Canberra, June 23 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The number of crocodile attacks could rise as global warming takes hold, an Australian expert has said.
Adam Britton, a zoologist from the Research Institute for the Environment and Livelihoods (RIEL) at Charles Darwin University (CDU) in the Northern Territory (NT), told News Corp Australia on Sunday that as temperatures rise, crocodiles will move into areas that they never previously inhabited.
He said that the spread of the population would mean the reptiles will interact with people who have never come into contact with crocodiles before.
"As the planet warms, it does mean crocodile attacks are going to go up as a direct result, because as it warms, it's going to change the distribution of crocodiles," Britton said.
"We're seeing in Indonesia, crocodiles move into places that they haven't been seen for a long time or seen before and we're getting a string of attacks," Britton said.
"Crocodiles will move after loss of habitat and move into areas where people aren't used to them," he added.
According to Britton, there have already been sightings of crocodiles in populated areas of northern Queensland where they have been rarely spotted.
Littleton, Jun 22 (AP/UNB) — A flock of ducklings is safe in suburban Denver after a firefighter used a recording of duck calls to coax some of them from a storm drain.
A video from South Metro Fire Rescue shows how a firefighter was able to scoop out four of the birds in the water at the bottom of the drain on Thursday. Four others, though, were hiding in an adjacent pipe.
The firefighter held up his cellphone to an opening in the pipe and played a YouTube video of duck calls. The ducklings walked toward the sound.
The fire district says the ducklings were reunited with their mother, who was nearby.
London, Jun 22 (AP/UNB) — Researchers in Scotland say gray seals can copy the sounds of human words and songs including "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."
The study by University of St. Andrews researchers showed that three trained seals were able to imitate parts of popular tunes.
The research team's findings were published Thursday, including video footage of the seals. The study gave the researchers a better understanding of the evolution of vocal learning and human language development.
It also suggested that gray seals could be a new model to study speech disorders since they use their vocal tracts the same way as humans.
Jinan, June 22 (Xinhua/UNB)-- Baby red-crowned cranes have been recently spotted foraging in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, the first recorded natural breeding of the rare species in the area.
As migratory birds, nearly 100 red-crowned cranes flock to the nature reserve in east China's Shandong Province around November each year and migrate to the Zhalong National Nature Reserve in northeast China's Heilongjiang Province for propagation in February or March the following year.
Red-crowned cranes are an endangered species under first-class national protection in China.
It is believed that about 1,500-plus red-crowned cranes live in the wild worldwide, mainly in east Asia. China has the largest population, with more than 1,000 red-crowned cranes.
The 153,000-hectare Yellow River Delta reserve, established in 1992, is known as a paradise for rare migratory birds.
Beijing, June 22 (Xinhua/UNB)-- A recent survey shows that more than 61 percent of Chinese young people oppose arranged marriage, expecting their parents to only give suggestions when finding a spouse.
The survey, released by China Youth Daily Thursday, found that the most unacceptable parental interference among young Chinese is parents attending a blind date in place of their children, making up to 45 percent.
The second most offensive interference was parents joining their child on a blind date, accounting for 25.1 percent of those surveyed.
"I don't like that parents control the whole process of my marriage as well as the blind dates," said Lin Peng, from Nanchang, Jiangxi Province. "I hope I can have more freedom."
About 57 percent of the respondents said they hope that instead of imposing ideas on their children, parents should learn more about what their children want, according to the survey, which covered 1,953 unmarried young people.
According to Ling Zi, a marriage consultant, it does more harm than good for parents to be overly involved in children's marriages. "It shows the distrust of the parents, and transfers their anxiety to their children," said Ling.
It has become common in China for pushy parents to look for spouses for their children who are too busy or slow in finding love, the paper said.