Friday, March 12, 2010

In (way) advance of Earth Day...

I'm currently fostering a 4 month old kitten from our local MSPCA. That's her to the left, in the cone of shame. Poor little thing came to the shelter with chemical burns down her back. She has healed up pretty rapidly but is in the cone to keep her from damaging her new skin (and licking off all the triple anti-biotic ointment I have to slather her in.

I've never had a kitten before. I do have a cat, but when I adopted her, she was already a year and a half old and way past any zany kitten tricks. Having this foster has been an absolute delight (beyond her waking me up every hour on the hour because she is lonely/bored) and has taught me some of the previously unknown (to me) sides of a cat.

In today's stories, scientists and civilians alike are introduced to new or nearly/thought extinct species. I realize a kitten is neither of those things in general, but as one of the TV stations used to say "it's new to me."

A recent rash of Disney/DreamWorks movies exposed movie-goers to the cuteness of penguins. I do love me some "Happy Feet," in which, the main character, Mumble, is a penguin of a different sort. He doesn't sing to find a mate, he tap dances. However, a real, live King Penguin may be attempting to one-up the animated dear. According to Yahoo!, a National Geographic photographer spotted a "one in a zillion" all-black penguin in a species known for their formal wear.

It is also not very often someone spots a species which has been thought to be extinct for decades. But that's just what Australian Luke Pearce did, as reported by the AP. The fisheries conservation officer was out looking for a rare perch when he stumbled on a colony of yellow-spotted bell frogs, which officials thought died out 30 years ago.

And in the United States, the bald eagle was on the brink of extinction nearly 50 years ago. DDT and habitat decimation nearly did in the national symbol in the 1960s, but a series of measures, including the banning of DDT and passing the Endangered Species Act has helped the bald eagle mount a comeback. The Contra Costa Times has a nice overview story on the return of Old Baldie. : )

1 comment:

Jen said...

Aw, your kitten is so cute! (And I heart your ottoman!) Good luck with it. :-)

I just watched "March of the Penguins" for the first time today, and I was mesmerized! It was cute and so sad at the same time -- such fascinating animals!

Have a good weekend, Megs!