BBC Earth - Africa
BBC Earth - Africa
This made me laugh:) (by josefgelernter)
Tim Flach - More Than Human
Five species likely to become extinct in the next 40 years
- Rabb’s Fringe-Limbed Treefrog (Ecnomiohyla rabborum) - Estimated number in wild: One. - The big-footed frogs have been devastated by a fungal disease that swept into the area in 2006. Scientists know of only one in the wild, identified by its call. Some live in captivity but have not bred.
- Ploughshare Tortoise (Astrochelys yniphora) - Estimated number in the wild: 400 -Confined to five small, unconnected areas, the tortoises are “nearly certain to go extinct within the next 30 years,” according to the Wildlife Conservation Society. A fragmented habitat limits breeding, and poachers take them for the illegal pet trade.
- Hirola (Damaliscus hunteri) - Estimated number in wild: 600 - The population has steadily declined because of disease, drought and predators. Cattle farmers have taken over much of the antelope’s habitat, and poaching continues in both countries.
- Baiji (Lipotes vexillifer) - Estimated number in wild: Unknown. - Scientists declared the dolphin extinct in 2006 after a survey of the Yangtze River failed to yield a single one, but there has since been an unconfirmed sighting. Dams and water pollution have eliminated or damaged the animal’s habitat.
- The Cat Ba Langur (Trachypithecus poliocephalus) - Estimated number in wild: 59 - They are hunted for “monkey balm,” a traditional medicine. Most surviving langurs are females in isolated groups with little access to males.
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Comparative Cognition and Neuroscience: Misconceptions about Brain Evolution [onlinewiley]
Abstract: This paper discusses five common misconceptions about the evolution of the brain. These misconceptions are: (1) brains evolved in a unilinear, serial process; (2) brain size increased linearly from simple to complex animals; (3) all the systems in the brain in different animals evolved at the same rate; (4) the “new” part of the brain became larger through evolution; and (5) the “same” brain structures in different animals attained the “same” functions. These misunderstandings must be corrected in order for comparative brain research to be a useful approach to understand the cognitive functions of different animals. This paper also discusses the growing interest in the integration of animal cognition studies and comparative brain research in the United States of America. In particular, two recent scientific meetings are presented as examples of the type of collaborations for exploring interdisciplinary brain research for comparative cognition.
This short article by Shimizu is a brilliant article for those who are getting into neuroscience, brain evolution, biology, or biological anthropology. It addresses the common misconceptions regarding brain evolution and explains why these misconceptions exists (and its impact in the scientific community). I highly recommend it as a good foundation piece to give students in the first few weeks of an introductory biological anthropology or neuroscience course. Of course, you’re welcomed to just read it for fun because it’s still pretty damn great.
A mountain gorilla (Africa - BBC)
I’m going to source this because apparently nobody has yet.
This is from photographer James Mollison’s project; “James And Other Apes.
Reblogging peachandtherattlesnake for his/her crediting the work.
Pongo pygmaeus and abelii - the Bornean and Sumatran Orang-utans. Victim to conversion of tropical rainforest to oil palm, fire, and extermination as a pest species, it is expected that orangutans will disappear within the next few decades.
What can you do to help? Many orang-utan orphanages exist that take volunteers and donations, and a really great project is buying land for the purpose of conservation.
It’s also not a bad idea to reconsider what you eat. Money drives a lot of conservation initiatives, so look at the food you pick up from the grocery store. Avoid oil palm and its derivatives, support companies that are committed to being oil palm free, and do your best to stay aware.