ancestor media

anonymous asked:

What are your favorite shark facts?

*screeches with glee* Alright nonnie, you have asked me the best question EVER!

Apologies for taking two days to reply to this, life was a bit hectic

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Super Awesome Shark Facts

ONE

Sharks showed up 400 million years ago in the Devonian 358.9–298.9 aka “The Age of Fish” between the geological Silurian (443.8–419.2 million years ago) and the Carboniferous Periods (358.9–298.9 million years ago). By the time of the Carboniferous, we had amphibians and other small vertebrate creatures capable of crawling about on land. It’s during the Carboniferous Period that the continent of Pangaea first began to form (let that sink in for a second, the sharks were about before Pangaea even began to look like a continent, that’s how long these creatures have been about jfc). 

TWO

To date they’ve survived FIVE massive planet extinction events… ya know, those things that KILL PRETTY MUCH EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET?? YEAH, THEM. We know of one that happened pretty recently in geological history; 65 million years ago when the dinosaurs went bye-bye. How fucking badass is that, Jesus Christ!

THREE

There’s currently over 500 types of Shark in the ocean at present (though not for long if people don’t stop KILLING THEM! CAN YOU NOT?!??). The most famous, of course, is the Great White (Carcharodon carcharias) and the Hammerhead (family: Sphyrnidae). For all that there’s a variety of Species, there are, of course, similarities in form and shape including cartilaginous skeletons (they’re literally made of the same stuff as the ridge of your nose is), enhanced electro-static senses (on their nose which is cute but also reason why if you boop them on the nose they ‘nope’ it out of the place; consider it not too dissimilar to bashing your funny bone and deciding to avoid that damned door in the future, same sort of logic tbh).

FOUR

You can pet a Shark on the nose. This isn’t really a fact so much as an interesting aside that I think is cute and adorable as shit so like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

[The still looks scary but honestly, he’s just giving the Tiger Shark a snack lol]

[I believe these are Lemon Sharks, which are fucking cute and I would cuddle one of them to the end of my life (I don’t have self-preservation instincts tho soooo)]

FIVE

You have a higher chance of dying from being attacked by hornets, wasps, bees, dogs and even a fucking coconut (if you live in Asia) than you do of being killed by a Shark. How’s that for some mad stats?

SIX

As I’ve said, Sharks have survived FIVE massive planet extinction events but, currently, 20-30% of Sharks are close to extinction because of us, humans. Commercial fishing means Sharks get caught on hooks and nets; homeopathic remedies that require parts of Sharks for them to ‘work’; and Shark Fin Soup all contribute to the decline of these amazing creatures that have lived on this planet longer than even our most distant ancestor has.

SEVEN

Thanks to the media and stupid ass people who think they know everything from a movie marathon of the Jaws series, people think all Sharks are man-eating monsters that want to murder anyone who dares go for a swim in the open water. Here’s the thing though, 97% of over 500 Shark species are HARMLESS to us. The ones that ARE harmful tends to be because we’re in THEIR space and fucking up THEIR shit (personally, I’d beat your ass too if you came near my home so IDK why anyone thinks Sharks are evil; they’re just animals).

EIGHT

The reason why so many Shark attacks happen in California and places like South Africa is simply because of the abundance of food for Sharks; Great Whites especially. Seals, Sea Lions, and Sea Otters are all on the menu for the Great White and us pesky ass humans keep getting in their way. It’s not their fault they mistake us for food. Honest mistake.

NINE

Connected to EIGHT. Most of the time, people die from a Shark BITE but the Shark doesn’t come back for a second time (usually) because, unlike pretty much every other species that’s evolved on this planet, Sharks don’t have the opportunity to test what something is before using their teeth on it. Humans bleed out horrendously fast, especially in water, so the cause of death for most Shark attacks is blood loss and shock, not actually being eaten by a Shark.

TEN

Whale Sharks are the largest Sharks on record out of all current, living Shark species. They can be over 13 metres in length and, while they look scary considering how humans usually don’t go past 2 metres (imagine seven people stood on top of each other and you’ve got an idea of how long a Whale Shark is), Whale Sharks are the most docile creatures ever. They’re quite similar to Whales (hence the name) that live on plankton, for example the Blue Whale, and are absolutely gorgeous.

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Hopefully these have been somewhat educational (while interspersed with my delightful attitude) and everyone can go on with their lives a little more aware and knowledgeable about Sharks.

Originally posted by amnhnyc

Weeds and wisom in the Middle Ages

By Val Bourne 27 Apr 2014

Many plants that we call weeds today were essential food in medieval times and they can still offer important benefits – nectar for helpful insects and protection for crops

Our medieval ancestors actively encouraged weeds in their vegetable plots. The Fromond List, compiled by Surrey landowner Thomas Fromond in about 1525, is a list of “herbys necessary for a gardyn”. He recommends many of today’s weeds for sauces, salads, soups and so on. As Sylvia Landsberg explains in The Medieval Garden (British Museum Press), “many weeds and self-seeding crops which today we would destroy were added to the cooking pot”. Our ancestors harvested chickweed (Stellaria media), fat hen (Chenopodium album), langdebeef or ox tongue (Picris echioides) and sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus). The species name oleraceus (which means edible), is applied only to potherbs and vegetables, and indicates their common use.

Medieval gardeners relied on their “weeds” because they filled the hungry gap between the end of winter crops and the beginning of summer ones. Strongly flavoured plants, such as annual brassica swine cress (Coronopus squamatus), added extra bite to bland potages. We still devour watercress and lamb’s lettuce today – and there are British native species of both.

Landsberg has designed several medieval gardens, including the Bayleaf Farm Garden at the Weald and Downland Museum, near Chichester. This was maintained, until his retirement, by a sharp-eyed gardener named Bob Holman. He noticed that the weedy layer sheltered the larval stages of insects during winter and offered nectar for pollinators in spring and summer.

Holman also realised that different flowers attracted different insects. The umbels (such as parsley, skirret, alexander and dill) were popular with predatory Ichneumon wasps, scourge of aphids. Yellow and orange composite flowers, such as dandelions, lured adult hoverflies. Holman found that one parasitic hoverfly larva was capable of eating 1,200 aphids before it pupates. He also noticed that white campion (Silene latifolia) attracted blackfly, so he planted it near the beans – a crop targeted by blackfly – and watched as ladybird larvae sucked up the pests “like a hoover”. Thus, it worked as a diversion and a sacrificial crop.

There was no bare soil in a medieval garden. Every inch was covered with plants and this green mulch kept the soil moist. In August, as flowering waned, the weed layer was dug in as a green manure, improving the soil structure. So, although our ancestors nurtured the plants we now call weeds for food, the presence of such “weeds” added much to the natural habitat, too.

Landsberg says that there is a shortage of documentation about pests and diseases in medieval sources but theorises that “problems were more under control than nowadays”. Illustrated manuscript borders depicted the insects that played an important part in the medieval organic cycle.

“Ugly earthworms, slugs and larvae are not portrayed, but the attractive Our Lady’s Bird has spots that signify the seven sorrows of the Virgin. Pollinating bees, predatory spiders, butterflies, aphid-eating lacewings and damsel flies can all be seen, as well as snails and predatory beetles,” she says.

Perhaps our ancestors understood their relevance in the natural world far better than we do today.

Read the rest of the article: The Telegraph

post 1 of 3 #Weeds and wisom

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