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A whale of a find: Fossil sheds light on cetacean sonar's origin

By Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The deadly threat posed by German submarines during World War One helped spur scientists to develop sonar, using underwater sound signals to locate objects like subs that might be taking aim with a torpedo. In the 20th century, it was an important technological breakthrough. But it was old technology as far as whales go. These marine mammals have been using echolocation - bouncing high-frequency sounds off underwater objects - to find prey for tens of millions of years.

10-metre whale caught in Tunisia fisherman's nets dies

A 10-metre (33-foot) whale died on Sunday after becoming tangled in a Tunisian fisherman's nets off the coast of Sidi Bou Said town north of the capital Tunis. "At first, I thought it was a car bumper. Then I saw the whale's tail," the 24-year-old Bilel Jerbi told AFP. He said the whale, whose species has yet to be identified, was already dying when he found it in his nets, although it was unclear what had killed it. Jerbi then towed the carcass to port in Sidi Bou Said.

In election year, Romania debates giving human rights to dolphins

By Bogdan Cristel and Matthias Williams CONSTANTA, Romania (Reuters) - Armed with an iPad and a letter of support from an Oscar-winning film director, Remus Cernea is pushing a cause that he acknowledges few of his fellow Romanian lawmakers care about: giving dolphins the same rights as humans. The 39-year-old activist politician introduced a bill in parliament last week that would recognize the marine mammals as "non-human persons", on account of their highly developed intelligence, personalities and behavior patterns.

US hits Iceland on whaling, looks at sanctions

The United States said Thursday that Iceland was violating an international agreement through its whaling, opening the possibility of economic sanctions over the controversial hunt. The Department of the Interior, in a decision it is required to take under US law, found that the Nordic country's actions violated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.

Fishermen kill 30 more dolphins in Taiji

Fishermen in the small Japanese town of Taiji killed more than two dozen striped dolphins on Thursday, campaigners said, as global outrage over the slaughter grows. Activists from the militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd said the hunters were herding the animals into a screened-off area because they wanted to hide what they were doing. "They continue to use tarps to cover the slaughter, and physically drive the pod under the tarps... to avoid cameras," Melissa Sehgal told AFP by telephone from Taiji.

Fishermen kill 30 more dolphins in Taiji

Fishermen in the small Japanese town of Taiji killed more than two dozen striped dolphins on Thursday, campaigners said, as global outrage over the slaughter grows. Activists from the militant environmentalist group Sea Shepherd said the hunters were herding the animals into a screened-off area because they wanted to hide what they were doing. "They continue to use tarps to cover the slaughter, and physically drive the pod under the tarps... to avoid cameras," Melissa Sehgal told AFP by telephone from Taiji.

Japan dolphin hunt goes on after slaughter

Japanese fishermen were out at sea attempting to trap more dolphins on Wednesday, campaigners said, after the bloody slaughter of dozens of the animals the previous day was hidden from view behind screens. Clouds of blood drifted through the waters of the cove in Taiji on Tuesday as metal spikes were driven into the spinal columns of bottlenose dolphins that had been trapped for several days, environmentalists said.

Japan dolphin hunt goes on after slaughter

Japanese fishermen were out at sea attempting to trap more dolphins on Wednesday, campaigners said, after the bloody slaughter of dozens of the animals the previous day was hidden from view behind screens. Clouds of blood drifted through the waters of the cove in Taiji on Tuesday as metal spikes were driven into the spinal columns of bottlenose dolphins that had been trapped for several days, environmentalists said.

Japan dolphin hunt goes on after slaughter

Japanese fishermen were out at sea attempting to trap more dolphins on Wednesday, campaigners said, after the bloody slaughter of dozens of the animals the previous day was hidden from view behind screens. Clouds of blood drifted through the waters of the cove in Taiji on Tuesday as metal spikes were driven into the spinal columns of bottlenose dolphins that had been trapped for several days, environmentalists said.

Japan defends dolphin hunt amid mounting criticism

Tokyo, Jan 21 (EFE).- Local officials and the Japanese government itself have defended the dolphin hunt carried out by the town of Taiji following the international criticism it has received, coinciding with the annual catch that ended Tuesday. "The gastronomic culture of each country varies and the greatness of civilization is respecting the positions of all as long as they do not endanger a species," Wakayama Gov. Yoshinobu Nisaka said.
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