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De-Extinction: The Who, How, When, And Why Of Bringing Extinct Species Back To Life

Mammoth De-Extinction

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In 1598, the Dutch landed on the island of Mauritius, just off the coast of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean. Here, they were met by a massive population of flightless, naive, meaty birds. Salivating, the sailors happily began killing them, kindly bestowing the name “dodo” upon the shell-shocked animals. Over the next several decades, humans, and the rats, pigs, monkeys and other animals they brought with them, made short work of the small island and the entire species of the dodo, rendering it extinct by 1662.

This isn’t exactly a unique story, as far as extinction goes. Colonizers move in, and the indigenous animal (as well as human and plant) populations begin to dwindle. But, what if we could apologize for our pillaging ways and resurrect these extinct species?

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Miniature Therapy Horses And The Science Of Animal-Assisted Healing

The idea that animals possess healing powers has been present in human lore since our hunter-gatherer days, but the first documented use of animals for therapeutic purposes wasn’t until 18th century England.

It was then that William Tuke introduced mentally ill patients to some domesticated animals for therapeutic purposes. Tuke, a Quaker and early advocate for the humane treatment of those with mental illness, found that the animals boosted morale in his patients–especially the elderly and those with dementia.

Miniature Therapy Horses

William Tuke founded the York Retreat in 1796, as a model of Quaker therapeutic beliefs. The retreat is said to have pioneered humane and moral treatments in asylum settings. Source: Wikipedia

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21 Shark Facts Just In Time For Shark Week

You’re more likely to be bitten by another person than by a shark, but that hasn’t stopped us from recounting nightmare stories of the ocean’s most talked about predator. Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week is both a response to and an example of popular interest in one of the world’s most-feared predators.

Hundreds of shark species dart through oceans worldwide, with some being the size of your hand and others larger than a school bus. Even though the fear isn’t that warranted–you’re more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than a great white, after all–the shark’s deftness as a predator warrants media coverage and popular curiosity. So whether you tune into Shark Week or not, wow your friends with these insane shark facts.

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What We Love This Week, Volume CXXVIII

First Color Photo NYC

Mulberry Street, New York Source: Vintage Everyday

The First Color Photographs Of The United States

First Colorized Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Source: Vintage Everyday

On some subconscious level, most of us imagine that the world before, say, 1920 existed in black and white. And why not? That’s what the photographic record of the era would have us believe. But as far back as 1889–14 years before the more well-known Autochrome–the Photochrom process was producing color photography. The images here, produced by the Detroit Photographic Company in the late 1800s and early 1900s, are the first color photographs of the United States. From New York to the Rockies to the redwoods, see more of the collection at Vintage Everyday.

Statue Of Liberty Colorized

Sunset from the Battery, New York Source: Vintage Everyday

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