human encroachment

The Extinct Thylacine or Tasmanian Tiger

The Thylacine was the largest known carnivorous marsupial of modern times.  It is commonly known as the Tasmanian tiger (because of its striped lower back) or the Tasmanian wolf.  Native to continental Australia, Tasmania and New Guinea, it is believed to have become extinct in the 20th century.  It was the last extant member of its family, Thylacinidae;  specimens of other members of the family have been found in the fossil record dating back to the late Oligocene.

The Thylacine had become extremely rare or extinct on the Australian mainland before British settlement of the continent, but it survived on the island of Tasmania along with several other endemic species, including the Tasmanian Devil.  Intensive hunting encouraged by bounties is generally blamed for its extinction, but other contributing factors may have been disease, the introduction of dogs, and human encroachment into its habitat.  Despite its official classification as extinct, sightings are still reported, though none has been conclusively proven.

About the video:  Compilation of all five known Australian silent films featuring the recently extinct thylacines, shot in Hobart Zoo, Tasmania, Australia. Benjamin, the last specimen, is shown in the footage starting from 2:05.  The clips are separated by fades.

Video Source (public domain);  reference

roombavoomba  asked:

What is the deal with seagulls, have they always been opportunistic around humans? I live about 15 miles inland and seagulls would always show up at our schools around lunchtime and could get pretty aggressive over the trash and dropped fries for instance. Crows and finches do the same thing, but the seagulls seem like something is wrong with their natural environment that worries me. That or they just know humans have food

Seagulls are a really great example of what happens when you have a combination of habituation and the ability to adapt well to an urban environment. They’re naturally scavengers with good memories and the ability to fly long distances in search of food - now add in human encroachment on their coastal habitat, human habitations that mimic their nesting sites (sheer edges and flatish roofs) lack of natural predators in cities, and the picnics that come with our beach days and you’ve got a great recipe for a species realizing that it’s way more effective to chill out and utilize humans as a source of food. We’re so many generations into that pattern that they’ve learned how to scout for food-rich areas and time their visits. So it’s not really that there’s something wrong with their natural environment, more that they’ve really adapted to cohabitation with us as their new “natural” state in urban areas. 

(…thinking about it, this is actually probably the closest example I’ve seen to how people think proto-wolves might have started the evolutionary journey into becoming dogs. Hanging out around human settlements for the food, slowly adapting across generations for lower flight distance, and eventually learning to utilize us as a resource…)

3

This is a ghostly web-footed gecko, they can be found and perfectly camouflage among the powdery reddish sands of the Namib Desert, their primary habitat.These geckos have adapted their webbed feet not only to help them stay atop, but to bury beneath the dunes of the Namib Desert. Strictly nocturnal lizards, they spend the day in self-dug burrows and emerge at night to feed.

Their bloodshot-looking eyes are massively oversized to help them detect prey, which includes crickets, grasshoppers, and small spiders. They move surprisingly quickly across the sand, and adhesive pads on their toes make them excellent climbers.

People sometimes hunt these tiny lizards for food, and human encroachment is destroying some of its habitat. Their estimated lifespan in the wild is about five years.

anonymous asked:

I saw your post where you linked to the article that talked about the Earths age, but in the article it says that the Earth is about 6,000 years old (at least when the bible was finished) yet you also said Dinosaurs existed. I've never met anyone who thought that the earth was less than a million years old but believed in dinosaurs so how do you think that all works? I'm not trying to be rude I'm just curious.

No worries, that’s a great question!

I’m going to be linking to a lot of articles in response since it can get rather complicated the deeper you go into the scientific specifications, and I want to make sure I explain it right. That, and sources are important ;) For reference, the original article I linked to was this [x], and it approximates the world to be 6,000 years old.

Now, being a Christian, not only do I look at the scientific evidence, but I go by the truth of the Bible, which means I believe there was a worldwide flood. (The written evidence for a flood is also strengthened through the fact that every continent has multiple legends of a world-wide flood - numbering in total about 270 different stories. If a flood affected the entire world and changed the course of nature and humanity, if everyone’s heritage can be traced back to Noah, it stands to reason that there would be stories of it throughout the world - myth slowly being woven in with the truth of the Bible. More about that here [x].)

There are several key points of why the flood is important when considering the age of the earth and dinosaurs. I’m trying to summarize, but is going to get lengthy. However, I assure you it’s relevant as a preface.

- The flood killed massive amounts of animals and humans, trapping then in rock and sediment. The rock layer is often used to date the age of the earth and fossils - fossils that required rapid burial so as not to leave time for decay; something the flood would ensure. Additionally, considering a flood, something to note is the density and agility of those buried; the ability to escape rising waters and how their carcasses would settle in the depths. The flood also offers explanation as to why every layer of the fossil record includes oceanic creatures. A more thorough and detailed explanation can be found here [x]

- The flood could significantly change the geographical structure of the land. The eruption of Mount St. Helens provides a fantastic example of how a natural catastrophe affects the earth on a smaller scale. It carves out canyons, deposits sedimentary layers, all in strikingly short amount of time. Natural disasters can present changes that evolutionists would otherwise say took hundreds of years. Yet, on the massive scale on which the flood took place, things like even the Grand Canyon could be formed in a short span of time. (More about Mount St. Helens and geological changes [x] ) Additionally, the Bible says that “on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” (Genesis 7:11) If there was fault line and tectonic plate movement during this time as well, that certainly would have added to the quickened alteration of the earth’s formation.

- There is also reason to believe that the pre-flood atmosphere was different from today’s. Genesis says, “The window of heaven was opened.” Many scientists believe that that could refer to a sort of atmospheric canopy over the earth that allowed for a more moderate climate. That would account for why there have been palm trees found under the ice in Antarctica, as well as larger species of animals. There also is reason to believe that plants were more plentiful, and added to the difference in climate. This brings us to the point of carbon dating! When the flood and atmospheric variations are taken into account, CARBON-14 DATING ACTUALLY SUPPORTS A YOUNG EARTH.

- In summary, science can support both a young-earth theory and a worldwide flood theory.

Now that we’ve covered dating and fossilization, ONWARD TO THE DINOSAURS!!!

Did dinosaurs survive the flood? Yes. Noah was instructed to bring one of every animal in the ark, which included dinosaurs. And you’re probably thinking, “how did they fit a brachiosaurus on the ark???” Baby animals, my friend! Cute and convenient ^^ Job 41 also talks about the existence of dinosaurs, so we know they continued living after the flood. There are also recorded eye-witness accounts throughout history of dinosaurs (something to note is that the word “dragon” and “dinosaur” both mean “great, terrible lizard”. So while the word “dinosaur” was not invented until the first fossils were found, there was still a word that meant the same thing.) [x]

So why don’t we see dinosaurs today? There are many contributing factors…

- As the population of humanity grew, they encroached on the dinosaurs habitat. Just like in today’s world, whether it is by purposely killing off the predators (lions, tigers, ect.) or accidentally destroying their environment (pandas, manatees, ect.) animals go extinct or become endangered. The same is possible with dinosaurs.

- The size of certain animals was significantly larger at the time of the flood, and atmospheric and terrestrial conditions greatly reduced the lifespan of man (from 600-900 years, to the mere 80-90) It stands to reason that the size of dinosaurs could have been affected as well.

- It is theorized that the amount of plant life was significantly diminished. As many dinosaurs are herbivores, it simply could be that the nutrients did not suffice for many.

- There are many factors as to why the dinosaurs died off, but most likely it is a combination of reasons.

- There is evidence to suggest that there are still small breeds of dinosaurs living today in remote areas. It’s widely thought that many dinosaurs preferred dense swampland, and in African jungles that are largely unexplored, there have been reported sightings. If you look for it, history actually has a striking amount of documentation of man and dinosaurs together. They would not be the first life form thought to be extinct that has reappeared. [x].

All the links I’ve given are from Answers in Genesis, as they tend to be easier to understand as a whole, but the Institute for Creation Research has a tendency to go even further in detail and the minutely scientific aspects of it. I know I’ve probably overwhelmed you a bit with the massive amounts of text within the sources that I’ve given you, but I’d highly advice looking at both, as, in my opinion, this is something worth researching deeply. More research, evidence, and historical findings from ICR can be found here [x].

If you have any other questions, just let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them!

The lovely @hallin-skidi tagged me to answer some questions, so here go.

A - Age: I’m a level twenty human quickly encroaching upon level twenty-one.

B - Biggest fear: Water, children, myself, those nasty little dish rags used in restaurants to “clean” tables.

C - Current time: Time is a lie.

D - Drink you last had: Water. I am the image of health.

E - Everyday starts with: Folgers in my cup.

F - Favorite Song: I’m too passionate about music to have a single favorite song, but “Hyacinth House” by The Doors and “Solitude” by Black Sabbath are definitely two of many.

G - Ghosts are they real: I have some untraditional beliefs, I’ll leave it at that.

I - In love with: This question offends me, blocked.

K - Killed someone: Just versions of myself.

L - Last time you cried? Crying is just a part of my personality at this point.

M - Middle name: Haze, as in “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix. My mom is a huge fan girl.

N - Number of siblings: Just an older sister.

O - One wish: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

P - person you last called or texted: The woman who birthed me, most commonly referred to as “Mom.”

Q - Question you’re always asked: “Are you okay?“

R - Reasons to smile: Hentai.💁🏻

S - Song last listened to: “I Appear Missing,” by Queens of the Stone Age.🙃

T - Time you woke up: Some time around 2 am, 3:45 am, 5 am, 6 am…

U - Underwear color: Nakey.

V - Vacation destination: Somewhere between Maine and Vermont, so I can disappear and become a crusty old witch of the woods.

W - Worst Habit: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

X - Xrays you’ve had: The man with the X-ray eyes keeps me up at night.

Y - You’re favorite food: Carbs covered in cheese.

Z - Zodiac Sign: Crybaby Cancer.

Favorite color: Silver, Gold, Burgundy.

Pets: One precious pup named Missy.

Favorite TV Shows: Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, Doctor Who, Firefly, Game of Thrones, Stargate, The Walking Dead, Cosmos, Tales From the Dark Side, Land of the Lost, Six Feet Under, Penny Dreadful, Twilight Zone, Trailer Park Boys, Tim and Eric, etc.

First fandom: Porn.💁🏻

Hobbies: Crying and masturbating.

Favorite Book: Currently, “The Consumer,” by Michael Gira. It changes with my mood.

Worst food ever eaten: Anything Vegan.

I’m tagging my number one sludge sluts @austeritymeasure and @sludgebeard, as well as @primadonnas-ofthegutter, @iqwrestler, @bronanthegnarbarian, @unholymountainman, @quixoticnightmare, and @bephicidalmaniac.

Part 1: Animation Beyond Pixar

Part 2: 10 More Animated Movies Beyond Pixar
Part 3: Another 10 Animated Movies Beyond Pixar
Part 4: Some More Animated Movies Beyond Pixar

A few of my friends have recently gotten into animation! But there’s so much dreck in the animated world that it’s difficult to know what to watch. With that in mind I put together a quick guide of some of my favorite non-Pixar animated movies. Maybe you’ll like it too?

Princess Mononoke (Mononoke Hime, 1997)

Let’s start with the obvious: Studio Ghibli. Since the late 70s director Hayao Miyazaki has created gorgeous animated movies with an incredible eye for action and detail. Miyazaki’s movies often depict the struggle to remain pacifist in war-torn worlds. Such is the case in Princess Mononoke, where a young prince of a dying people is caught up in a war between the engines of progress and the forces of nature.

While Ghibli is considered an arthouse studio in the USA in Japan it’s known as a broad-appeal blockbuster maker. Princess Mononoke (Mononoke means “monster” btw) was Ghibli’s first mainstream overseas hit, and actually sparked a very brief infatuation with anime cinema in the US (which was destroyed within months by X: The Movie).

Ernest & Celestine (Ernest et Celestine, 2012)

France has an amazing animation industry that, unfortunately, is largely ignored in the US. A handful of French animated films, primarily the films of Sylvain Chomet, have a small following stateside, but far more go ignored. It’s really to our detriment, as France makes some gorgeous movies.

Ernest & Celestine is the story of an unlikely friendship blossoming between two very different people. The animation style is especially striking, every frame of Ernest & Celestine looks like a beautiful watercolor out of a children’s book.

The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed, 1926)

Aww yiss, let’s get cultured all up in this bitch! The Adventures of Prince Achmed is the oldest surviving (possibly first!) feature-length animated movie, and it’s good! A retelling of several of the stories in 1001 Arabian Nights, the most striking thing about APA is its distinctive silhouette style, done entirely by hand.

The movie was written, directed, and painstakingly animated over 3 years by Lotte Reineger (a straight-up pioneer-innovator in animation), and features a gorgeous accompanying score by Wolfgang Zeller (remember, this was the silent movie era). You will be stunned when you see the level of expression and communication Reineger gets out of paper cut-outs.

Mary and Max (2009)

Ernest & Celestine’s gloomier, more depressing cousin, Mary and Max also depicts the blossoming of an unlikely friendship, this time between an awkward little Australian girl and an obese autistic American man. The humor is black, the movie gets bleak, and the ending will make you smile through your tears.

It’s also entirely done with claymation, contrasting lumpy, exaggerated human figures with intricate sets. Almost like a Tim Burton movie, only much better.

Akira (1988)

Akira! Everybody knows about Akira, it was one of the three anime movies that were advertised by those sketchy mail-order businesses in the 90s. What you might not know about Akira is that it’s better known for its visual innovations than its story (which, with the exception of a few iconic scenes, is actually very slow and dull). Come for the gorgeous visuals, some of which we now take for granted, and feel free to pause when it gets boring.

Oh! The story: A delinquent biker gang becomes entangled in a dangerous military operation, and in the process brings about the end of the world. It’s the last days of a dystopian future, and it doesn’t end well for anyone.

Persepolis (2007)

Have you ever seen a photo from pre-revolution Iran? You might mistake it for America, with all the giant lapels and floppy hairstyles. While Persepolis is technically the autobiography of Iranian/French cartoonist Marjane Satrapi, it also tells the story of the Iranian cultural revolution. See it through the eyes of someone who grew up with it, and slowly saw her rights eroded as her government devolved into a theocracy.

Equal parts funny, sad, wince-inducing, and inspiring (the way every honest biopic should be).

Porco Rosso (Kurenai no buta, 1992)

You didn’t think you were getting away with just one Ghibli movie, did you? Porco Rosso is one of the lesser-known but no less stunning Studio Ghibli films, having the bad luck to premiere in the early 90s (after the big anime boom of the 80s, but before its resurgence in the late 90s).

Smaller in scope than your average Ghibli film, the world doesn’t hang in the balance in Porco Rosso. Instead you get to see an often forgotten place and time, the Adriatic Sea between WWI and WWII, a region that briefly became notorious for its abundance of aircraft and veteran pilots.

The titular Porco is one of the more notorious WWI flying aces now working on the adrianic, cursed with a pig-form as penance for his role in the war. While Porco is content to live out the rest of his life in obscurity the world around him conspires to shove him into the limelight.

A frequent joke during the film’s release was that Porco Rosso was an excuse for director Miyazaki to display a lot of his intricate aircraft designs, one of his passions. You can really tell, PR has some of the most gorgeous aircraft ever shown on screen.

Watership Down (1978)

Something was in the water in Britain in the late-70s. Something that made for incredibly dark, unsettling cartoons. The animated Lord of the Rings is just the tip of the iceberg, let’s talk about one of the scariest animated movies of all time: Watership Down.

Based on the acclaimed book of the same name, Watership Down is about bunnies… and their terrifying, brutal lives as they desperately seek refuge from human encroachment. Do not approach WD lightly, it gave an entire generation of children nightmares.

Stripped of its artifice Watership Down is a fascinating look at what happens when a primitive culture encounters an more advanced one, with equal parts heart-rending realism and fascinating mysticism.

Wallace & Gromit: The Wrong Trousers (1993)

Almost as if they were making up for the 70s, the 90s featured a lot of charming and hilarious British cartoons. At the top of the pile, the inimitable Wallace and Gromit.

This is the one with the criminal penguin. You know the one. It’s fantastic.

Claymation as a medium has always had a hard time breaking into the mainstream. It was the original bearer of the uncanny valley burden, and unfortunately the simplicity and flexibility of design required to animate a figure (at this time, at least) made for very exaggerated, often ugly character designs. What makes Wallace & Gromit so special is creator Nick Park’s ability to hurdle both of these problems and really define his creations as a cute, charming cartoon.

Treat yo’self.

The Garden of Words (Kotonoha no Niwa, 2013)

If it seems like there’s a lot of anime on this list, it’s because Japan is one of countries where animation has been a respected medium for decades. Collectively they’ve got a huge body of work to draw from.

My personal favorite movie by Makoto Shinkai, the Garden of Words is about two people finding comfort and refuge from the wider world with each other, in an ephemeral and gorgeously-rendered setting. Shinkai writes stories about people falling in love and then realizing they can never be together, so prepare your body (for tears).

There’s a healthy dose of melodrama to this movie, but it doesn’t take away from the gorgeous visuals and the tone this movie sets. You can almost smell the ozone.

I decided to hop on the Pokemon variations because I’m biology and Pokemon trash and headcanons for subspecies and species variations of Pokemon are both those things.

But really, I haven’t seen too many Pokemon variations for Joltik. Which is sad because guys, c’mon, spiders. I mean think of how diverse spiders are in appearance and behavior. imagine the possibilities. 

I’m not much of an artist but I chose five different spiders (their name written under) as subspecies of the standard (cave Joltik) to draw with the habitat their suited for written below them and i also wrote some headcanons to go along with them. 


Pink Fairy Joltik (Garden): A variation of the standard Joltik that was discovered only very recently, this subspecies is slightly smaller than the rest of its cousins and has adapted camouflage to disguise itself as a part of a flowering plant. As humans encroached on their natural habitat they quickly adapted to live alongside and were discovered soon after. Part of their diet consists of parasitic insects and pest, making them a welcome guest in any garden. This subspecies is popular among Pokemon Breeders and Pokemon Competition Trainers for its gentle demeanor and attractive colors and markings. 

Bridge-Builder Joltik (Forest): One of the most common subspecies of Joltik that’s versatility allows it to live in almost any wooded environment. An orb-weaver bug type that builds some on the largest webs in the world, it exhibits a unique behavior of building bridge-like web structures to get across bodies of water. The silk of the Forest Joltiks is one of the toughest biological materials found. The threads of silk are ten times tougher than similar sized pieces of Kevlar, the man made material used in bullet proof vests and is currently being studied by engineers and biologists for the possibility of being harvested and used by humans. 

Boulder Joltik (Mountains): The largest of all subspecies of Joltik. Known as the “Rock Climber Pokemon” it can scale any type of surface, even glass. They possess an extra set of legs used for scaling rocks and jumping on to high ledges. The texture of its hair its bristly, course, and tough and acts as an extra layer of protection adapted for harsh environments. Because of its strength and size it is popular with Pokemon Battle trainers. 

Clown Joltik (Tropical Climates): The tropical Climates Joltik, or Clown Joltik as they are better known. Live in tropical climate zones in habitats such as wetlands and rain-forests. They live beneath the leaves of plants and the markings on their backs are to frighten potential predators away. To humans, their markings appear to be a grinning face. popular legend says if someone comes across this Pokemon, it means that joy and good fortune will come your way soon.

Golden Joltik (Safari Zone): Golden Joltik are a critically endangered subspecies of Joltik, driven to near extinction by deforestation and black market trade for their silk, the can only be found in Safari Zones today. The webs they spin have a shimmering reflective color and almost appear to be spun out of pure gold. They are increasingly shy and as a protected species it is illegal to disturb their webs or capture them. 

Bonus: Trapdoor Joltik

Xayah Lore

Deadly and precise, Xayah is a vastayan revolutionary waging a personal war to save her people. She uses her speed, guile, and razor-sharp feather blades to cut down anyone who stands in her way. Xayah fights alongside her partner and lover, Rakan, to protect their dwindling tribe, and restore their race to her vision of its former glory.

As a child, Xayah loved listening to her father sing the ancient folk-hymns about vastayan heroes. The haunting melodies transported her to a long-forgotten time, when the spirit realm danced freely throughout the physical world. But, with every new generation, humans encroached further into the Lhotlan tribelands, disrupting the raw, chaotic essence of Ionia for their own purposes. Unwilling to stand by and watch her kind fade, Xayah ignored the decrees of her people and set out to reason with the humans.

She ventured into villages beyond her secluded tribal home, and learned how little she knew of the outside world. A group of poverty-stricken villagers mobbed her, some of them trying to steal her feathers as priceless trophies. Others were fearful of her strange appearance and summoned the authorities, forcing her to defend herself. Xayah’s attackers were soon taught the dangers of getting in her way, as she skewered them with her lethal quills.

Dismayed, she returned to her home, only to discover that her tribe, including her father, was missing without a trace. An ancient vastayan temple had been tainted by unnatural shadow magic, disrupting its connection to the spirit realm. Xayah destroyed the temple in order to dispel the corruption. Almost instantly, magic flowed back into the surrounding lands. It was a beautiful sight, but her tribe was still nowhere to be found.

After years spent flitting in and out of the most fortified strongholds and leaving a trail of bodies in her wake, she became known as “The Violet Raven.” She lived alone, focused only on the next mission, and the next step toward freedom for her kind.

But then she met another vastayan who would change her life forever. As she entered the remote mountain town of Vlonqo in search of a stolen vastayan artifact, she was struck by the strange sight of a braying crowd of excitable humans. Onstage before them stood a preening, flamboyant performer, a veritable golden peacock, who sang old vastayan songs for his captivated audience. As he finished his show with a dazzling array of cheap tricks—as Xayah saw them—the crowd erupted and chanted his name: “Rakan.” He took a theatrical bow. She dismissed him as a buffoon.

Xayah willed herself to ignore the entertainer, and completed her mission. She made her escape, which she had to admit had become far easier thanks to the buffoon’s distraction of Vlonqo’s inhabitants.

Despite vowing never to see this “Rakan” again, she couldn’t seem to get him off her mind. It was a strange and complicated feeling; there was a lightness to his spirit that she found aggravatingly alluring.

As she left town, Xayah was preoccupied by these strange thoughts, leaving her momentarily distracted to an ambush from a group of mercenaries. She had been expecting a fight, so she was glad to get her feathers bloody. A good brawl seemed the perfect antidote for useless diversions and unwanted feelings.

That was when Rakan made his grand entrance.

Xayah insisted she didn’t need the swaggering vastayan’s help. Rakan insisted he didn’t care—he just didn’t want to miss the party. Through the course of the fight, Rakan proved an unorthodox, but surprisingly dauntless and effective, ally. He leapt and pirouetted through the attackers who couldn’t take their eyes off him, providing Xayah ample time to strike them down with devastating accuracy.

In spite of her protestations, Rakan continued to follow Xayah. Over time, she grew to welcome his company and—though she was initially loath to admit it—the world didn’t feel so broken and lonely. They became inseparable, with her passion for the vastayan cause infecting the showboating battle-dancer. She has adapted to his free-spirited ways, utilizing the chaos Rakan creates as perfectly timed distractions. Together, they fight to release Ionia’s abundant flow of magic so that the vastaya might thrive once again.

Vengeance Is Sweet

For the requests for a sequel to A Little Vengeance Never Hurt

*Cas-centric

______________________________________________________________

After a few weeks, the Winchesters were…

Well, they still didn’t really like you. You made them uneasy. But they were more accustomed to seeing you around, as Cas seemed to be attached at the hip to you.

“They don’t like me,” you said to Cas one night as the two of you sat out on the roof of the bunker, looking at the stars.

“They will warm to you, Y/N. I promise.” Cas turned to you. “The first time Dean met me, he stabbed me in the chest.”

You turned to Cas, eyes wide. “Are you serious?”

Cas nodded. “It didn’t do any physical damage but I was… emotionally hurt, I suppose. But he eventually got used to the idea of me and now…”

The smallest of smiles played on your lips. You scooted over closer to the angel, slipping your hand in his. “Well, I promise to never stab you in the chest.”

“The sentiment is nice, but you cannot make that promise, Y/N. What if a situation arises where–”

“Cas,” you interrupted, slightly exasperated. “Shut up.” You leaned over and kissed him, feeling his lips under yours.

Cas smiled slightly when you pulled back. “I enjoy it when you do that.”

“Well, you give me plenty of opportunities to. You’re always talking.” Your tone was light and there was a smile on your face, letting Cas know that you were joking.

You and Dean had a similar sense of humor. Cas was very thankful that Dean had taught him a little about sarcasm before having met you. It made it easier to understand you.

But there was still so much that Cas wanted to know.

______________________________________________________________

Things were bad.

An all-out war was raging between the sides who called themselves ‘good’ and ‘evil’. They were encroaching on humans, those trapped in the middle.

The Winchesters hadn’t heard from Cas in a while.

“Where is he?” Dean asked, pacing in the library.

Sam shook his head. “We don’t even know where to start to look.”

Dean grabbed a chair, his knuckles turning white as he gripped the back. He shook his head. “I think we have to call in reinforcements.”

Sam cocked an eyebrow at his brother. “Are you sure?”

“What other choice do we have, Sam? She can go places we can’t.”

Sam shrugged. “I guess. But how are you going to get her here?”

Dean hadn’t thought that far ahead. “I don’t know. Maybe she comes when we call like Cas does.”

“You’re going to pray to a demon?”

“‘Call’, not ‘pray’,” Dean insisted.

“Well, go ahead. Call her.”

Dean cleared his throat. “Y/N,” he started. “We… really need your help.” He looked around. “Come out, come out, wherever you are.”

After a few seconds, you appeared around one of the shelves. “Y’know, demons don’t answer to prayers.”

“I wasn’t praying!”

“Whatever. What do you want?”

“Cas is missing.”

“Have you tried praying to him as well?”

Dean gritted his teeth. “Of course, I have. What do you think I’ve been doing this entire time, sitting on my ass?”

You pursed your lips, holding back whatever comment you had. “When was the last time you talked to him?”

“A few weeks ago. You?”

You thought. “Around the same time.” You bit your lip. “All right, I’ll go look for him. But I need you two to do something for me.”

“What?”

“My newest job. Kid’s being beat up by his dad.” You cocked your head to the side. “Can you go rough him up for me?”

“How the hell–”

“He’s going to be at the Riverside Bar tonight, just like every night.” You pulled out your phone. “I’ll send you a picture of him.”

Dean’s phone chimed with an incoming picture. “How’d you get my number?”

“Cas. And now you have my number, so you won’t have to pray to me the next time you want to talk.”

“I wasn’t praying!”

______________________________________________________________

It took a few days, but you finally found Cas.

He looked like Hell.

You wrapped your arms around him and poofed him to the bunker. You dropped him down onto the couch. “Sam! Dean!”

The brothers ran in.

“Cas!” Dean said.

“Get me some warm water and a towel,” you said. “And your first aid kit.”

The brothers rushed off and brought you the supplies. You set about cleaning Cas up, washing away the blood, bandaging the cuts.

You placed a hand on Cas’ chest, your eyes trailing over him, studying him. “He’s going to be okay,” you finally said. “He just needs to rest.”

The brothers watched the care that you gave Cas. Even though they didn’t agree with demons and wanted nothing to do with them… maybe you were different.

“We did what you asked,” Dean said. “It’s taken care of.”

You nodded, eyes still on Cas. “I know. I checked in with the boy briefly during my search for Cas.” You finally tore your eyes from the angel, turning them to Dean. “Thank you.”

A small silence filled the room.

“Hey, have you ever… had any calls about us?” Dean asked.

A small smile ghosted on your lips. “No. You guys… you piss off a lot of people, but you’re good.”

“That’s surprising,” Sam said. “I would’ve guessed at least one of Dean’s many flings would’ve called upon you for help.”

“You asked if I’ve ever been called on you. You never asked about my siblings.”

You watched as the brothers’ faces dropped in horror, the two of them sharing a look. You started to laugh but your attention was brought back to Cas as he stirred ever so slightly.

“Cas?”

His brow creased; his eyes opened. “Y/N,” he said, his eyes falling on you. “What…”

“You’re okay,” you said, placing a hand on his forehead. “It’s okay. You’re at the bunker.”

Cas looked around, his eyes finding Sam and Dean. He gave them a tiny smile before his eyes fluttered closed again.

There was a small smile on your face. “Dean,” you said over your shoulder. “Go get some burgers and beers. It’s going to be a long night.”

mad-madam-m

AO3 || Writing Tag

It’s Fandom Favorites week for our Summer Spectacle winning team, Falcon Helldiver!! This week we’re featuring pieces you might already recognize, but are well worth a second look.


The One Where They Adopt a Selkie [T] [7737]

“That’s a kid,” Stiles said.

Derek growled. “It’s a selkie.”

“It’s a selkie kid,” Stiles pointed out, because really, they did not need to be arguing semantics right now. “Do selkies just go around leaving their kids sleeping in caves on the beach?”

To See With Eyes Unclouded [E] [47770]

Cursed by a dying god, Derek seeks help from the great wolf Satomi. She lifts the curse with a Bite, but Derek can never leave the forest, lest the curse return.

Taken in by Satomi’s small pack, Derek finds himself learning more about the forest and navigating an antagonistic relationship with Stiles, Satomi’s only human child.

But darkness encroaches at their borders as the humans of Irontown delve deeper into the forest in their quest for iron, and the bad blood between the wolves and the humans threatens to breach the point of no return.

And Derek may well be the only one who can pull them back from the brink.

Happy Birthday Mr. Hale [Series]

Derek is a single dad. Stiles is the college student who’s been babysitting his daughter for the past three years. Smut ensues.

The Rest Is Unwritten [T] [6267]

Once upon a time, the werewolf king and queen invited five fairies to the christening of their only son. The fairies bestowed the boy with gifts—beauty, grace, wit, and the most adorable teeth in all the land.

But before the fifth fairy could give her gift, a wicked fairy from the other Court arrived and cast a terrible curse on the baby prince. He would have a life full of tragedies, she declared, and die young, of a broken heart.

The king and queen were beside themselves with grief. It was very old, powerful magic, so there was little they could do to break it. However, the fifth fairy had yet to give her gift. The curse could not be broken, she told them, but it could be altered.

She bestowed upon the prince the gift of perseverance, so that he would never lose his will to live, even in the face of countless tragedies. And when he found the one who would stand by his side and face those tragedies with him without fail, that is when the curse would be broken. Because the fairy knew there was nothing in all the world more powerful than true love. Not even a wicked fairy’s curse.

While You Were(n’t Quite) Sleeping [T] [13568]

Scott’s mom, Melissa, had given Stiles the basics on Derek’s condition when he’d first come over here a month ago. Derek had been here six years, the only survivor of a horrific house fire that had killed the rest of his family. It had left him burned, half his face puckered with scars, and he’d been in a catatonic state the entire time. Stiles couldn’t even begin to imagine how awful that would be, being trapped in your own body for years on end, all alone.

Stiles had an inkling of how much being alone sucked, anyway.

(An AU in which Derek is the one who was trapped in the fire, and then in the hospital, based on a set of pictures from littlecofiegirl.)

A Desperate Arrangement [E] [115506]

“I’m sorry, I believe there’s something wrong with my hearing,” Stiles said. “Because I could have sworn you just told me you set up a betrothal agreement with the Hales. A betrothal agreement involving me. Me.”

Scott smiled his easygoing smile and nodded, which told Stiles no, he hadn’t misheard a damn thing.

After seven years of lengthy negotiations, the treaty between the Hales and the Argents has fallen apart and the two countries fell into war.

Months later, there’s an uneasy truce, thanks to the intervention of King Scott McCall, but it won’t last. In a desperate attempt to maintain the peace, the Hales sign a treaty with the McCalls to marry Prince Derek to Prince Stiles Stilinski, King Scott’s brother.

In the history of the world, there have been many better ideas.

The Man in the Snow [T] [15894]

Derek finds a young man injured in a ravine on the border of his ranch. That’s strange enough, but the mystery only deepens when the young man wakes up without any memory of what he was doing out there.

The Christmas Raffle [E] [10386]

Every year, the royal Hale family raffles off a Christmas dinner with Prince Derek to raise money for charity. But this year, the winner is the second chance Derek didn’t know he was looking for.

See Derek Date [E] [20699]

When Derek sees his ex-boyfriend, Jordan, for the first time in ten years, he tells a little white lie about his love life (or lack thereof). Of course, that all blows up in his face when his sister Cora finds out and demands that Derek bring his (imaginary) boyfriend to her wedding.

Now he’s got one month to change that “imaginary” boyfriend into an actual one.

A Wild Heart’s Desire [T] [13410]

If there’s one thing Stiles Stilinski knows, it’s that Deputy Derek Hale absolutely Does Not Like him. The only reason Derek even tolerates him is because their kids are worryingly codependent.

So Stiles is understandably confused when a very feral Derek shows up in his backyard after a call gone wrong and proceeds to move in with him.

Greater Prairie Chickens have evolved incredibly complex auditory organs through millenia of predation. Featuring swiveling auricles, inflatable amplification chambers, and removable micro-SD storage, these birds are capable of hearing a human footfall from a distance of three Canadian football fields. Despite their amazing perception, these birds are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN due to human encroachment on their traditional territory.

Tonight I learned about coyotes.

At tonight’s zoo meeting, we had a guest speaker who is an expert in urban coyote behavior.  

If you are not American, you may not be aware that over the last 100 years, coyotes have spread far past their Plains native range and now cover the entire North American continent.  They live in cities, rural areas, urban areas, everywhere.  My best friend has seen them in her backyard.  

Usually we hear about human encroachment into animal territory posing a threat to animal populations, but the coyotes have turned that right on its damn head by encroaching right back at us.  How are they so successful?

It turns out that for carnivorous mammals, there’s a magic tipping point around the 40 lb mark.  If you are a mammalian carnivore over 40 lbs, you cannot survive without sometimes killing and eating something your size or larger.  You can’t live on smaller prey.  If you’re under 40 lbs, you can live quite well on prey that’s smaller than you.  So a 20 lb fox can get by just eating voles and mice just fine, but a 140 lb wolf can’t - it can make do with raccoons for a bit, but eventually it has to kill and eat a deer or an elk or something.

Average weight for a coyote?  It’s about 40 lbs.  That means that they can go either way.  They can survive eating prey smaller or larger than themselves.  Versatile.  This also means that they have experienced selection pressure from above (trying to avoid becoming the prey of a wolf or a bear) and from below (trying to effectively hunt smaller prey).  This produces a very intelligent, resourceful animal.  Coyotes have proportionately much larger brains than any other canid.

Our efforts to keep coyotes out of places?  They laugh and think we’re just adorable.  There is video of a coyote scaling a 12 foot chain link fence and going over the triple layer of razor wire on top to get onto the Portland airport.  

Coyotes are also both monogamous and territorial.  They will keep the same mate until one of them dies.  They have one litter per year and they will both expend a tremendous amount of effort caring for and protecting the pups.  They use both natural and man-made markers (roads, streams, ditches) as boundaries of their territory.  One territory will contain one alpha pair and sometimes from one to five subordinate coyotes, sometimes but not always the alpha pair’s offspring.

Coyotes have learned to live in our world.  In cities, they cross roads hundreds of times and are rarely injured.  I saw a video of a coyote using the damn traffic lights to cross Lakeshore Drive in Chicago.  In Portland, they’ve been known to ride the subway.

One of the reasons we had this speaker is that we have coyotes on zoo grounds.  They’re not exhibits, they’re locals.  The keepers have seen prints.  So far they have not made off with any of our animals, although they may have taken some of the eggs from the Canada geese who live on grounds (good, those geese are evil).  There aren’t that many animals on exhibit who’d be vulnerable - mostly birds.  Like to see a coyote go after one of our Amur tigers.

So basically…the zoo is in no hurry to remove the coyotes.  They’re nice coyotes, sorta.  And as long as they are here, no other coyotes will try to come on grounds, because “our” coyotes own this territory, and if we got rid of “our” coyotes, other coyotes would move in, and they might not be so nice.  There is plentiful food for the coyotes on zoo grounds that is much easier pickings than the zoo animals.  We are chock-a-block with rodents, rabbits, foxes, raccoons and squirrels because there is so much food around.  The coyotes can gorge themselves on small prey without having to resort to braving electric fences to get to the gazelles or the prairie dogs.

I do sometimes wonder if they ever cruise by the wolf habitats (we have both timber wolves and Mexican gray wolves on exhibit), animals who would be their natural predators, and laugh at them.

I also learned a tidbit - in the canid family, by far the most recent species to emerge is canis familiaris, the domestic dog.  Our speaker said that the big debate among researchers now is that the domestic dog really belongs back in canis lupus (wolf) because there’s virtually no genetic difference.

So congrats - your pug, Chihauhua or Shih-tzu is a wolf.

bthays  asked:

Two questions. 1. What are your thoughts on Cecil the Lion? I'm sure you've had quite a few people ask about this, but I'm curious to know your opinion on the arguments made (both Pro and Con). 2. How cool is it about the African Golden Jackal (Wolf)?!?!?!?!?

Hi! 

I have a lot of thoughts about Cecil, and let me just clarify these are my personal feelings and I think there are a number of appropriate reactions. I will say the mob mentality and outrage that the killing of Cecil the lion spurred was not the most constructive response. The way Cecil was killed - which is to say, deliberately and without much justification aside from one man’s dominating ego - was disgusting. But, if it means the outcome is more people will take a concerted and deliberate effort to support conservation, then I can appreciate the positive outcome of a bad situation. 

Right now, I’m not sure how far that initial outrage will support real action. I see lots of people enraged for a short amount of time, who want to pit the evils threatening beautiful species on one man’s ill-informed actions. I see corporations capitalizing on a new market (remember.. even if Ty donates all profits of the lion beanie to WildCRU, they are still piggybacking on this event to demonstrate that they are a company that’s relevant and worth your money, and I’m skeptical, and would encourage you to just make a donation to WildCRU on your own). In six months, in a year, how will this event have changed the world of wildlife conservation? 

While I think trophy hunting on the part of an individual is irresponsible and weird, there are ways to make it sustainable and even beneficial for wildlife conservation. Trophy hunting in Africa can generate millions of dollars and employ thousands of people. If not done effectively, however, expanding human populations and encroachment of wildlife will (and in some places already has) deplete the areas used for hunting either way, and often times the benefits from this form of tourism don’t trickle down to local communities. This article on the economic and conservation significance of trophy hunting in sub-Saharn Africa is super interesting and you should read it. 

Meanwhile poaching and the over-hunting of hundreds of other species is still broiling on. Where’s the pangolin beanie baby? And I read this CNN article - The Most Trafficked Mammal You’ve Never Heard Of – that’s just irresponsible. If you haven’t heard of a pangolin you’re not paying attention. How many dead pangolins will it take before they receive the outrage that one lion spurred? How are we valuing wildlife – when it suits us, when it’s convenient to be outraged, when we can point the finger at one man instead of an entire country or culture or black market industry because the latter are complicated to understand?

Sharks and pangolins are plucked from protected areas, seahorses are traded and trafficked, habitats are destroyed for palm oil plantations, there are 79 species of classified endangered mollusks that have virtually no public support. No beanie baby for the unionid bivalves. Those animals - just as threatened with population decline and habitat loss - don’t have the luxury of being on the radar of pubic outrage. I don’t anticipate they ever will, but I can’t help but wonder how we could commandeer the outcry over a lion and use it as a launching point to discuss any number of species that have great ecological importance. 

Ultimately I hope Cecil’s death will be the spark that ignites serious discussion and action for the conservation of wildlife and continued support of natural and protected areas worldwide, but we’ll see. In any case, this conversation is way bigger than the one man who is responsible for starting it.