Thursday, 20 May 2010

Get your act together, Science.

Super cool!  Some rare African water lily (like a lily pad, but penny- sized) recently went extinct.  What’s cool about that?  Well, apparently, it’s no longer done-for.  It was extinct, and now it’s just not.  Some genius Brit revived the precious plant from seeds that German Botanists had preserved.  Großartig!


The little gem used to grow in Rwanda, until its source of water was diverted for farming.  The British sci-guy figured out that (unlike all other known water lilies) this one doesn’t grow submerged in water; it grows in the damp conditions at the edge of thermal hot springs.  That’s some smart lily.  And some smart Brit. 


But were you aware of how quickly the extinct list is growing thanks to us – the upright-walking and opposable-thumbed idiots?


Given that we’re killing off more species than would ever die naturally, I started wondering what else we might be able to revive?


The obvious thought is dinosaurs.  Could we extract DNA from their fossils and create new ones?  Probably.  How much you wanna bet some weird “scientist” is already trying it?


But what about other things?


I, for one, would like to see the Mariana Mallard revived.  True, the spelling isn’t exactly correct, but, like me, the Mariana Mallard was slightly smaller than average Mallards.  (Just to be clear, I’m not smaller than average Mallards – I’m smaller than average humans.) 


Another creature I think should be removed from the list of extinctions: the Pig-footed Bandicoot.  Yep, you heard me.  Pig. Footed. Bandi. Coot.


The Pig-footed Bandicoot was a kitten-sized marsupial.  Curiously, its front feet resembled deer or pig hooves.  The little guy is currently classed as extinct on the red list.  Like most extinctions, the Pig-footed Bandicoot’s demise was probably due to humans invading its habitat – in this case, dirty European settlers.  What a shame.  However, some pig-footers might still be hiding in Australia.  Maybe there’s hope for them yet.


If given the opportunity, we should probably revive all the creatures we’ve endangered and extinct-ed.  C’mon.  We have to restore all these poor beings to their former glory before we’re forced to admit to ourselves that we’re the ones that killed them off for good. 


In fact, we apparently can’t even keep tabs on everything we’re already threatening.  There are new species (exhibits a, b, c) getting discovered all the time!  New species for us to identify, research, and ultimately destroy.


So, I figure, maybe Scientists aren’t as friggin smart as they think they are.


There’s a novel thought.


Get your act together, Science.  Get crackin.

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