Mooney, Friday September 20th 2013



Derek Mooney with his unique mix of conversation, information, advice and entertainment

On Mooney Goes Wild today...

Why is it so difficult to swat a fly? Because to the fly, you are operating in slow motion! Amazing new research from Trinity College in Dublin explores time perception in animals, and its lead author, Kevin Healy, joins the Mooney Goes Wild team to tell all!

Eanna ni Lamhna teams up with David Millard, from Bord Iascaigh Mhara, to go seaweed hunting in Dublin.

And Davide Bomben, Rhino Ranger and World Leader in Rhino Protection, joins Derek to talk about his work, and World Rhino Day on this Sunday, September 22nd.

Plight Of White Rhinos

Plight Of White Rhinos

Last week, we were talking about crime against wildlife and how too often such crimes are brought to our attention on this programme. Today, we saw a terrible picture of a white rhino, bloodied and amputated of its horns.

The rhino is known as Thandi, and she had her horns hacked off by pangas, which are not unlike machetes. It is one of too many stories of rhinos butchered for a thriving illegal trade in rhino horns.

You might not think that this crime has any connection with us here in Ireland, but you would be wrong. This Sunday happens to be World Rhino Day and today are joined in studio by Rhino Ranger Davide Bomben, who is a a world leader in rhino protection.

Stephen Hawking Documentary

Stephen Hawking Documentary

Mooney Goes Wild reporter Terry Flanagan is in studio today, and he was at the movies last night - NOT to see Monsters University, or The Smurfs, in 3-D or otherwise! And NOT to see Diana, the recently released movie about Diana, Princess of Wales. 

Terry went to a biographical picture of an entirely different kind - exploring the life of the world-famous astrophysicist, Stephen Hawking, no less, and he Terry joins Derek in studio today to tell us what he made of it all!

For more information about the documentary Hawking, visit

There are no plans to screen Hawking in the Republic of Ireland, but it will be available as a download on iTunes from later today.

Searching For Seaweed

Searching For Seaweed

As an island nation we are surrounded by sea - but we are also surrounded by something else: seaweed! About 500 different species, in fact. Most of us have heard of Dulse or Carrigeen - edible seaweeds – but most of us just ignore seaweed as 'stuff on the beach'. However seaweed is pretty fascinating... AND lucrative!

Eanna ni Lamhna isn’t with us today, but earlier this week she met up with David Millard, Regional Development Officer with Bord Iascaigh Mhara in Castletownbere and they went seaweed-hunting in Dublin…

Extreme Greens: Understanding Seaweed, by Sally McKenna, is published by Estragon Press, and the ISBN is 978-1906927-196. The RRP is £18.

Animals' Perception Of Time

Animals' Perception Of Time

Last year, you might remember the pictures that went around the world of a murmuration of starlings around Mullingar, Co Westmeath. It was absolutely astonishing. Thousands upon thousands of starlings, dashing and swooshing through the air, at breakneck speed, and in the most intricate formations you can imagine! And what's astonishing to the human eye is the fact that they can achieve such incredible speeds, in such vast numbers, and never crash into each other! How do they manage it?

And what about flies? How do they manage to buzz around your kitchen, with all those obstacles, and never crash into anything? And obstacles include the rolled up newspaper you use to try to swat the little critters!

The reason is that animals like flies and starlings, and in truth animals of all kinds, perceive time and motion in a completely different way to human beings. We might wonder how the fly avoids a rolled up newspaper. But the fly can probably see it coming a mile away! And at a much slower speed than we can perceive.

It's an amazing phenomenon, and it's been explored in depth by Kevin Healy. Kevin is a PhD student at the School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, and he is the lead author of a study exploring time perception in animals.

To read the full paper, visit


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.

Caring For Wild Animals

Please note that many species of mammals, birds, invertebrates etc... are protected under law and that, even with the best of intentions, only someone holding a relevant licence from the National Parks & Wildlife Service should attempt the care of these animals.  For full details, please click here to read the NPWS Checklist of protected & rare species in Ireland.  If you are concerned about a wild animal, please contact your local wildlife ranger - click here for details.


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



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Presenter: Derek Mooney


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