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September 26th, 2018

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Awesome! | Extreme Hobbies

News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

By News of the Weird by Chuck Shepherd

Published Jan., 6, 2017

Awesome!  | Extreme Hobbies


Diego the giant tortoise, believed to be more than 100 years old, now lives in semi-retirement on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos, but from 1976 to 2010, Diego brought an almost-extinct species back to life by fathering about 800 babies in the captive breeding program on Espanola, another of the Galapagos Islands. Biologists did not realize Diego's prowess until 2010 when DNA tests identified him as the father of 40 percent of all tortoises on the island. Even on Santa Cruz Island, Diego keeps busy, with a "harem" of six females. (Another Galapagos tortoise species did die out in 2012 when the last male, the centenarian Lonesome George, maintained his celibacy until death.) [Fox News, 9-15-2016]


John Weigel and Olaf Danielson are engaged in a frenzied battle of "extreme birdwatching," each hoping to close out 2016 as the new North American champ of the American Birding Association, and a September Smithsonian piece had Weigel ahead, 763 to 759. Danielson is perhaps better known for doing much of his birding in the nude (and is the author of the provocatively titled volume, "Boobies, Peckers and Tits" -- all common names of popular birds). The old one-year record was 749, and the association attributes the larger numbers this year to El Nino, which has disrupted food supplies and driven birds into different locations. [Smithsonian.com, 9-21-2016]

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