News Roundup

  • Remember how David Hayes might’ve once could’ve been Interior Secretary? He’s going to be Deputy Interior Secretary instead.
  • Native plants in your backyard really do increase native diversity of wildlife.
  • $93 million has been spent conserving the Mojave desert tortoise. Meanwhile, the Barneby reed-mustard (of the Utah Reed-Mustards) received $6. I know we’ve put a value on a human life. Has anybody estimated the value of a species? Whatever it was, it was too high for the Columbia Basin pygmy rabbit, which is now genetically extinct.
  • It’s fun pretending to read this interview with David Attenborough in his voice. To wit: “I can find you a new species without any problem at all. Take you to the rainforest and spend three or four days just scooping up insects. The difficulty is not finding the species, it’s finding the one man who specialises in thrips or whatever, who can tell you that it’s a different thing. Taxonomy is unfashionable.”
  • “Mythical glorification of trees first reached its zenith in the songs, prose and paintings of the Romantic period. The Nazis were likewise obsessed with the concept of the forest.” Uh, Brian? Little help?
  • Foreigners appear to be driving demand for snow leopard pelts in Afghanistan.
  • From Minnesota Birdnerd, here is a picture of a real live bilateral gynandromorph cardinal: half-male, half-female, down the center:

Posted by Tim on January 26th, 2009 • • 2 comments

2 Responses to 'News Roundup'

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  1. driftwood said, on January 27th, 2009 at 11:28 am

    “This is a genetic abnormality that happens when the sex chromosomes (Z and W in birds) do not separate normally during early embryonic development. ”

    I wonder if this isn’t actually a chimera? That is to say it’s formed when fraternal twins fail to separate and hence has two, different sets of genes.

  2. Brian said, on January 27th, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    Oh, the Nazis and their trees. Crazy story. (Stay tuned!)