Shark attacks surf-ski
A man had a lucky escape on Wednesday after being thrown from his surf-ski when it was rammed and then attacked by a shark, forcing a friend to rush to his rescue, officials said. The man was out paddling with friends on the surf-ski at Perth’s Mullaloo Beach when he felt a “significant thump on the back half of his surf-ski,” Surf Life Saving WA said. Initially he thought a jet-ski had hit him. “He was flung into the water and turned around to see the tail of the shark moving through,” Chris Peck, the surf authority’s community manager, told local media. The shark — believed to be a 3m great white — then attacked the kayak with its jaws, Peck said. Authorities commended the bravery of a fellow paddler who went to the marooned man’s rescue, paddling past the shark to pick him up. “Who knows what might have happened if he had to have swum 150 meters into shore and not had someone there to help out,” Peck said.
Diprotodon graves opened
Scientists yesterday unveiled the biggest-ever graveyard of an ancient rhino-sized mega-wombat called diprotodon, with the site potentially holding valuable clues on the species’ extinction. The remote fossil deposit in Queensland is thought to contain at least 20 diprotodon skeletons, including a huge specimen named Kenny, whose jawbone alone is 70cm. The lead scientist on the dig, Scott Hocknull from the Queensland Museum in Brisbane, said Kenny was one of the largest diprotodons he had ever seen and one of the best preserved specimens of the species unearthed in Queensland. Hocknull said the deposit contained the largest concentration of mega-wombat fossils ever discovered in the nation and could hold important clues on how the diprotodon lived and what caused it to perish. Diprotodon, the largest marsupial ever to roam the Earth, weighing up to 2.8 tonnes, lived between 2 million and 50,000 years ago and died out around the same time indigenous tribes first appeared.
Squirrels break out of zoo
Zookeepers in Tokyo were yesterday hunting a group of squirrels that made a break for freedom under cover of a powerful of the bushy-tailed creatures saw their chance when Typhoon Guchol felled a tree near their enclosure at Inokashira Park Zoo, cutting a hole in the netting that held them captive. Park workers used nets and traps to recapture 18 animals on Wednesday and yesterday morning, but were still on the lookout for a determined dozen. The zoo is near the busy shopping hub of Kichijoji, an area where wild squirrels are not usually found.
Mammoth field found
Archeologists say they have discovered a rare mammoth field containing the remains of at least five of the giant beasts that lived tens of thousands of years ago. The discovery last week at the Kostolac coal mine, east of Belgrade, is the first of its kind in the region. It could offer important insight into the ice age in the Balkans, said Miomir Korac from the Archeology Institute. “There are millions of mammoth fragments in the world, but they are rarely so accessible for exploration,” he said. The remains were found during coal excavation about 20m below ground. Korac said the mammoth field stretches over about 8 hectares of sandy terrain. The bones discovered last month likely belong to the so-called woolly mammoth, which disappeared about 10,000 years ago, said Sanja Alaburic, a mammoth expert from the Museum of Natural History.