first_img HOSTING THE GAME Earlier this year, there were excited discussions about the Government’s effort to establish Jamaica as a destination for major sporting events. We also learned that a bid committee has been set up to examine how feasible the move to host major events would be. There were even talks about attempts to host the Commonwealth Games. Then, within the past month, various presidents of national sporting associations have expressed reasons for failed bids or for not bidding at all in some cases. The Jamaica Tallawahs cricket franchise played most of their ‘home’ matches in Florida, USA, citing insufficient financial support from the Government to host games in Jamaica as a major reason. A week ago, Jamaica Cricket Association president W. Billy Heaven explained that the board could not afford to bid for the ICC Women’s World T20 due to financial reasons. Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Michael Ricketts this week also indicated that JFF’s bid to host a CONCACAF Gold Cup match will fail due to the inadequacies of our National Stadium. Then, Jamaica Administrative Athletics Association (JAAA) president Warren Blake expressed disappointment that Jamaica had failed in its bid to host the 2019 IAAF World Relays due to not “having Government backing”. The unsuccessful World Relays bid is especially significant because there was a lot of talk both locally and internationally about Jamaica as hosts. As excited as we are about our sport product, the level of investment from both the public and private sectors does not match that enthusiasm. Without it, the idea that Minister of Sport Olivia Grange has of bringing mega sporting events to Jamaica will remain just a pipe dream. Our facilities nationwide are not at international standards, and that will take investment, especially public-private partnerships, since there are competing national priorities. I am not surprised that we failed to successfully bid for the 2019 World Relays. I am more surprised that we were contemplating it, primarily because we do not have the infrastructure, and our economic situation would suggest that we need time to make this a reality. Blake is quoted as saying it would cost an estimated US$5million to host the Relays. That is debatable as the Bahamas Athletics Association had indicated that it cost US$5million to host the 2018 event, including accommodation and transportation, and they had budgeted US$3.5million for the 2014 staging. With our poor sporting infrastructure, I am sure it would be way more costly for us. Can we host major sports events later? Maybe! However, right now, we need to really frame these discussions around a broader economic model that explains how as a country we can benefit from these games, especially as part of our sport tourism product. Very few people even at the policy level in this country seem to have any idea of what sport tourism is, and how we can benefit. Some time ago, the then ministry of Tourism and Entertainment and the Ministry of Sport, under the guidance of the Sports Tourism Implementation Committee, established Jamaica Sport which was a technical working group to tap into our “rich sporting culture”. I’m unsure what has happened to that, but there needs to be leadership from the top, with the help of respective stakeholders (private and public bodies)to come up with a feasible framework. Then, we need an education campaign so average Jamaicans understands the benefits of sport tourism. In the 2018/2019 Sectoral Debate in Parliament, Grange indicated that the planned infrastructural development to sporting facilities will assist our thrust to develop a destination for international sport, while outlining that there were “benefits” to this. My hope is that we will move much further and explain what exactly these benefits are and how students, vendors, corporate Jamaica, and other parties can generate income if we host a major event. So, while there are disappointments over unsuccessful bids, it may be a blessing in disguise because we are not ready from a financial standpoint or in terms of general infrastructure and road networks. Let us fix those areas over the next four years. Our bidding attempts should only start after we are clear on the strategic plan for sports tourism and sports development in Jamaica. – Dalton Myers is a sports consultant and administrator. Email feedback to daltonsmyers@gmail.comlast_img read more

first_imgNawbatt’s M lawsuitThe Foreign Affairs Ministry is disputing the claims made by former Guyana High Commissioner to CanadaHarry Narine NawbattHarry Narine Nawbatt that he was “unlawfully dismissed”, pointing out that it was normal practice to terminate the services of non-career diplomats upon a change in administration.Nawbatt is suing Government for over $49 million in damages for what he said was unlawful dismissal from his duties.However, the Foreign Affairs Ministry, in a statement on Wednesday, said when there was a change in administration, there may be termination of non-career diplomats who serve as Heads of Missions at the pleasure of the President of the day on a contractual basis.“In practice, such Heads of Missions would normally submit their resignations when that Administration demits office. Following the results of the General Elections in October 1992, the PPP Administration terminated the services not only of non-career Ambassadors and High Commissioners but also of the career diplomats. The only exception was Ambassador Samuel Rudolph Insanally, who was serving at the time as the Permanent Representative of Guyana to the United Nations,” the Foreign Ministry said.It said in May last year, only two career diplomats headed Guyana Missions.“Consequent upon the results of the May 11, 2015 elections, the services of all political/non-career officers would have come to an end anyway. Of these political appointees, only Ambassador Bayney Karran, who heads Guyana’s Embassy in Washington, DC and is also Guyana’s Permanent Representative to the Organisation of American States, submitted a letter of resignation.”It said in doing so, he indicated his availability and willingness to serve the new Administration if so desired.“On the other hand, notwithstanding the protocol of resignation, Mr Nawbatt and the other political officers submitted no letters of resignation or expression of willingness to serve. His contract, like those of the other non-career officers, can be said to have been thereby frustrated.”The Ministry said it was remarkable, although not surprising given the effrontery of some of those officers that Nawbatt could claim to have been since May 11, 2015, in a position to give and receive instructions and to discharge duties as a diplomatic representative of Guyana.The Ministry said there was no record of it having any involvement in the settlement of the terms of the contract to which Nawbatt has made reference. The contract on which he is basing his appeal was signed a mere few weeks before the 2015 elections. It said he and the other persons signing such contracts would have been aware of the risks involved in signing so close to national elections, a document linked to the provision of service to a President and Administration whose tenure was the subject of the very elections. The contracts ought to have been extended to May 11 or 12 or end of May as agreed by the Inter-Party Transition Committee.The Ministry said too that it was also unaware of when Nawbatt left his post in Canada. According to the court papers, Nawbatt is suing for damages in excess of $25,000,000 for breach of contract of employment and special damages for $24,295,104.The former High Commissioner said on June 8, 2015, Audrey Waddell, Director General (ag) of the Foreign Affairs Ministry, wrongfully and in repudiatory breach of the said agreement purported to terminate the plaintiff’s employment and wrongfully dismissed him.last_img read more

first_img*DISCLAIMER: *Like Ed Woodward enquiring about Neymar’s availability, this is not to be taken seriously.Never ones to shy away from a controversial press conference, we got Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal and Real Madrid gaffer Rafa Benitez together and translated their every word.Watch the unbelievable video above to see former Liverpool manager Benitez and Van Gaal row about whose fault the deadline day debacle really was, and witness the Dutchman offer to lay the smackdown on his Spanish counterpart.We should point out that the talkSPORT translator can’t speak a word of Dutch or Spanish, but don’t let that spoil your enjoyment.To see what David De Gea had to say about the deadline day debacle yesterday, check this out…For more of the best sports entertainment on YouTube, subscribe to talkSPORT now!last_img read more

first_img 3. Liverpool sold on average 852,000 shirts globally per year globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 20 10. Stoke City sold on average 40,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 Joint 13th. Middlesbrough sold on average 25,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 9. West Ham United sold on average 45,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 Joint 18th. Bournemouth sold on average 10,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 5. Manchester City sold on average 342,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 20 Joint 13th. Swansea City sold on average 25,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 20 20 20 6. Tottenham Hotspur sold on average 268,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 20 20 Joint 18th. Hull City sold on average 10,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 Joint 13th. Sunderland sold on average 25,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 Joint 11th. Southampton sold on average 30,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 2. Chelsea sold on average 900,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 7. Everton sold on average 80,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 20 8. Leicester City sold on average 50,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 Joint 13th. Crystal Palace sold on average 25,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 17. Burnley sold on average 15,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 Joint 18th. Watford sold on average 10,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 – click the arrow above, right, to find out where every Premier League club ranks 20 20 Selling football shirts is a lucrative business.England’s top flight features some of the most iconic teams and players worldwide, resulting in millions of supporters across the globe saving up their cash for the jersey of their favourite club.But which English side is the world’s most popular in the sales department?Thanks to figures from Sporting Intelligence we’ve found out the average official shirt sales of each Premier League club, globally per year, from 2011/12 to 2015/16.Discover where your team ranks by scrolling through the gallery above. 4. Arsenal sold on average 835,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 Joint 11th. West Bromwich Albion sold on average 30,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16 20 1. Manchester United top the charts, selling an average of 1,750,000 shirts globally per year from 2011/12 to 2015/16last_img read more

first_img The 36-year-old defender’s current deal expires at the end of the season 1 West Brom boss Tony Pulis has indicated the club may try to sign John Terry in the summer, having made an enquiry about the Chelsea captain in January.Terry has played only once in the Premier League for leaders Chelsea since September and his current deal with them expires after the season finishes.On Friday The Times reported the 36-year-old defender will consider joining another English top-flight side over the summer and that he received an offer to move to Albion in January, with Stoke and Bournemouth also said to have shown interest. When asked about the link with Terry at his Friday press conference to preview West Brom’s league trip to Everton, Pulis said: “I’ve always thought he was a good player.“It was just finding out what the situation was and then it was whether we moved on it or we didn’t.“There was more than one player we enquired about in January. You’ve mentioned John, but there was most probably three or four others of that ilk that we were enquiring about – and I think enquiry is the word.“There was no approach made, it was just finding out what the situation was, and the situation was that John wanted to stay at Chelsea.“I think he wanted to be there and stay there and be part of going out as a champion.“If he becomes available in the summer we’ll sit down then and have a little think about what we’ve got and what we haven’t got and then we’ll take it from there.”Pulis has the likes of 37-year-old centre-back Gareth McAuley, who is close to signing a new deal, in his defence at the moment.And when it was put to him that Terry would fit in well in terms of him liking experienced players, Pulis said: “That is for the summer, not now, and whether the situation changes, or whether other people are involved, or whether he signs another contract at Chelsea.“We’ll have to wait and see.”Pulis is set to enter talks with West Brom over another contract extension of his own, although he has stressed there is ”no rush”.The 59-year-old, whose side are eighth in the table, signed a one-year extension in October that runs to 2018.And on the prospect of another new deal for him, Baggies chairman John Williams said last month: ”It would be (a) recommendation to my colleagues in China (West Brom’s owners) that…I would be more than happy to see his contract extended.”Asked on Friday if he was ready to talk to Williams about that, Pulis said: ”Yes, I’ll sit down with John and we’ll have a chat.”He’s coming up to Everton this weekend, so we’ll sit down and have a chat.”But there’s no rush.”West Brom were beaten 2-0 at home by Pulis’ old club Crystal Palace last time out, but that was their first defeat in six league games.They are on 40 points from 27 matches going into Saturday’s clash with seventh-placed Everton, who are four points better off.last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPhotos: At LA County Jail, Archbishop José H. Gomez celebrates Christmas Mass with inmates“The fact that merger and acquisition activity is strong in the United States and abroad is a good indication that while the economy is expected to slow, perhaps the worry of a hard landing is overstated,” said Peter Cardillo, chief strategist at S.W. Bach & Co. He added that lower gold prices and gains for the dollar also boosted stocks. Solid earnings from drugmakers contributed momentum. Dow Jones industrial Merck & Co. said its second-quarter earnings more than doubled to top Wall Street estimates, while Schering-Plough Corp. swung to a profit and also beat expectations. According to preliminary calculations, the Dow surged 182.67, or 1.68 percent, to 11,051.05. Broader stock indicators were also higher. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index added 20.62, or 1.66 percent, to 1,260.91, and the Nasdaq jumped 41.45, or 2.05 percent, to 2,061.84. Advancing issues outpaced decliners by more than 4 to 1 on the New York Stock Exchange. Big index moves and wide advance-decline margins have become more frequent as of late, as jitters about interest rates, inflation and a slowing economy caused fluctuations in investor sentiment. The volatility shows “there’s not a great deal of certainty or conviction on one side of the trade,” said Art Hogan, chief market analyst for Jefferies & Co. A disappointing early round of earnings fed uneasiness about the economy’s strength and punished stocks two weeks ago, while increased hopes for an end to the Federal Reserve’s rate tightening gave the Dow solid gains last week. Aside from more earnings, critical data this week on consumer confidence and second-quarter gross domestic product growth could drive stocks in either direction, Hogan said. Bonds wobbled, with the yield on the 10-year Treasury note edging up to 5.05 percent from 5.04 percent late Friday. The U.S. dollar advanced on the Japanese yen; gold prices dropped to about $615 an ounce. Oil futures rebounded from earlier losses as energy traders awaited developments in talks over the Middle East conflict. A barrel of light crude added 62 cents to settle at $75.05 on the New York Mercantile Exchange.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! NEW YORK – Wall Street rallied on a burst of optimism Monday as the multibillion-dollar buyout of HCA Inc. and upbeat earnings from a pair of drug makers tempered anxiety about an economic slowdown. The Dow Jones industrial average soared more than 180 points. Acquisitions led the day’s headlines, with three equity firms agreeing to take hospital operator HCA private for $21.3 billion of cash and the assumption of $11.7 billion in debt, marking the largest-ever leveraged buyout. Advanced Micro Devices Inc. also acquired ATI Technologies Inc. for $5.4 billion. The acquisition news relieved investors concerned about a weakening economy. Corporate buyouts typically signal optimism over economic growth; a profit warning from Dell Inc. late last week dimmed the near-term outlook and dragged the Nasdaq composite index to a 14-month low. last_img read more

first_img MONEY Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk remains Danny Murphy’s pick for Player of the Season despite Raheem Sterling’s excellent campaign for Manchester City.The City winger netted a hat-trick against Watford to keep Pep Guardiola’s men top of the Premier League, one point ahead of Sterling’s former club Liverpool.Last week, England boss Gareth Southgate backed Sterling for this season’s personal accolades on talkSPORT, and the 24-year-old continues to strengthen his case. Nonetheless, former Reds midfielder Murphy believes Van Dijk has still been this season’s standout performer.“It’s still Van Dijk for me,” Murphy told Jim White on talkSPORT.“But I think what Sterling showed on Saturday is that he’s sharp, he’s fit, he’s hungry and he’s still flying. Every time Ally McCoist lost it on air in 2019, including funny XI reactions Top nine Premier League free transfers of the decade Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won Forbes list reveals how much Mayweather, Ronaldo and Messi earned this decade There are 11 live commentaries remaining across the talkSPORT network this week. Find out what they are and when you can hear them, below… “If Liverpool or City miss out by a point, it wouldn’t detract from Sterling or Van Dijk’s fantastic season.”Liverpool have kept 17 clean sheets in the Premier League so far this term – more than any other club – and Van Dijk has been credited with removing any vulnerability from a shaky defence following his Anfield arrival in January 2018. REVEALED Oxlade-Chamberlain suffers another setback as Klopp confirms serious injury BEST OF ADVICE Sterling is a key reason behind City’s success Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? LIVE on talkSPORT huge blow “If he carries on doing that until the end of the season, how many goals can he score?”He added: “Sterling plays in all the big games, he produces more big moments in big games too.“If City win the league, is Sterling’s contribution bigger because they’ve won the league? I’m not sure. REVEALED 2 2 no dice Reading vs Leeds (Tuesday) – talkSPORT 2Bayern Munich vs Liverpool (Wednesday) – talkSPORTNottingham Forest vs Aston Villa (Wednesday) – talkSPORT 2Dynamo Kyiv vs Chelsea (Thursday) – talkSPORT 2Watford vs Crystal Palace (Saturday) – talkSPORTLeeds vs Sheffield United (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2West Ham vs Huddersfield (Saturday) – talkSPORT 2Swansea vs Manchester City (Saturday) – talkSPORTWolves vs Manchester United (Saturday) – talkSPORTMillwall vs Brighton (Sunday) – talkSPORT 2Fulham vs Liverpool (Sunday) – talkSPORT Van Dijk remains the favourite for PFA Player of the Year with bookmakers RANKED The Dutchman’s exploits this season have seen him labelled the world’s best defender by many, including Murphy.He continued: “Although I think Van Dijk’s the best defender in the world and he’s had a sensational season, it’s always easier to destroy than create.” LATEST FOOTBALL NEWS Son ban confirmed as Tottenham fail with appeal to overturn red card Ronaldo warned Lukaku how hard scoring goals in Serie A would be before Inter move last_img read more

first_imgLifford Greyhound Stadium in Donegal will close down following its meeting on Saturday, August 17th.It’s understood that 25 full-time and part-time jobs will be affected.Track officials have cited the lack of support from the Irish Greyhound Board as the main factor in its decision to close down.The venue was  part of a nationwide review of the greyhound industry with those findings expected to be published in September. It’s almost a year since the review was first initiated, as part of the Irish Greyhound Boards strategic Plan 2018-2022.Separately, the Irish Greyhound Board had promised reforms in the wake of an RTÉ investigation earlier this year which revealed that thousands of greyhounds were killed in 2017 because they weren’t fast enough.last_img read more

first_imgA group of coelacanth drift serenely in a cave off Grande Comore. (Image: Hans Fricke) The coelacanth sketch enclosed by Courtenay-Latimer with her first letter to James Smith. Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer with the fish that started it all – this specimen can still be seen in the East London Kuseum. The Daily Dispatch’s article of 20 February 1939, describing the sensation of the coelacanth find. For a larger version, click here. In 1971 Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer received an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University for her contribution to science.(Images: South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity) MEDIA CONTACTS • East London Museum  +27 43 743 0686 RELATED ARTICLES • Floral wealth in caring hands • Make a pledge to save our seas • SA consumers help rebuild fish stocks • Moz leads in marine conservation • Lions of Ethiopia are one of a kind Janine ErasmusHad it not been for the passion of a self-trained South African naturalist, the discovery of a living specimen of the rare coelacanth around this time in 1938 may never have happened.Eastern Cape native Marjorie Courtenay-Latimer originally trained as a nurse. Although her wish was to work in a museum, there were few opportunities at the time.Her wish did come true – in 1931, without any formal training, she landed the position of curator of the East London Museum, established a decade before and still in existence today. The museum had just moved to new premises, and Courtenay-Latimer was 24 at the time.Her passion for her work was boundless, and her main interest was birds. In her desire to gather unusual specimens for the museum, she did much of the collecting herself.Reports say that she donated her great-aunt Lavinia’s dodo egg to the museum – apparently the only dodo egg in existence today, although this is a debatable issue as DNA tests have not been allowed.In 1935 she and a colleague excavated the almost complete fossil skeleton of the mammal-like reptile Kannemeyeria simocephalus from a site near Tarkastad in the Eastern Cape. This species is said to be the standard against which other similar animals from the Middle Triassic period is compared.Courtenay-Latimer also sent out a request to local fisherman to alert her if they caught anything out of the ordinary.It was this foresight that led to the identification of a fish that had only ever been seen as a fossil and was thought to have died out about 70-million years ago. On 22 December 1938 Courtenay-Latimer received a call from Hendrik Goosen, the skipper of the fishing trawler Nerine, which had netted a catch just off the Eastern Cape’s Chalumna, or Tyolomnqa River.According to the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB, formerly the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology), which runs an extensive coelacanth programme, Goosen had caught the fish alive in 70m of water and was conscientious about keeping it intact for scrutiny by the museum. He also described its colour when caught as blue, although this had faded to grey by the time the ship came back to port.In his diary, Courtenay-Latimer’s father Eric described her wonder and excitement regarding the find. He wrote that although his daughter was busy putting together a fossil collection, she set it aside for the sake of scientific curiosity and went down to the harbour. The 58kg fish she found on the Nerine was unlike anything she had ever read about. Zoological find of the centuryFor help with identification, Courtenay-Latimer turned to a friend, chemistry lecturer and fish enthusiast James Leonard Brierley Smith of Rhodes University in Grahamstown.The academic, after whom SAIAB was originally named, was unable to take her call as he was away at the time, but he received Courtenay-Latimer’s subsequent correspondence on his return and looked at her enclosed drawing of the fish, which had by that time been mounted to prevent it from rotting away.Smith recognised it straight away as a coelacanth but was unable to travel immediately to make a visual identification, a situation that caused him much anguish.“Fifty million years! It was preposterous that coelacanths had been alive all that time, unknown to modern man,” he later wrote in his book Old Fourlegs: The Story of the Coelacanth.When Smith received three scales in the post, his anguish was wiped away. “They leave little doubt about the nature of the fish, but even so my mind still refuses to grasp this tremendous impossibility,” he wrote back to Courtenay-Latimer.Even so, Smith was determined to see the fish with his own eyes and finally, almost two months after the catch, he and his wife made it to East London.“Although I had come prepared, that first sight hit me like a white-hot blast and made me feel shaky and queer, my body tingled,” he wrote in Old Fourlegs. “I stood as if stricken to stone. Yes, there was not a shadow of doubt, scale by scale, bone by bone, fin by fin, it was a true coelacanth.”Smith named the fish Latimeria chalumnae in honour of the young curator and the river near which it was found. When the news broke of the “most important zoological find of the 20th century”, the pair became overnight celebrities.In February 1939 the fish went on display to the public at the museum, attracting 1 527 people, according to the Daily Dispatch. This was the largest crowd that had ever passed through the doors in a single day. That original fish is still in the East London Museum, where it is a popular drawcard.But to see the stately coelacanth in live action, watch this May 2011 video (WMV, 6.5MB) of specimens near Sodwana Bay in KwaZulu-Natal, showing their vivid blue colour and white spots.Smith played an important role in organising the search that led to the discovery of a second coelacanth, 14 years later, off the coast of Anjouan Island, part of the Comoros group located in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and Mozambique. He wanted to capture another fish to scientifically confirm its identity, as the internal organs of the first one had been lost during taxidermy.When found, it was thought to be another new species and was named Malania anjouanae in honour of the then South African prime minister Daniel Malan. Malan had loaned Smith an air force Dakota so that he could speed to the Comoros and bring the fish home before it decayed – almost causing an international incident with French authorities in the process.Courtenay-Latimer, South Africa’s zoological heroine, retired as curator in 1973 and died in 2004 at the age of 97. In 2003 casts of her footprints were placed in Heroes Park in East London, a venue that celebrates prominent people from the Eastern Cape, including Walter Sisulu and Nelson Mandela.Unchanged for millions of yearsThe coelacanth is classified as critically endangered by the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. While the fossil record has revealed some 80 species of coelacanth, there is just one other living species in the genus Latimeria, the Indonesian coelacanth (L. menadoensis).The fish is believed to live to a ripe old age, as much as 80 years according to some scientists who have studied growth rings in its ear bones. It’s thought to have developed during the Devonian period about 400-million years ago, and is in much the same shape today as it was then.Related to lungfishes and tetrapods, or early four-footed animals, the so-called living fossil can grow up to two metres in length and weigh as much as 80 kg.It has a number of primitive distinguishing features that some scientists feel represent a step in the evolution of fishes into land animals. Its paired fins are fleshy and lobed and are supported by bones. This has given rise to the fish’s nickname – Old Fourlegs. Smith published Old Fourlegs: The Story of the Coelacanth in 1956, a book that was later translated into seven languages, although the American version omitted the nickname in the title. It may be read online at the Open Library.The dorsal fin also contains hollow spines and it’s this feature that gave the animal its name – from the Latin cœlacanthus, meaning “hollow spine” (Greek, coeliac meaning hollow and acanthos meaning spine). This was bestowed on it in 1839 by palaeontologist Jean Louis Agassiz on examining a fossil. The coelacanth forages for food at night and hides in caves during the day. Using a special electrosensitive cavity in its snout, known as a rostral organ, the animal can find prey and navigate around obstacles in the dark. Because of the depth at which it usually lives, between 90m and 200m, its eyes are adapted with a tapetum lucidum, a layer of tissue behind the eye that reflects light back through the retina and improves vision in dim light.Another distinguishing feature is the coelacanth’s hinged mouth, thanks to an intracranial joint that allows the front of the head to lift high and the mouth to open remarkably wide when feeding. The coelacanth’s brain is tiny in relation to its body size and occupies just 1.5% of the brain cavity. In a 40kg specimen, the brain typically weights about three grams – this is the smallest brain to body size ratio observed in a living vertebrate.Then, on the outside of its body, its keratin-covered scales are tightly bound almost like armour, for protection. They are known as cosmoid scales and are one of the features pointed out by Courtenay-Latimer in her first letter to Smith.The coelacanth also has a hollow pressurised fluid-filled notochordal canal that runs the length of its body and serves as a backbone. The fish is classified as a vertebrate although it has no vertebrae, but the notochord serves the purpose. The coelacanth gives birth to live young, called pups. Since the first sighting in 1938, live specimens have been seen in the Comoros, Kenya, Tanzania and Zanzibar, Mozambique, Madagascar, and in South Africa’s iSimangaliso Wetland Park, a world heritage site.last_img read more

first_img17 July 2013Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu handed over two computer laboratories to Alexandria Primary School and Ukhanyo Secondary School in Port Alfred in the Eastern Cape on Wednesday as the province geared up to celebrate Mandela Day.Speaking at the handover, Sisulu said that giving learners information technology skills would ensure that the lack of skills in the field was addressed, thus boosting the country’s economy.“Our country’s economy is dependent on the success of the information technology industry, which we rely on to connect to the rest of the world in conducting business,” Sisulu said.She added that former president Nelson Mandela’s “never give up” attitude should be embraced by all South Africans as the nation and the world prepared to honour the great man on his 95th birthday.“As we celebrate the iconic Madiba we must, though we know we can never be like him, strive to do good as he continues to inspire us, even when he is in hospital right now.”The State Information Technology Agency (SITA), which donated the two computer laboratories, will also provide technical maintenance and support, in addition to a technician on site at the schools to provide support on an ongoing basis.This will be in addition to training that will be given to teachers on information communications technology for a three-month period.Sisulu also handed over a vegetable garden to Bhongweni Primary School as part of an initiative to promote food security in the community.“Just like Madiba did in fighting poverty, this vegetable garden we are handing over today should serve as a first step in ensuring that poverty is history. This garden will ensure that the community is able to feed itself,” Sisulu said.“We will also, in an effort to encourage residents to have vegetable gardens, start a competition where the best garden will be rewarded.”Source: read more