Stunning dinosaur discovery: 170-million-year-old footprint found in Scotland

An extremely rare 170-million-year-old dinosaur footprint has been found in Scotland. Paleontologists, however, are keeping its precise location secret until they can complete their research.

The footprint was discovered earlier this year by Dr. Neil Clark, curator of palaeontology at the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum. Clark told Fox News that he had just given a talk in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands and decided to “visit the Jurassic rocks” in the area.

“After about a half hour looking, I spotted the footprint and was able to immediately recognize it as the footprint of a sauropod dinosaur,” he told Fox News. “I had to do a double take on the footprint as I couldn’t believe that such an obvious footprint had not been seen previously, considering the number of researchers who visit the coast each year.”

RARE DINOSAUR PRINTS MADE 170 MILLION YEARS AGOFOUND IN SCOTLAND

Sauropods were huge dinosaurs with long necks and long tails. The footprint is about 30 inches by 20 inches.

DinosaurFootprintScotland2

An image of the dinosaur footprint taken by Dr. Neil Clark – for scale, the yellow GPS next to the footprint is about 5.5 inches

 (© The Hunterian, University of Glasgow)

While dozens of dinosaur footprints have been found on the Isle of Skye, the footprint spotted by Clark is the first to be found on the Scottish mainland. “Previously all the dinosaurs that have been found in Scotland have been found in the west of the country and belong to a different geographical area called the Hebrides Basin,” Clark explained. “The new discovery adds dinosaurs to another geographical area called the Moray Basin.”

Dating back to the Middle Jurassic period about 170 million years ago, Clark described the footprint as extremely rare. Palaeontologists, he said, will use the footprint to gain insight into distribution of dinosaurs.

The precise location of the footprint is being kept secret while Clark raises money for his research. “I have been trying to crowdfund the project in order to do some accurate mapping of the area by drone to pinpoint the dinosaur footprints,” he told Fox News. “The research will be commenced once we are able to crowdfund enough to cover the costs.”

INCREDIBLE DINOSAUR ‘ROAD’ DISCOVERY: ‘MOTHER LODE’ OF DINO TRACKS FOUND AT NASA SITE

Apatosaurus dinosaur 3D illustration

Apatosaurus, a type of sauropod (iStock)

 (Warpaintcobra)

The discovery of the dinosaur footprints on the Isle of Skye was announced earlier this year.

On the other side of the Atlantic, an incredible dinosaur path, which even shows the tracks of a baby dinosaur, has been found at NASA’s Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Last year, vandals wrecked a dinosaur footprint in rock at a renowned paleontology site in Australia.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Yellowstone bison taunter reportedly sentenced to jail

An Oregon man who was caught on video seemingly antagonizing a bison in Yellowstone National Park was reportedly sentenced to 130 days in jail Thursday after entering a guilty plea to the charges against him.

Raymond Reinke, 55, pleaded guilty to four charges of misconduct in national parks, according to ABC Fox Montana. He reportedly reversed his original not guilty plea, resulting in a fifth charge getting dropped.

Law enforcement had numerous encounters with Reinke since late July as he was traveling across several U.S. parks, Yellowstone officials revealed in a news release announcing his Aug. 2 arrest.

COLORADO PARKS AND WILDLIFE ASKING RESIDENTS TO BEAR-PROOF THEIR HOMES

He was eventually taken into custody after “Yellowstone rangers connected Reinke’s extensive history” and saw “the egregious nature of the wildlife violation,” the news release said.

An onlooker captured the moment on video, seemingly showing Reinke approach a bison in the middle of the road. The animal initially walked away from him as he approached. But soon after, the bison turned around and ran toward Reinke, who skittered away. The animal then retreated in the opposite direction.

Judge Mark Carmon, who handed Reinke his sentencing, admonished him for the bison incident, according to ABC Fox Montana.

A 55-FOOT FIT WHALE WASHED UP ON A MASSACHUSETTS BEACH. WHAT KILLED IT?

“You chased and hounded the bison,” the judge said. “You’re lucky the bison didn’t take care of it, and you’re standing in front of me.”

Reinke was handed 60 days each for harassing wildlife and interfering with law enforcement, as well as 10 days for disorderly conduct, the outlet said. He was also reportedly given credit for 21 days already served.

Aside from jail time, Reinke was given five years of unsupervised probation, during which he must abstain from alcohol and drugs and cannot enter Yellowstone, Glacier or Grand Teton National Parks, the news outlet said. He reportedly also has to receive drug and alcohol treatment.

“I’m sorry to the buffalo,” Reinke said Thursday. “He didn’t deserve what I did to him. I’m sorry, I really didn’t mean to hurt that buffalo.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Florida crocodile spotted using pool noodle to cross canal

A crocodile had a little support while crossing a canal in Key Largo, Fla., earlier this month — a yellow pool noodle.

The creature was caught on camera resting on the pool noodle as it swam across the water near mile marker 105 of the Overseas Highway, a 113-mile road that runs through the Florida Keys.

“I saw the croc off my balcony swimming up the canal,” local Victor Perez told Fox News on Wednesday. “My first thought was, ‘What happened to the person that was on the noodle?'”

At first, Perez said he didn’t see the large reptile. The floating device appeared to be drifting away in the water behind his home. 

GIANT ALLIGATOR IN SOUTH CAROLINA ATTEMPTS TO SCALE FENCE TO ESCAPE TRAPPERS: ‘THIS IS CRAZY’

“It was just cruising along, and I was like, ‘OK, where’s the swimmer?’” Perez repeated to the Miami Herald. 

But when he took a closer look, Perez saw a dark brownish-green figure and quickly realized it was a crocodile. 

The Key Largo resident ran to grab his phone and snapped pictures of the unusual sight. He posted a photo of the crocodile to Instagram on Aug. 6 and received hundreds of likes. 

croc

Victor Perez snapped photos of a crocodile crossing a Key Largo, Florida, canal in August using a floating device.

 (Victor Perez)

“I don’t know how he got that thing, but he looked like just any typical Florida tourist!” Perez jested.

CROCODILE EATS SMALL DOG THAT SPENT YEARS CHASING IT BACK INTO RIVER

South Florida is the only place in the U.S. where both American alligators and American crocodiles exist, according to the National Park Service.

The creatures may look alike at first glance, but upon closer inspection you’ll notice a crocodile has a narrower snout, a lighter coloring and a longer, more muscular tail. They also have a shyer nature than alligators.

“Crocodiles … are rare and secretive creatures that inhabit coastal, brackish, and salt-water habitats,” the NPS explains on its website. “Although the aggressive reputation earned by the American crocodile’s distant, larger, man-eating cousins in Australia and Africa may inspire fear of crocodiles inhabiting the Everglades, conflict with humans rarely occurs because of the shy nature of American crocodiles.”

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

‘Cursed’ ancient Egyptian sarcophagus reveals its grisly secrets

Archaeologists in Egypt have unlocked the secrets of a mysterious ancient ‘cursed’ black granite sarcophagus.

The massive coffin, which was recently excavated in the city of Alexandria, was found to contain three skeletons and gold sheets with the remains. The tomb dates back to the Ptolemaic period between 305 B.C. and 30 B.C.

In a Facebook post Sunday, Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities explained that preliminary studies had determined the gender and age of the skeletons. One skeleton belongs to a woman of 20 to 25 years of age, who was between 5-feet-3 and almost 5-feet-5. A second skeleton belonged to man between 35 and 39 years old, who was between 5-feet-3 and just over 5-feet-5. The third skeleton belonged to a man aged between 40 and 44, who was between 5-feet-10 and just over 6-feet tall.

MYSTERIOUS GIANT SARCOPHAGUS DISCOVERED IN EGYPT

An initial analysis had suggested that the skeletons may belong to three soldiers.

EgyptSarcophagus4

Experts are studying the three skeletons found in the mysterious black granite sarcophagus (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Mystery surrounded the sarcophagus since its discovery was announced last month. The Independent, citing local reports, said that Egyptian officials had been mocking suggestions that opening the sarcophagus would unleash a curse.

Experts explained Sunday that a hole has been made in one of the skulls, the result of trepanation, or trepanning, a surgical procedure used to relieve pressure on the brain, that dates back thousands of years. 

ARCHAEOLOGISTS OPEN ‘CURSED’ ANCIENT EGYPTIAN SARCOPHAGUS

“This surgery is the oldest surgical intervention ever known since pre-history but was rare in Egypt,” said Dr. Zeinab Hashish, director of the department of skeleton remains studies at the Ministry of Antiquities.

EgyptSarcophagus5

A hole has been made in one of the skulls, the result of trepanation, or trepanning, a surgical procedure that dates back thousands of years. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

Experts also explained the disgusting red liquid that was found inside the sarcophagus. Dr. Ayman Ashmawy, head of the ancient Egyptian antiquities sector, said that the liquid is likely sewage water combined with the decomposing remains of the skeletons’ wrappings.

More than 30,000 people signed a bizarre online petition asking to drink the red liquid. By drinking it, people claimed they would absorb the mummies’ powers.

More research will now be undertaken, including DNA tests and CT-scans, to find out more about the skeletons and determine whether they were related.

‘WORLD’S OLDEST CHEESE’ DISCOVERED IN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN TOMB

EgyptSarcophagus7

Further analysis will now be conducted on the skeletons (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

The sarcophagus was found buried 16.4 feet below the surface. A layer of mortar between the lid and the body of the sarcophagus indicated that it has not been opened since it was closed more than 2,000 years ago.

A carved alabaster head, was also found, prompting speculation that it depicts the tomb’s owner.

The granite coffin’s contents offer the latest fascinating glimpse into the culture of ancient Egypt. Archaeologists, for example, recently found the oldest solid cheese in the tomb of Ptahmes, mayor of the ancient city of Memphis.

MYSTERIOUS ANCIENT ARTWORK DEPICTING FEMALE PHARAOH FOUND BY ACCIDENT

SarcophagusEgypt2

Three skeletons and water sewage were found in the sarcophagus (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

A mummy buried in Southern Egypt more than 5,000 years ago, has also revealed its grisly secrets, shedding new light on prehistoric embalming practices. Additionally, a mysterious sphinx, was discovered during roadwork in the Egyptian city of Luxor.

In a separate project, experts unearthed a 2,200-year-old gold coin depicting the ancient King Ptolemy III, an ancestor of the famed Cleopatra.

Experts in Southern Egypt recently discovered an extremely rare marble head depicting the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius.

RARE ROMAN DISCOVERY THRILLS EXPERTS: EMPEROR’S MARBLE HEAD FOUND AT EGYPTIAN TEMPLE SITE

EgyptSarcophagus3

The giant black granite sarcophagus discovered in Alexandria, Egypt. (Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities)

In Australia, archaeologists found the tattered remains of an ancient priestess in a 2,500-year-old Egyptian coffin that was long thought to be empty.

On the other side of the world, a rare ancient artifact depicting the famous female pharaoh Hatshepsut surfaced in the U.K. Stunning new research also claims that King Tutankhamun may have been a boy soldier, challenging the theory he was a weak and sickly youth before his mysterious death at around 18 years of age.

Experts in the U.K. also found the world’s oldest figurative tattoos on two ancient Egyptian mummies recently, one of which is the oldest tattooed female ever discovered.

MUMMY WEARING GOLD-GILDED FACE MASK DISCOVERED AT ANCIENT EGYPT BURIAL GROUND

Other recent finds include an ancient cemetery in Egypt with more than 40 mummies and a necklace containing a “message from the afterlife.” An ancient statue of a Nubian king with an inscription written in Egyptian hieroglyphics was also found at a Nile River temple in Sudan.

Scientists also believe that they may have found the secret of the Great Pyramid’s near-perfect alignment. Experts are also confident that they have solved the long-standing mystery of the “screaming mummy.”

In February, archaeologists announced the discovery of a 4,400-year-old tomb near the pyramids. Late last year, archaeologists also revealed that they had uncovered the graves of four children at an ancient site in Egypt.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Fishermen haul in 1-ton WW II bomb

Fishermen in France made an extremely dangerous catch when they hauled in a 1-ton German bomb left over from World War II.

A trawler found the bomb off the coast of Normandy last week, according to The Express. The discovery was made 2.5 miles from the port of Grandcamp-Maisy, the media outlet reported.

WATCH: ROYAL NAVY DETONATES 1,100-POUND WORLD WAR II BOMB FOUND IN THE RIVER THAMES

With the crew safely evacuated from the trawler, experts worked to defuse the bomb, according to a tweet from French authorities.

The bomb was found near the location of the D-Day landings in June 1944.

STERN OF US WW II DESTROYER DISCOVERED NEAR REMOTE ALASKAN ISLAND: SURVIVOR RECOUNTS HARROWING DAY

Other unexploded ordnance from World War II has been making headlines. Earlier this year, Royal Navy bomb disposal experts detonated a large wartime device that was discovered in the River Thames.

The 500 kg (1,102 pound) bomb was found in the George V Dock in North Woolwich during construction work at the London City airport. The discovery of the large German bomb prompted the closure of the airport, as well as the evacuation of nearby residents from their homes.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers

Stolen artifacts: European museums may loan back works from former colonies

Museums in Western Europe are starting to reevaluate how to deal with certain colonial-era artifacts added to their expansive collections over the years — despite being stolen or plundered.

Some of the items reflect periods of history that were, and still are, contested. As the Washington Post reports, some of Europe’s leading cultural institutions are considering whether to return various artifacts to their countries of origin, often in Africa or Asia.

French President Emmanuel Macron nudged things along by proclaiming in Burkina Faso in November that France would work toward the “temporary or permanent restitution of African heritage to Africa.”

MYSTERIOUS GIANT SHARK TRACKED BY SATELLITES, RARE SIGHTINGS 

France, as recently as March 2017, had rejected efforts by Benin to reclaim thousands of objects looted in the 1890s from what was then the Kingdom of Dahomey—including royal thrones, scepters and statues showcased at the Musee du Quai Branly in Paris, the Post reported.

“Their restitution is not possible,” the French government said at the time, according to French newspaper Liberation.

Macron’s election in 2017 prompted a different policy.

“I cannot accept that a large part of cultural heritage from several African countries is in France,” Macron said during the Burkina Faso visit. “African heritage cannot just be in European private collections and museums.”

Big royal statues of the Kingdom of Dahomey dating back to 1890-1892 are pictured on June 18, 2018 at the Quai Branly Museum-Jacques Chirac in Paris. - Benin is demanding restitution of its national treasures that had been taken from the former French colony Dahomey (current Benin) to France and currently are on display at Quai Branly, a museum featuring the indigenous art and cultures of Africa. (Photo by GERARD JULIEN / AFP)        (Photo credit should read GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Benin has asked for the return of statues and other artifacts from the Kingdom of Dahomey on display at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris.

 (Getty Images)

In London, the Victoria and Albert Museum in April staged an exhibit of objects that included a gold crown and chalice taken by the British army from Ethiopia in 1868.

NORTH CAROLINA COUPLE SPOT MASSIVE MEGALODON SHARK TOOTH ON BEACH 

“Even at the time, this episode was regarded as a shameful one,” the museum noted.

Ethiopia filed a claim for the artifacts in 2008. But this year, the V&A director floated the idea of returning the objects under a long-term loan agreement.

Meanwhile, the German Lost Art Foundation, which was established to support probes of Nazi-looted art, said in April that it would expand its mandate to include artifacts from other colonies as well, according to the Post.

For 2019, Germany reportedly has set aside $3.5 million to help museums determine the origins of possibly illegal or illegitimate artifacts.

Although all of this seems to suggest that attitudes are changing, some art analysts have said it may not lead to much of an overhaul of Europe’s collections — since there has been more talk of long-term loans and less talk of fully and permanently returning artifacts. 

Christopher Carbone is a reporter and news editor covering science and technology for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @christocarbone.

Days after shark attack, town on Cape Cod closes beach to swimmers ‘due to continued shark activity’

Days after a 61-year-old man suffered a shark bite in Massachusetts, the beach on Cape Cod where the attack occurred was “closed” off to swimmers for the foreseeable future “due to continued shark activity,” the town announced Friday.

The town website for Truro, Mass., posted the statement around 8:45 p.m. letting visitors know ahead of the weekend.

SHARK ATTACK OFF CAPE COD LEAVES SWIMMER WITH WOUNDS TO TORSO, LEGS

“Longnook Beach is closed to swimming until further notice due to continued shark activity,” the statement said. “Beach Gate Attendants will be informing patrons of the recent shark activity in the area and distributing Cape Cod Great White Shark Safety brochures.”

William Lytton, 61, of Scarsdale, N.Y., was airlifted to a Boston hospital after suffering a shark bite Wednesday that resulted in deep puncture wounds to his torso and legs.

A man is transferred from a Truro ambulance to a MedFlight helicopter after being attacked by a shark, Wednesday, Aug. 15, 2018 in South Wellfleet, Mass. A man swimming off Cape Cod was attacked by a shark on Wednesday and was airlifted to a hospital. It was the first shark attack on a human on the popular summer tourist destination since 2012. (Merrily Cassidy

William Lytton, 61, of Scarsdale N.Y., was airlifted to a Boston hospital after suffering a shark bite off Cape Cod on Wednesday that resulted in deep puncture wounds to his torso and legs.

 (AP)

A great white shark was reportedly suspected in the attack. The beach was closed following the attack and was expected to remain closed until the weekend, officials previously said.

GREAT WHITE SHARK SUSPECTED IN CAPE COD BEACH ATTACK

Lytton was in fair condition Saturday, a spokeswoman for Tufts Medical Center, where he is receiving medical care, told the Associated Press.

Wednesday’s shark attack was Massachusetts’ first since 2012. The state’s last fatal shark attack was in 1936.

Fox News’ Kathleen Joyce, Stephen Sorace and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Great white shark kills dolphin, loses meal to even bigger shark

A shocking video shows a great white shark proudly carrying around its latest victim — a dolphin — when suddenly an even bigger great white swoops in to steal the meal straight from its mouth. 

In a video shared by Shark Watch South Australia on Wednesday, a 12-foot great white is seen successfully taking a dead dolphin from a 10-foot shark as a group of shocked oyster farmers watch the scene unfold off the coast of Smoky Bay, Australia.

Fins can be seen splashing in the water, as if the pair were both briefly tugging at the creature, before the bigger shark swims away with the prey. Moments later, the 12-foot shark starts to devour the dolphin just feet from several fishing boats.

“The incident involving two great white sharks ended in fatal circumstances for a dolphin which was attacked and then once killed the devoured carcass dragged away in front of their boat,” the group, which aims to educate the public about sharks by sharing real-time alerts on social media, explained in the video caption.

The video garnered more than 135,000 views as of Friday afternoon, with more than 1,000 commenting on the savage fight.

“Well that ‘ole wives tale has been sorted. Dolphins will not protect you from sharks except in the movies,” one Facebook user commented.

“Omg I was always told where there is dolphins sharks won’t be near never believing that again,” another added.

“Looks like a young/baby dolphin…. Sharks might’ve got it on its own,away from the pod…..poor thing.. Thats nature tho, sharks gotta eat to,” one user chimed in.

20-FOOT SHARK SURPRISES COAST GUARD CREW OFF MAINE COAST: ‘IT’S REAL LIFE JAWS’

Oyster farmer Jason Darke said his nephew took the footage, which he then shared with the shark-watching group. Darke described the recent oyster farming trip as the “best craziest morning ever.”

“A smaller great white made the kill then a bigger great white come [sic] from no where and stole it from his mouth,” he explained. “Just to clarify, no we didn’t try touch it or catch it.”

Darke shared several videos of the “rare” great white predation, revealing various angles of the battle for food.

“A great white makes off with its catch just moments after a brutal natural predation on a dolphin. Oyster farm worker Jason Darke catches the moment it casually cruises by their boat with its carcass in its mouth,” Shark Watch South Australia wrote in a follow-up video that shows a close-up of the greedy great white.

Adult great white sharks, the world’s largest predatory fish, are known to prey on large fish and marine mammals. These typically include seals and sea lions, in addition to scavenging on whale carcasses and other injured animals, according to the U.S. National Park Service.

Jennifer Earl is an SEO editor for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter @jenearlyspeakin.

19 dead elk found in Oregon were likely killed by avalanche, biologist says

Some hikers in Oregon recently found 19 dead elk, which state Fish and Wildlife officials say were likely the victims of an avalanche.

The hikers made the discovery last week near No Name Lake and Broken Top mountain peak, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said.

Melting snow revealed the elk carcasses, which included bulls, cows and calves, wildlife biologist Jamie Bowles said, according to the Bulletin of Bend, Ore.

“It was really unsettling to see in person,” Bowles told the paper.

The elk suffered broken limbs and antlers, as well as torn hides from the avalanche. Their bodies were also twisted and contorted.

Bowles said it was not clear when the avalanche took place, but believes it was likely last summer after the winter of 2016-17, when the area had a record amount of snowfall.

The wildlife biologist told the paper that, based on the regions researchers have been able to study, it is rare for elk to get trapped in avalanches, however, he noted it could be taking place in more remote areas.

Bowles said the elk will not be removed as it is unnecessary and too dangerous.  

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Benjamin Brown is a reporter for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter @bdbrown473.

Rare nickel up for auction in Philadelphia bought for $4.56 million

An extremely rare nickel up for auction in Philadelphia fetched $4.56 million from an anonymous buyer Wednesday.

The Stack’s Bowers Galleries offered the Eliasberg 1913 Liberty Head Nickel for auction during the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money.

“This is truly a momentous sale and one for the history books,” Brian Kendrella, president of Stack’s Bowers Galleries, told WPVI. “The new owner of the Eliasberg nickel now possesses one of the rarest, most valuable United States coins, and one of only three examples of this coveted coin in private hands.”

The coin is named for financier Louis E. Eliasberg, who bought the coin in 1948, and amassed one of the greatest coin collections in U.S. history.

This special nickel is one of only five ever produced at the Third Philadelphia Mint.

“No one really knows the circumstances of their production,” Vicken Yegparian, vice president of numismatics at Stack’s Bowers Galleries, said. “This is the best of the five — it’s known as the Eliasberg specimen.”

As Fox News previously reported, Yegparian said that the five Liberty Head nickels were produced just before the U.S. Mint started producing nickels with a Buffalo Head design.

“Of the remaining four, two are off the market — one was donated to the Smithsonian in the ‘70s, and one was donated to the American Numismatic Association in the 1980s,” he said. “There remain two other ones in private hands.”

Rare coins are big business. Earlier this year, a small $5 gold coin produced by the San Francisco Mint during the height of the California Gold Rush was estimated to be worth “millions of dollars.” The coin’s owner initially had thought that the money was fake.

Fox News’ James Rogers, Chris Ciaccia and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Frank Miles is a reporter and editor covering sports, tech, military and geopolitics for FoxNews.com. He can be reached at [email protected] 

Texas man reels in 12-foot tiger shark after ‘intense fight’

A Texas man made the catch of a lifetime Saturday after reeling in a 12-foot tiger shark near South Padre Island.

Matthew Zuniga, of Harlingen, caught the shark after 1 a.m. on Saturday, roughly two hours after hooking the sea creature.

GRAPHIC IMAGES: SHARK ATTACKS SEAL, TURNS WATER RED

The 31-year-old told Fox News on Tuesday he had a line out for roughly 12 hours before the shark hooked the bait during high tide late that evening.

shark

The shark was 12-feet long.

 (Matthew Zuniga)

“It walked us down the beach for about a mile from where we first started out,” he described, adding that his 15-year-old nephew helped him reel in the shark. “It was an intense fight.”

The South Texas man said the catch marked his first tiger shark, though he’s been fishing for more than 20 years in the South Padre area and has reeled in hammerhead and bull sharks in the past.

Zuniga said reeling in the tiger shark was “beyond what [he] ever thought it would be.”

WARNING GRAPHIC IMAGE: SHARK BITES TEXAS BEACHGOER, WHO IS RUSHED TO HOSPITAL

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Zuniga said this was his first time catching a tiger shark.

 (Matthew Zuniga)

“I’ve caught really nice sharks in the past, but I can’t compare the fight [to the tiger shark],” he added.

Zuniga measured and took pictures with the shark before tagging and releasing it back into the ocean.

Madeline Farber is a Reporter for Fox News. You can follow her on Twitter @MaddieFarberUDK.

Scientists study how wildfire smoke affects people, environment

Smoke from the wildfires raging across the West is reaching as far as the East Coast, according to the National Weather Service.

A team of scientists from five universities and a handful of federally funded agencies are flying a specially equipped plane through the plumes to do the most extensive anaylsis of wildfire smoke ever.

“We’ll take this aircraft behind me as close as we can into fires as safety allows,” according to principal investigator and Assistant Professor Emily Fischer, with Colorado State University. CSU is one of the institutions participating in the far-reaching study.

“We’re primarily looking at the smoke in the first day that it’s in the atmosphere because there’s a lot of interesting chemistry that will eventually determine the air quality and climate impact of that smoke,” Fischer said. 

The C-130 aircraft flies out of Boise, Idaho, because of that city’s proximity to multiple fires. The plane’s instruments pull the air in and generate information in real time about the composition of the smoke. Samples are also captured for later analysis in the lab.

“What’s different about this field campaign is just the extensive instrumentation that’s on the plane,” Fischer explained. “What we’re doing is repeatedly sampling smoke under as many environmental conditions and fire types in as many takes as we can.”

The information is badly needed, especially out west where a smoky haze has covered parts of several states all summer. In Sacramento, one person complained to TV station KOVR that it feels, “A lot like allergies, my eyes are irritated, I feel like it’s harder to breathe, all of my senses just kind of feel affected.”

Sutter Health emergency room doctor Adam Dougherty told the station, “It’s a toxic exposure, it’s like second-hand smoke everywhere. I’ve definitely seen more pediatric airway issues things you would normally see in January in the middle of flu season.”

Dr. Anthony Gerber at National Jewish Health in Denver said there’s simply not enough known about what’s in wildfire smoke to make precise predictions about how it will affect everyone.

“The chemistry is complicated,” said Gerber. “What’s burning, is not the same. I mean, so not all forests are the same. How much soil that becomes part of the particulate cloud is not the same. If it burns structures it’s not the same and then as it moves and mixes with other pollutants, it can really change.”

The researchers say while they may be flying into the smoke of an active fire, they are not there to battle it, and take precautions to stay out of the way of firefighting planes and crews.

The team members said full results aren’t expected for another year, but within the next three months they could have some unique insight.

Alicia Acuna joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in 1997 and currently serves as a general assignment reporter based in the network’s Denver bureau.