Natural History News

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Travelers with their hearts set on travel to Machu Picchu and Cusco will find the South American nation to be a hub of culture, art and history. While there is a plethora of attractions that vacationers will want to visit during their stay in the Incan capital of Cusco, one stop at the top of the list will have to be the historic temple of Koricancha.

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There are few destinations that truly capture the imaginations of travelers from across the globe quite like the ancient Incan city of Machu Picchu. Travel to Machu Picchu dates back to the 15th century, the ancient site is one of the biggest draws to the South American continent, and travelers looking for an excuse to actually visit the amazing site may have just found the push that they need.

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One of the key factors that attracts travelers to book Galapagos Islands cruises is the archipelago's celebrated wildlife. Indeed, the illustrious chain of islands has entranced many animal enthusiasts over the years, even inspiring the great Charles Darwin to conceive the theory of evolution. Yet while the much-vaunted theory preaches a doctrine of "survival of the fittest," scientists in the Galapagos have launched a new conservation program designed to protect many of the islands' weakest inhabitants from imported predators.

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As loggers, farmers and builders clear more and more patches of forest, the reproductive efforts of trees in the Amazon rainforest are being helped out by tambaqui, a fruit-eating species of fish.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife officials have announced that Wisom, the oldest living wild bird known to scientists, has returned to the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge after fears that the tsunami may have killed the 60-year-old Laysan albatross along with thousands of other sea birds. Officials believe the tsunami killed an estimated 110,000 Laysan and black-footed albatross chicks and 2,000 adults.

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Scientists have just discovered two new species of fresh water stingrays in the Amazon rainforest near the port city of Iquitos, Peru. These two stingray species both look like pancakes with noses. The two "pancake" species belong to the first new stingray genus found in the Amazon region in more than two decades. They also represent just the fourth neotropical stingray genera. In addition to their pancake-like appearance, both rays are big, have slits on their bellies and a tiny spine on their tails.

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When University President Richard Levin signed Friday’s agreement establishing future plans for the Machu Picchu artifacts in the Yale's Woodbridge Hall, it finalized a shift in Yale’s tone from one of resistance to one of cooperation. The message is one he has tried to achieve over the past decade and one that has required many rounds of negotiations; ultimately it was only possible through a newfound willingness on Yale’s part to relinquish all the artifacts.

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The World Wildlife Fund and other experts say that the world's 3,200 wild tigers could become extinct in 12 years if countries fail to protect their habitats and step up the fight against poaching. It is estimated that just a century ago there were as many as 100,000 tigers in the wild. Three of the nine tiger subspecies — the Bali, Javan, and Caspian — already have become extinct in the past 70 years.

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Two rare ceramic pieces can now be returned to the Government of Peru following an agreement by the United States and a New York-based collector of Peruvian pre-Columbian antiquities on November 2. The settlement resulted from an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

The Peruvian government considers the items part of the country's cultural patrimony and believes they were unlawfully exported.

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Scientists with Conservation International have discovered 200 species in the remote Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea, including 24 frog species and 100 insect species that have never been described before in scientific literature.

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