September 30, 2015
biofluorescence, chemical reaction, christmas tree, different color, hawksbill sea turtle, igor purlantov, like the glowing sea turtle, luminous animals, these animals also light up
A hawksbill sea turtle that can light up like a neon Christmas tree is the latest addition to a menagerie of animals with an ability known as biofluorescence. These luminous animals can reflect the blue light hitting a surface and re-emit it as a different color—the most common being green, red, or orange. Biofluorescence is different from bioluminescence, where animals either produce their own light through a series of chemical reactions, or host other organisms that give off light.
September 29, 2015
cal fire, california vets, flames, igor purlantov, lake county, lost and bewildered by wildfires, small fire
On Saturday 12 September a small fire started in a utility shed in the bone-dry, shimmering heat of Lake County, California. The flames crept across the landscape slowly at first before exploding into a conflagration that burned 50,000 acres in just 24 hours. By the time Cal Fire had the blaze under control, it had consumed 76,000 acres. It spread so quickly that many communities barely had time to evacuate, with citizens fleeing as their homes burned down in their rear-view mirrors and trees exploded by the side of the road. Many were forced to leave their animals behind, unable to locate them in the rush to escape. Pets and livestock were forced to fend for themselves in the swirling flames, some surviving in miraculously unburnt homes and barns, while others managed to outrun or shelter from the fire.
September 28, 2015
amazonas, castrated, declawed, execution, igor purlantov, mate, smith, what happens to the animals, when the circus leaves town
Smith was destined for execution. The lion had already been castrated, declawed, separated from his mate, Amazonas, and caged with another male’s offspring. He was agitated. Then one day in August 2014, during a circus performance in Peru, as he sat perched on a pedestal above a spectator’s head, which was lowered, exposing the back of her neck, the trainer commanded Smith to jump, and his natural instinct prevailed. He pounced on the audience member, grabbing her in his jaws and dragging her around the ring until a handler beat Smith into submission and forced him back into a cage.
September 24, 2015
depression, front page, grim death, igor purlantov, industrial nations, no escape, our horrible treatment of animals, raised, slaughtered, small regional zoos
Thanks — sort of — for the disturbing Sept. 19 front-page article on small regional zoos [“Roadside dens of grim captivity”]. I have a hard enough time dealing with the way animals are raised and slaughtered in industrial nations. This reminder of what we do to the animals we want to keep alive is even worse because they have no escape but a slow, grim death from neglect, torment and depression. Such activity should be fiercely regulated or, better yet, banned.
September 23, 2015
anthropologist, chimo lady, compassion, ethologist, igor purlantov, primatologist, un messenegr of peace
You know Jane Goodall. She’s the chimp lady. Either she’s always been there, on the periphery of your everyday consciousness thanks to her celebrity status or — especially for those in fields that involve the study of animal groups — she’s been there quite consciously, as a paragon and a guiding light. The English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist and U.N. Messenger of Peace, now 81, revolutionized the way we think about and study animals. It was Goodall who first realized that in order to understand and learn from animals, we have to live with them in their environments. She’s also, over the years, been an impassioned voice for environmentalism, nonviolence, and, speaking generally, for temperance, compassion and a child’s sense of wonder.
September 22, 2015
Following the death of my childhood pet—a black cat named Neo—I had an extended mourning period that included a lot of open weeping and melodramatic Instagram posts. We humans love animals. We house some of them in our homes, treating our pets like family. We stage funerals for those household pets—some places even offer cremation services specifically for animals, like this place in Whitman—and we also mourn the loss of creatures we never even saw in real life. We get indignant when animals are abused, talking about it passionately on social media. We react very strongly when animals are killed–sometimes even more strongly than we do when humans are killed.
September 21, 2015
can genetic engineering bring back extinct animals, igor purlantov, laura o'connor, neanderthal, resurrection science
Will it one day be possible to bring a woolly mammoth or a Neanderthal back to life? If so, should we? How is climate change affecting the evolution and extinction of species? These are some of the questions explored in science writer Maura O’Connor’s new book, Resurrection Science: Conservation, De-Extinction And The Precarious Future of Wild Things. Traveling the world from Kenya (in search of the white rhino) to a lab in California (where a geneticist is trying to resurrect the extinct passenger pigeon), O’Connor reports on the people and places on the front lines of what has become known as resurrection science.