Happy World Orangutan Day! A day especially for those fuzzy arboreal apes, orangutans! Orangutans are very special apes, they are the only arboreal ape and they are the only ape in found outside of Africa! The name orangutan is derived from the Malay words ‘orang’ and ‘hutan.’ ‘Orang’ means person and ‘hutan’ means forest, giving the orangutan the name person of the forest. These people of the forest are an incredible look into the evolution of humans, with their intelligent eyes and knack for gentle parenting, but unfortunately we are destroying their habitat at an alarming rate. 300 football fields worth of forest are cut down every single day in Indonesia and Malaysia.
Yasuni National Park in Ecuador has been dubbed the most diverse place in the world. The nearly 4,000 square miles are home to 150 species of amphibians, 121 species of reptiles, 382 species of fish, 596 species of birds, over 100,000 species of insects, and a number of un-contacted indigenous tribes. It comprises a mere 0.15% of the Amazon Basin but holds almost 1/3 of its amphibian and reptile species. This area is teeming with life, and yesterday, the government of Ecuador approved a plan to begin drilling for oil inside the boundaries of Yasuni National Park.
I’m such an emotional sap. This brought tears to my eyes! But how could it not? It’s the miracle of birth seen in a completely new way. This captive Sumatran orangutan named Dana gave birth to a beautiful new baby girl, now why is this so fantastic? Well firstly because Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered, but secondly because it was the first ever orangutan birth caught on film so completely.
India is the fourth country to ban keeping cetaceans in captivity, behind Costa Rica, Hungary and Chile. Dolphins and other cetaceans have long been kept as a source of entertainment and guaranteed income in zoos and theme parks alike. But knowing what we know now about cetacean intelligence, is that really the right thing to do?
I am sure you have heard me preach about the evils of palm oil, again and again, but if you’ve actually tried to shop for products without palm oil you’ve probably found that you’re going without a lot of your normal snacks. It sucks! Goodness, I’ve missed popcorn, but now theres a way to find who is using sustainable palm oil!
If any of you read National Geographic News or follow them on Facebook you might have recently seen something about the California Dwarf Fox coming back from the brink of extinction. The drastic increase in numbers over the last nine years has been staggering. While this is all well and good what really caught my attention was the idea of island dwarfism, something I have been fascinated with since I was a little girl.
Yippee! I had time, and actually remembered, to make a hump day post this week! Even though I am still on vacation in France with my family I am finally getting enough internet to blog. Lets discuss virgin birth, or, parthenogenesis. Most people have heard of the legend of the Virgin Mary, and if you’re not familiar with Christianity at all, most religions have virgin birth myths. Well, it doesn’t tend to occur very often(if at all) in mammals, but is quite common among other types of animals!