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The Resplendent Quetzal

Quetzal-bird-pic-0The Quetzal is such a beautiful bird that it was sacred to Mayan and Aztec Indians and dominated their traditions and beliefs. Killing a Quetzal was punished with death.

In Mayan and Aztec mythology, Quetzalcoatl, symbolized by the head of a serpent adorned with the feathers of a Quetzal, was the cultural force for good, the god who helped to create the Earth. It was said that Quetzalcoatl took dead bones from the underworld, sprinkled them with his blood, and created the human race.

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Big news!! Costa Rica. Spheres of Precolombian Diquis in UNESCO world heritage list of sites

finca 6Soon a new UNESCO Heritage site in Costa Rica. Already in 2010 Costa Rica presented a bid for its pre-Columbian stone spheres to be included in the UNESCO's World Heritage list. In Costa Rica there are already three sites that are included in UNESCO's list: Coco's Island National Park, the Talamanca Range – La Amistad Reserves, and the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste. Starting next July, a new site may be added to the list: the precolombian pheres of the Diquis, located in Finca 6, in the Osa peninsula. These are unique artifacts created by the Diquis, a population that lived in Costa Rica.

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New analysis towards ancient Mayan population estimation

mapamaya-520x300According to NASA archaeologist Tom Sever, the Mayan civilization in Mesoamerica was one of the densest populations in human history. By around AD 600, the area of southern Guatemala, Belize, and Northern Honduras, had grown to an estimated Mayan population of about 22 million people and by 800 AD it had reached an all time high. It is estimated that around that time density ranged from 500 to 700 people per square mile in rural area, and from 1800 to 2600 people per square mile near the center of the Mayan empire.

By analyzing the soil around the pyramid of Tikal, which was the capital of one of the most powerful Mayan kingdoms, scientists found out that corn farms were grown mostly in the low wetlands and not along the hillsides.

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Bocas del Toro, Panama: boats noise potentially harmful to dolphins

dolphins-boca del_toro-_panama

Although the Archipelago Bocas del Toro in Panama has a relatively small dolphin population of 200 individuals, a boat tour can almost guarantee a close encounter with these charismatic creatures. As a result the Archipelago Bocas del Toro has become increasingly popular with tourists and the dolphin watching boat traffic has increased substantially.

A new research by scientists at STRI shows that noise from boat motors interferes with the way bottlenose dolphins communicate while foraging, one of their most noise sensitive activities. Between 2004 and 2012, May-Collado and team collected 56 hours of dolphin whistle recordings from 47 individuals, all photo-identified. The recordings were made in the presence of two to 17 dolphin-watching boats, with an hourly turnover of 34 boats.

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Extinction of glaciers on Colombian Andes

nevado del ruiz

Extinction of Glaciers Ruiz and Santa Isabel is accelerating

The Santa Isabel glacier could completely disappear in 8 to 10 years, and the Nevado del Ruiz glacier could become extinct by the year 2030.

Students and teachers at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia did a study on the possible melting of the two glaciers Nevado del Ruiz and Santa Isabel, to determine the flood zones in the area of El Rosario in Manizales.

By studying the hydrological and hydraulic models, as well as by using glaciological analysis, they tried to determine the possibility of a lahar (the flow of sediments and water that moves from the slopes of volcanoes) in the Chinchinà's river bed, in order to map the areas that would be flooded.
This study was done mainly because the city of Manizales is planning to expand, so a new risk management plan needed to be put in place.

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