[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

1_Four-eyed Turtle and Beal's Four-eyed Turtle hatchlings

The Tennessee Aquarium recently celebrated the successful hatching of four endangered turtles.

When it comes to breeding some turtles, making even small changes to their environment can be like trying to introduce new foods to an especially picky eater.

“You don’t want to go changing a lot of stuff, or you may unsettle them and have to wait until next year to try again,” says Tennessee Aquarium Senior Herpetologist Bill Hughes. “With some turtle species, it doesn’t matter. With others, you move them to a different space, and they don’t lay eggs for five years. It throws them off track.”

Because of their fickleness and tendency to be slow to reproduce, every successful turtle-breeding season is significant, especially for imperiled species. At the Aquarium, Hughes recently celebrated the successful hatching of a pair each of endangered Four-eyed Turtles (Sacalia quadriocellata) and critically endangered Beal’s Four-eyed Turtles (Sacalia bealei).

The hatchlings emerged from their shells in the Tennessee Aquarium’s rooftop turtle nursery on June 13 (Four-eyed) and July 2-3 (Beal’s) from eggs that had been incubating at 82 degrees since being laid in April.

2_Four-eyed Turtle and Beal's Four-eyed Turtle hatchlings 2

3_Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia quadriocellata) hatchlings

4_Beal's Four-eyed Turtle (Sacalia bealei) hatchlingsPhoto Credits: Tennessee Aquarium

The Aquarium is home to the largest collection of freshwater turtles in North America. In 2007, it received national attention as the first North American zoo or aquarium to successfully hatch a Beal’s Four-eyed Turtle.

In the last decade, the Aquarium has had continued success in hatching these “four-eyed” species, which are native to Southeast Asia and named due to eye-like markings on the top of their heads. Including the most recent babies, the Aquarium has successfully hatched 15 Beal’s Four-eyed and 37 Four-eyed Turtles since 2007.

In all, just 47 Four-eyed and 24 Beal’s Four-eyed are housed in North American facilities accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Hatchlings raised at the Tennessee Aquarium have been shared with other caretakers in an effort to shore up their captive population. In 2015, a trio of Beal’s Four-eyed were sent to the Knoxville Zoo — the only other AZA institution to house them — and Four-eyed hatchlings have been shipped to facilities as far as New York, Texas and California.

In light of these turtles’ limited numbers, both in the wild and in captivity, Hughes says he’s largely opted to avoid tampering with his breeding setup for fear of derailing programs that are helping to significantly bolster their overall populations.

“The only thing I’ve really changed is cooling them off more in winter and incubating them a degree or two warmer,” he explains. “They’re all still in their same space they’ve been in for years, which is helping.”

Like many Southeast Asian species, both the Beal’s Four-eyed and Four-eyed Turtle wild populations have been in free fall in recent decades. This decline is thanks to a combination of human-induced threats, including habitat destruction and capture for use as a food source or to supply the pet trade.

According to a 2014 study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, 50-60 percent of the 335 modern turtle and tortoise species are either extinct or threatened with extinction. That gives them the dubious distinction as the most imperiled major group of vertebrates on the planet.

The Aquarium’s successful rearing of Beal’s Four-eyed and Four-eyed Turtles is crucial to their survivability. Hughes serves as the coordinator of the Species Survival Plan (SSP) for the Four-eyed Turtle since that plan became active in 2012. This year, the Beal’s Four-eyed Turtle became a candidate for the program, and Hughes says the turtle’s conservation status puts it on the fast track to achieving full SSP status in the future.

Even after years of success in raising them, Hughes never tires of seeing new turtles emerge from their eggs. And as you would expect from such dogged creatures of habit, they tend to arrive almost like clockwork, he says.

“They lay at the same time or year, and the eggs hatch at the same time of year, so it’s like a floating holiday that doesn’t float that much. You know when it’s coming,” Hughes says. “It’s still a thrill to see them.”

Photo below by Todd Stailey, Tennessee Aquarium photographer, showing the ocelli, "false eyes", of the Four-eyed Turtle5_FOUREYEDTURTLE

#57: Second-Guessing Revisions

Aug. 22nd, 2017 02:00 pm
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Posted by Story Nurse

Hi Story Nurse,

I’ve completed a full draft of my romance novel with a political/dramatic twist (yay!) and i’m staring on the first round of editing (boo!). It’s my understanding that a lot of editing is about cutting, and I don’t deny there are a lot of sentences that could be shorter and a lot of stuff that is not required to be there. Usually, the cutting feels pretty good – especially when I catch hanging threads I meant to do something with, and dropped.

However, I do have some anxiety with cutting some of the longer threads of the story. When I wrote the story and read it in the earlier processes, I really like them. On this edit pass, they don’t seem that great – kind of awkward and not flowing as well as I remembered. However, the next day, they seem wonderful, and the story is really lacking something without them!

Anyway, the summary of the question is: How do you tell what to cut? Is cutting more better than less, or should you cut less the first time around so and come back and trim again, when you’re more sure?

Now I’m thinking that I should leave it in for now, because it will be hard to put it back if I change my mind. (Unless you have some amazing editor software that allows themes to be matched like Photoshop layers.)

Thanks again,
Confused Editor (she/her)

Dear Confused Editor,

Congratulations on finishing your draft! I’m sorry revisions are stressing you out so much. I promise you and your manuscript will come through them just fine. Here are some straightforward suggestions to help you find your way out of your mental tangle.

1. Manage your stress. This is clearly a part of the process that causes you a fair amount of anxiety, and it’s good to mitigate that any way you can. Eat well (whatever that means for you and your body), sleep enough, keep hydrated, move around, take long baths, take your anxiolytics of choice, meditate, and otherwise do things that help you feel grounded and calm. My post on writing while depressed has lots of info on self-care, and there are many other great resources out there. Take a moment to make a self-care plan specifically around revising your manuscript: mental preparation, a calming environment while you work, and aftercare.

2. Back up your files. Make a copy of your manuscript and label it with the date. Do this after every revision session; storage is cheap and document files are small. This will help reduce your worries about making changes and regretting them later. You can always go back to an earlier draft whenever you need to. It’s not quite Photoshop layers, but it does help.

3. Let go of “should.” It sounds like you’re trying to follow some half-formed mental model of what revisions should look like. “It’s my understanding that a lot of editing is about cutting” and “Is cutting more better than less” are predicated on the idea that there’s only one way to revise, but revising is as individual as writing. There’s no wrong way to do it, and there are no hard and fast rules about how it goes. Revision is about making your book better. Depending on the writer and the work, that might mean cutting text, adding text, cutting and adding, making tiny word tweaks, switching up whole subplots… every work is different and so every work needs different things at the revision stage. When Daniel José Older was livetweeting his most recent round of revisions, he wrote, “chapter 1 just became chapter 2 cuz there’s a new chapter 1 and now the old chapter 1 is chapter 3 or half of it is omg whats happening aiii”—and if a bestselling author can feel baffled by revisions, so can you. This may be daunting but it’s also very freeing. Liberate yourself from “should” and focus on what’s best for the work.

4. Reacquaint yourself with the core elements of the work. How else can you know what’s best for it? Reread your book to remember what its goals are so you can work toward those goals. Read it like a reader so you can develop and expand the parts that make readers happy, and trim the ones that don’t. My post on rediscovering your story’s heart will walk you through that process.

5. Give it your best shot. Do one revision pass the best way you know how. It will be clumsy and awkward and may be the sort of learning experience that you laugh about through gritted teeth, but for now what matters is tackling it despite your anxiety. You’ve got those saved files as your safety net, so hack and slash and write and rewrite to your heart’s content. Do wild experimental things. Drop pianos on all your characters. Get through it by hook or by crook. Prove to yourself that you can do it.

6. Get some outside opinions. Every writer needs help and advice at some point (even if you’re an editor). Find a beta reader or hire a freelance editor or run your work past a critique group or a good friend. They’ll help you figure out what your particular book needs, and help you understand things about your work that you would have a much harder time figuring out on your own.

7. Move on. At some point you’ll be done with your revisions, or as done as you can manage to get. When that time comes, self-publish the book or send it out on submission or put it in a drawer, as you prefer, and then start a new project and don’t look back. Don’t let this book, or the notion of Doing Revisions Correctly, haunt you forever. Do your best with it and then continue down the path of writing, revising, and learning.

You’ve got this. I have faith in you.

Happy revising!


Story Nurse

This advice is brought to you by my generous patrons on Patreon. Got a writing question? Ask the Story Nurse!

Lesson #3273 - Science

Aug. 21st, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

This isn't about whether the science is questioned or not - realize that there are flat earthers who believed that some large beast was going to block the sun, or something like that. On a third axis, the scientific debate over the data itself is relatively similar for both climate change and whether or not an eclipse is going to occur.

To be fair, climate change is going to have an impact for a long, long time, and the eclipse is already over and done with and probably a bunch of people will forget it happened by the weekend. So the fourth axis, time, is probably just as significant of whether or not it is fun.

How do we make climate change fun? I guess we could declare beachfront property along the southern border of Georgia after we lose most of Florida? People like beaches.

Anyway, the eclipse was cool

PHD UNKNOWN: New page up!

Lesson #3272 - Eclipses

Aug. 20th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

Technically, because I'll be in Boston watching the eclipse, I'll only be able to break the laws of physics to a maximum breakage of 68%. May you take advantage of the temporary weakness of the grasp of the Physics Dictators to the best of the permission of the Sky Gods.

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman


As thousands of viewers watched via live webcam on August 10, Izala the Southern White Rhinoceros gave birth to a healthy female calf at Burgers’ Zoo.

Zoo staff members were anxious about the birth because Izala’s first calf was stillborn in January 2016. It is not uncommon for a White Rhino’s first pregnancy to be unsuccessful. Fortunately, this calf appears healthy and strong, and she was walking and nursing within just hours of birth.

The lively calf, named Wiesje, runs and plays in her large exhibit, with Izala usually trotting close behind.

LI9A9453Photo Credit: Burgers' Zoo


Seven Rhinos have been born at Burgers’ Zoo in the past 17 years, and around 12 are born each year in European zoos. Last year, 22 Rhino births occurred in European zoos, due in part to increased cooperation among zoos. This cooperation resulted in more Rhinos being transferred among zoos into more favorable breeding situations.

While other Rhino species live mostly solitary lives, White Rhinos live in small social groups which typically include adult females and their young.  Males’ territories overlap those of females. Researchers have learned that the hormonal cycles of lower-ranking females in these groups are suppressed, resulting in only higher-ranking females being bred.

In zoos, this research has a practical application: moving a young female to a new environment increase the odds that her hormonal cycle will be restored, which improves the odds that she will breed. Thus Izala, who lived at the Kolmarden Zoo with her mother, was brought to Burgers’ Zoo so she could successfully breed and rear her own baby.

Southern White Rhinos are the largest of all five Rhino species, and are also the most numerous in the wild, with about 20,000 individuals found mainly in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya. 

Southern White Rhinos are listed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The main threat remains poaching for the illegal Rhino horn trade. As prices for Rhino horn increase, hunting increases as well. Rhino horn, which is used for ornamental purposes and in Traditional Asian Medicine, is made of solid keratin, the same material in human fingernails.  It has no proven medical benefits, yet has driven some Rhino species to the brink of extinction: only about 60 Javan Rhinos and 200 Sumatran Rhinos remain in Asia.

See more photos of Wiesje and Izala below.


Lesson #3271 - Challenges

Aug. 19th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

Conquered a Tough Mudder. Could have done it twice. Thanks, Lexi, for getting me to do it.

The comic's sentiment also applies with respect to all those making themselves known against people spreading hatred and violence. There were 20,000-40,000 people in Boston today, exhibiting free speech and presenting a wall against the ideas being promoted by those spreading hatred and violence, and there were a mere 50-150 people spreading hate. Let yourselves be known by your actions, and let them know how many of us there are that they have to surmount in comparison to their mere few. Anything can take root, and anything often does, but that doesn't mean the weeds get to have their way.

And to the 20,000-40,000 people marching today against the Nazis in Boston - thank you. Wish the timing had worked out so I could have joined you.

[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

I'm doing a Tough Mudder today that one of my former and favorite students, Lexi, talked me into doing with her. I've been training all year and my legs are now strong enough that they could probably successfully wrestle a bear to the ground, if you tied knives to them or something. I have also accidentally disrupted at least two romantic kissing sessions by running by a happy couple during one of my 10 PM jogs around the neighborhood, so karma has it out for me today. Anyway, I don't think a Tough Mudder is a true representation of a possible dystopia but an obstacle called the "Arctic Enema" suggests that it might be? Here is my favorite conversation with my five-year-old about the Tough Mudder in which she totally did not understand me:

Cannonball: Dad, why are you going on a run tonight?

Me: I'm trying to get in topnotch shape for this race-event-thing.

Cannonball: What's in the race?

Me: Well, it's 10 miles. But there are also a lot of obstacles. So I'm probably going to have to crawl through mud, and probably going to have to climb over a wall, and I'm probably going to get shocked.

Cannonball: (horrified) Shots? Dad, no! Shots hurt!

Me: No, no, not shots. Shocked. Shocked.

Cannonball: (even more horrified) No, Dad! Not sharks! Sharks bite!

Meet Nala the Serval Kitten

Aug. 19th, 2017 05:23 am
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman


On July 1, Colchester Zoo welcomed a baby Serval named Nala. The kitten currently lives behind the scenes, where she is under the expert care of zoo keepers.

Like most kittens, Nala is playful, as you can see in the video below. During play, she exhibits the amazing skill that Servals are known for: leaping into the air to pounce on top of their prey.

IMG_9662Photo Credit: Colchester Zoo

Servals live in much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. Weighing 20-40 pounds as adults, these medium-sized Cats have the longest legs relative to body size of any feline. Their super-sized ears help them locate prey. Because Servals favor habitats with tall brush, long legs give them an advantage when tracking small mammals, birds, frogs, and reptiles through the grass. Once prey is within reach, Servals can leap more than six feet upward and ten feet forward to forcefully pounce on prey with their forepaws. A quick bite to the prey animal’s head or neck delivers the fatal blow.

Much of Africa’s Serval population lives on protected land and hunting of Servals is prohibited in many, but not all, countries. Though Servals are currently listed as a Species of Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, continued degradation of habitats, especially wetlands and grasslands, could pose a threat in the future.

See more photos of Nala below.




[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland

1_Naima Hani Kalila 2

For the first time in Dallas Zoo’s 129-year history, they are proud to announce the birth of two extremely rare Somali Wild Ass foals. Born ten days apart, the little girls and their moms are doing great and have been bonding beautifully behind-the-scenes.

The first foal, named Kalila (“dearly loved” in Arabic), was born on July 9 to 13-year-old mom Liberty. This is dad, Abai, and Liberty’s third foal together; the pair previously welcomed two offspring at their former home, the St. Louis Zoo.

The second foal, named Naima (“calm” in Arabic), was born July 19 to the same dad, Abai, and first-time mom, five-year-old Hani. Just like her older half-sister, little Naima was standing, walking and nursing within minutes after birth.

“This is a big moment for our hoof stock team. Somali Wild Asses are critically endangered, with less than 600 left in the wild,” mammal curator John Fried said. “Only nine institutions in the U.S. care for this rare species, and to be able to welcome two babies is truly one of the highlights of my career.”



4_IMG_9502Photo Credits: Dallas Zoo

The Somali Wild Ass (Equus africanus somaliensis) is a subspecies of the African Wild Ass. Native to the arid regions of the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea), there are many reasons the Somali Wild Asses’ numbers have dropped drastically in the wild. Locals hunt this species for food and traditional medicine. Some believe their fat treats tuberculosis. Somali Wild Asses also directly compete with livestock for limited land and water sources. Additionally, wild assess are crossbreeding with domestic asses, hurting the genetics of this species.

With unique zebra-striped legs, a soft gray upper body, a white belly, and a spikey black-and-gray mane, Somali Wild Asses are the smallest of the wild equids (horses, asses, and zebras). Standing about four feet at the shoulder and weighing roughly 600 pounds, these animals also have the smallest hooves of any equid, which help them navigate rocky slopes.

The Dallas Zoo is working with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums’ Somali Wild Ass Species Survival Plan (SSP) to increase their numbers in human care and keep the North American gene pool genetically sound. In 2005, father Abai arrived from the Basel Zoo in Switzerland to bring a new bloodline to the U.S. Since then, he’s sired multiple foals.

“These little girls have brought so much excitement to our hoof stock barn,” mammal supervisor Christine Rickel said. “Although they were born 10 days apart, they look vastly different. We joke that Liberty has super milk because Kalila’s already a big girl. She was born weighing 65 pounds – 14 pounds heavier than Naima.”

Liberty, Hani and their foals were introduced to each other last week behind-the-scenes, but the protective mothers are hesitant to allow the little ones to play together, who just want to run in circles to their hearts’ content.

The babies will soon venture into the arid habitat off the Wilds of Africa Adventure Safari monorail exhibit. And, in time, they’ll meet the Gemsbok, Addax and Ostriches, with whom they’ll eventually share the habitat.

The foals are not on exhibit just yet. Check with Dallas Zoo’s social media for more updates: www.dallaszoo.com



Lesson #3269 - Museums

Aug. 18th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

If you've been an adult at a children's museum, you can see the temptation of a lovely series of children pressed and pinned up. NOT THAT I WOULD EVER START SUCH A MUSEUM, ha ha, of course not

Zoo Hatches First Horned Puffin Chick

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:16 pm
[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_Puffin chick 3

A tiny Horned Puffin is doing well at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. The chick hatched in July at the Rocky Shores habitat for sea birds.

This is the first Horned Puffin ever hatched at the zoo, which has been home to four adult members of this species since October 2014.

The chick will be visible, periodically. However, zoo guests are likely to only catch glimpses of its tiny beak as it ventures to the front of its nesting area.

“The chick’s parents take turns feeding it, and visitors can see them going to and fro with food, or watching over the nest box,” said staff biologist, Cindy Roberts.

2_Horned puffin chick

3_Horned puffin chick 2

4_Puffin 4Photo Credits: Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium (1-4) / Ingrid Barrentine (5-7)

Earlier this year, zookeepers took the initiative to build nest boxes for the Horned Puffins. They consulted with experts at the Alaska Sea Life Center to build boxes for the mating pair.

Zookeepers at Point Defiance Zoo give daily feeding presentations and talk to visitors about Horned Puffins, Tufted Puffins and Common Murres.

“Staff won’t know whether the chick is male or female, until it’s old enough for staff to collect a small blood sample from which gender and general health status can be determined,” Roberts continued.

A “well-chick-check-up” from a zoo veterinarian recently found the baby Puffin to be in good health.

The Horned Puffin (Fratercula corniculata) is an auk, similar in appearance to the Atlantic Puffin. It is a seabird that feeds primarily by diving for fish, and it nests in colonies, often with other auks.

They are found on the coasts of Japan, Russia, British Columbia and Alaska. They spend winters in the ocean, as far south as the Washington coast.

Like all sea birds, Horned Puffins face a number of threats in the wild, including predators, oil spills, plastic pollution, over fishing and entanglement in fishing nets.

The incubation period for a Horned Puffin is about 40 days. After hatching, the chick spends 40 more days in the burrow until it fledges and has gained the necessary strength and feathers to go out on its own.

At its current stage, the zoo’s new puffin chick looks like a black-and-gray ball of fluff with a dark gray beak. However, as it grows, it will take on the full black-and-white body of a Horned Puffin, and its beak will turn a distinctive yellowish-orange with a red tip.

Adult Horned Puffins also have bright orange feet and legs. During breeding season, they have characteristic “cheeks” with a “horn” above the eyes.

In addition to its Horned Puffin colony, Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium has a complement of 21 Tufted Puffins and seven Common Murres living in the Rocky Shores sea bird habitat.




Lesson #3268 - Good

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

Now, the irrational person looking to capitalize off of their good things would purposely make the surrounding everything into utter crap, in order to make their good things somewhat inherently better as a result, but those people are monsters and we have enough monsters already in the world.

Also I should say if you don't know already that The Adventure Zone has been a wonderful thing to fall back into every time the surrounding everything starts to pulse in and eat away at me

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Andrew Bleiman

1_Mark Bushell with a Desertas wolf spiderling  (1)

One of the rarest spiders on earth has bred at Bristol Zoo Gardens in a world first.

Over 1,000 tiny Desertas Wolf Spiderlings have hatched in the Zoo’s Bug World. So valuable are the babies, some have even been hand-reared by dedicated keepers from tiny eggs.

The hatchings are a huge boost for the species, which is only found in one valley on one of the Desertas Islands, near Madeira, Portugal. There is thought to be a single population of just 4,000 adult spiders left in the wild – an alarmingly small number for an entire invertebrate species.

It is hoped that some of the spiderlings can be returned to their native island in the future to boost dwindling numbers in the wild.

2_An adult female Desertas wolf spider with young on her backPhoto Credits: Bristol Zoo Gardens

Desertas Wolf Spiders (Hogna ingens) are classified as “Critically Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species but are not protected by any specific legislation.

The baby spiders are just 4mm in diameter but grow to be huge, impressive-looking black and white adults up to 12cm in size with a body size of 4cm. They are under threat from habitat loss, due to invasive grass binding the soil where they burrow and blocking their natural shelters.

Bristol Zoo has joined forces with Instituto das Florestas e Conservação de Natureza (IFCN) and the IUCN to develop a conservation strategy to protect the species in an effort to prevent it becoming extinct.

As part of the vital conservation effort, Bristol Zoo’s Curator of Invertebrates, Mark Bushell, travelled to Desertas Grande last year with Zoo vet Richard Saunders and collected 25 Desertas Wolf Spiders to be brought back to the Zoo to breed as a ‘safety net’ population.

The effort has been a great success, as Mark explains: “Because this was the first time this species had ever been taken into captivity to breed, it was a steep learning curve. After some of the female spiders were mated, it was an anxious wait to see if they would produce egg sacs. We were thrilled when they did, and to see the tiny spiderlings emerge was fantastic – a real career highlight.”

Such was the keepers’ dedication, that when one of the female’s egg sac broke, eggs were carefully transferred into a miniature incubator for rearing. Once the eggs hatched, they were put into separate containers with sterilized soil, kept in quarantine and individually fed with fruit flies.

Bristol Zoo now plans to send hundreds of the tiny spiderlings to other Zoos in the UK and Europe to set up further breeding groups as part of a collaborative conservation programme for the species.

Mark added: “Establishing the world’s first captive breeding programme for this species is a fantastic step towards protecting it for the future. It is a beautiful and impressive creature, but its natural habitat is being altered by invasive plants. There are simply not enough rocky and sandy areas of habitat left for the spiders to burrow and hide in. The result is a deadly game of musical chairs, whereby the spiders are competing for fewer and fewer burrows.”

Mark added: “In addition to the loss of habitat, one single catastrophic event could wipe out the species entirely. Now we have successfully created a ‘safety net’ population here at Bristol Zoo to help safeguard this impressive creature for the future.”

In future it is also hoped that Bristol Zoo’s team of horticulture experts can visit Desertas Grande to work with park rangers to control the invasive grass, which is destroying the spiders’ habitats and help restore the original landscape.

Bristol Zoo Gardens is a conservation and education charity and relies on the generous support of the public, not only to fund its important work in the zoo but also its vital conservation and research projects spanning five continents.

For more information about visiting Bristol Zoo Gardens, visit their website at www.bristolzoo.org.uk .

Lesson #3267 - Moral Supremacy

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

Might be better in the long run to expose and uncover that white supremacy bar, to be honest, but holy crap, how hard do you have to try to trip over it once you do?

By the way, if you are a white supremacist offended that I could be saying you are an awful person and your views are repugnant and your beliefs have contributed to some of the darkest moral evil that may be prevalent in our society today, honestly, I'm not sure how you're a reader in the first place. I don't really want you as a reader. Why are you here?

Lesson #3265 - Voices

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] survivingtheworld_feed

We are dealing with outright and open racists and bigots, and it's important to keep in mind where some of these racists and bigots are originating from, in part because that in itself can drive action to fight the racists and bigots. Most of the conches have been historically possessed by straight white men, and while small subsets may not have many of those conches themselves, there's still a hell of a lot within the overall white male group. The simple giving of a conch to another group is what sets half this racism and bigotry in motion. If the suppressed voices were never allowed a voice, then it would just be their existence setting off the racism and bigotry, and as long as the suppressed were kept suppressed, there'd be a lot less violence. "Replaced." You can't be replaced when you still have the overwhelming majority of the conches, you idiots.

Look, I know, I'm not the best person to be making this case, as a white man myself. But let me say that while the message is open for consideration by anyone who is reading this, I hope that other white men will hear it in particular. Because in order to fight against racism and bigotry, we need to realize how many conches we already have to better fight for the conches that others are just only now getting.

Who the hell are we fighting for?

And now that I've belabored that metaphor into the ground . . .

[syndicated profile] zooborns_feed

Posted by Chris Eastland


Zookeepers at ZSL London Zoo are celebrating the arrival of the first Hanuman Langur born at the Zoo’s Land of the Lions exhibit.

2_Hanuman langur birth (c) ZSL (4)

3_Hanuman langur birth (c) ZSL (1)

4_Hanuman langur birth (c) ZSL (3)Photo Credits: ZSL London Zoo

Born to first-time parents Saffron and Rex after a 200-day gestation, the tiny female Hanuman Langur was spotted by zookeepers early in the morning on July 23.

Zookeeper Agnes Kiss said, “The first Hanuman Langur to be born to this troop at ZSL London Zoo and the first new arrival at Land of the Lions, this tiny primate is an exciting symbol of the success of this project.”

“To mark the occasion we’ve called her, Kamala, which means ‘lotus flower’ in Gujarati – the sign of beauty, fertility and prosperity.”

“Everyone is very pleased with Kamala’s progress so far,” said Agnes. “At the moment she has a pale face and downy dark fur, but it won’t be long before her skin turns black and her coat thickens and turns a magnificent silver - just like her parents.”

“She’ll also grow into her large ears, which are perfect for picking up subtle noises over long distances; in the Gir National Park, Hanuman Langurs act as an early warning system for other wildlife – making loud ‘barks’ from high in the treetops to warn of a lion’s approach. In Land of the Lions, the troop can often be heard vocalizing in response to the lions’ roars, which Kamala will learn how to do from her parents.”

Land of the Lions, which opened last year, is also home to ZSL’s Asiatic Lion pride: male Bhanu and lionesses Heidi, Indi and Rubi. The exhibit tells the story of the Gir, a unique area that is home to the last wild population of the Critically Endangered lion species.

Hanuman Langurs (Semnopithecus entellus) are widespread throughout Asia, and are named after the Hindu god of healing and worship: by contrast, there are just 500 Asiatic Lions left in the wild.

Kamala’s upbringing is already a community affair, which is natural for Hanuman Langurs; dad Rex is staying protectively close to his first born, while another female, Lucy, has been spotted carefully carrying Kamala around - giving Saffron a well-deserved rest every now and again.

5_Hanuman langur birth (c) ZSL (2)

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