Extinction only a hop, skip and jump away

Thanks to all those exhibitionists eating frog legs on dares, numerous frog species are now facing possible extinction.

It’s not from just the sheer number eaten–although that alone nearly wiped out frogs in India and Bangladesh back in those crazy, tasteless 1980s. Bullfrogs imported from Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Taiwan and Mexico carry chrytid fungus, which kills any native species they encounter.

Animal warriors, we’ve won this round, just so long as nobody figures out that there are easier animals to harvest that carry more meat and taste even more like chicken. (We’re talking about bunny rabbits, of course.)

Everything you know is wrong

You like the legendary Nanotyrannus? What about ol’ Torosaurus, the three horned champion of plant eaters? Well guess what? Science says these and others may not have actually existed.

Your childhood has officially been raped.

Many dinosaur species are experiencing a second extermination—death by reclassification. Thanks to new technologies (and essentially Occam’s Razor in some cases) that allow paleontologists to analyze the tissues in dinosaur fossils, many paleontologists are discovering that dinosaurs we once thought of as separate species are actually part of the same species, simply at different stages of their development. The Nanotyrannus, supposedly a diminutive cousin of the Tyrannosaurus Rex is probably just a juvenile version of the latter species. Similarly, the Torosaurus and the Dracorex hogwartsia (seriously, that’s the name) have been stricken from the books, as they are likely members of previously discovered species.

A paleontologist estimates that a third of dinosaur species currently listed are actually members of other speicies. So how were these creatures mislabeled for so long? As science becomes better able to determine the growth stage of dinosaur fossils, they are finding that many species retain their juvenile characteristics longer than previously believed, and as dinosaurs age, their characteristics undergo drastic changes.

In other words, some species of dinosaurs may have simply been late bloomers.

Take it from Snee: Kill the pandas

All will remember the 1600 or so!There are certain rights we expect. The right to live as we wish. The right to own property. The right to pursue Happiness, Sunshine or any other optimistically-named stripper. And, of course, the right to die as we wish.

The latter part has come up periodically over the past decade since Thomas Jefferson didn’t include “death” in the list of A Few of His Favourite Things. (Also left out: kittens, strudel, warm woolen mittens.)

We’ve jailed and early-released Jack Kevorkian, a former pathologist who helped dying people die on their own terms. We’ve removed, replaced and removed Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube until we finally stopped stringing her along and sent her to the happy walking trail upstairs.

So, if actions speak louder than wishy-washy, yet well-intentioned words, then we’ve effectively decided that we do have a right to die on our own terms, to “go out with our boots on.”

So, what about animals? Continue reading Take it from Snee: Kill the pandas

Extinction never tasted so good

Worcester’s buttonquail was a species of bird believed to be extinct. For a long, long time it had not been seen in the Philippines, and the bird had never been photographed.

That is until the damn bird was caught, photographed by National Geographic, a well-known terrorist organization.

However, this story has a happy ending. The bird was found by the “journalists” alive and well–on the poultry market. It was soon sold and eaten.

“What if this was the last of its species?” said Wild Bird Club of the Philippines President Michael Lu.

How fitting an end.

Time to remember and strengthen resolve

What is already a day of solemn reflection is now being greeted with some dark, dark news: a species of frog thought to have been extinct for 17 years has been found alive. And no, we can’t crucify it.

While this grim announcement can likely inspire feelings of defeat or depression, look not in that way. We are humans, we will persevere. We are the greatest species in the world, and nothing will ever change that. What we need to do now is use this news as motivation. We must choose to renew our will to win. It is time to sound again the call to battle.

Let us take a moment to remember all those who fought this year.

We can and will win this war.

We’re winning on some fronts

Great news, everyone! Remember those pesky sharks that used to be all over the place in the oceans, killing and eating fish and sailors who fall overboard? Me neither!

After 200 years of hard for and perservierence, we’ve nearly wiped the shark population off the map. That’s right, we’ve killed around 97 percent of the shark population. Granted, this blog is not happy that it took two centuries to get to that point, but at least we have gotten here.

Now that we have sharks on the brink, it’s time we make sure we finish the job for our fathers, our fathers’ fathers and our fathers’ fathers’ fathers.

The threat continues to grow

Animals are out there, we all know that. But despite our best efforts to put the ones we know about into extinction, we seem to keep finding new ones. Zoologists announced they have discovered a new mammal in Tanzania, which this blog thinks is somewhere near Australia.

The mammal is something like a shrew and is unusually large. This is bad news for us. When we discover new species, they are supposed to either be a) tasty or b) smaller than similar types. Larger animals only present larger threats because it gets harder to exterminate them using conventional weapons. To properly deal with this threat, this blog thinks it’s time Tanzania got a good, old-fashioned carpet bombing.

Also, paleontologists announced recently they found the fossils of an ancestor of the crocodile. The dinosaur lived in Brazil, likely because it enjoyed the Carnivale festivals. It had a long snout but lived on land. Luckily, the creature died out long ago and no longer poses a threat to us. Also, it is good to learn as much as you can about your enemy, and that includes its history. Hopefully we will discover some kind of weakness of the crocodile, or at least some really embarrassing dirt.