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Kennel cough is increasing in New Zealand and is hitting a number of our dog breeds.

The clinical name for canine cough (also known as kennel cough) is canine infectious respiratory disease or infectious tracheobronchitis.

Symptoms include a dog having a loud high pitched cough, that sounds like something is stuck in their throat or a goose honk, loss of appetite, low energy and nasal discharge.

The coughing can linger for several weeks.

The outbreak could be the result of more dogs socialising during the recent school holidays and as a result of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions.

If your dog is suffering from these symptoms please visit your vet.

Six new alpine species of New Zealand’s most unusual insect – the wētā – have been discovered.

The new species were found living across the Southern Alps and were found by scientists from Massey University. Their discoveries were announced in a paper recently published in the European Journal of Taxonomy.

Wētā belong to the same group of insects like crickets and grasshoppers, and there are between 70 and 100 species of wētā endemic to New Zealand.

Wētā are wingless and nocturnal, and some, including the wētāpunga, are among the heaviest insects in the world – comparable to the weight of a sparrow.

As well as finding new species, scientists found that wētā are in danger. Their populations have suffered from the introduction of foreign pests and increasing habitat decline due to dairy farming.

Sixteen of New Zealand’s wētā species are at risk and the rest are classified as threatened or endangered.

Global warming is speeding up their decline, particularly for the elusive alpine wētā who live in the mountains.

Scientists have completed an experiment where they were able to measure cow burps from space using satellites.

That’s right, researchers at GHG Sat – an environmental research company – have used satellites to capture high-quality pictures of cow burps from space.

The pictures were taken in the Joaquin Valley in California, in the US, during February.

Why do scientists want to monitor cow burps?

When cows burp or fart they release a gas called methane, which is a big contributor to global warming and climate change.

Cows burp a lot because when their four stomachs break down grass and other food, gas is produced and they have to get rid of it.

Scientists want to monitor methane because it is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the Earth’s atmosphere like a blanket, warming the planet.

Looking at their results, the scientists found the amount of methane released at the farm they studied in Joaquin Valley was between 361 to 668 kilograms per hour.

If this carried on for a year, enough gas would be released to power just over 15,000 homes!

According to Nasa, almost a quarter of the world’s methane emissions come from the agriculture industry, most of which is from raising farm animals for meat and dairy.

Scientists hope that this information can be used to help set official targets to limit the amount of methane produced.

The 2022 duck-shooting season has started with a bang.

The season officially started on Saturday the 7th May.

It is believed around 60,000 hunters took the opportunity to go out and make the most of the first weekend.

Early reports say that the first weekend was perfect weather for shooting with little wind and clear skies.

NZ Mountain Safety Council reminded hunters this week about the seven basic firearms safety rules:

  • Treat every firearm as loaded
  • Always point firearms in a safe direction
  • Load a firearm only when ready to fire
  • Identify your target beyond all doubt
  • Check your firing zone
  • Store firearms and ammunition safely
  • Avoid alcohol and drugs when handling firearms.

The Tyrannosaurus rex (T.rex) is known for it’s incredibly short arms.

However, new research suggests the dinosaur’s little limbs may have had a very important purpose!

The research was carried out by palaeontologist Kevin Padian from the University of California, USA.

Padian has a theory that Tyrannosaurids, which is the group of dinosaurs the T.rex belonged to, may have seen their limbs shrink over time to prevent them from being accidentally chomped on by a fellow dinosaur when they feasted on prey together.

The T.rex is known to have been a pretty terrifying dinosaur with it’s huge frame, razor sharp banana-shaped teeth and giant head.
However, if the animal’s arms were longer, this could have been tricky during group feeding times according to professor Padian.

Professor Padian says other short arm theories that try to explain the reason for the T.rex’s little limbs aren’t as convincing, but admits its still very difficult to reach a clear conclusion as the dinosaurs haven’t been around for 66 million years.

Tyrannosaurus rex fact!

The T.rex was one of the biggest carnivores to have ever lived on Earth.

It was around 4.5 metres high, approximately 12 metres in length and weighed about 6,000 kilograms.

An African flamingo that escaped from a zoo in Kansas has been spotted…17 years after it went first missing!

A video of the bird, officially known as number 492, was posted online by the Coastal Fisheries Division of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

It shows the flamingo, which has also been nicknamed Pink Floyd, roaming free off the coast of Texas earlier this month.

The recent find isn’t the first time number 492 has been identified out in nature, and it’s also been seen in other states including Wisconsin and Louisiana.

Number 492 escaped from The Sedgwick County Zoo when zookeepers were clipping the wings of their exotic birds to make sure they weren’t able to fly away.

Did you know?

The flamingo is the national bird of The Bahamas.

Flamingos are monogamous by nature and only lay around one egg per year.

It takes flamingos about three years to get their pink and red feathers.

Adult flamingos’ feathers range from light pink to bright red due to their food supply. The brighter the feathers, the more well-fed the flamingo is.

Flamingos=water birds. They live in and around lagoons or lakes.

A flock of flamingos is called a stand or a flamboyance.

Flamingos are very social. They live in colonies of thousands of birds.

There was a flamingo that lived to be 83 YEARS OLD at the Adelaide Zoo in Australia. The flamingo sadly passed away in 2014.

Auckland Zoo’s male rhinoceros has been euthanised after a sudden untreatable illness.

Last weekend, 20-year-old Inkosi suddenly stopped eating and became very lethargic.

The rhino was administered pain relief and antibiotics but after vets did a full examination of the animal it was found Inkosi had signs of kidney failure.

The zoo said with subsequent treatments failing and additional tests showing Inkosi’s condition had deteriorated the decision was made to euthanise the animal late Wednesday.

The initial findings of a post-mortem examination have confirmed severe kidney failure.

Inkosi came to Auckland Zoo from Hamilton Zoo in 2007 and the specialist team which cares for the zoo’s rhino herd said he was an exceptionally lovely rhino who will be greatly missed.

A five legged lamb has been born in the United Kingdom.

Heather Hogarty is part-owner of Whitehouse Farm in the Morpeth, Northumberland. She said the five-legged lamb was born as part of a set of triplets on Feb. 22, 2022. The animal appears to be in good health.

The owners of a British farm said they were shocked when a lamb was born recently with a fifth leg sticking out of its side.

Extra limbs are believed to occur in about one out of every 1 million lamb births, However, Hogarty said the lamb is actually the second to be born with a fifth leg at the farm.

Quinto, a sheep born about a decade before the new arrival, had an extra leg in the center of her body. The limb had to be removed, but Quinto went on to have a long and healthy life.