In Short

Published: Monday 31 December 2007

>> Researchers have unearthed the mummy of a 67-million-year-old hadrosaur from South Dakota in the US. A high-resolution CT scan of the 10-tonne fossil shows that the well-preserved body has much of its tissue intact inside an envelope of skin. The scanning shows the hadrosaur's tail vertebrae are spaced farther apart than previous fossil finds, which means that hadrosaurs probably had much longer tails.

>> The Irish government has announced that it will ban all traditional light bulbs from 2009 and replace them with energy-saving alternatives. This is part of an energy-saving plan, under which high-emission vehicles will be penalized from July 2008.

>> Scientists from the University of Calgary, Canada, have discovered a methane-eating microorganism in the geothermal field known as Hell's Gate, near the city of Rotorua in New Zealand. This is the hardiest methanotrophic bacterium yet discovered, and is a likely candidate for use in reducing methane gas emissions from landfills, mines, industrial wastes and peat lands.

>> The South African government has approved a biofuels plan, under which biofuels will account for two per cent of the country's total fuel production by 2013. In the face of protests from farmers, the government has excluded the staple food, maize, as a source of biofuel.

>> The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has declared a vast rainforest in the Congo basin as reserved forest to encourage improved protection for the endangered bonobo, a great ape species that few people even know exists.

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