Natural News

* A species of monkey unknown to science has been photographed in India by an international team of researchers. Named the Arunachal macaque, the new monkey is a comparatively large brown primate with a relatively short tail.

The scientists say they are surprised to have found a hitherto unknown large mammal in such a populous country. -BBC

* Two weeks of negotiations at a United Nations conference on climate change ended with a weak pledge to start limited, informal talks on ways to slow down global warming, after the United States blocked efforts to begin more substantive discussions. Governments that are already committed to reducing emissions under the Kyoto plan used diplomatic language to express their disappointment at the American position. Environmental groups, however, were more critical of what they characterized as obstructionism. ‘This is a new low for the United States, not just to pull out, but to block other countries from moving ahead on their own path,’ said Jeff Fiedler, an observer representing the Washington-based Natural Resources Defense Council. -New York Times

* Preliminary results from a survey of bonobos in Africa’s Congo Basin suggest that their numbers are far lower than conservationists had thought. The discovery raises fears that one of our closest relatives may be teetering on the verge of extinction. -Nature

* Eskimos, or Inuit, about 155,000 seal-hunting peoples scattered around the Arctic, plan to seek a ruling from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights that the United States, by contributing substantially to global warming, is threatening their existence. -New York Times

* Sharks on migration swim arrow-straight lines across featureless ocean basins. How they navigate over such great distances has been a mystery. Now experiments by scientists at the University of Hawaii demonstrate that sharks are able to detect magnetic field changes, supporting theories that the predators can map their location by deciphering differences in Earth’s magnetic field lines. -Environmental News Network

* Scientists have detected strange, lengthy tremors deep below the San Andreas Fault. The rumblings could presage a major earthquake in central California. -Environmental News Network

* A new study in the journal Science, suggests that crows and their close relatives may be just as smart as great apes. -Science

* Lefthandedness may have persisted in the human species because lefthanded people are better at fighting, suggests a new study by French researchers. -University of Montpelier

* Launch and flight teams are in final preparations for the planned Jan. 12, 2005, liftoff from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla., of NASA’s Deep Impact spacecraft. The mission is designed for a six-month, one-way, 431 million kilometer (268 million mile) voyage. Deep Impact will deploy a probe that essentially will be ‘run over’ by the nucleus of comet Tempel 1 at approximately 37,000 kph (23,000 mph). -Science Daily/NASA