about 154,000 times with thousands clicking the 'like' button.

Seriously sweet: Venus has attracted world-wide fame thanks to her striking appearance

Unsurprisingly, Venus now has her own Facebook page too where she has attracted more than 22,000 fans.

However, Venus is learning that world-wide fame has its downsides too as she has been unfavourably likened to Harvey Dent, Batman’s nemesis Two-Face.

Venus’ proud owner describes her lovingly as a ‘gentle’ and ‘perfect’ pet with a deceptively big appetite.

‘As tiny as she is she likes to pick the giant pieces of food from the dog food bowl rather than eat her cat food,’ the owner writes on Venus’ Facebook page.

Two-face: Venus has been unfavourably compared to Harvey Dent a.k.a Two-Face, Batman's nemesis


The marmots and me: The Schoolboy, 8, who has struck up a remarkable friendship with a colony of alpine animals

By Rachel Mcdermott

They are notoriously shy around humans, beating their tails and chattering their teeth to try to warn us off before emitting loud whistles to tell other members of their colony to flee.

But when these alpine marmots see Matteo Walch, they scuttle to his side and show him nothing but affection.

The eight-year-old built up a remarkable relationship with the creatures since first being taken to see them by his nature-loving family four years ago.

Special bond: Matteo Walch has struck up an unlikely friendship with a group of marmots in the Austrian Alps

The family return to visit the colony in Groslocker in the Austrian Alps for two weeks every year.

Matteo’s father Michaela, said: 'Their friendship has lasted for more than four years now.

'He loves those animals and they are not at all afraid of Matteo because he has a feeling towards them and they understand that.

‘We go there every year now for two weeks - it’s amazing to watch the connection between a boy and his animal friends.’

Marmots stand at around 18cm tall and reach up to 50cm in length.

Bizarrely, the animals are heavier in the autumn, when they can weigh up to 8kg, in comparison to 3kg in the spring months.

Furry friends; The schoolboy from Innsbruck first met the clan of marmots four years ago on a family holiday and has returned every year since

Unlikely pair: The normally shy marmots show Matteo nothing but affection when he visits them at Hohe Tauern National Park in Austria

Michaela, a schoolteacher from Innsbruck, Austria, has uniquely captured the unique bond between Matteo and his marmot friends throughout the past four years.

He said: 'I could spend hours watching animals - it gives me a connection with nature and its life forms.

'It’s great that I have been able to document the marmot’s natural behaviour around Matteo without making them afraid of me and my equipment.

'I wanted to capture the animals exactly the way I see them - the way they behave among each other, in harmony with their surroundings.'

A member of the clan: The marmots gather around Matteo when he arrives and lets him feed them and play with them despite normally running away from humans

Matteo and his family spend two weeks every year in the Alps visiting his marmot friends

Nose to nose: A marmot greets eight-year-old Matteo on the slopes of the Austrian Alps

It is clear from the pictures that Matteo and the marmots are totally comfortable in each other’s company.

Michaela, 46, said: 'The picture of a curious animal approaching me is a thousand times more beautiful than the picture of any animal looking at me in fear before it takes flight.

'This is how I try to picture the proudest, more beautiful and also the funniest moments, giving others the opportunity to enjoy the miraculous world of animals.’

Jealous: One marmot is so keen to get his attention that it has climbed up into Matteo's lap for a cuddle


Sunday, August 26, 2012

Have Prince Harry's naked high-jinks in Sin City cost him his latest girlfriend?

•Model Cressida Bonas, 23, has been dating the prince over the summer
•She has hinted she wants 'time out' after seeing the pictures on the internet
•Enjoyed holiday with Harry on Richard Branson's island before Vegas jaunt
•'He's ruined his chances now...Harry's blown it,' says friend of heiress

•Woman at party ready to 'tell all' on TV about the Prince's behaviour

By Katie Nicholl

..Prince Harry’s naked high-jinks in Las Vegas may have cost him his latest girlfriend.

Model Cressida Bonas, 23, a Leeds University graduate who has been dating the Prince over the summer, is said to have been ‘humiliated’ by the pictures of Harry enjoying the company of a young blonde in a hotel room.

Although sources say the couple have not split up, Ms Bonas, who has seen the pictures of the naked Prince on the internet, has hinted that she wants some time out.

In the pink: Cressida, right, with a friend on Sir Richard Branson's Island before Harry's Vegas jaunt

'He's ruined his chances now.' a friend of the heiress is quoted today.' Harry has blown it. Cressida saw a future with him, but he clearly isn't as serious about her as he claimed to be.'

Her torment was revealed as it emerged that one of the women who partied with the Prince on the 63rd floor of the Wynne Las Vegas and Encore Resort Hotel is set to 'tell all' on American TV in 'the next few days.'

Ms Bonas, the daughter of Sixties cover girl and banking heiress Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon, enjoyed a holiday with Harry on Necker, the island owned by Sir Richard Branson, shortly before his jaunt to ‘Sin City’.

Together with a group of friends, they were on Necker to celebrate the 27th birthday of Sir Richard’s son, Sam.

Ms Bonas, 23, a Leeds University graduate is said to have been 'humiliated' by the pictures of Harry enjoying the company of a young blonde in a hotel room

Ms Bonas is said to be ‘less than impressed’ by the pictures that have emerged from the boys-only break in Las Vegas.

Photos of Harry naked and bear-hugging a nude blonde in his private suite have gone viral on the internet since they were published on the American website TMZ.

During the Necker holiday, the Prince and Ms Bonas were acting very much as a couple, according to friends.

One told the Sunday Mirror: 'They had been for a few dates including one just before Necker. Things went further there between them and they had a great time fooling around.

'Everyone in their group thought they were getting it on. Cressida definitely saw the romance asa goer and is gutted by what happened.'

Party central: The Encore Resort Hotel, centre, where Prince Harry partied with friends during his Las Vegas holiday

A friend of Ms Bonas told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The relationship was pretty low key to begin with, but some of Cressida’s friends say it won’t get off the ground now,’

‘Cressida is pretty peeved.’

She and Harry were introduced by Harry’s cousin, Princess Eugenie.

Last month they attended a screening of the new Batman movie where they were reportedly spotted in a clinch and they were recently seen at the Womad music festival in Wiltshire.

Yesterday, the U.S. media firm Bad Girlz PR claimed that a woman at the Prince's party was prepared to reveal what happened that night and to take a lie detector test to back her version of events.

The woman, from California, has hired a PR who acts as a go-between for people who have intimate stories about celebrities and want to go on the record.

A spokesman told the Sunday Mirror: 'What she says is quite incredible and paints a different side to the prince and his behaviour.'

But the spokesman added that the woman is 'nervous' about coming forward because she fears a royal backlash.

A spokesman for Prince Harry declined to comment last night.


Neil Armstrong dead at 82: First man to walk on the Moon passes away following heart surgery, 43 years after giant leap for mankind

•Former astronaut Neil Armstrong captained Apollo 11 mission to the moon
•He and fellow NASA astronaut Edwin 'Buzz' Aldrin spent nearly three hours on lunar surface
•Served in U.S. Navy in Korean War and flew 78 missions during combat
•After lunar landing, took worldwide tour with Apollo 11 crew and met Queen Elizabeth II during 38-day journey
•Famously stayed out of public view following moon landing; friends said he had no interest in becoming a novelty

By Beth Stebner

Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, has died at the age of 82, after suffering complications from heart surgery, his family said in a statement.

Earlier this month, the former NASA astronaut had undergone heart surgery.

He famously uttered the quote moments after setting foot on the lunar surface: ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.’

Scroll down for videos of the first man on the moon

One giant leap: Neil Armstrong, who made the first mission to the moon in 1969 and was the first to step foot on the lunar surface, has died, aged 82

Legacy: A footprint left by one of the astronauts of the Apollo 11 mission shows in the soft, powder surface of the moon

Touchdown: Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong leaves a footprint on the surface of the Moon at Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969

Lunar landing: Astronauts Neil Armstrong, left, and Buzz Aldrin, right, place an American flag on the lunar surface as taken from the Eagle Lunar Module

Tuning in: A shadow-shrouded Neil Armstrong begins to deploy equipment a few minutes after taking the first momentous and historic step; half a billion tuned in to watch the moment

A statement from the family says he died following complications resulting from cardiovascular procedures. It doesn't say where he died.

According to NBC News, the Armstrong family wrote in a statement: ‘Next time you walk outside on clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil and give him a wink.’

NASA, too, was quick to express their sympathies, tweeting: ‘NASA offers its condolences on today's passing of Neil Armstrong, former test pilot, astronaut & the 1st man on the moon.’

President Obama in a statement hailed the late astronaut Neil Armstrong as one of America's greatest heroes.

In a statement issued by the White House, Mr Obama said Armstrong and the rest of the crew of Apollo 11 carried with them the aspirations of an entire nation when they set out for the moon in 1969.

The president says that when Armstrong set foot on the moon, he delivered what he called 'a moment of human achievement that will never be forgotten.'

Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, too, offered his condolences, writing on Twitter: 'Neil Armstrong today takes his place in the hall of heroes. The moon will miss its first son of earth.'

As commander of the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.

The legendary astronaut was born on August 5, 1930, near Wapakoneta, Ohio.

He went on to work in the military, fighting in the Korean War. Later, he would pilot planes for NASA, and eventually, spacecrafts.

During the historic mission on July 20, 1969, nearly half a billion people tuned in to watch the black and white mission to the moon, where Armstrong, joined by Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, spent some two hours loping around on the eerie grey surface.

He radioed back to Earth the historic news of 'one giant leap for mankind.'

'The sights were simply magnificent, beyond any visual experience that I had ever been exposed to,' Armstrong once said.

Master and commander: Armstrong commanded the Apollo 11 spacecraft that landed on the moon July 20, 1969, and is pictured smiling in the vessel

Documenting: Armstrong, pictured in April 1969 holding a video camera, spent years training for the monumental launch

The moonwalk marked America's victory in the Cold War space race that began October 4, 1957, with the launch of the Soviet Union's Sputnik 1, a 184-pound satellite that sent shock waves around the world.

Although he had been a Navy fighter pilot, a test pilot for NASA's forerunner and an astronaut, Armstrong never allowed himself to be caught up in the celebrity and glamor of the space program.

'I am, and ever will be, a white socks, pocket protector, nerdy engineer,' he said in February 2000 in one of his rare public appearances. 'And I take a substantial amount of pride in the accomplishments of my profession.'

However, his Apollo 11 moon mission turned out to be Armstrong's last space flight.

The following year he was appointed to a desk job, being named NASA's deputy associate administrator for aeronautics in the office of advanced research and technology.

He left NASA a year later to become a professor of engineering at the University of Cincinnati.

A man who kept away from cameras, Armstrong went public in 2010 with his concerns about President Barack Obama's space policy that shifted attention away from a return to the moon and emphasized private companies developing spaceships.

He testified before Congress and in an email to The Associated Press, Armstrong said he had 'substantial reservations,' and along with more than two dozen Apollo-era veterans, he signed a letter calling the plan a 'misguided proposal that forces NASA out of human space operations for the foreseeable future.'

Moon mission: U.S.astronaut Buzz Aldrin salutes the American flag on the moon's surface; Aldrin was the second man on the moon following Neil Armstrong

Alien landscape: Armstrong, right, is seen at the Lunar Module Eagle on the historic first extravehicular activity (EVA) on the lunar surface; the photo was taken by Buzz Aldrin

Up up and away: On July 16, 1969, the American flag heralded the flight of Apollo 11, the first Lunar landing mission, lifting off with Armstrong and crew inside

Armstrong's modesty and self-effacing manner never faded.

When he appeared in Dayton in 2003 to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of powered flight, he bounded onto a stage before 10,000 people packed into a baseball stadium. But he spoke for only a few seconds, did not mention the moon, and quickly ducked out of the spotlight.

He later joined former astronaut and Sen. John Glenn to lay wreaths on the graves of Wilbur and Orville Wright. Glenn introduced Armstrong and noted it was 34 years to the day that Armstrong had walked on the moon.

'Thank you, John. Thirty-four years?' Armstrong quipped, as if he hadn't given it a thought.

At another joint appearance, the two embraced and Glenn commented: 'To this day, he's the one person on Earth, I'm truly, truly envious of.'

Armstrong's moonwalk capped a series of accomplishments that included piloting the X-15 rocket plane and making the first space docking during the Gemini 8 mission, which included a successful emergency splashdown.

In the years afterward, Armstrong retreated to the quiet of the classroom and his southwest Ohio farm. Aldrin said in his book 'Men from Earth' that Armstrong was one of the quietest, most private men he had ever met.

In the Australian interview, Armstrong acknowledged that 'now and then I miss the excitement about being in the cockpit of an airplane and doing new things.'

The incredible journey: On July 16, 1969, with Neil Armstrong waving in front, the space crew heads for the van that will take them to the rocket for launch to the moon at Kennedy Space Center

Thumbs up: From another angle, Armstrong is seen giving a thumbs up as he and the crew walk to board the shuttle

Trinity: The crew of Apollo 11, pictured in 1969, from left are Neil Armstrong, Mission Commander, Michael Collins, Lt. Col. USAF, and Buzz Aldrin, USAF Lunar Module pilot

Space pioneer: Neil Armstrong poses for a NASA portrait ahead of the historic 1969 Apollo 11 mission

At the time of the flight's 40th anniversary, Armstrong again was low-key, telling a gathering that the space race was 'the ultimate peaceful competition: USA versus U.S.S.R. It did allow both sides to take the high road with the objectives of science and learning and exploration.'

click more detail


Woman slashed her Springer Spaniel's head, nose and body 31 times... and then called the police to blame it on an intruder

•Kim Edmonds was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to her dog
•She slashed her two Springer Spaniels, one sustained 31 lacerations and burns
•Pending a psychiatric report, Edmonds could serve a maximum of six months in jail
•After the attack she made an emergency call to police, claiming an intruder had attacked her and her dogs
•Investigators discovered her injuries were self-inflicted

By Alex Ward

..A woman is facing a jail sentence for slashing her dog’s head, nose and body 31 times before cutting herself and telling police it was an intruder.

Kim Edmonds, 21, carried out the cruel attack on her springer spaniel Stig which left him mutilated with lacerations and burns in what a RSPCA inspector called the ‘worst attack’ she had ever seen.

The unemployed woman from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire was found guilty of causing unnecessary suffering to the dog on Friday and, pending a psychiatric report, the judge did not rule out a maximum sentence of six months in jail.


Dog slasher: Kim Edmonds was found guilty of slashing her two Springer Spaniels. Dogs Stig was found with 31 lacerations and burns while Dan (pictured) had lesser injuries in the horrific attack

The court heard that Edmonds, who had been taking medication for depression, had slashed the 14-year-old dog and her other dog Dan to a lesser extent, in her back garden in September last year.

She made an emergency call to Staffordshire Police, claiming a balaclava-wearing intruder had broken into her backyard and attacked her and the dogs.

Police arrived to a shocking scene.

According to This is Staffordshire, detective constable Gary Madeley from Burslem Police Station said: ‘It was like an abattoir. There was blood all over the living room and the kitchen.

‘Edmonds' demeanour, considering the report and her dog had been mutilated, was calm.’
Veterinary surgeon Carole Bain, who also attended the scene said: ‘I was shocked by what I saw.

‘I told her (Edmonds) Stig would need a lengthy operation and she asked if he would need a skin graft and demonstrated by pinching the skin on his head.
‘It was unusual as I have never known an owner show such calmness.’

Shocking scene: Police said Edmonds' house looked like 'an abattoir' with blood everywhere. Her two dogs (pictured) were badly injured while she presented self-inflicted cuts, claiming an intruder had attacked her and the dogs

Shocking mutilation: The RSPCA deputy chief inspector Jayne Bashford said the injuries sustained by the dogs were 'totally horrendous'. Stig needed a four hour operation and a week's recovery in a vet clinic (pictured)

It is not known what weapon was used to carry out the attack.

Stig needed a four hour operation and spent a week recovering at a vet clinic, costing the RSPCA thousands of pounds. Dan also required surgery for slashes to his head.

Both dogs have since been re-homed together.

But during investigations, police found that Edmonds’ injuries were self-inflicted and they referred the case to the RSPCA.

The court heard that the nature of Stig’s injuries suggested he had been held down during the prolonged attack.

Jayne Bashford, deputy chief inspector of the RSPCA said: ‘Kim is a very dangerous lady and the injuries suffered by the dogs were totally horrendous.

‘In order to inflict 31 separate wounds on this animal, it would have had to be a lengthy, sustained attack.

‘Every person involved has been severely affected by what they saw. It’s caused people a lot of distress.’

Held down dogs: The court heard that the attack done by Edmonds (pictured with husband Brian and injured dog Dan) would have been lengthy and it was suggested that the dogs were held down during the attack

In the Stoke-on-Trent magistrates’ court, Judge Taylor said: ‘I don’t know if a prison sentence is right or not.’

‘It’s a serious offence that needs the right course of action.’

Edmonds was convicted of one charge of the Section 4 Animal Welfare Act 2006.

Edmonds said she unsuccessfully tried to contact a neighbour before calling her husband Brian Edmonds who works in the Pets At Home distribution centre.

He said: ‘She was extremely distressed saying that the dog had been attacked and she was on the verge of hysteria.’


Wombs with a view: Revolutionary four-dimensional imaging reveals spectacular photos of mammal embryos that already look just like mum

By Daily Mail Reporter

They may grow to be very different beasts, but these breathtaking images reveal how surprisingly similar the beginning of life can be for the animal kingdom.

Captured using revolutionary four-dimensional scanning technology, scientists have managed to shed light on the world of mammals inside the womb.

As diverse a bunch as they are - elephant, dog, dolphin and penguin are all shown united by their similar stages of development.

An Asian elephant foetus after 12 months in the womb, catching some shut eye before she takes her first heavy steps in the world in just under a year's time. The gestation period for an elephant is 22 months

Paw-sing for thought: With tiny paws poised an unborn puppy looks already set to pounce as he reaches his full gestation period of around nine weeks

Say cheese: A baby dolphin seems to be smiling for the camera as he prepares for his big splash

Using revolutionary four-dimensional scanning technology, scientists have captured the images for a National Geographic Documentary called 'Extraordinary Animals in the Womb'.

They were captured by using a combination of three-dimensional ultrasound scans, computer graphics and small cameras to document the animals’ development from conception to birth, and give an unparalleled glimpse into a world that few of us would ever expect to see.

The images were also used on a Channel 4 documentary 'Animals in the Womb'.

The documentary explores the marked similarities between very different animals.

Sleepy?: A dog foetus could be mistaken for a fat in these ground breaking images. The animals - as diverse as they are - strike remarkably similar poses in the womb

Snug as a bug: A penguin curls up in it's mothers womb. The gestation period lasts about 63 days. The females then lay the egg and pass it on to the male penguin while they go off to feed.


Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Top Web Hosting | manhattan lasik | websites for accountants