what | why

62,230 notes

jtotheizzoe:

endangereduglythings:

wild-guy:

Achrioptera fallax (x)

That coloration is waaay too cool to not reblog. Those are colors I’d expect in a children’s cartoon, not in real life.

Of course this thing is from Madagascar, the island where evolution took LSD. I mean, more like Rad-agascar, amirite?

In all seriousness, Madagascar is a perfect example of the incredible diversity that results from evolution in isolation thanks to about 90 million years of being separated from the African continent. Find out more about where Madagascar’s species came from here.

See those flower-petal-esque wings? While they’re useless for flight, they do make some pretty cool predator-avoidance noises. Check out the video below to hear ‘em:

Btw, are you following endangereduglythings? Freaky fauna can (and often are) just as endangered or threatened as the cute kind. We should celebrate and protect nature’s oddities just as much as its supermodels!

Stick insects are my jam.

1,935 notes

thebrainscoop:

Remember Martha, the last of her kind, who died on this day a century ago. September 1st marks the extinction of the passenger pigeon, a species of North American bird with incomparable population numbers before they were completely eradicated by humans at the beginning of the 20th century. 
3.7 billion to 0 in forty years.
And if you are wishing this wouldn’t happen again, hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself - remember that we are currently enduring the sixth major mass extinction event. While the other five in our earth’s history were naturally caused by everything from major meteoritic impacts, to extreme cooling or warming of the environment, and frequently changing atmosphere - the latest event, Number Six, is being completely attributed to humans. This is the Holocene Extinction. 
In 2012 the IUCN reported that 30% of amphibians are at risk of extinction; as well as 21% of mammals, reptiles, and fish, 12% of birds, 68% of plants. We are looking to lose 30-50% of all species of life on our planet by the middle of the century. 
This may feel like a hopeless inevitability, but the future is not set in stone. What we need for this cause is awareness. What we need is an investment of personal interest. We need voices, and students, and teachers. We need scientists, and law makers, and committees and new legislation for the environment. We need communicators. We need enthusiasts and what we really need is to ruin apathy. This is a shared planet, not just between ourselves but with every miraculous piece of life that has erupted on its unlikely surface in the last billion years. We owe it to that great improbability not to mess this up. 

thebrainscoop:

Remember Martha, the last of her kind, who died on this day a century ago. September 1st marks the extinction of the passenger pigeon, a species of North American bird with incomparable population numbers before they were completely eradicated by humans at the beginning of the 20th century.

3.7 billion to 0 in forty years.

And if you are wishing this wouldn’t happen again, hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself - remember that we are currently enduring the sixth major mass extinction event. While the other five in our earth’s history were naturally caused by everything from major meteoritic impacts, to extreme cooling or warming of the environment, and frequently changing atmosphere - the latest event, Number Six, is being completely attributed to humans. This is the Holocene Extinction. 

In 2012 the IUCN reported that 30% of amphibians are at risk of extinction; as well as 21% of mammals, reptiles, and fish, 12% of birds, 68% of plants. We are looking to lose 30-50% of all species of life on our planet by the middle of the century.

This may feel like a hopeless inevitability, but the future is not set in stone. What we need for this cause is awareness. What we need is an investment of personal interest. We need voices, and students, and teachers. We need scientists, and law makers, and committees and new legislation for the environment. We need communicators. We need enthusiasts and what we really need is to ruin apathy. This is a shared planet, not just between ourselves but with every miraculous piece of life that has erupted on its unlikely surface in the last billion years. We owe it to that great improbability not to mess this up. 

631 notes

thebrainscoop:

September 2014 marks 100 years since the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. It’s estimated that the population of these migrant birds fell from 3.7 billion individuals to 0 in about 40 years, largely due to human impact, habitat destruction, and a lack of regulation on hunting, trapping, and their use in competitive tourneys.
Remember Martha, the last of her kind, and what she represents as not just a hallmark of her species, but as a symbol for our fragile environments today.

Not another species, people.

thebrainscoop:

September 2014 marks 100 years since the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. It’s estimated that the population of these migrant birds fell from 3.7 billion individuals to 0 in about 40 years, largely due to human impact, habitat destruction, and a lack of regulation on hunting, trapping, and their use in competitive tourneys.

Remember Martha, the last of her kind, and what she represents as not just a hallmark of her species, but as a symbol for our fragile environments today.

Not another species, people.

290 notes

thebrainscoop:

The Brain Scoop:
Fossil Meteorites! 

500 million years ago a collision between two asteroids threw one of them out of its rotation in the belt between Jupiter and Mars. Within a few tens of thousands of years the fragments of that meteor fell to earth and sank to the bottom of an ancient sea in modern-day Sweden. Over millions of years the mineralization process replaced many of the original elements in the meteorite, but thanks to some key identifying chemical markers our geologists and meteoriticists were able to determine that these specimens, excavated from a limestone quarry, are fragments of that ancient asteroid collision. 

The craziest part of all of this? Those fragments are still falling on earth today - in fact, one was found here in Chicago a few years ago, and after analysis it was matched to one of the fossilized fragments from Sweden. 

Separated by unthinkable distances in space and more than 500 million years, they’re reunited together again right here at The Field Museum. Now tell me that isn’t a story of star-crossed lovers. 

Love me some extended-length TBS vids!