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Showing posts from May 20, 2016

Stolen Christopher Columbus Letter Returned to Italy

He sailed the ocean blue in 1492, and on his journey home in 1493, Christopher Columbus wrote of his voyage in a letter to his patrons, the royal husband-and-wife team Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. Now, a stolen copy of the letter that had been donated to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., was returned to its rightful owner, the Italian government, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced on May 18. "Preserving records and chronicles of our past, like this letter, is of utmost importance not only to the special agents who investigate these crimes, but to the global community at large," Dan Ragsdale, deputy director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), said in a statement.


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Stranded, Rarely Seen Beaked Whale Has Strange Fang

The whale, identified as a Hector's beaked whale (Mesoplodon hectori), was found south of Adelaide on Waitpinga beach in February. For the past 25 years, the South Australian Museum has done necropsies (an animal autopsy) on "as many [stranded] whales as it can from its shores," but the museum's researchers didn't expect to find anything unusual when they examined this particular whale — a female juvenile, said Catherine Kemper, a senior research scientist in mammals at the South Australian Museum. Instead, the researchers found an "intriguing" fang, which has never been seen before in a Hector's beaked whale, Kemper told Live Science in an email.


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