saharans

This is a baby hippo. Hippopotamuses are thought to be around 55 million years old. They come from Sub-Saharan Africa, and their name means ‘River Horse’ in Ancient Greek. They’re generally considered to be the third-largest land mammal after elephants and white rhinos, and although you probably wouldn’t guess it, their closest relations are actually whales and dolphins.

Source: tomotomotomomo

Dear white supremacist/racial purist dweebs and fools:

Every last one of us is related to people who evolved in Africa.

Some groups of sub-Saharan Africans remained in Africa, while others left Africa and spread across the world.

Everyone – and I mean everyone – is therefore genetically at least partly African.

People who have descended from those African groups that left Africa have a series of genetic adaptations and mutations that have helped them adapt to the environments they settled in. European “White” people are almost entirely the product of changes that have occurred in the last 8000 years or so.

If – IF – anyone is “racially pure” (a horrible phrase and concept), it’s people whose ancestors never left sub-Saharan Africa, AND whose ancestors never had children with anyone who had any ancestors who were from anywhere other than sub-Saharan Africa. The rest of us – which is pretty much everybody – are all cousins.

Whether you like your cousins or not.

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(Cerastes cerastes) Saharan horned viper, horned desert viper
Primarily hemotoxic. Mainly nocturnal & terrestrial (semi-fossorial). Can make itself almost invisible by wriggling down into loose sand. Often hides in rodent holes & under stones. When irritated, rubs inflated loops of body together to make a “rasping hiss.” Can strike quickly if disturbed.

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10 amazing animals you’ve never heard of before - but need to hear about now as some are endangered

1. Okapi - found in Central Africa. Endangered
2. Quoll - native to Australia and New Guinea. Threatened
3. Mara - native to South America. Threatened
4. Rock hyrax - native to sub-saharan Africa and South Africa. Not threatened
5. Dhole - native to Asia. Endangered
6. Japanese dwarf flying squirrel. Not threatened
7. Ring-tailed coati - native to South america. Not threatened
8. Pink fairy armadillo - native to Argentina. Currently no conservation status
9. Marble fox - native to Canada. Endangered
10. Australian golden possum. Not threatened

The myth(s) of North Africa, the Middle East and the « MENA »

In this post, I’d like to debunk a few myths about North Africa, the Middle East, and, overall, this « MENA » region that people are always talking about. Long story short, those three terms are inaccurate in various degrees, and behind them hide colonial and imperialist ideologies. They’re not neutral, nor are they factual — they send a message, and you should be aware of their meaning when you use them.

This is a long post so I’m putting it under a “read more”; I would also like to thanks @movingtospacesoon for being kind enough to correct my (numerous) English mistakes.


Keep reading

Ethiopian Orthodox priest celebrates mass

Christianity in Ethiopia dates to the 1st century AD, arguably the first nation in the world to accept Christianity (the other nation to debate this being Armenia) and this long tradition makes Ethiopia unique amongst sub-Saharan African countries. Christianity in this country is divided into several groups. The largest and oldest is the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (in Amharic: የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋሕዶ ቤተክርስትያን Yäityop'ya ortodoks täwahedo bétäkrestyan) is an Oriental Orthodox church in Ethiopia that was part of the Coptic Orthodox Church until 1959, when it was granted its own Patriarch by Coptic Orthodox Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa Cyril VI. 

The largest pre-colonial Christian church of Africa, the Ethiopian Church has a membership of between 40 and 46 million, the majority of whom live in Ethiopia, and is thus the largest of all Oriental Orthodox churches. Next in size are the various Protestant congregations, who include 13.7 million Ethiopians. The largest Protestant group is the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus, with about 5 million members. Roman Catholicism has been present in Ethiopia since the century, and numbers 536,827 believers. In total, Christians make up about 60% of the total population of the country.

Location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

“Hey, wanna see a Pixie Frog?” I ask

“Sure,” you say, holding out your hands

I plop this into your arms.

“hold him like a baby, he’s heavy” I instruct you

“what,” you mutter “the fuck.”

congratulations, you have  been forcibly introduced to the African Bullfrog, also 

known in pet-owner circles as the Pixie Frog.

look at his little hands!

while they are indeed adorable, the nickname actually derives from the scientific name of the species (pyxicephalus adspersus), and not any positive qualities they possess. 

hoo boy they don’t have many of those, lemme tell you

found throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa, the Pixie Frog lives in wet areas where they eat pretty much anything they can fit into those ginormous mouths. (this includes fish, other frogs, bugs, snakes, lizards, other frogs, rodents, unattentive birds, other frogs, and probably you too if you hold still long enough)

this is a creature born with neither fear nor conscience

and it’s no idle threat either, because Pixie Frogs can grow to 10 inches long, which is well within ‘unreasonably huge’ for an amphibian. also, unlike most frogs, Pixie Frogs have fucking teeth

ALL THE BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH, MY DEARRRRR

in spite of all of this, Pixie Frogs remain popular pet animals, possibly because they will allow you to pick them up and carry them around like a newborn.

and we can respect that.

she has four of them and they’re named after her grandchildren

just, you know, make sure you count your fingers after you hold one.

How has the number of people living in extreme poverty changed?

The treemap above (interactive version here) illustrates how the number and distribution of people living in extreme poverty has changed between 1990 and 2013. The reduction in the number of poor in East Asia and Pacific is dramatic, and despite the decline in the Sub-Saharan Africa’s extreme poverty rate to 41 percent in 2013, the region’s population growth means that 389 million people lived on less than $1.90/day in 2013 - 113 million more than in 1990

The World Bank is pleased to release the 2017 Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals. With over 150 maps and data visualizations, the new publication charts the progress societies are making towards the 17 SDGs.

nature.com
Mummy DNA unravels ancient Egyptians’ ancestry
Genetic analysis reveals a close relationship with Middle Easterners, not central Africans.

“The tombs of ancient Egypt have yielded golden collars and ivory bracelets, but another treasure — human DNA — has proved elusive. Now, scientists have captured sweeping genomic information from Egyptian mummies. It reveals that mummies were closely related to ancient Middle Easterners, hinting that northern Africans might have different genetic roots from people south of the Sahara desert.

The study, published on 30 May in Nature Communications1, includes data from 90 mummies buried between 1380 bc, during Egypt’s New Kingdom, and ad 425, in the Roman era. The findings show that the mummies’ closest kin were ancient farmers from a region that includes present-day Israel and Jordan. Modern Egyptians, by contrast, have inherited more of their DNA from central Africans.

Archaeological discoveries and historical documents suggest close ties between Egypt and the Middle East, but “it is very nice that this study has now provided empirical evidence for this at the genetic level”, says evolutionary anthropologist Omer Gokcumen of the State University of New York at Buffalo.

The scientists obtained information about variations in mitochondrial DNA, which is passed from mother to child, from 90 mummies. Because of contamination, the team was able to acquire detailed nuclear DNA, which is inherited from both parents, from only three mummies.

Both types of genomic material showed that ancient Egyptians shared little DNA with modern sub-Saharan Africans. Instead, their closest relatives were people living during the Neolithic and Bronze ages in an area known as the Levant. Strikingly, the mummies were more closely related to ancient Europeans and Anatolians than to modern Egyptians.


Well this is fascinating