We all remember the excitement of leaving a newly lost tooth under the pillow for the tooth fairy in exchange for a bit of cash. In some cultures it is not a fairy collecting teeth but a mouse. In Spain, Mexico, and other countries in Latin America it is a mouse named Ratoncito Peréz, or El Raton de los Dientes. In France the mouse is named La Petite Souris.
This is a bit of a convoluted tale about creatures that date back eons ago. With man's limited knowledge of prehistoric dinosaurs at the turn of the 19th Century, it was not surprising to learn that piecing together a triceratops' skeleton for a museum was more about guesswork than accuracy. In fact, in 1905 what was assembled to look like one was more akin to something out of Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein. Paleontologist John Bell Hatcher took charge of connecting bones from a number of dinosaurs to make up one less-than-perfect replica.
The goal is 12,500 species. The ’Photo Ark’ navigator and animal photographer is Joel Sartore. The mission is to document every captive animal species in the world using studio lighting and black-and-white backgrounds. So far, he’s traveled to 40 countries and has accomplished more than half of his target.
In some scientific circles, it’s a foregone conclusion that bumblebees are heading for extinction. Pesticides in particular are one of the major causes for accelerating their demise. The downside if their extinction were to happen, the earth’s functioning ecosystem would collapse.
Film and television has made many an animal famous -- particularly dogs, cats, and horses. Pigs have had a tougher time making the cut in this respect. One notable exception is Arnold Ziffel, a highly charming and intelligent pig from the television show Green Acres that ran from 1965 to 1971. To most of the folks in the environs of the fictional town of Hooterville he might as well be human.
When I first heard about Morgan Island - more descriptively known as ‘Monkey Island’ — I conjured up images of H.G. Wells’ 1896 science fiction novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau. Later adapted for the movies, both Burt Lancaster and Marlon Brando were brilliantly cast at different times in the demonic role of the mad doctor, hell-bent on conducting science experiments on animals and humans.
One might ask why Google would devote a 4-day Valentine’s series of Doodles in 2017 for a species that is little known to the general populace? And why is Google software engineer Jordan Thomas telling us to “woo our pango-love with Google’s latest Doodle Game”?