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Wednesday, August 16 2017 @ 09:57 PM EDT

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Montauk Monster Kin Beaten to Death by Frantic Teens in Panama

Animals & PetsBy Carol Bengle Gilbert for associatedcontent.com - Mail Online reported Thursday the emergence of a creature similar in appearance to 2008's Montauk Monster from a cave in Cerro Azul, Panama. The Montauk Monster kin allegedly approached a group of teens who became frantic when it allegedly approached them by climbing over rocks. The teens threw stones at the Montauk Monster kin before beating the creature to death with sticks, then tossed its carcass onto rocks in a lake, later coming back to take photos. In the UK, some tabloids are referring to this Montauk Monster kin as Gollum and describing its appearance as humanoid. Panama's National Environment Authority is investigating the carcass, with one zoologist speculating that it may be a mutated sloth. A similar carcass found in Costa Rica in 1996 (before the term Montauk Monster was coined) was positively identified as a sloth. If this Montauk Monster kin is determined to be a mutated, hairless sloth, will the Montauk Monster story finally be laid to rest? Not if the slew of Chupacabra sightings is any indication. Chupacabra sightings have occurred repeatedly over the past few years in Texas, and despite the positive identification of at least one as Mexican wolf/coyote mix, people spotting nearly identical creatures cling to the myth of the chupacabra. Do the Chupacabra and the Montauk Monster fill some deep need within the human psyche? According to mythencyclopedia, monsters represent "everything that is fearful about the natural world and the darker corners of human nature." All monsters share two common features: not being human and hostility to humans. In mythology, the hero or heroine conquers the monster to prove his own worth.
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It's Not E.T., but Rather a Mutation

Animals & Pets By Luis Carlos Rodriguez and Zelideth Cortez for La Critica - The strange creature that caused alarm among the residents of Rancho Café, located along the road that leads to Cerro Azul, which at different times was thought to be either an extraterrestrial or even something like the greedy "Golum" character from the "Lord Of The Rings" is most likely to be some kind of an animal with a mutation. The creature was first spotted on Saturday by four kids who were swimming in the area of Charco Piña, was later found dead by residents of the area. The body of the animal was intact, but its head had been eaten by buzzards and marine animals. Zoologist Jacobo Arauz thinks the animal might be a sloth with a mutation or some other kind of animal with an abnormality. (Editor's Comment: Over the weekend this animal scared some kids who were playing by the stream - it was alive and they said it looked like an alien. The Melo's Chicken Farms are upstream, so who knows what's in that water. Anyway, that's one for the X-Files in Panama.)
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Solomon Islands dolphins bound for Panama says environmentalist

Animals & Pets MZI.com - A Solomon Islands environmentalist says the government is about to export another batch of live dolphins, this time to Panama. An export trade in live dolphins has been ongoing since a High Court ruling two and a half years ago overturned its 2003 ban by the Government. Wildlife organisations have attacked the Government’s policy to allow the capture and export of up to 100 bottlenose dolphins a year on the basis that the animals do not adapt to life in captivity. Lawrence Makili of Earth Island Institute says 30 dolphins are being held in pens and 18 are bound for Panama. “We were trying to verify the facts of when they were going to go out: no, you can’t. Because in this country in Solomon Islands it is very difficult to find any information with regards to that sort of issue, when you have everybody in the ministries that are dealing with these issues collaborating with their bosses. There’s nothing as public information.” Lawrence Makili of Earth Island Institute.
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Panama canal widening raises fears about tolls

Animals & Pets By Heidi Blake for the Telegraph - Ninety-five years since the USS Ancon became the first steamship to make the 50-mile passage in August 1914, the project to widen the canal has become essential to keep trade flowing through the waterway. It will increase the cargo capacity of the Panamanian route to roughly 600m tons a year, compared 309.6 million tons in 2008. British shipping experts have praised the development as a “major advance”. “This project is absolutely massive,” said Mark Page of Drewry Shipping Consultants in London. “It will be the biggest infrastructure development that the world has seen since the Panama canal was originally built, and it will have the greatest impact of in terms of the routing of trade by the sea that we have seen in the past hundred years.” But some gave warning that rising toll prices designed to cover the cost of the project could deter British companies from using the route. The expansion, which needs 5,000 workers, is due for completion in 2014 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the original development – a gargantuan feat of engineering which cost more than £600m and claimed the lives of 25,000 workers over 10 years. A consortium led by Impreglio, an Italian company, and Sacyr Vallehermoso, which is Spanish, has been awarded a $3.13bn contract to build two new sets of locks on the Pacific and Atlantic sides of the Canal. The new locks will be 1,400ft long and 180ft wide to allow greater capacity than the current set, which are just 1,050 in length and 110ft across. New catch basins will recycle 60 per cent of the water used to fill the locks, in an attempt to improve the environmental credentials of the current system, which flushes it all out to sea. (more)
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Health Officials Scramble to Investigate Stange Rash of Animal Deaths

Animals & Pets By Alcibiades Cortez for La Prensa - Residents of the village of Agua Buena, Los Santos, are concerned about the strange deaths of animals in areas near their community last week. The same situation happened in the community of Bombacho, in the Llano de Piedres de Macaracas. Cats, chickens, ducks, dogs and vultures all were either found lifeless or sick and dying in at least two communities in the province of Los Santos, for no apparent reason. The villagers reported the animals died in about three hours, with symptoms such as drooling, apparent damage to the nervous system, loss of balance and convulsions. They are concerned, and they have been speculating over the possible causes for this outbreak. FEARS - Jorge Frias, a resident of the community of Bombacho, says the residents there are concerned because they do not know what is killing the animals. Rodolfo Saez, another neighbor, said this is a situation they have never seen before. According to his testimony, the animals were fine and then from one moment to the next they "began to vomit foam and then fell over dead," he said. Sáez noted he saw some vultures flying around, and then they suddenly plunged to the ground, lifeless. (more)
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Thousands of Hondurans Shout "Mel, Get Out"

Animals & PetsPublished in La Prensa of Honduras - The main road of the city was not large enough to hold the thousands of demonstrators who shouted slogans, sang, and showed their support for what's being called the "transition government" of Honduras. Thousands of people arrived and the concentration completely filled the Avenue of the Los Andes neighborhood in the industrial capital of Honduras. The Hondurans want to be heard in the world, so that people don't only focus on the claims of the former president Manuel Zelaya, but rather investigate the reasons why he was removed from power. "OAS and UN, You Have Already Listened To Zelaya - Now Listen To The People" read several placards while unanimously the people shouted "Mel, Get Out!" The demonstrators also completely rejected the intervention of the President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavez. Among prayers calling for peace in Honduras, the participants waved white handkerchiefs and shouted "Viva Honduras!" Representatives from different social sectors said they support the transition government and asked the world to accept what has happened in the country, and they simply say the constitution has been respected in order to continue as a democracy. (End of Article)

It's Becoming More Clear To Me Every Day: About the only people who don't support this action are "Mel" Zelaya, Hugo Chavez, and Fidel Castro. Sooner or later the leaders of the world will wake up and realize they completely and totally missed the boat on this one when they "condemned" the supposed "coup" in Honduras. Apparently, there was no coup. And, apparently the transition government in Honduras will remain in place until they can hold another election, which should happen relatively soon. Both the Supreme Court and the Legislative Branch in Honduras voted to remove Manuel Zelaya from power - so what the hell else do you want? The wacko left-wingers are going nuts (as expected) but screw those guys. Again, this was a patriotic action to defend democracy in Honduras. Period. I just wish the people of Venezuela had the same will to throw out Hugo Chavez. Unfortunately, that guy will most remain in power until he dies - he'll never give it up in an orderly and democratic fashion. No way.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Great Dane Puppies For Sale

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "Hi Don, Here are a few new photos of the Great Dane pups that I mentioned last week… They are very adorable, and against my better judgement have me thinking of getting another. The puppies will be available to take home starting from the 7th of July. The attached photos were taken when the pups were 4 weeks old. They are purebred Great Danes and while the puppies do not have papers, both of their parents are registered. All 11 of the puppies are Merle colored and are available for 600 USD for each. Please call Jesse 6612-3710 for details. For those who don’t know much about the breed, Great Danes are best known for their giant size and gentle personality. Adult males generally grow to weigh between 130-160 lbs and females are slightly smaller with an average adult weight of 100-130 lbs. In the past, Great Danes were used to hunt wild boar and guard the manor, though nowadays they are used mostly as companion pets. The Great Dane's large and imposing appearance belies its friendly nature; the breed is often referred to as the gentle giants. Great Danes are generally well-disposed toward other dogs, other non-canine pets and humans. Great Danes can be protective and make good guard dogs. Thanks, Lucy"

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Spay The Strays Sterilizes 99 Animals in Gorgona

Animals & Pets

By Jamuna Burry for Panama-Guide.com - Spay the Strays held a spay and neuter clinic in Gorgona last Sunday, June 21. This was done in conjunction with Spay Panama, who brought in 9 vets and 11 assistants, all who were volunteers. Spay Panama trains vets and vet technicians in on-field spay and neuter techniques. Many of the volunteers had travelled from the United States to learn. For these folk it certainly is not a vacation, since on Saturday they operated on 89 animals in La Hermita, packed up and hauled all their equipment to Gorgona - set up, and sterilized 99 more dogs and cats on Sunday. The volunteers sleep in tents and on cement floors with limited facilities during the course of the events. Their unmatched dedication is met by local Spay the Stray expat volunteers who work with Spay Panama as a team in an attempt to control the population of unwanted animals in our local area.

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Copyright 2009 by Jamuna Burry for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Australian Shepard Puppies For Sale

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "Hello Don, My husband talked to you yesterday and said to send you pictures and info on the puppies. The puppies are purebred australian shepherds, the father has champion bloodlines and I have copies of his family tree. They are registered in the U.S. but I have not registered them here. The puppies will be 10 weeks old June 14th, they are all females and two are of show quality, the one with the white face and two blue eyes has pink on her nose and can't be in shows, but could participate in agility and frisbee shows which the dogs are known for being number one. She has a very mild mannered personality and loves to be with someone. The black and white puppy has hazel eyes and has a very sweet disposition, the blue merle has one blue eye and one hazel eye and is a little frisky. She likes to nip at your ankles which the shepherds are known for and I haven't been able to break her of that yet, still working on this. (more)
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Arrest Records on Rodney Spiller - And The Cleanup Continues

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Well, it's nice to see serial scam and fraud artist Rodney Spiller running around like a scared little monkey after I published today. As usual, you shine a spotlight on his illegal activities and he runs like hell. If you do a "whois" pull for his Paroco Trading Systems website, you'll see that it now says "No match for "paroco.com" in the registrar database." and ">>> Last update of whois database: Mon, 15 Jun 2009 19:04:51 UTC <<<" No worries, that's what screenshots, cache, and the way back machine are for, Rodney. Anyway, since he's trying so hard to make this information go away, allow me to try a little harder to document what was there before he started reacting to my article. Let's see; here's one that's historical, and a little older than the information I published this morning. (more)
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Monkeys In The Game Preserve

Animals & Pets
Monkeys In The Game Preserve
Monkeys In The Game Preserve
By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Here's another one from "grandma Winner." My mom sends me this kind of stuff all the time, and I think this one is absolutely hilarious. The best part of this video are the reactions from the people in the car... Hilarious.

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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When A Fer-de-Lance Comes For Breakfast in Panama

Animals & Pets

By Richard Kongable for Panama-Guide.com - It was 4:30 a.m. on a cool morning in Cuesta de Piedra, in the Chiriqui province of the Republic of Panama, when I woke up to hear the 3 dogs barking. Two dogs sleep outside on the back porch (enclosed by steel bars), with another inside. Since they bark at chickens, the full moon, frogs, people walking down the road and the various strays that come by to eat their food, I waited a minute for the barking to stop but it continued. When I went to the kitchen to see what was going on, I noticed the dogs were outside the porch looking in, which was very odd. In the dim yellow bug-light, I saw something in the middle of the porch that looked like a rope or maybe my dark Crocs but didn't remember leaving them outside. Once I shined a flashlight on it through the French doors, I realized that there was a 3-4' snake laying there in a S-shaped configuration, flicking its tail like a rattlesnake. I could see the pattern on it's skin and the shape of the pit viper head clearly, along with the yellow coloration under the mouth. (more)

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Reward for Dog (Weimaraner) Stolen Near Volcan - "Have You Seen Max?"

Animals & Pets By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - Received today via email: "Hi Don: I am an avid reader of Panama Guide. I know this probably sounds like a long shot, but... please! Any help you can provide, by getting the word out, would be so much appreciated. Two days ago, around noon, our dog was taken. We have eyewitnesses to the fact that a red pickup, government issue, pulled in front of the house and that was the last our dog was seen. Now, just to put it in perspective, we live in a very rural area, down a dead end valley. There are only two vehicles that go further up the valley than us. If ever there is another vehicle up our valley, everyone knows about it... it is that uncommon. This red pickup was up the valley to buy trout from the trout farm up there, and then was seen looping back and lingering at our property. Our neighbors and friends seem unanimous in thinking that the dog was stolen, with the intention of selling him, as he is a purebred Weimaraner. This is where the story is especially sad. While he may look like a puppy, ready for breeding, he is in fact six years old, and we recently had him fixed. He is absolutely of no value in a commercial sense, and I fear for how he will be treated once these crooks figure that out. Anyhow, I realize that this is a bit of a long shot... but we just want to get the word out there. We are putting up posters locally (Volcan area) and are offering a reward. It is certainly possible that if these crooks try to sell the dog, they would try to find a gringo or expat buyer. We are absolutely devastated at the loss of our little guy, Max, and would just ask that anyone with any information send it our way. Thanks, Sean McGrath 6449-8996" Sure, my pleasure. Anything I can do to help. My first step would be to find the pickup truck. What government agency?

Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Temporary infidelity may contribute to the stability of ancient relationships

Animals & Pets STRI - Fungus-farming ants have cultivated the same fungal crops for 50 million years. Each young ant queen carries a bit of fungus garden with her when she flies away to mate and establish a new nest. Short breaks in the ants' relationship with the fungus during nest establishment may contribute to the stability of this long-term mutualism, according to a study at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Gamboa, Panama. "We were struck by the paradox that even though the ants transfer a single fungal strain from generation to generation, nests of different ant species, and even genera, throughout Central America share genetically very similar fungi, indicating that there are exchanges going on between fungi from different nests," said Michael Poulsen, who held a Smithsonian short term fellowship while a doctoral student at the University of Copenhagen. "In these experiments, we found that there is a very short window of time--as the young queen establishes a new nest--when partner switching can occur." (more)
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Really Cool Video - Chameleon Changing Colors in Real Time

Animals & Pets

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - A warning - this has nothing to do with Panama. My mother sends me cool stuff all the time, and this is a truly amazing video. I would suggest cranking up the volume to fully appreciate the "Eat My Bear" soundtrack by Yuksek. So, it's safe to assume this video was made by somebody who has both a chameleon and good taste in trance. Anyway, enjoy.



Copyright 2009 by Don Winner for Panama-Guide.com. Go ahead and use whatever you like as long as you credit the source. Salud.

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Gaston ‘Bug Man' returns

Animals & Pets By Joe DePriest for the Charlotte Observer - May is here – time for Gaston County entomologist Duane Flynn to hunt treehoppers again. To untrained eyes, the tiny insects might look like thorns or leaves or twigs. Most people have never heard of them. But Flynn, curator of life sciences at Gastonia's Schiele Museum of Natural History, is one of the nation's leading authorities on treehoppers. They aren't serious pests, and don't do much besides add to the food chain, but he considers them underappreciated bugs. Flynn can spot the brown, black or green insects no matter what their shape. He has found them in about a dozen states and in the tropical rain forests of Central America. Along with Charlotte pediatrician and beetle expert Henry Stockwell, Flynn is inventorying treehoppers in Panama.(more)
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First jaguar photo taken at Smithsonian Research Station in Panama

Animals & Pets Eureka Alert.org - Barro Colorado Island in Panama, home of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's premier tropical biology field station, has been described as the best-studied piece of tropical real estate in the western hemisphere. Although the island has been a mecca for biologists for nearly 90 years, no one has ever photographed an elusive island visitor, the jaguar—until now. Montclair State University zoologist Jackie Willis and her husband Greg mount cameras with infrared sensors on trees to photograph passing animals as part of their annual mammal census of the island, which they have been conducting since 1982. What the cameras captured April 20 was not only a surprise, but a first—an adult jaguar tripped the camera's sensor at 3:07 a.m., thus creating a self-portrait photograph. "Our photo of a jaguar on Barro Colorado is a sign of hope," said Jackie Willis. "It proves jaguars are still in this area." Greg Willis spotted a jaguar on the island in 1983, but there have been very few sightings on Barro Colorado since. (more) (Image: First jaguar photo taken at Smithsonian Research Station in Panama. Photo Credit: Jackie and Greg Willis, Montclair State University)
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Mite and Bee, in a Bond Mutually Beneficial

Animals & Pets By HENRY FOUNTAIN for the New York Times - So-called cleaner fish are among the best-known examples of mutualism in nature. These small fish eat parasites off the skin of larger fish, and it’s a win-win situation — the small fish gets food and protection from predators while the larger one stays clean and healthy. (The parasites, on the other hand, are big-time losers.) Mites clean bee nests, where they reproduce, and also travel on bees. Researchers have now demonstrated that a similar mutualism occurs on land. Natalia B. Biani and Ulrich G. Mueller of the University of Texas, with William T. Wcislo of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, found clear evidence of what had long been hypothesized: that mites have a mutually beneficial relationship with sweat bees, cleaning the bees’ nests of fungi. These bees, of the genus Megalopta, make tunnels in dead wood and construct cells in which their brood develops. In the field in Panama, the researchers noticed that bee nests with mites had fewer fungi around brood cells, and that bee mortality was greater in nests without mites. Laboratory experiments provided further evidence that mites kept the fungal colonies under control. The findings are being published in the June issue of The American Naturalist. The mites’ service makes for a healthier nest. In return, the mites have a place to reproduce and an effective means of dispersing — they can ride on the bees to new territory. While there are a few other examples of cleaning behavior among terrestrial creatures — small birds that eat parasites off large mammals, for example — the researchers say the mite-bee interaction is among the most clear-cut cases of this kind of mutualism on land. (Photo Credit: Natalia B. Biani for the New York Times)
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Fossilized remains of mammoth snake discovered

Animals & Pets By Janice Lloyd, USA TODAY - Indiana Jones take heart: A snake on the loose 58 million years ago would help everyone understand your phobia. Scientists are reporting the discovery of the fossilized remains of the largest snake ever recorded — a 42-foot behemoth weighing more than a ton, according to an analysis in today's issue of the journal Nature. By studying fossilized sections of the snake's remains, scientists were able to estimate the size of the crocodile-consuming boa. BETTER LIFE: OK, there's a python in the yard. Now what? The study says Titanoboa was the largest non-marine vertebrate from the epoch following the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago, and "greatly exceeds the largest verifiable body lengths" of the largest known Python (approximately 29.53 feet) or Eunectes, a species of which the Anaconda is a part, (22.97 feet). The newly recognized species, Titanoboa is a relative of the modern day Anaconda, a non venomous snake inhabiting fresh water rivers in Central and South America and preying on carnivores it crushes with powerful muscles — or pulls under water and drowns. A meal is satisfied with one long gulp. (more)
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Tracking Forest Creatures on the Move

Animals & Pets By NATALIE ANGIER for the New York Times - BARRO COLORADO ISLAND, Panama — We were tramping doggedly through the forest in pursuit of white-faced capuchins, those familiar organ-grinder monkeys with the wild hair, piercing eyes and impatient scowls of little German professors. Capuchins are said to be exceptionally quick-witted, and that morning they might as well have been swinging from their Phi Beta Kappa keys. A mother monkey with baby on board flashed into view 20 feet above me, I whipped up my binoculars for a closer look and, hey, Marie and Irene Curie, where did you go? My gracious guide, Margaret Crofoot, a primatologist who is studying the monkeys, murmured that a big male capuchin just behind me had been scrutinizing us for some time. Slowly I turned, swiftly he rose, and, wow, that’s a male all right; a crash of leaves, a twang of branches and peep show over. (more)
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‘Glass’ frog among new discoveries

Animals & Pets Times Online - The glass frog of the Cochranella genus is among the discoveries. Ten amphibian species potentially new to science, including the transparent “glass” frog, have been discovered in an expedition in the Darien Gap bordering Panama. Naturalists led by Conservation International and the Ecotropico Foundation of Colombia identified about 200 species of reptiles, birds and amphibians, many apparently unique to the area. Conservation International said: “The high number of new amphibian species found is a sign of hope, with the serious threat of extinction that this group faces in many other regions.”
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Termite's mandible menacing to predators

Animals & PetsPANAMA CITY, Panama, Nov. 25 (UPI) -- A bop on the head by a Panamanian termite using its mandible is enough to kill a would-be invader, said U.S. researchers studying the insect's brain evolution. Moving faster than the human eye can see, the termite soldier's jaws can strike so fast that it takes a high-speed camera filming at 40,000 frames per second to capture the blow, researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and the University of Florida said in a news release. "Ultimately, we're interested in the evolution of termite soldiers' brains and how they employ different types of defensive weaponry," said Marc Seid, a postgraduate fellow at the institute. "Many insects move much faster than a human eye can see so we knew that we needed high-speed cameras to capture their behavior, but we weren't expecting anything this fast. If you don't know about the behavior, you can't hope to understand the brain." The Panamanian termite faces down its foe in a narrow tunnel with little maneuvering room or time to waste, so any strike must be efficient, researchers said. The termite stores the force to back its blow by pressing its jaws together until the strike is triggered, Seid said.
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$32K Returned to Buyer After Real Estate Company Fails to Deliver

Animals & Pets By Raúl A. Bernal for La Prensa - The Conciliation Department of the Consumer Protection Authority in Chiriquí reported that $32,771.51 was returned to Lioudmila Kolmakova Vladimirovna who had filed a complaint against the real estate company Inversiones Laritel. In a buy/sell contract signed between the two to purchase a house a date was stipulated for the completion of the construction of the house, but at the time the complaint was filed work on the house had not yet begun. (Editor's Comment: Everyone should be aware of the existence of the Consumer Protection Authority in Panama - they have the power and clout to force unscrupulous businesses in Panama to do the right thing without having to resort to legal action.)
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Panama And The Global Economic Kick-Start

Animals & Pets

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - By now we all have heard about how the sub-prime loans made by irresponsible bankers could kill the global economy. The world's stock markets first sold off but then the DOW rallied more than 900 points today, gold is down, oil is slightly up, and the fed is probably going to cut the prime by a full point. Around the world central banks are taking drastic actions to shore up their local economies. In Latin America everyone is doing the same game - looking with worry to the North and other significant markets around the world and trying to figure out what it means for them. Meanwhile, here in Panama all of this economic stimulation could well mean that the tiny local Panamanian economy could jump as much as 15% next year. Here's why... (more)

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Armageddon for amphibians? Frog-killing disease jumps Panama Canal

Animals & Pets Rhett A. Butler for mongabay.com - Chytridiomycosis — a fungal disease that is wiping out amphibians around the world — has jumped across the Panama Canal, report scientists writing in the journal EcoHealth. The news is a worrying development for Panama's rich biodiversity of amphibians east of the canal. Chytridiomycosis is caused by Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, a fungal pathogen that has been implicated in the extinction of more than 100 species of frogs and toads since the early 1980s. While scientists don't yet know the origin of the fungus, they suspect it might be the African clawed frog, a species that has been shipped around the world for research purposes. The fungus is highly transmissible and has spread to at least four continents, in some cases probably introduced unintentionally by humans in the treads of their shoes. As it spreads, the disease lays waste to more than 80 percent of amphibians across a wide range of habitats, including those that are undisturbed by humans. Some researchers have suggested that climate change could be creating conditions that exacerbate the impact of the pathogen — which predominantly affects highland species — although the theory is still controversial. (more)
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Blood Sucking Vampire Bats Scaring Residents in Los Santos

Animals & Pets By Rafael Carrasco for El Siglo - Attacks by blood-sucking Vampire bats have increased in the area of El Cedro de Macaracas in the Los Santos province to the point that citizens are afraid, and they have asked health authorities to send representatives because they fear the outbreak of some kind of disease that might put their lives at risk. Many inhabitants in Macaracas say that the problem with the bats begins at about 6:00 pm, when they start to become afraid when they hear the calls of the bats in the trees near their houses, and parents call children to stop playing and to come inside for fear that they will be bitten. As the night advances the situation becomes even more uncomfortable says one farmer, because, in his opinion, they cannot even sit outside their homes to enjoy the fresh air and to have a discussion with family members. (more)
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Spay Panama - Gorgona Spay and Neuter Blitz

Animals & Pets

It is a sad fact that a large number of cats and dogs in Panama do not have a place to call home. Most Panamanian families exist on an income of less than $500 a month, which barely provides food for the household, and does not leave a budget for pet medical care. Even so, some lucky animals will benefit from the meager support of a human family who will occasionally throw out leftovers for a stray. While these animals manage to keep starvation at bay, their human providers can never afford sterilization. And sterilization is necessary if we are to humanely control the over population of animals in our area.

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Next Spay/neuter clinic in Volcan

Animals & Pets

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - From Dottie: "Hi, Don - our next clinic in Volcan is next Sunday, September 14th. We can take appointments for a few more animals, and as always, donations are needed and appreciated! Thanks, Dottie Atwater - 6780-2565"

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"Vamos a la Hierra!" - Branding Rodeo in Panama

Animals & Pets

By DON WINNER for Panama-Guide.com - This weekend we were all invited by Jerin Tate to attend a traditional Panamanian style rodeo in Santa Rita near La Chorrera called a "Hierra" (Branding) Championship. Panamanian cowboys take these things very seriously and they ride for points, prizes, and respect. Unlike a US style rodeo, there's no roping, steer wrestling, bronco or bull riding, or barrel racing. The idea is to ride up behind the steer on your horse, reach down and grab his tail, and then pull and make him fall (so that he can then eventually be branded.) Jerin's father-in-law is an important organizer for these kinds of events around the country, and Jerin did a wonderful job of getting the "gringo" contingent to turn out. As a matter of fact, the regulars were kind of wondering what the hell was going on... (more) (Lots of Photos)

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Panamanian Economy Grows 8.2% - Keeping Pace with Inflation

Animals & Pets By Marianela Palacios Ramsbott for La Prensa - The Panamanian economy Panama, measured through the Monthly Index of Economic Activity (IMAE) published yesterday by the Nation's Comptroller, grew at a rate of 8.2% in the first semester of 2008. This level of growth represents a deceleration of more than 2% when compared to the same time period of 2007, but the growth rate continues to be "very strong" and one of the highest in Latin America. In this the President of the School of Economists, Raul Moreira, and financial analyst Domingo Latorraca of Deloitte agree. Economic activity in Panama grew 10.58% last year. “The deceleration we have had is not alarming. On the contrary, if we continued growing at that rate we could face an overheating of the economy that will manifest itself in increased inflation," said economist Adolfo Quintero. The School of Economists estimates that the inflation rate in Panama in 2008 will be 8.7%.
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