Mooney Goes Wild

    Sunday, 10pm-11pm, RTÉ Radio 1

    Mooney, Sunday April 12th 2015


    On Mooney Goes Wild tonight...

    The brontosaurus is back! Richard Collins and Eanna ni Lamhna discuss some of the wildlife stories making the headlines this week, Ken Whelan chats about using environmental DNA to look for salmon, Sheila O’Callaghan goes looking for limpets, Asa Barber tells us about the strength of a limpet’s teeth, and Terry Flanagan meets listener Gerry Conway to find out about his experience with a fox...


    The Brontosaurus Is Back!

    For over a hundred years, the Brontosaurus has been declared a misnomer - everyone’s favourite dino was in fact just a sub-set of the Apatosaurus, and thus never existed. However new research unveiled this week has cast doubt on this age-old theory. Professor Paul Barrett, dinosaur researcher at the Natural History Museum in London, joins us to explain more...


    Sinéad's Nature News

    Mooney Goes Wild’s Broadcast Co-Ordinator, Sinéad Renshaw, joins Derek, Richard, Eanna and Ken in studio with a look at some of the wildlife and nature stories making the headlines – including how the desert pupfish (pictured) of Death Valley in Nevada can ‘hold it’s breath’ for up to five hours - and why a businessman paid €33,000 for a fish for his dinner!

    For more information on the desert pupfish, click here, to find out more about the businessman and his Golden Snapper, click here - and for the rest of Sinéad’s Nature News, click here.


    eDNA & Salmon

    Mooney Goes Wild’s resident marine biologist, Dr. Ken Whelan, joins Derek, Richard and Eanna in studio to describe the work of Dr Jens Carlsson and his team in UCD, who are planning to use environmental DNA to trace the whereabouts of juvenile salmon, who, it is feared, are ending up in the nets of giant trawlers at sea… For more information on the work of Dr Carlsson, visit, click here to learn more about Ken Whelan, or click here for further information on the eDNA project.


    As Strong As A Limpet's Tooth

    Next time you're taking a walk along the coast, there's something you should know! Just inches away from your feet are very small creatures you would hardly even notice, but within them lies an incredible secret which has just been unlocked. Beyond their modest shells, common limpets have been found to hold extraordinary powers of super strength, which could revolutionise engineering, such as in the design of Formula 1 racing cars, planes and boats of the future.

    Limpet's teeth

    Eanna ni Lamhna and Mooney Goes Wild producer Sheila O'Callaghan headed off to the coast to see what they could spot. And to explain more about the potential strength of a limpet’s tooth, we’re joined from the BBC’s studios in London by Dr. Asa Barber, Professor of Advanced Materials Engineering at the University of Portsmouth, and lead author of a new study which has found that the limpet tooth is made from the strongest substance known to man… To read Dr. Barber’s study, click here.


    Garden Foxes

    One of Ireland’s most common and widespread mammals is the Fox. It is also one of our most handsome animals with it’s distinctive reddish-brown coat and bushy tail and it is the only wild member of the dog family found here. So you might think that it is one of our best loved animals? Well, opinions appear to be divided. Some of us love to see a wild fox in the garden or roaming along country roads, whereas others find them a pest in the garden and a threat to other animals, especially poultry.

    Recently, we had a call from Gerry Conway who lives in Terenure and he wanted to share his fox experience with the listeners, so we dispatched our reporter, Terry Flanagan, off very early last Sunday morning to find out more...

    Hedgerows: It is an offence to 'cut, grub, burn or otherwise destroy hedgerows on uncultivated land during the nesting season from 1 March to 31 August, subject to certain exceptions'. For more information, click here.

    To contact your local wildlife ranger, click here for contact details. To read the Wildlife (Amendment) Act 2000, click here.


    Please DO NOT send any live, dead or skeletal remains of any creature whatsoever to Mooney Goes Wild.

    If you find an injured animal or bird, please contact the National Parks & Wildlife Service on 1890 20 20 21, or BirdWatch Ireland, on 01 281-9878, or visit


    If you require a CD copy of this programme please e-mail or click here for RTÉ Archives sales form. Transfer fees and terms and conditions apply.

    Music Played on the Show

    • 22:33
      Title: They Say It's Spring
      Performer(s): Blossom Dearie (Vocals/Piano)
      Performer(s): Blossom Dearie (Vocals/Piano)
      Duration: 3:57

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