Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Congrats People of Earth: Another Species ‘Now Extinct’

Yes, it looks like another species has been wiped clean from the face of the Earth. And no, it doesn’t have anything to do (directly) with global warming (which is arguably a natural phenomena). The latest species we seem to have managed to kill off is a victim of greed, or “unregulated fishing,” according to a BBC report. And no, it’s not a slimy worm or a creepy spider, instead it’s the once smiling, once cute Yangtze river dolphin.

(So special thanks is due to the still smiling, still cute people of China for this successful, flawless erradication of a species.)

Scientists also blame dams and boat collisions for helping to exterminate Yangtze river dolphins.

Once the extinction is confirmed, it will be “the first extinction of a large vertebrate for over 50 years.” (The BBC article actually repeats this twice. I’m not sure if they’re trying to make it clear that this type of extinction is rare, or if it’s just a typo.)

Sam Turvey of the Zoological Society of London said this was a particularly “shocking tragedy.” According to Turvey, "This extinction represents the disappearance of a complete branch of the evolutionary tree of life and emphasises that we have yet to take full responsibility in our role as guardians of the planet."

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.