Ohio zoo welcomes polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving Day

An Ohio zoo has released photos and video of a polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving Day.

The cub was observed being born at 12:43 a.m. Thursday from mounted cameras, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium announced.

“The #Columbus Zoo is #thankful to welcome a new polar bear cub born on Thanksgiving Day at 12:43a to mother Aurora and father, Lee!,” the zoo said on Twitter. “Aurora is being an attentive mom, and the Animal Care team has observed the cub nursing in the private den.”

BERLIN ZOO RELEASES ADORABLE NEW PICTURES OF PANDA TWIN CUBS

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a new polar bear cub this Thanksgiving. The zoo said the cub was born Thursday at 12:43 a.m.

The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium welcomed a new polar bear cub this Thanksgiving. The zoo said the cub was born Thursday at 12:43 a.m. (Columbus Zoo)

ADORABLE POLAR BEAR CUB OPENS ITS EYES FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME

The 13-year-old Aurora has mothered three other cubs, however this is her first cub with 20-year-old Lee, Fox 8 Cleveland reported.

Lee arrived at the Columbus Zoo from Denver Zoo on November 7, 2018, a move urged by The Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Species Survival Plan, the station reported.

Aurora, the polar bear who gave birth to a cub on Thanksgiving Day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, was being an attentive mom. 

Aurora, the polar bear who gave birth to a cub on Thanksgiving Day at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, was being an attentive mom.  (Columbus Zoo )

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The program is designed to maximize genetic diversity and increase the population sustainability of threatened and endangered species in human care, according to the station.

27 Maya ritual sites discovered on online map by eagle-eyed archaeologist

An eagle-eyed archaeologist has used a freely available online map to locate 27  Maya ceremonial sites in Mexico.

Takeshi Inomata, a professor of archaeology at the University of Arizona, made the discovery using a LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) map he found online last year, according to the New York Times. LiDAR technology harnesses a laser to measure distances to the Earth’s surface and can prove extremely valuable to study what is hidden in areas with thick vegetation.

The 2011 map, which covers 4,400 square miles of the Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, was published by Mexico’s National Institute of Statistics and Geography, the Times reported.

‘FIRST OF ITS KIND’ ANCIENT MAYA TOOL DISCOVERED IN LAGOON

Inomata told Fox News that the discovery followed his research at the site of Ceibal in Guatemala, where a ceremonial complex dating back to 1000 to 900 B.C. was found. “We then went to this area (Tabasco) thinking that there may be similar ceremonial complexes of this period,” he explained, via email. “It was great to see that there [are] more sites of this type than we expected. It is also remarkable that they had very standardized rectangular formations.”

LiDAR image of the El Saraguato site.

LiDAR image of the El Saraguato site. (Instituto Nacional de Estadística y Geografía)

Although visible on LiDAR maps, many sites, such as one dubbed “La Carmelita” are difficult to find in ground-based surveys, according to the Times.

The discovery of the 27 lost Maya ritual sites sheds new light on the ancient culture. “This is the period when people were just starting to use ceramics and adopting a sedentary way of life,” he explained. “The presence of these formal ceremonial complex in this early period indicates that certain rituals and religious ideas spread over a wide area as people accepted new ways of life.”
INCREDIBLE MAYA DISCOVERY: ANCIENT KING’S MASK UNCOVERED IN MEXICO

The Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History also participated in the project.

View of the La Carmelita site from the west. (Takeshi Inomata)

View of the La Carmelita site from the west. (Takeshi Inomata)

There have been a number of fascinating Maya discoveries across central America in recent years.

Experts recently discovered a unique ancient tool that was used by Maya salt workers more than 1,000 years ago. Fashioned from the mineral jadeite, the chisel-style implement was found at the site of Ek Way Nal, a Maya salt works in southern Belize that is now submerged in a saltwater lagoon.

MYSTERIOUS LOST MAYA CITIES DISCOVERED IN GUATEMALAN JUNGLE

Last year an ancient mask depicting a 7th-century Maya king was discovered in southern Mexico.

View of La Carmelita from the south. (Takeshi Inomata)

View of La Carmelita from the south. (Takeshi Inomata)

Also in 2018, archaeologists harnessed sophisticated technology to reveal lost cities and thousands of ancient structures deep in the Guatemalan jungle, confirming that the Maya civilization was much larger than previously thought.

LiveScience reports that hundreds of Maya artifacts that may have been used in ritual animal sacrifices have also been discovered at the bottom of a Guatemalan lake.

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From its heart in what is now Guatemala, the Maya empire reached the peak of its power in the sixth century A.D., according to History.com, although most of the civilization’s cities were abandoned around 900 A.D.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Missouri doctors find venomous brown recluse spider in woman’s ear

Doctors in Missouri reportedly pulled a dime-sized brown recluse spider out of a woman’s ear this week after she complained of pain.

Susie Torres, who hates spiders, told FOX 4 in Kansas City that she woke up Tuesday morning hearing “swooshing” in her ear.

SPIDERS ARE GETTING ANGRIER BECAUSE OF EVOLUTIONARY TRICK TO SURVIVE ‘CLIMATE CHAOS’

“It was like when you went swimming and you have all of that water in your ear,” she said.

She initially thought she was having a reaction to an allergy shot, but when she went to the doctor a medical assistant found the eight-legged creature.

Doctors were able to remove the spider, which didn’t bite her.

Bites from a brown recluse spider can cause discoloring of the affected area and flulike symptoms.

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“I went and put some cotton balls in my ears last night,” Torres told FOX 4. “I’m shaking off my clothes and I don’t put my purse on the floor. I’m a little more cautious.”

Biscuits start baking inside hot car in Nebraska as part of weather experiment

The National Weather Service in Nebraska demonstrated the effects of the brutal heat by trying to bake biscuits using nothing but a car and the sun.

In a series of tweets on Thursday, the National Weather Service in Omaha and Valley posted updates on the biscuit experiment over the course of eight hours.

“We actually were going to do cookies, but the store didn’t have cookies so it’s biscuits,” Hallie Bova, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Valley, told the Omaha World-Herald. “I thought it would be fun to try.”

EXCESSIVE HEAT SPREADS FROM PLAINS TO EAST COAST

The experiment was conducted as an excessive heat warning had been issued for much of eastern Nebraska through 7 p.m. on Saturday by the National Weather Service. The high in Omaha on Thursday was 92 degrees with a heat index of 103.

The first tweet said, “If you are wondering if it’s going to be hot today, we are attempting to bake biscuits using only the sun and a car in our parking lot. We will keep you posted with the progress. Stay cool!”

MASSIVE HEAT WAVE TO ‘SCORCH’ TWO-THIRDS OF US THROUGH WEEKEND, NWS WARNS

The biscuit dough was placed on a cookie sheet inside an enclosed vehicle on Thursday morning along with a thermometer.

The biscuits usually take about 14 to 17 minutes in 350-degree heat to bake, the newspaper reported.

The next tweet included a picture of the biscuits and included the caption, “45 minutes in. Biscuits are rising.”

The following update posted about an hour after the initial tweet said, “The pan has reached 175 degrees in 60 minutes and the tops of the biscuits are at 153.”

It added, “This is a good time to remind everyone that your car does in fact get deadly hot. Look before you lock! On average 38 children die in hot cars each year. Don’t be a statistic!”

Locksmiths and emergency personnel were called to free children inadvertently locked in at least two cars on Wednesday, the Herald reported.

About five hours later, the Omaha National Weather Service posted another update, writing, “Top of the biscuits are baked but the bottom remains doughy. But more interestingly, the temperature of the back seat in the shade is 144 degrees!”

The last update said, “after nearly 8 hours in the sun, the outside of the biscuit is actually edible. The middle is still pretty doughy though. The max temp on the pan was 185!”

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The tweet included the hashtags #HeatSafety and #LookBeforeYouLock.

The dangerously high temperatures and humidity could quickly cause heat stroke, according to the heat advisory, which reminded people to take extra precautions while working or spending time outside.

Massive 800-pound alligator named ‘Mighty Mike’ arrives at Arizona aquarium

An 800-pound alligator named “Mighty Mike” is calling an Arizona aquarium his new home, making him what some believe is the largest gator outside Florida.

The 14-foot long reptile arrived at the OdySea Aquarium near Scottsdale on Monday, and he will make his debut to visitors on Friday, according to a post on Instagram from the aquarium.

HUGE 3-LEGGED ALLIGATOR HOBBLES ACROSS FLORIDA GOLF COURSE, APPEARS AT WOMAN’S HOME

Mighty Mike — who was captured in 2000 — will spend a year at the aquarium as an “ambassador” for alligators, teaching visitors about the shrinking habitats of the reptiles, according to AZ Central.

“We want people to be excited to see him,” Dave Peranteau, OdySea’s director of animal care and conservation, told the outlet. “But we also want to raise awareness of the importance of conservation, that animals like Mike will continue to exist only if we take measures that ensure their survival.”

Mighty Mike was transported to OdySea in an 11-foot wooden crate stored in the back of a van with his handler Bruce Shwedick, AZ Central reported. Their 2,200-mile road trip took them five days from the Florida-based alligator farm called Gatorama.

The alligator and Shwedick have traveled thousands of miles to talk about gator conservation at parks, aquariums and zoos, according to the outlet, ever since Shwedick rescued Mike from being euthanized.

HUGE ALLIGATOR FOUND IN ARKANSAS RICE FIELD AFTER RAIN CAUSES RIVERS TO OVERFLOW

The outlet reported that in 2000, Mighty Mike refused to leave a boat ramp around Lake Talquin near Tallahassee, Fla., so Shwedick decided to adopt the massive reptile. Shwedick eventually went on to co-found the Crocodilian Conservation Center of Florida, according to the outlet.

Though they have a long friendship — Shwedick even told AZ Central his voice calms Mighty Mike — the alligator handler knows to stay careful.

“If he were ever to get a grip on my thumb, he could drag me one step at a time, very slowly, underwater. And there would be nothing I could do,” he said.

Florida bobcat perched atop power pole caught on video making daring climb down

A bobcat that had climbed to the top of an electrical pole in Florida was able to climb its way down again on Thursday afternoon.

The feline was seen on a live feed from a Florida Department of Transportation camera on I-75 in Collier County, Fla.

100-PLUS NEGLECTED LIONS FOUND WITH MANGE, NEUROLOGICAL PROBLEMS, ON SOUTH AFRICAN FARM

It had climbed a power pole near mile marker 78, according to WPTV.

While at the top of the power pole, the bobcat was reportedly panting heavily, the outlet reported.

Crew members in a utility truck helped the feline down by prodding it with a long pole.

DEPUTIES RESCUE EXOTIC RODENT ALONG TEXAS HIGHWAY, RETURN TO OWNER

In a video of the bobcat’s descent which was posted on Twitter, it can be seen sliding down, using its claws to hold onto the wooden pole.

A bobcat that had climbed to the top of an electrical pole beside a Florida highway was able to climb its way down again on Thursday afternoon after utility crewmen prodded it with a long pole. (Stock image)<br data-cke-eol="1">

A bobcat that had climbed to the top of an electrical pole beside a Florida highway was able to climb its way down again on Thursday afternoon after utility crewmen prodded it with a long pole. (Stock image)<br data-cke-eol=”1″> (iStock)

Close to the ground, the bobcat can be seen jumping from the pole and running away.

According to WPTV, the animal appeared unharmed.

A 9-foot alligator was also removed in Collier County Thursday morning.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover snaps stunning selfie, starts new adventure on the Red Planet

NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has captured an incredible selfie on the surface of the Red Planet.

“The selfie is composed of 57 individual images taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), a camera on the end of the rover’s robotic arm,” explains NASA in a statement. The images were then stitched together into a panorama.

The selfie was taken on Jan. 15 and is the last one captured by the rover on Mars’ Vera Rubin ridge, NASA explained. The panoramic picture was taken at the “Rock Hall” drill site on Vera Rubin ridge. After taking the epic picture, the robot left the ridge and traveled to a clay region of Mount Sharp.

NASA’S INSIGHT MARS LANDER ARRIVES ON THE RED PLANET, ENDS SUCCESSFUL JOURNEY

Curiosity has been exploring the twisting Vera Rubin ridge since September 2017. “It’s now headed into the ‘clay-bearing unit,’ which sits in a trough just south of the ridge,” said NASA in the statement released Monday. “Clay minerals in this unit may hold more clues about the ancient lakes that helped form the lower levels on Mount Sharp.”

The Curiosity rover landed on Mars in August 2012 and has more than 12 miles on its odometer. In November Curiosity was joined on the Red Planet by NASA’s Insight Mars Lander.

NASA’s Opportunity rover, which was launched in July 2003, remains inoperable on the Red Planet following a June 2018 Martian dust storm. The rover is now feared ‘dead,’ although the space agency is still sending commands to the probe in the hope of receiving a response.

NASA IS SCRAMBLING TO SAVE ITS OPPORTUNITY ROVER AFTER FEARS EMERGE IT MAY HAVE ‘DIED’

Mars looms large in America’s space future.

NASA’s long-term goal is to send a manned mission to Mars in the 2030s. However, former astronaut Buzz Aldrin thinks that a slightly later target date of 2040 is more realistic. In an interview in 2016, the Gemini 12 and Apollo 11 astronaut told Fox News that by 2040, astronauts could have visited Mars’ moon Phobos, which could serve as a sort of stepping stone to the Red Planet.

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In November 2018 NASA announced that it has selected the location where its Mars 2020 rover will land on the Red Planet. The rover is expected to land on Mars Feb. 18, 2021.

Fox News’ Chris Ciaccia and The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers