Young Seals Keep Getting Eels Stuck Up Their Noses, and Nobody Knows Why – Live Science

Young Seals Keep Getting Eels Stuck Up Their Noses, and Nobody Knows Why

This Hawaiian monk seal got an eel stuck in its nose. Scientists say this is a rare, but not unheard of, occurrence.

Credit: NOAA Fisheries/Brittany Dolan

So, no one told you life was gonna be this way.

The Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program released a photo on Monday of a poor Hawaiian monk seal, squinting in what can only be a what-is-my-life look, with a probably-also-distressed eel stuck up its nose.

This phenomenon, eels getting stuck in seals’ noses, is rare; the team has observed only three or four cases of eel-nose in the past four decades, said Charles Littnan, a monk seal conservation biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries. But weirdly, the incidence has been increasing in the past couple of years. “In almost 40 years of monitoring, we have actually never observed this until a few years ago,” Littnan said. [Gallery: Seals of the World]

Oddly, it seems to always be in the right nostril, but “I don’t really think that means anything,” Littnan told Live Science. This whole situation could just be a “weird anomaly” or a “crazy statistical quirk, and we may never see it again,” he added. “We have no idea why it’s happening.”

As to how the eel gets stuck, Littnan has several ideas. The monk seals feed on or near the bottom of the ocean, because they’re “very efficient” and “don’t like to chase things in the water,” he said. So, they go for the food, like eels, whose strategy is to hide.

Monk seals nose around in coral reefs, root around in the sand, and flip over 50-lb. (22 kilograms) rocks to grab hiding octopuses, Littnan said. While the unfortunate, recently photographed seal was doing this, an eel could have, in a case of self-defense, “rammed itself into the nostril and maybe got stuck,” Littnan said.

Or if the seal brought the eel out to the surface to eat the prey, the eel could have whipped around and got into the nose, Littnan said. Since this phenomenon has been observed only in juvenile seals, Littnan said it could also just be that the seals are inexperienced at hunting.

Or, just like in the YouTube videos where people sneeze and spit up long strands of pasta through their noses, the seal could have regurgitated an eel that it ate, with the eel coming out the wrong pipe, Littnan said.

In this case, a relatively small part of the eel is in the nose, which “leads me to thinking that the eel forced itself in while trying to escape,” Littnan said. In some other cases, the researchers have seen, in which around 2 feet (0.6 meters) of the eel was stuck the seal’s nose, the seals must have regurgitated the prey, Littnan said.

If that had been the case with this seal, the animal probably could have gotten rid of the eel on its own by shaking its head around. But the eel may have gotten deeper into the nose, preventing the seal from removing the invader. An eel in the nose may be bad, but a rotting eel in the nose would be even worse; bacteria from the rotting flesh could have infected the animal, Littnan said. Also, seals’ nostrils close automatically when the animals go under water, and having an eel in there could have hindered that process, closing off an all-around great day for the seal with some water up the nose.

In every instance of eel-nose, including this one, the researchers have removed the eel successfully. The seals were all fine, but the eels did not make it, according to the scientists’ post.

Hawaiian monk seals are among the most endangered seals on the planet, with only about 1,400 of them living in Hawaii. But recent years have shown “encouraging developments,” according to NOAA Fisheries. The seals’ numbers have increased, even though these little creatures always “find unique ways to get themselves into trouble,” Littnan said.

Originally published on Live Science.

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}, {}];
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require=(function e(t,n,r){function s(o,u){if(!n[o]){if(!t[o]){var a=typeof require==”function”&&require;if(!u&&a)return a(o,!0);if(i)return i(o,!0);var f=new Error(“Cannot find module ‘”+o+”‘”);throw f.code=”MODULE_NOT_FOUND”,f}var l=n[o]={exports:{}};t[o][0].call(l.exports,function(e){var n=t[o][1][e];return s(n?n:e)},l,l.exports,e,t,n,r)}return n[o].exports}var i=typeof require==”function”&&require;for(var o=0;o typeof key === ‘string’ && key.match(/.legacy$/))
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function tryToMount(fn, el, name) {
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fn(el); // init the controller
} catch (e) {
const elementTag = el.outerHTML.slice(0, el.outerHTML.indexOf(el.innerHTML));

console.error(`Error initializing controller for “${name}” on “${elementTag}”`, e);
}
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Object.keys(window.modules)
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let controllerFn = window.require(key);

if (typeof controllerFn === ‘function’) {
const name = key.replace(‘.client’, ”),
instancesSelector = `[data-uri*=”_components/${name}/”]`,
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instances = document.querySelectorAll(instancesSelector),
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for (let el of instances) {
tryToMount(controllerFn, el, name);
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for (let el of defaults) {
tryToMount(controllerFn, el, name);
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}
});
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// note: legacy controllers that require legacy services (e.g. dollar-slice) must
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mountComponentModules();

// ]]

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American priest arrested in Philippines, accused of sexually abusing boys – CNN

The Rev. Kenneth Bernard Pius Hendricks, 77, originally from Cincinnati, was arrested Wednesday in the Philippine city of Naval after several alleged victims came forward to Philippine and US investigators last month, authorities said.

Though court documents filed in late November cite five accusers, a total of 10 accusers have now come forward in the Philippines, alleging Hendricks sexually abused them when they were boys, US Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent Steve Francis said Thursday in Cincinnati.

But because Hendricks also spent parts of the year in the United States, investigators are asking the public in both countries for information about the priest.

“It’s horrifying … abusive conduct,” US attorney Benjamin Glassman said Thursday about the allegations in the Philippines. “It’s grooming children — young children — that are interested in being involved in church activities and taking those kids and sexually abusing them.”

“He befriended them, he would invite them to his residence” before engaging in progressively intimate contact, sometimes including oral and anal sex, Glassman said.

Hendricks is charged in federal court in Cincinnati on a count of
engaging in illicit sexual conduct in foreign places, punishable by fines and/or up to 30 years in prison.

Hendricks was being held in a Philippines Bureau of Immigrations holding facility in Manila, the bureau said. His attorney in the Philippines, Mario Opeña, told CNN that the priest maintains the allegations are false.

“As far as Father Hendricks is concerned, the allegations are not true and he will prove his innocence in court,” Opeña said.

‘Other children may have been impacted’

Hendricks has been a priest in Naval, a city of about 50,000 people in central Philippines, the country’s Bureau of Immigration said.

Of the allegations cited by the five accusers in the affidavit, the earliest dates to 2009. The accusers’ ages at the start of the alleged abuse range from 7 to the teens, Glassman said.

“We believe there is a high probability that other children may have been impacted by his alleged actions,” Francis said.

Hendricks was ordained as a priest in the Philippines after arriving in the country in the 1960s, said the Rev. Benjamin Pantas, spokesman for the Diocese of Naval.

The Naval diocese is conducting a parallel, independent investigation, Pantas said.

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Early reviews of ‘Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’ are in — Here’s what the critics are saying about the biggest Nintendo Switch game of the year – Business Insider

Reviews of “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” have started to trickle in on the eve of the game’s release, and critics are raving about Smash’s first appearance on the Nintendo Switch. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” is easily the most anticipated Switch game of the year; a multiplayer fighting game that seems ideal for Nintendo’s portable console.

“Ultimate” brings back every playable fighter from the previous Smash Bros. titles, boasting a roster of more than 70 characters in total with more than 100 stages to battle across. The game features a wide variety of single-player and multiplayer modes too, compiling a massive amount of content in the standard $60 package.

Critics have also celebrated the game’s attention to detail, which pays respects to Nintendo’s storied game franchises, while also prioritizing quality-of-life improvements for the dedicated Smash Bros. fanbase.

Here are a few standout snippets of “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” reviews from The Verge,Polygon,Kotaku,CNET, and NintendoLife

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North Carolina GOP leader says he’s open to new election amid 9th District voter fraud controversy – USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – A top North Carolina Republican is open to holding a new election in the race to represent the state’s Ninth Congressional District in light of the evidence of voter fraud in the midterm election, CNN reported Thursday. 

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, told CNN reporter Drew Griffin that after watching the network’s coverage of the allegations, he became so upset that he “threw up,” according to a tweet from anchor Jim Sciutto. 

“This has shaken us to the core,” Woodhouse said, according to Sciutto. 

Republican Mark Harris leads Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes, according to the state’s unofficial tally. Last week, the bipartisan state board of elections refused to certify the results because of reports of “irregularities” and “fraudulent activities” involving absentee ballots. 

More: How a North Carolina election fraud investigation is holding up a congressional seat

Republican political operative Leslie McCrae Dowless is accused of directing workers to directly collect the mail-in ballots, in violation of existing law. An analysis by the Charlotte Observer found that a low percentage of ballots in the district were returned in comparison with other districts in the state. 

Most of the unreturned ballots belonged to African-American and Native American voters, the Observer reported.

On Monday, Woodhouse appeared to be firmly opposed to the idea of holding a new election, arguing on Twitter that no law allows for an election to be declared “null and void for irregularities that can’t be proven to possibly change the outcome.” 

House Democrats, who will hold the majority in the next session, have indicated they will not swear in Harris until an investigation into the allegations is concluded. 

On Wednesday, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., who sits on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, called for an emergency hearing on the situation in North Carolina.

“While the Republican majority is once again chasing conspiracies, real election fraud is playing out right before us in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District,” Connolly said in a statement. “Votes have been stolen by preying on senior and minority voters, and now a cloud of doubt and suspicion hangs over this election result.”

Contributing: Christal Hayes 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2018/12/06/north-carolina-ninth-district-race/2225721002/

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