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Experts puzzled by birth of single owlet
Experts puzzled by birth of single owlet

Wildlife experts baffled by the birth of a single barn owl despite good food supply
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Chatter box ZSL London Zoo are celebrating the arrival of a black-capped squirrel monkey baby, which was born in the middle of the night, just under three weeks ago. Zoo keepers discovered the tiny bundle clinging tightly on to its mum during their morning rounds.

The baby monkey, which measures just three inches tall, was born after a six-month gestation period in the zoo's Meet the Monkey's exhibit.

Zookeeper Andrea Dempsey said: "Squirrel monkeys have an approximate gestation period of five to six months, and we'd been closely monitoring mum throughout her pregnancy - we knew she was due to give birth as her bump was huge!"

Threatened in their native South American homes of Bolivia, Peru and Brazil, the black-capped squirrel monkey's status in the wild is threatened from use in biomedical research and as pets, bait and food.  Chatter box

Duchess of Cornwall's brother dies
Duchess of Cornwall's brother dies
Conservationist Mark Shand has died after sustaining a serious head injury. Brother to the Duchess of Cornwall, Mr Shand was injured in a fall in New York.
Beef production is more damaging to the environment than other protein sources, study suggests

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that beef production is approximately 10 times more damaging to the environment than any other form of livestock.

It has long been known that beef has a greater impact than other meats, but this paper is the first to quantify the scale in a comparative way, the BBC reports.

The scientists measured the environment inputs required to produce the main sources of protein. It was found that beef cattle need 28 times more land and 11 times more irrigation water than pork, poultry, eggs or dairy.

Although the study was based on US data, researchers say that the conclusions are applicable in Europe.

Speaking to the BBC, professor Mark Sutton, from the UK's Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, said: "The overall environmental footprint of beef is particularly large because it combines a low production efficiency with very high volume,"

"The result is that the researchers estimate that over 60 per cent of the environmental burden of livestock in the US results from beef. Although the exact numbers will be different for Europe, the overall message will be similar: cattle dominate the livestock footprint of both Europe and US."

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