extinct day

♥ The Ancient Origin of the Heart-Shaped Valentine ♥

This very rare coin is a silver hemidrachm struck in Cyrene (modern Libya) around 500 to 480 BC. Both sides of the coin show the now extinct* heart-shaped silphium fruit. The silphium plant, a large relative of the fennel plant, was abundant and a lucrative cash crop in ancient Cyrene, which is why it appears as the symbol of the city on its coinage.

Since it allegedly went extinct, silphium is a bit mysterious to us. We do know that it was greatly prized for its medicinal and culinary properties. It was  used as an herbal birth control method, thus forever associating the shape of its fruit with passionate love and thus, matters of the heart. Ancient writings also help tie silphium to sexuality and love. One such reference appears in Pausanias’ Description of Greece in a story of the Dioscuri staying at a house belonging to Phormion, a Spartan: “For it so happened that his maiden daughter was living in it. By the next day this maiden and all her girlish apparel had disappeared, and in the room were found images of the Dioscuri, a table, and silphium upon it.”

Pliny reported in his Natural History that the last known stalk of silphium found in Cyrene was given to the Emperor Nero “as a curiosity,” because it was nearly extinct by then.

*There is some debate about whether or not this plant is really extinct. You can read about that on the Silphium Wikipedia page.

Happy #WorldPangolinDay! These amazing animals are found in Africa and Asia, and all 8 species are at risk of #extinction from poaching. They are illegally taken from the wild primarily for their scales which are used in traditional Chinese medicines. I saw this pangolin in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but sadly it was being sold at a market. These fascinating creatures need to be respected in the wild, where they feed on millions of ants and termites.

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September 7th, 1936

Exactly 80 years ago today, the worlds last captive Thylacine - affectionately known as Benjamin - died at the Hobart Zoo in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. The creatures life was ultimately cut short due to being locked out of its sheltered sleeping quarters and freezing to death in the harsh Tasmanian night. This date of September 7th, is officially thought to be the last time anyone was able to see one of these magnificent marsupials alive in the world.

That same year, the Thylacine would be added to the endangered species list. Fifty years later, the worlds largest carnivorous marsupial would officially be declared extinct due to the direct eradication of the species carried out by human beings.

To honor the memory of Benjamin, Australia celebrates National Threatened Species Day every year on September 7th. This tradition was started in 1996 and this year marks its 20th anniversary.

-The Pine Barrens Institute

Andrew + cats headcanons

Andrew Minyard and cats will never not mean everything to me. Consider these concepts:

  • Consider: Andrew silently assigning the cats percentage points when he’s annoyed not that he’ll ever admit it out loud
  • Andrew Minyard telling the cats “I hate you” as often as he tells Neil.
  • Andrew Minyard then proceeding to feed them and allows the cats to gently headbutt his hands in appreciation
  • King Fluffkins coughing up a hairball and Andrew freezing up and cautiously staring at the cat because? what is he supposed to do??
  • Andrew keeps his reaction impassive, but he cleans up the hairball diligently anyways and make sure to keep the cat in his sight for the rest of the day
  • (If Neil catches on that he’s being nicer that day than he usually is, well, Neil knows when to keep his mouth shut)
  • Consider: one of the cats getting food poisoning and really sick 
  • Andrew literally dropping everything he’s doing to rush to the vet
  • Andrew Minyard walking in and dumping the poor cat on the alarmed receptionist’s desk
  • Andrew keeping his face neutral as always but for once he really is concerned. 
  • The vet asking for the cat’s name. 
  • Andrew deadpanning “Sir Fat Cat McCatterson” 
  • Andrew upping the cat’s percentage points to 275%
  • He’s also upping Neil’s percentage points for getting him into this damn mess
  • Consider: Andrew confiding Renee about what happened 
  • Renee knowing a surprising amount of knowledge about cats (she volunteered at an animal shelter a while back) and telling Andrew if he ever has any questions he could come to her. Andrew wishing he could glare at Renee over the phone
  • Renee being Helpful™ and gifting him a book the next time he sees her
  • Andrew Minyard browsing the Internet and library to find books like “The Cat Owner’s Manuel” in case anything happens again
  • Consider: Andrew lounging around his apartment reading the books 
  • Andrew bringing the books with him to practice or to out-of-state games
  • Andrew glaring at anyone who comments on them
  • Andrew does not murder Neil for smiling when he sees him with the books for the first time, but he does add +1% to his hate meter
  • Andrew Minyard reading the cat food ingredients carefully the next time he goes grocery shopping
  • Consider: Andrew and Neil finally coming home at last after a really tiring flight. Them curling up on the couch & the cats jumping up to greet them
  • Neil tiredly and softly whispering greetings and praises in Russian 
  • (Neil’s and Andrew’s Russian are very good by now. They use it a lot at home)
  • Consider: The cats learning to understand basic Russian commands
  • Consider: The cats being part of Andrew and Neil
  • Consider: Andrew growing to love hate them as fiercely as he loves hates Neil
  • Consider: The cats growing to be part of why Andrew lives through each day
  • …..
  • Now consider: One of the cats dying. 
  • Should we bury him?”  “I thought you were more in the habit of burning bodies.”  “Can you not be an asshole right now?
  • rip

But because I don’t want to end on a sad note, here’s a bonus:

  • Imagine Kevin Day meeting the cats for the first time. 
  • Imagine Sir Fat Cat hating him. 
  • Sir hisses at him. Sir tries to scratch him. Sir snarls whenever Kevin gets too close
  • Kevin catches on pretty quickly he’s unwanted and takes great pains to avoid Sir Fat Cat whenever he goes to Andrew and Neil’s apartment 
  • Kevin tries to pet King Fluffkins next, but King Fluff just turns his head and walk away whenever Kevin approaches 
  • “I’m a dog person anyways,” Kevin moodily tries to justify to himself. This is a strike to his ego.
  • Andrew doesn’t comment on it, but the next time Sir tries to jump into Andrew’s lap he doesn’t push Sir Fat Cat off. 
  • In fact, he gives him a rare scratch behind his ear.
  • When Neil finds out he gives Sir Fat Cat and King Fluffkins a treat
  • They’re all Instigators at Heart
  • I love them

Anyways, I just want to say that Andrew + cats is a gift from the heavens and we should all treasure it for all of eternity

(Psst, feel free to add your headcanons too!!)

anonymous asked:

Can you draw Stegodon charging Homotherium?

The answer, apparently, is… sort of. Ignore Homotherium front legs. Just… ignore them.

There should probably be more trees and bushes here, but… plants. Yuck.

This is our responsibility. Let’s make sure our children grow up in a world with the same beautiful species that we did. Have a beautiful day 🍃   🌍  Racing Extinction

Now unfortunately extinct, the Portrait-Sitting Chicken was a very important breed for aspiring models back during the early days of photography. Unlike oil painting where both artist and model could take breaks while working on a single image, early cameras required models to sit perfectly still or risk completely ruining the image. While not ordinarily photographed themselves, Portrait-Sitting Chickens were used to train aspiring models to remain perfectly still or risk having an angry flapping mess tangled up in their hair.

5

Made more Crosshairs gifs - couldn’t decide between the first 2 which was best  so I posted both plus I cannot get enough of that adorably grumpy sexy snarl 

And the final 3 were inspired by a gif of his hips and I just had to make my own cos i just cannot get enough of everything to do with him especially his trenchcoaty thing, his hips and his legs his optics just everything  hhhhhhnnnngngngngggg then I just made one of the poke for fun :D

I have a tonne of screencaps from Transformers Prime to make gifs with too :D

Scientists Sequence a Full Mammoth Genome

Beth Shapiro, author of How to Clone a Mammoth, acknowledges that scientists will never clone a mammoth. But we might be able to bring them back other ways. But she also says we shouldn’t. 

There have been many attempts to decode the mammoth’s genes, but April 2015 saw the first successful complete mammoth genome sequencing. While this cannot lead to cloning in the strict sense of the word (somatic cell nuclear transfer requires a living cell from the donor species), it may be the next step in bringing the species back. 

With parts of the mammoth genome, we may be able to determine what genes separate the mammoth from an Asian elephant. Scientists may be able to edit the genes of an elephant to make it hairier, fatter, and with hemoglobins making its blood more suitable to cold environments. However, while this is a step in the direction of de-extinction, there are many more technical and ethical hurdles to overcome before there is a chance of reviving the mammoth.