Quick Hits: Road Closing in Pisgah Forest + Mystery Killer Whale

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Bent Creek Road in Pisgah Forest, NC closed for temporary maintenance

The Pisgah Ranger District has closed a section of Bent Creek Road from Ledford Branch Trailhead to the Blue Ridge Parkway for maintenance. Contractors will be using large trucks and heavy equipment to gravel and grade the road. Work should be completed by the end of March. Avery Creek Road (FSR 477) and Wash Creek Road (FSR 500) from North Mills River Campground to Trace Ridge Trailhead have now reopened. The district has also reopened these seasonally closed roads: Courthouse Creek (FSR 140), Yellow Gap Road (FSR 1206), Wash Creek Road (FSR 5000) from the Trace Ridge Trailhead to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and Headwaters Road (FSR 475 B) from the north end of the road to the Sunwall Trailhead.

Mystery killer whale off the coast of Chile is likely to be a new species

For many years fishermen and tourists in southern Chile have returned to shore with tales and even pictures of orca whales that looked different from other orcas in the region. But for the first time a team of international researchers have collected genetic samples from the mystery whales known only as “Type D.” Unlike killer whale types A through C; Type D orcas are thought to eat fish instead of marine mammals like seals and are slightly smaller in size. They are so different than other killer whales that they likely cannot breed with them. Scientists are now working in the laboratory to determine if the whales are a new species. If they are, they remain the “largest undescribed animal left on the planet,” according to marine ecologists working on the case.

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