A Laysan albatross named Wisdom had an identity ring attached to her in 1956 as she was incubating an egg. These birds typically breed at nine years-old, so Wisdom would be in her early 60s. A photograph taken by the US Geological Survey (USGS) at the Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge in the North Pacific, show her with a new chick.
Scientists estimate that Wisdom has probably raised 30-35 chicks during her breeding life. These birds lay only one egg per year, and spend most of the year incubating and raising their chicks.
Adult albatrosses also mate for life, with both parents raising the young, but researchers do not know if Wisdom has had the same partner during her 60 years of raising young.
The ironic truth: Ever since the movie, Jaws, people have had an irrational fear of sharks. The ironic truth is that humans are the ones killing off all the sharks. You’re more likely to die from lightning strikes or falling coconuts than sharks. There are only around 60 shark attacks per year, and only around 4 of those attacks are fatal. The shark attacks are usually accidents in which the shark mistakes a surfer for a seal. However, over 104,000,000 sharks are killed by humans every year.
Around 78 million of the 104 million dead sharks are killed only for their fins to be put into shark fin soup. The soup is a popular dish in Asian countries, and falsely believed to have health benefits such as sex life enhancement. Shark finning is the cruel act of cutting off the shark’s fins while it is still alive, then the still living shark is wastefully thrown back into the ocean to die a slow and painful death. Can you imagine the agony of someone chopping off your arms and legs and leaving you to bleed to death just so they can have a make believe better sex life?
The irony of the situation is that due to all the pollution we dump into the ocean, the sharks and other apex predators like dolphins and whales have accumulated a dangerous level of toxins such as mercury (this process called biomagnication is not as bad with fish on the lower food chain so we can still eat those). Eating animals like sharks can cause mercury poisoning, which will not only cause nerve damage and eventual retardation, but also decrease your sexual performance.
Why it matters to YOU: Sharks are an important part of our ecosystem. They have been around for 430 million years, and that time, all of the ocean’s life have evolved around sharks. If sharks go extinct, the fragile balance of the ocean will be thrown into chaos. Without sharks to eat fish on the lower food chain, those fish will breed out of control and eat all the plankton that’s needed to produce oxygen.
Unlike some fish that lays thousands of eggs every year, sharks only produce 2-20 pups per year. If we catch them at the same rate as other fish we eat, they will go extinct. What worse is that people don’t even eat the shark itself, just the fins because they believe it will help their sex life.
When did you send me this, ‘cause I just now noticed it. ^^;
Anyway… Sid. I adore you. And I miss you tons, too. But there’s only a few more days in March, then 30 days in April and then 2 weeks in May and I’ll be back in STL again, and this time for about 3 months!