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Loch Ness Monster may be an eel, study suggests
Some scientists believe that Nessie could be a Jurassic-age reptile or population of Jurassic-age reptiles such as a plesiosaur.


Researchers analyse DNA samples from water samples

Scientists investigating the myth of the Loch Ness Monster say that the repeated sightings could be attributed to a giant eel.


Researchers at the University of Otago, New Zealand, took DNA from 250 water samples in Loch Ness to reveal a comprehensive picture of all living species the loch contains.


Speaking at a media conference at the Loch Ness Centre in Drumnadrochit, Professor Neil Gemmell said his team had not discovered any monster DNA in the water. 


Some scientists believe that Nessie could be a Jurassic-age reptile or population of Jurassic-age reptiles such as a plesiosaur.


"We can't find any evidence of a creature that's remotely related to that in our environmental-DNA sequence data. So, sorry, I don't think the plesiosaur idea holds up based on the data that we have obtained,” he said.

The research team also looked for evidence to support other theories, such as various giant fish, catfish, eels or even a shark.

Professor Gemmel continued: "So there's no shark DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. There is also no catfish DNA in Loch Ness based on our sampling. We can't find any evidence of sturgeon either.”


The scientists did, however, obtain DNA evidence that the ‘monster’ could be linked to a giant eel. 


"There is a very significant amount of eel DNA. Eels are very plentiful in Loch Ness, with eel DNA found at pretty much every location sampled - there are a lot of them. So - are they giant eels? 


"Well, our data doesn't reveal their size, but the sheer quantity of the material says that we can't discount the possibility that there may be giant eels in Loch Ness. Therefore we can't discount the possibility that what people see and believe is the Loch Ness Monster might be a giant eel." 

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Rare chimp birth announced at Edinburgh Zoo

News Story 1
 The Royal Zoological Society of Scotland (RZSS) welcomed the birth of a critically endangered western chimpanzee on Monday 3 February at Edinburgh Zoo's Budongo Trail.

The baby girl will be named in the coming days through a public vote, and staff will carry out a paternity test during its first health check to determine the father.

Mother Heleen's first infant, Velu, was born in 2014, making this new baby only the second chimpanzee born in Scotland for more than 20 years.

Budongo Trail team leader Donald Gow said: "While we celebrate every birth, this one is particularly special because our new arrival is a critically endangered Western chimpanzee, a rare subspecies of chimpanzee."

Image (c) RZSS/Donald Gow. 

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BEVA offering free membership to vet students

The British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA) is offering free membership to veterinary students. As part of a new initiative with the aim of encouraging more veterinary professionals into equine practice.

According to BEVA, less than one in ten veterinary students choose to work in equine practice. The association hopes that this initiative will provide insight into the field and the benefits of a career in equine medicine.

Benefits of membership include:
▪ access to a network of nearly 3,000 members
▪ special student rates to attend BEVA Congress
▪ online access to BEVA's Equine Veterinary Education (EVE) journal
▪ free access to the association's online learning platform
▪ free access to BEVA's practical veterinary apps
▪ exclusive discounts on a range of things from cinema tickets to grocery shopping.

BEVA will be releasing a series of short videos over the next few months from BEVA Council members, explaining what inspired them to work in equine practice.

Image (c) BEVA.