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Friday, December 13, 2013

JELLYFISH, DOGS AND ELEPHANTS

I found the following news flashes to be of some interest:

1.  If you trace our human roots, we came from an ape.  However, where did apes come from?  Until recently, scientists thought we all descended from sponges.  Not anymore, for DNA coding shows we derived from the Mnemiopsis leidyi, or a form of comb jelly.  We haven't yet heard from Sponge Bob about this latest finding.  Next, the roots of jelly fish.

2.  You face a dog.  His tail appears to wag to your left (dog's right).  Does he like you or not?  Well, it appears that dogs who approach an owner almost always wag to their right.  If that dog wags to your right (dog's left), watch out.  He is showing stress.  Brain scans indicate that humans also reveal this response, except we have no tails. The right/left brain pattern apparently does not apply to cats, for if one approaches you with tail straight up, that shows friendliness, while sharp swishing left to right shows anxiety.  Sure, no danger with house cats, but what about mountain lions and tigers?

3.  Thirty-five thousand elephants were slaughtered last year, mostly in Africa.  That's four every hour.  Why?  Ivory tusks.  The root of the problem?  Religious icons:  prayer beads, baby Jesuses and elaborate Buddhist and Taoist carvings.  Simple solution?  Not sure.

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