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(via Facts about kiwi: NZ Native birds)

  • There are five species of kiwi. All are endangered
  • There are approximately 70,000 kiwi left in all of New Zealand.
  • We are losing 2% of our kiwi every year – this equates to 27 per week.
  • Kiwi are mostly nocturnal
  • They are most commonly forest dwellers, making daytime dens and nests in burrows, hollow logs or under dense vegetation.
  • Kiwi are the only bird to have nostrils at the end of its very long bill
  • Their nostils are used to probe in the ground, sniffing out invertebrates to eat, along with some fallen fruit.
  • They also has one of the largest egg-to-body weight ratios of any bird
  • The egg averages 15 per cent of the female’s body weight (compared to two per cent for the ostrich).
  • Females are larger than males (up to 3.3 kg and 45 cm).
  • Kiwi are long-lived, and depending on the species live for between 25 and 50 years.

VHS Infinity Mirror

Dom Sebastian, Artist, London.

‘VHS Infinity Mirror’, explores the ways in which real life and internet realms merge. In an age where the world can be accessed via the internet, this piece questions whether real life interactions are being phased out - the extinction of reality in favour of technology. The piece depicts the portal-like qualities of the internet and technology; the notion that when you log on you are being transported into a new world. 

As part of the Extinction Marathon 15folds has collaborated with the Serpentine Galleries. You can follow this month’s theme at 15folds.com

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Extinct animals. Don’t forget them.
Thylacine - Yangtze River Dolphin - Ivory-Billed Woodpecker - Quagga - Bubal Hartebeest

Cats are listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as one of the 100 worst non-native invasive species. […] They have caused or contributed to 14 percent of all modern bird, mammal and reptile extinctions.”

    - A Cat-Eat-Bird World

We’re welcoming the weekend with Lonesome George.

Be among the first visitors to see the famous Pinta Island tortoise who was the last of his kind when he died in 2012. Lonesome George will be on display at the Museum till January 4, 2015, when he will be returned to Ecuador as part of that country’s national patrimony.

Interesting stories from the past week:

Have a wonderful weekend!

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We’re deeply saddened to report that Angalifu passed away at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park on Sunday due to complications from old age. With Angalifu’s passing, only 5 northern white rhinos are left on the planet, including Nola, the Safari Park’s elderly female. Angalifu’s genetic material has been stored in the San Diego Zoo Global Frozen Zoo with the hope that new reproductive technologies will allow recovery of the species. This is a tremendous loss, and we invite you join us in our commitment to work harder to ‪end extinction‬. Please re-blog this to spread the word about the plight of rhinos, and take action now.

I estimated that there are about 16 million species of life on Earth. What if 14 million of them suddenly disappeared? Sounds hard to believe, like some dystopian Hollywood summer blockbuster. But that is exactly what seems to have happened at least five times over the past half billion years.

In each instance, a catastrophic event (or combination of events) killed up to 90 percent of the world’s sea and land creatures, and it happened in the blink of an eye – geologically speaking, at least.

Other than the origin of life itself, mass extinctions are the most dramatic and mysterious events in the history of life on Earth.

—  Bill Nye, Evolution and the Science of Creation

I want to make something crystal clear to people:

Animal agriculture is one of the biggest drivers of climate change. Climate change is going to kill 100 million people by 2030. By 2050, up to 37% of all species will become extinct. By 2100, the planet will be up to 11 degrees hotter, the oceans will become too acidic to support most of their ecosystems

This is not a Disney movie. Nobody will save the world. And unless you examine your lifestyle, and realize that your diet and actions have fatal consequences, there is no happy ending. We will likely die, along with most of the life on Earth, and it will have been easily preventable by simply not eating animals.

Whalers killed at least 2.8 million whales in the 20th century, worldwide, according to a new study. Scientists believe that 20th century whaling wiped out 90 percent of all blue whales, and decimated countless other whale populations. Some species, such as the minke whale, appear to have recovered; others, like humpback and blue whales, remain close to extinction.

Diving off the Auckland Islands, photographer Brian Skerry’s assistant Mauricio Handler has a close encounter with a southern right whale. Hunted to near extinction in the 19th century, their numbers are on the rebound in the Southern Hemisphere.

More than 50% of the food grown on the planet is grown to feed farmed animals, and more than 85% of some crops go to feed farmed animals. This means that more than half of the fuel, water, and land used for growing food goes to support these wasteful and Earth-damaging practices. The great waste of resources used to support the livestock industry is supported by those who consume meat, dairy, and eggs.
—  John McCabe

September 2014 marks 100 years since the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. It’s estimated that the population of these migrant birds fell from 3.7 billion individuals to 0 in about 40 years, largely due to human impact, habitat destruction, and a lack of regulation on hunting, trapping, and their use in competitive tourneys.

Remember Martha, the last of her kind, and what she represents as not just a hallmark of her species, but as a symbol for our fragile environments today.

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NASA - one of the most underfunded programs in America - is our “first line of defense” regarding the discovery, tracking, cataloguing, and deflection of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHA’s).

Dinosaurs are extinct today because they lacked opposable thumbs and the brainpower to build a space program.
– Neil deGrasse Tyson

Join the #FightforSpace and demand more from Congress regarding the robust funding of NASA, planetary protection, economic growth, innovation, and the long term survival of the human species. In 3 days, our Kickstarter campaign will end. We don’t have much time, and neither does the human civilization on this Congressional course.