As a kid, I was fascinated by the photos of the extinct quagga that were bolted to the sides of the zebra pen at the Topeka Zoo. I knew about extinction, of course. Dinosaurs were extinct. And I knew that buffalo had been shot by the 1000s a long time ago and might have become extinct, if they hadn't been protected.
But I remember the quagga being a little shocking, nonetheless. Here was an animal, that had been alive recently enough to be photographed—not just drawn, like some imaginary beastie—but which no longer existed. Not even one. Not anywhere. It probably didn't hurt that the quagga looked just different enough for little me to feel it as a loss. It wasn't quite a horse. Not quite a zebra. And I would never see one, except as a photo.
It was a weird, existential sort of feeling, which I felt again while watching this video of a thylacine, also called Tasmanian tiger or Tasmanian wolf. This animal is actually a marsupial, not directly related to wolves (or big cats). Any similarity you see is purely convergent evolution at work—different species adapting to similar environmental niches. Not surprisingly, like the wild dogs they resemble, thylacines were hunted with abandon in the 19th and 20th centuries, because of the threat they posed to domesticated herd animals. The last confirmed* wild thylacine was killed in 1930. The last captive one died six years after that. That's him, a male sometimes referred to as "Benjamin" in this video, shot in 1933.
On Monday, we reported that for the first time, a plant seed had germinated on the moon, an early experiment to test whether food could someday be grown on the moon to feed residents of a lunar base. The cotton sprout was inside a canister on China’s Chang’e 4 lander that touched down on the […]
Starting Sunday evening, Jan. 20, 2019, North and South America will have a chance at seeing 2019’s only total lunar eclipse, from start to finish. Our Earth, Moon and Sun line up on Sunday night for the only total lunar eclipse of of the year. Catch it if you can.
Adam Savage is back with an all-new show, and he’ll be tweeting live during tonight’s MythBusters Jr. on The Science Channel. The episode is named “Battery Blast,” so we’re expecting there will be explodey explosions, and they’re mentioning “straight as an arrow” so, pointy weapons.
Still determined to keep those New Year’s health resolutions? If you’re going to stick with the exercise plan, it’s enough of a challenge to budget your time. No need for your financial budget to take a hit, too. Here’s a more convenient – and cheaper – alternative to a gym membership or Peloton bike: Two […]
Want a career in web design? It’s true that these days, most anyone can throw up a page or two. But for true workhorse web design, you’ll sometimes need to match the platform to the project. Enter the Complete Front-End Developer Bundle, an educational grand tour around the best tools for the web. For beginners, […]
Things move fast in the world of social media, and they don’t slow down for marketers looking to make an impact. Whether you’re grabbing eyeballs for a major company or a local business, you’ll need to adjust your strategy for every platform. Don’t have a strategy to begin with? That’s where the Social Media Marketing […]