Respect For One Another

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress
can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”
Mahatma Gandhi

Respect For One Another

Animals unlike man, kill not from hatred or pleasure, but for their survival. Man has always believed that there are certain animals that are enemies by nature.

However, when I saw this photo of a one year old cheetah with her canine friend, it touched my heart. How did these two unlikely animals become inseparable?

Their story began last year when eight cheetah cubs were born in captivity at the Leo Zoological Conservation Center in Greenwich, Connecticut. Unfortunately, three of the cubs were cast out by their mother because she was unable to nurse eight cubs. Two of the male cubs bonded which left the female all alone. It was up to the staff at the center to nurse the outcast cub back to health.

It was important for the survival of the female cub to bond with another cub or animal. So, the center searched for an animal.  When they introduced Adaeze the cheetah cub to Odie, a 7-year-old dog, the two animals bonded instantly.

Whatever the reason for this bonding of two enemies of the animal kingdom, it just goes to show us humans that even our enemies can become our allies. All it takes is for us to learn to have a mutual respect for one another.

Shine On

The Eye of The Beholder

“Since we cannot change reality,
let us change the eyes which see reality.”
Nikos Kazantzakis

When you look into someone’s eyes or an animals eyes, what do you see? We are now able to know if the eyes are from a flight or fight species.

A scientific study recently analyzed the eyes of 214 species of land animals. What they discovered is that pupil shapes are directly linked to an animal’s ecological niche.

For instance, animals with pupils that are vertically elongated, like domestic cats and gators, are more likely to be ambush predators – hunters active day and night who use stealth, not strength or speed, to overcome their prey.

Animals with horizontally elongated pupils, such as goats and sheep are herbivore prey animals, the researchers found. Circular pupils, found in humans and birds, provide good all-around vision and are linked to animals that chase down their prey.

Species that are active both night and day with slit pupils provide the range they need to help them see in dim light yet not get blinded by the midday sun.

In fact the sideways orientation which the horse has, is very important for his survival when he is grazing. When he drops his head to graze, its pupils rotate (in opposite directions) by up to 70 degrees to stay horizontal, the researchers found.

While prey animals need to be able to see all around them, predators need binocular vision to see how far away their prey is. Vertical-slit pupils maximize binocular disparity, and blur, in which objects at different distances are out of focus, the scientists found.

But not all predators have vertical pupils.

What is surprising is that the researches noticed from their study that the slit pupils were linked to predators that were close to the ground. Domestic cats have vertical slits, but bigger cats, like tigers and lions, don’t. Their pupils are round, like humans and dogs.

This amazing research teaches us how remarkable the eye and vision can be for us as well as all of nature. Who knows, maybe in the not too distant future we will be able to simulate and see through the eye of the beholder.

Shine On

Seal of Approval

“Only we humans make waste that nature can’t digest.”
Charles Moore, Marine Researcher

Seal of Approval

Theres a non-profit organization in San Pedro, California that does some amazing work. The Marine Mammal Care Center is a hospital for ill, injured and orphaned marine mammals. Their primary work is the treatment and release of rescued seals & sea lions.

I’ve been following this organization for the last year. I learned about them when our local news did a story about the record number of sea lion babies being rescued along the Southern California coastlines this year.

This organization along with all its volunteers and employees do amazing work throughout the year. It’s been great fun to watch through their Facebook page all the progress they have made with their efforts.

Kudos to everyone connected with The Marine Mammal Care Center . They get my seal of approval.

Shine On