Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Mastodon Must Die!

The older I get, the more conservationist I get (did not say "conservative").  IANAEF (I am not an earth firster), but at the same time, the burgeoning human population _is_ wiping out the rest of all living things.  Something's gotta give.

Centuries to come -- if we don't nuke ourselves -- the sum total of all animals (maybe plants) will be contained on minute reserves.  That is, if we manage to finally figure out how to stop the chaos of falling/rising governments, discord and the sheer ignorance on the planet.

The stories behind the last of a species are heart breaking.  In 1922, the last Barbary Lion found itself in the sights of a hunter's rifle.  The sound of that gunshot marked the end of that animal, and that hunter -- who cared about nothing more than killing it -- had the privilege of being the last human on earth to see the largest of all modern lions alive.

I could go on, but this morning, the wired story of how the founders of modern America perceived the Pleistocene bones being discovered in the east, of titan, elephant-like animals, was both entertaining and sad.

A. Extinction was not a concept.  These animals must _still_ be alive, somewhere, on the continent.
B. They are carnivorous!  And should be feared!

The truth was:
C. They were herbivores, and they are gone forever....

Hopefully, not forever: the Barbary Lion has returned, in 2010, in the form of 2 cubs, made possible thanks to the efforts of biologists who searched for their descendants in zoos across the world.  Maybe, one day, we'll see mastodon babies too....

What a flesh-eating Mastodon may look like

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