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News in Short

News in Short - 08-February-2021

Human noise making marine species difficult to hear

Date: 08 February 2021 Tags: Miscellaneous
  • Not only are humans changing the surface and temperature of the planet, but also its sounds – and those shifts are detectable even in the open ocean, according to research.
  • Changes in the ocean soundscape affect wide swaths of marine life, from tiny snapping shrimp to huge right whales, the researchers found.
  • Many fish and marine animals use sound to communicate with each other, to locate promising locations to breed or feed, and possibly to detect predators.
  • But increased noise from shipping traffic, motorized fishing vessels, underwater oil and gas exploration, offshore construction and other human activity is making it harder for fish to hear each other.

China’s space probe sends images of Moon

Date: 08 February 2021 Tags: Space
  • China's Tianwen-1 probe has sent back its first image of Mars, as the mission prepares to touch down on the Red Planet later this year.
  • The spacecraft, launched in July around the same time as a rival US mission, is expected to enter Mars orbit around February 10.
  • The black-and-white photo was released by the China National Space Administration showed geological features including the Schiaparelli crater and the Valles Marineris, a vast stretch of canyons on the Martian surface.
  • The photo was taken about 2.2 million kilometres (1.4 million miles) from Mars.
  • The five-tonne Tianwen-1 includes a Mars orbiter, a lander, and a rover that will study the planet's soil. China hopes to ultimately land the rover in May in Utopia, a massive impact basin on Mars.

Actor Christopher Plummer dies

Date: 08 February 2021 Tags: Obituaries
  • Veteran Canadian actor Christopher Plummer, whose decades-long career featured an indelible star turn in "The Sound of Music" and an Oscar win late in life, passed away. He was 91.
  • Plummer starred as the aristocratic widower Captain Georg von Trapp opposite Julie Andrews in "The Sound of Music," the beloved 1965 cinematic tale of a musical family and their mischievous governess in Austria on the eve of World War II.
  • Plummer was one of the most recognizable and admired character actors in Hollywood, with some 100 films under his belt and dozens of television roles.

Israeli fashion designer Ruth Dayan passes away

Date: 08 February 2021 Tags: Obituaries
  • Ruth Dayan, the Israeli fashion designer and peace activist who is revered across the country has died at the age of 103.
  • Dayan founded the Maskit fashion house in 1954, whose designs were inspired by the cultural heritage of Jewish immigrants as well as Israel's Arab community.
  • She was also an active proponent of peace with the Palestinians and supported charitable causes.
  • Ruth was the first wife of Moshe Dayan, the one-eyed commander who led forces during Israel’s 1948 war of independence and was Defense minister during the 1967 war, when it rapidly defeated its Arab neighbors.

Tiny chameleon contender for smallest reptile

Date: 08 February 2021 Tags: Biodiversity
  • Scientists from Madagascar and Germany have discovered a new species of chameleon which is now a contender for the title of world’s smallest reptile.
  • The new species has been named Brookesianana said the body of the male specimen appeared to be just 13.5-millimeters-long. That’s at least 1.5 millimetres smaller than the previous record holder.
  • The tiny male and a slightly larger female were spotted on a mountainside by a local guide during a 2012 expedition.
  • They found that the genitals of the Brookesianana specimen were almost one-fifth of its body size, possibly to allow it to mate with the larger female.
  • Chameleons are threatened by deforestation on Madagascar, which is home to numerous species.