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Announcing Sacred Mounds, a novel of Magical Realism and Historical Fantasy from Jim Metzner, with a foreword by Hutke Fields, principal chief of the Natchez Nation.
Cyclonic hordes of insects, a telepathic despot, body-swapping sex - just a few of the surprises Salvador Samuels encounters when he is swept back to pre-colonial times, walking in the moccasins of a blind Indian - who, in turn, has been transported into Salvador's body in present-day America. Sacred Mounds Book Cover Four hundred years apart, they are bound by a mission to rescue our world, aided by the mysterious presence of the mounds. Thousands of these ancient earthworks once dotted the landscape of North America. We still don't know why they were created. Sacred Mounds suggests they are as important today as when they were made over a thousand years ago. Sacred Mounds weaves the stories of two men, each a stranger in a strange land. With the help of two remarkable women, they must find a way to save our planet and return home.
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Wildlife Veterinarian: Elephant Radio Collar: The Pulse of the Planet daily radio program offers free legal online mp3 downloads, exploring the world of sound in nature, culture and science, with audio adventures, world music, extraordinary sound portraits, science diaries, and nature ring-tones; an amazing sonic experience.

Airdate: Apr 28, 2003
Scientist: William Karesh

Wildlife Veterinarian: Elephant Radio Collar

Wildlife Veterinarian: Elephant Radio Collar
Scientists who wanted to study the migration habits of central African elephants put radio tags on them to monitor their movements.


ambience: elephants, Congo forest

We've all heard the saying "let sleeping dogs lie," but when it comes to elephants, that's not necessarily good advice. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet.

Scientists who wanted to study the migration habits of central African elephants decided put radio tags on some of them to monitor their movements. But to radio tag such a large animal, you have to first anesthetize it with a help of a dart gun. And according to William Karesh, a field veterinarian with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the anatomy of an elephant presents a special challenge to anyone who wants to put it to sleep.

"One thing is they don’t have a diaphragm like you and I have - so they cannot breath with their abdomen - so they have to expand their chest with every movement. And their lungs are attached to their chest wall. So when they’re sleeping, let’s say, they lie down on their chest, they weigh so much that they can’t breath. It is a natural tendency when they go to lay down, to first go onto their chest. And if the drug works too fast they might stay that way. So, the first order of business is to push them over on their side, and this is a six or eight thousand pound animal, and it takes six people or so."

At that point, William Karesh would give the elephant an overall physical exam and then a kind of rubber necklace was secured around the animal's neck to hold a high tech, global positioning system transmitter in place.

"We can have the data sent by satellite to download. I can get an email everyday if I want, of the longitude and latitude of that elephant. And that information gives us something very basic, which is, how much land does an elephant need? What do we need to do to protect these animals?"

It turns out that the elephants range as far as a hundred miles in their seasonal migrations - a finding which may lead to the expansion of their protected preserve.

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.