Truth Code: nature
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα nature. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα nature. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Τετάρτη, 4 Ιανουαρίου 2017






Humans have long thought themselves to be the smartest animals on the planet, but evidence continues to reveal that even with little shared DNA – animals are catching up, and perhaps even surpassing our own evolutionary intelligence.

Some philosophical perspectives suggest that this anthropomorphic egocentrism is misplaced, since all creatures, not just people have ‘mind,’ which is capable of evolving toward higher levels of consciousness. We share a quarter of our DNA, after all, with a single grain of rice, but there is something even more intelligent in our design, and many believe it permeates everything.

The Buddhists and Taoists regularly call for us to be mindful of all sentient beings, while the suppositions of panpsychism, the view that mind (psyche) is everywhere (pan), reaches back into ancient Greece and the teachings of Miletus and Plato.

Terrence McKenna supposes that the Universal psyche has been given an extra push overtime. He theorizes that animals moved to grasslands as the North African jungles receded after the ice age. These animals grazed on whatever they could find, including psilocybin-containing mushrooms growing in the dung of ungulate herds. McKenna suggests that the psychedelics in the animals’ diets helped to create synesthesia, and then language, followed by additional higher-intelligence skill sets.


McKenna argues that when mushrooms disappeared from their diets another 12, 000 years later due to climate change, animals simply regressed back to less intelligent primates.

Mainstream science says that it is only subtle refinements in our brain’s architecture that allows us to be “smarter” than most other animals. While dogs can’t yet compose music, birds do it every day. Perhaps the expression is not as complex as a violin concerto, but even the most rarefied composer has looked to nature for musical inspiration, if not immaculate intelligence.

No matter what drives our evolution, though, there is clear evidence that it is changing – obviously in people – but perhaps more subtlety in animals from a number of species.

Footage of animals learning to use tools provides evidence of this evolutionary shift happening to all of us on earth, not just the human race, but there are other indications of intelligence as well. We all seem to be awakening together.

If consciousness is truly primordial and all things are just “minds in a world of mind” it would explain some of the fascinating behaviors of animals in recent times.

Researchers at Lund University in Sweden have caught New Calendonian crows carrying two items at once using a stick – a feat normally only seen in the human race. First one crow slipped a wooden stick into a metal nut and flew away, and just a few days later another crow conducted a similar behavior, carrying a large wooden ball with a stick.

Octopuses exhibit amazing abilities, including short and long-term memory. They’ve even been known to sneak aboard fishing vessels and pry open crabs caught be fishermen – no tools needed. They are also such great escape artists, they can squeeze through openings no bigger than their eyeballs.

Scientists also have documented monkeys called Serra da Capivara capuchins making stone “tools” that bear a striking resemblance to early human implementations for digging, cutting meat, or opening nuts. The sharp rock “tools” made when the moneys bang one rock on top of another are so similar to ancient tools made by early humans, that archeologists are having to rethink giving credit to previous human civilizations.

Chimps in Bakoun, Guinea recently stunned scientists when they were found using long twigs like fishing poles, dragging the rods in water to scoop up algae that they could then eat. The footage is an affront to the notion that people are the only intelligent creatures with an ability to consciously evolve.


Even bees are exhibiting more complex behaviors. Researchers at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) have discovered that bumblebees can learn how to carry out complex instructions, and then pass that knowledge along to other bees in the hive.

Scientists set up an experiment with three artificial flowers containing sugar-water and attached pieces of string to each flower. They were then placed inside a clear, Plexiglas panel with just the strings poking out. Researchers were curious to see if the bees could problem-solve and get the ‘nectar’ from the fake flowers.

Out of a control group of 110 bees, only two figured out how to pull the strings to get to the nectar. They did this with no training. A second group was then ‘trained’ by gradually moving the flowers out of reach gradually. This group did much better. 23 out of 40 learned to pull the strings to get the reward.

Amazingly, when a new group of bees was introduced to the problem, 60 percent were able to pick up the new skill simply by observing the other ‘trained’ bees access the reward.


Researchers learned that the transmission of knowledge (consciousness) does not require sophisticated cognitive abilities which only humans currently have, and that many animals may have more intelligence than we have given them credit for.

So, where do we draw the line for consciousness evolution? Do we stop at vertebrates, or primates? The nervous system of insects may not be as complex as ours, with the capability of transmuting energy through the chakras as ancient martial artists and yogis have done, but even with minds totally unlike ours, it appears that all sentient beings are indeed evolving toward a grander design and expanded intelligence.

About the Author

Christina Sarich is a writer, musician, yogi, and humanitarian with an expansive repertoire. Her thousands of articles can be found all over the Internet, and her insights also appear in magazines as diverse as Weston A. PriceNexusAtlantis Rising, and the Cuyamungue Institute, among others. She was recently a featured author in the Journal, “Wise Traditions in Food, Farming, and Healing Arts,” and her commentary on healing, ascension, and human potential inform a large body of the alternative news lexicon. She has been invited to appear on numerous radio shows, including Health Conspiracy Radio, Dr. Gregory Smith’s Show, and dozens more. The second edition of her book, Pharma Sutra, will be released soon.

Source: wakingtimes.com
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Τετάρτη, 28 Δεκεμβρίου 2016


Few animals in zoos are actually endangered; the rest are showcased to the public for entertainment purposes. Gaston Lacombe’s “Captive” series aims to expose this.

While the intention behind starting zoos might have been honorable, many have, unfortunately, become more similar to a car collection than an animal conservation effort.

As animal rights organization PETA has said, wildlife in captivity often “spend much of their time pacing, walking in tight circles, swaying or rolling their heads, and showing other signs of psychological distress.” Obviously, animals will always do best in the wild, roaming free in their natural setting, rather than living in poorly decorated and artificially lit living spaces.

Even the argument for conservation hits a few flat notes. Few animals in captivity are endangered, as Zoos prefer to showcase exotic species to wow the public. This is entertaining to humans, but not beneficial for the animals.

To be fair, there are beneficial organizations aiding in the conservation of endangered animals. The San Diego Zoo, for example, cares for Nola, one of the last four Northern White Rhinos in the world. Without their aid, she would likely be killed by poachers within days.

But, overall, it is the minority seeming to be investing in the well-being of the animal long-term, and this is likely why most animals in captivity live shorter lives than they do in the wild

This is exactly what photographer Gaston Lacombe sought to convey when shooting his series entitled Captive”. The pictures below expose the conditions many animals live in each day, detached from their natural origin.






Photo Credits: Credit: Gaston Lacombe
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Τρίτη, 20 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

The rare deep-sea fish made its video debut after researchers recorded the animal off the coasts of Hawaii and California.

Video observations of Hydrolagus cf trolli, the pointy-nosed blue ratfish, from the Northeast Pacific ocean represent a range extension for the species and are the first ever of this animal alive, in its natural habitat. The species was originally described from specimens collected off New Caledonia in 2002. It was named in honor of Alaskan artist Ray Troll because of his fascination and appreciation for this strange group of fishes known as chimaeras.

For more information visit:
Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute: http://www.mbari.org
Moss Landing Marine Laboratories: www.mlml.calstate.edu
Pacific Shark Research Center: psrc.mlml.calstate.edu

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Credit: Jaimen Hudson



Drone photographer captures gentle, curious interaction between endangered whales and paddle boarder.

No matter what your stance is on the increasing use of drones today, everyone can agree that drone photography can yield some pretty breathtaking results. Jaimen Hudson, a self-proclaimed “quadriplegic with a quad-copter,” is a drone photographer who specializes in taking shots over the ocean and by the beach.

The Australian-based photographer was shooting one day when he told ABC News that, “David Price, who lives close by, was just making his way over to the whales on his stand-up paddle board, and they were really inquisitive and come up to meet him.”

The whales were to Southern Right Whales, whose numbers have dwindled because of hunting. Luckily, though there are an estimated 10,000 left in the wild, these numbers are increasing recently because of the abolishment of hunting these whales.

Watch the footage below to see these beautiful, gentle giants up close and interacting with this paddle boarder. You can also follow Jaimen Hudson on Instagram to see more amazing images.
Via: trueactivist.com
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Παρασκευή, 9 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

In peril: a male saiga antelope. BBC NHU/Chadden Hunter

Planet Earth II: why more than 200,000 saiga antelopes died in just days


On the remote steppes of central Kazakhstan, a truly extraordinary – and tragic – event unfolded in May 2015. Female saigas gathered in huge numbers to give birth on the open plain over a period of just 10 days – and a BBC camera crew and the research team they were with watched them die in their hundreds of thousands in the space of just a fortnight. The animals are captured in the latest episode of BBC nature documentary Planet Earth II.

But why did this mass death happen? By gathering like this, for as short a time as possible, the saigas swamp their main predator, wolves, with food so that each individual calf is less likely to be eaten. The calves are born large and well-developed – in fact, saigas have the largest proportional birth weight of any wild ungulate – so that they can outrun a predator within just a few days. They also need to give birth in a short time in order to coincide with the peak of lush grass before the summer heat of this harsh continental plain dries the vegetation.

An example of this incredible spectacle was filmed by another BBC camera crew for their pioneering programme about nature in the former Soviet Union, Realms of the Russian Bear, shown in 1994. The enormous herds of the time can be seen here.

But much has happened in the interim. The saiga was poached to near-extinction in the early 2000s for their horns and meat as the Soviet Union collapsed, and was listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List in 2001.

However, by 2015, conservation work by governments, scientists and NGOs was paying dividends; overall numbers had risen from its nadir of an estimated 50,000 in the early 2000s to around 300,000 in early 2015. One central Kazakhstan population, in particular, was responsible for the vast majority of this increase – and this is where the Planet Earth II camera crew headed for their shots of the calving spectacle in 2015.


Mass mortality


They accompanied a research team organised by the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan, which also contained researchers from the Royal Veterinary College, intent on monitoring calving to learn more about saiga ecology.

However, the saiga’s strategy of intense birth effort, compressed in time and space, comes at a cost. This is a time of huge physiological stress for the females, making them prone to disease and birth-related mortality, and the weather is unreliable and calves often die from exposure. Most years, things go well, but the ecological history of saigas is littered with mass mortalities from disease in the calving season. In fact, the reason why the student from the Royal Veterinary College was out monitoring calves was because of a large die-off in the calving area of another population only a few years before.

But nothing prepared us, or the camera crew, for what transpired in 2015. As they gathered to give birth, an increasing number of females became weak and uncoordinated, dying in a matter of hours. Soon a vast area stretching over hundreds of kilometres was littered with corpses. The calves followed soon after; within any given aggregation of tens of thousands of animals, it appeared that every single animal died over a period of a few days.

This mass die-off was a terrible tragedy. It sparked a worldwide search for answers, some more outlandish than others – aliens were mentioned on social media a few times.

As saiga scientists, we had mixed feelings; both a sense of personal devastation for the species which we care about, and curiosity to solve a fascinating scientific puzzle. What possible mechanism was there which could kill apparently all the individuals in a herd so very quickly? This is not how infectious disease normally works; infections spread through populations over time, and apart from anything else it is not in the parasite’s interest to wipe out its entire host population.

This pointed to some non-infectious route; perhaps an environmental toxin or weather abnormality? But what kind of consistent environmental factor could affect so many animals almost simultaneously over a huge area (168,000 km²; bigger than England and Wales combined), in an environment that is naturally variable in weather and vegetation at this time of year?

Thanks to a grant from the UK government’s NERC Urgency Fund, together with generous donations from conservation charities and from individuals worldwide, we quickly got to work to form an international, interdisciplinary team to study the disease and its causes.

Led by Richard Kock at the Royal Veterinary College, with colleagues from the Kazakh government’s Research Institute for Biological Safety Problems and the Association for the Conservation of Biodiversity in Kazakhstan, the universities of Oxford and Bristol, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, and other institutions, we include ecologists, rangeland scientists, vets and spatial modellers. We sent a team into the field to collect samples from the environment and dead and dying saigas within a week of the first individuals starting to die.

Finding the answer


On one level, we have now found the answer; the proximate cause of death was toxicity from infection by opportunistic bacteria found naturally in the animals’ respiratory tract – Pasteurella multocida. But the next question is – why did these usually harmless bacteria become virulent? What was the environmental or internal trigger, either reducing the animals’ immunity to these bacteria or triggering virulence in the bacteria, or both?

In exploring these questions, our research is a Russian doll; as we take off a layer of explanation we find more questions within. We have gone back to old field notes from the Institute of Zoology in Kazakhstan for 1988 when a similar mass mortality occurred; reviewed research on mass deaths in other species; looked for differences in the vegetation composition between the 2015 die-off and in other years; and built statistical models to explore changes in temperature and rainfall over a range of different temporal and spatial scales.
We also tested tissue and environmental samples for a wide range of toxins, as well as other disease-causing agents, in case some underlying infection was involved. So far, the evidence points towards a combination of short-term but landscape-scale weather variation and physiological stress from calving causing a cascading effect of virulence. There’s no evidence for environmental toxins, other underlying infections or (as yet!) alien influence.

There has been huge public interest in this event, both within Kazakhstan and globally. People want quick answers and they want us to find solutions so that this will never happen again.

It seems, however, that we won’t be able to give the comfort that is wanted; in fact, it is likely that with climate change these types of event will become more rather than less prevalent. However, we do have one clear and strong message: resilient and abundant populations of saigas are required, with strong protection from poaching.

This is a species that lives life on the edge, vulnerable to mass death but able to recover very rapidly. But this means it needs to be in large numbers in open rangelands to survive. This massive, very public, disaster has opened up new opportunities for us as saiga researchers and conservationists to make sure the saiga gets the protection it needs to flourish and keep providing the stunning annual spectacle which drew the BBC crew to its remote steppe home in the first place.

The Conversation
EJ Milner-Gulland, Tasso Leventis Professor of Biodiversity, University of Oxford; Eric Morgan, Reader in Veterinary Parasitology, University of Bristol, and Richard Kock, Professor of Wildlife Health and Emerging Diseases, Royal Veterinary College

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.
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Παρασκευή, 25 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Ιf you're a landscape or wildlife photographer, you know that the world isn't just a place to travel to and observe -- instead, many locations serve as the ultimate backdrop for your work. From imposing mountains to picturesque lakes to unbelievable tropical flora, there's no limit to what the world can provide for an amazing photo. The Salar de Uyuni salt flat, located in Bolivia,is one of those places, and when you see it, you're going to have a hard time believing that what you're looking at is actually real.

Of course, the beauty of this place exists on its own -- but Russian photographer Daniel Kordan takes it to the next level. He traveled to the flat to capture a set of photos depicting the Milky Way being reflected by the flat, and the resulting images seem like they're from another planet. See Kordan's incredible work (and more about how he did it) in the story below.

Salt flats are pretty amazing in and of themselves. They almost look like translucent panes of glass stretching across the ground -- but if you can believe it, what they really are is even more amazing.

Photo credits: Daniel Kordan

They form on the ground, salts and other minerals converging 
in a flat space to shine and reflect light. 
Usually, they're found in the desert.

They're caused by naturally and quickly evaporating water, 
like this expanse of the Bolivian desert known as 
the Salar de Uyuni. 

The salt flat here makes an amazing place for photos of the Milky Way, 
shot by Kordan on a Nikon D810A astrophotography DSLR 
and a 14-24mm f/2.8 Nikon lens. It's hard to believe that 
these colors are naturally occurring, 
but this palette is 100% nature-made.
Photo credits: Daniel Kordan

Source: PetaPixel
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