Chelodina steindachneri also known as the dinner-plate turtle. 🐢
Hello! I work for my school’s natural history collections so I understand all the laws and have all the permits I need to care for my dead things. This piece is not a personal collection piece, but the schools.
Progressive social change is not merely about changing policies, but about changing hearts and minds. Genuine and lasting change requires a paradigm shift, a transformation of the mentality that propped up the old order. We must knock out the foundations of oppression and cultivate the values that form the foundation of justice, values such as compassion, integrity, and reciprocity. And to challenge injustice everywhere, we must practice justice everywhere: on streets, in the courtroom—and on our plates.
You think he’d be born with a forked tongue, a pentagram etched under his sweet new skin—some sign that this child was conceived with the End in mind. But no. He had ten fingers and jaundice, woke his mother up with screaming (hunger, that original sin) and burbled in the sun. The horns and fire never showed, only fine dark hair, flat teeth he later lost. He cried when he skinned his knees—the cats they found years later in a ditch were some other boy’s lack of love.
In the end he studied literature, defacing the margins of Paradise Lost with drawings of other things fallen, apples and himself, Babel. He liked the poetry though— the way it pierced from under the skin like fishhooks, silver-bright and swallowed. He liked dangling the hook. (He had no taste for fish, which might have been the problem.) You were asleep like Peter in the garden when he found the verses to absolve himself.
That was the beginning.
(he screamed, when the universe came apart under his hands. He hadn’t actually believed it could.)
after it had all gone quiet again, he asked, why me of all the sons of bitches who sucked dirt and said grace why—
why not? god answered, not out of the whirlwind but the taxi shared down to that lake of fire. I only have three sons in this cosmic Maury show. The Good Son, the Bad, and you. My little bruise, a door on fire. You’re the one I made for myself. You’re the one I get to keep.
At one time, some scientists thought Stegosaurus had a second brain because the one in its head seemed so small. Stegosaurus did, however, manage with one small brain.
Stegosaurus plates have grooves for blood vessels, indicating that they were covered with skin when the animal was alive. These plates were probably used in display or species recognition, much like the horns of many modern animals, including deer and antelope.
Wait so when would be the ideal age to get your animals spayed/neutered?
There are a lot of opinions on this, and it definitely varies by animal too. The general consensus is that it’s good to wait until the animal’s growth plates have closed so that they don’t wind up abnormally tall, which leads to structural issues. By that point in time, they’ve matured in many other ways, too, including sexually. The sex hormones don’t have too much major development to help out with after that, and the sex organs that are their primary producers can thus be removed without many issues down the road.
Most dogs are done growing by 18 months, and you’ll see that number come up in a lot of ‘when to fix’ discussions. However, small and medium sized dogs will finish sooner. Also, the risk of mammary cancer does increase a bit with every heat, so some people don’t want to wait that long to spay a bitch as by that point, they’ll probably have had a heat. So, for people concerned about that, spaying at six months is a good idea except perhaps if you have a large, heavy breed that will probably suffer joint problems before cancers. That’s also when some small breeds are done growing, anyway.
So, there’s a broad range for you - six to eighteen months, depending on size and other factors.
Before you get a dog, research when your breed tends to finish growing, and also take into account what health risks are common to your breed. If a risk increased by early neuter is already a risk in your breed, for example, you may wish to hold off until the 18 month mark, but if mammary or testicular cancer is already an issue in your breed, you may want to neuter sooner. If you have a mixed breed and can’t tell how big they’ll be and don’t know their background at all, six months would be a reasonable age to spay and twelve to castrate.
As for cats, well, we don’t know as much about the affects of early fixing on cats, besides the structural issues, which affect all fixed mammals. Cats tend to cope with them better than dogs, though. Cats also mature much faster. A cat will be done growing by six months, and some as early as four months. Since intact cats are considerably more difficult to live with than intact dogs, until we know more, I don’t think fixing at four months to avoid howling queens and spraying toms is too bad an idea.
We know even less about smaller and larger animals. People bicker a lot over when to castrate farm animals (and rarely spay). Again, all that’s known for sure as fixed animals will be taller and, in some cases, put on more fat than muscle. That’s desirable in meat animals - and they live too little to see any side affects - so I imagine early castration will remain the norm. I don’t know if things will change in the world of horses - already, some people wait a year or two to castrate, while others do it very young - or for sheep/pigs/goats/cows intended to live as pets or work animals.
A selection of studies in dogs:
- an 2001 study which found increased risk of infectious disease in puppies spayed early in shelters - a more recent study (2004) which refuted some of the claims the earlier paper made about no urinary issues - a 2007 study exposing the structural problems that can be caused by neutering as late as seven months in large breeds (studies like this are where the six month minimum suggestion derive from) - a study which focused on a single breed, the extremely popular (and cancer prone) golden retriever, which had some pretty alarming results - a review discussing several studies which, like the retriever study, found the incidence of mammary cancer in early v. late spay females wasn’t as incredible as it was once held to be - another review, which sums up both pros and cons, and includes risks for endocrine disorders, which are a bit hard to find the source papers for without a paywall in the way
Some studies in other animals:
- a cat study which found, like most seem to, that they fair pretty well even if neutered early - a paper on pigs which found that the traditional as-early-as-possible castration date might not actually provide better growth, at least not early in life (note that even their ‘late’ date is well before sexual maturity, though) -