Weekly Press Review – 19 September 2014

The upcoming Shark Bay development in Langebaan has made headlines this week.  After a 25 year battle the residents of Langebaan have had to admit defeat as their application to halt the development of the Langebaan lagoon area has been dismissed by the Western Cape High Court.

In essence this means that the developer, Dormell Properties 391, has been granted permission to build 69 luxury houses on the eastern shores of the lagoon.  The land in question runs very close to the West Coast National Park and residents have based their argument against the development on the fact that they felt that relevant considerations about the status of the land had not been taken into account and mandatory procedures had not been followed.

The court dismissed this and the development will go ahead.

Also making headlines this week are the findings of researchers from the University of Pretoria’s Mammal Research Institute, who have discovered that African bottlenose dolphins have a very specific whistle for each specific dolphin. What this means is that they use a rich variety of different sounds to communicate, find food and navigate on a daily basis.  They may even be able to learn new sounds.

Scientist, Tess Gridley, says, “This ability to learn new sounds is quite unusual in the animal kingdom.” She adds that dolphins use signature whistles to stay in contact with other dolphins and to regroup if they become separated.

The gap between humans and other mammals gets a little smaller.

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