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Scientists Find Remains of Big Salamander-like Creature

Scientists in Portugal have uncovered the fossils of a previously unknown crocodile-like creature that was among the Earth's top predators more than 200 million years ago.

The remains found on the site of an ancient lake suggest the creature was like a giant salamander, according to a study released Monday.

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Study: Feces Contains Gold Worth Millions

Human feces contains gold and other precious metals that could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars, experts say.

Now the trick is how to retrieve them -- a potential windfall that could also help save the planet. 

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Experts: Time Running out for Wild Elephants

African elephants could be extinct in the wild within a few decades, experts warned on Monday at a major conservation summit in Botswana that highlighted an alarming decline in numbers due to poaching.

The Africa Elephant Summit, held at a tourist resort in Kasane, gathered delegates from about 20 countries across Europe, Africa and Asia, including China -- which is accused of fuelling the illegal poaching trade.

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Japan Opts for Massive, Costly Sea Wall to Fend off Tsunamis

Four years after a towering tsunami ravaged much of Japan's northeastern coast, efforts to fend off future disasters are focusing on a nearly 400-kilometer (250-mile) chain of cement sea walls, at places nearly five stories high.

Opponents of the 820 billion yen ($6.8 billion) plan argue that the massive concrete barriers will damage marine ecology and scenery, hinder vital fisheries and actually do little to protect residents who are mostly supposed to relocate to higher ground. Those in favor say the sea walls are a necessary evil, and one that will provide some jobs, at least for a time.

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Radiation, Climate Force Bikini Islanders to Seek U.S. Refuge

A tiny central Pacific community, forced to evacuate their homes because of U.S. nuclear testing, are now demanding refuge in the United States as they face a new threat from climate change.

"We want to relocate to the United States," Nishma Jamore, mayor of the atoll of Bikini, said on the weekend as Pacific waters continued to eat away at the small Kili and Ejit islands in the far-flung Marshall Islands archipelago.

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Nine Whales Die after Australia Stranding

Nine whales died Monday after stranding themselves against a rocky breakwater on Australia's east coast, with experts working to herd the rest of their group out to sea.

About 20 long-finned pilot whales got into trouble in Bunbury harbour, 175 kilometers (110 miles) south of Perth, Western Australia's Department of Parks and Wildlife said.

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Chinese Airline Completes Cooking Oil Fuel Flight

A Chinese airline on Saturday completed the country's first commercial flight using biofuel, made from waste cooking oil, as the government seeks to promote greater environmental sustainability.

A Hainan Airlines flight from commercial hub Shanghai to Beijing used biofuel supplied by China National Aviation Fuel company and energy giant Sinopec, according to a statement from U.S. aircraft giant Boeing.

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Neanderthals Shape up as Globe's first Jewellers

The widely-held vision of Neanderthals as brutes may need a stark rethink after research found they crafted the world's earliest jewellery from eagle talons 130,000 years ago, long before modern humans appeared in Europe.

"While reviewing eight, white-tailed eagle talons and an associated phalanx, on the latter I noticed numerous cut marks and a revelation just struck me -- they were made by a human hand," Davorka Radovcic, a curator at Croatia's Natural History Museum, told Agence France Presse.

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As Lakes Become Deserts, Drought is Iran's New Problem

Nazar Sarani's village in southeast Iran was once an island. It is now a desert, a casualty of the country's worsening water crisis.

"We live in the dust," said the 54-year-old cattle herder of his home in the once exceptional biosphere of Lake Hamoun, a wetland of varied flora and fauna, which is now nothing but sand-baked earth.

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Australia: Plan Ensures Great Barrier Reef Future

Australia released its long-term blueprint to save the Great Barrier Reef Saturday, with Prime Minister Tony Abbott saying protecting the World Heritage site was a priority.

The 35-year plan for the major tourist attraction off the Queensland coast includes a complete and permanent ban on the dumping of capital dredge material in the area and sets targets to improve water quality and marine life populations.

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