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Monday, September 7, 2009

Extinct turtle comes back from the dead





"The rare Arakan forest turtle, once thought to be extinct, has been rediscovered in a remote forest in Myanmar, boosting chances of saving the reptile after hunting almost destroyed its population, researchers said Monday."
"Texas researcher Steven Platt and staff from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society discovered five of the brown-and-tan-spotted turtles in May during a survey of wildlife in the Rakhine Yoma Elephant Sanctuary."
"The sanctuary contains thick stands of impenetrable bamboo forests, with the only trails made by the park's elephants, said Platt, of Sul Ross State University in Alpine, Texas."
"Native to the Arakan hills of western Myanmar, the turtles were believed extinct for close to a century until they started turning up in Asian food markets in the mid-1990s."

The Arakan turtle was brought to near extinction by overkilling it for use as food or medicine in Asia.

"These turtles can grow to a size of 7-10 pounds, and 11 inches in length.They live in bamboo forests.Mostly solitary diurnal turtles tend to lie dormant most of the time, hiding in leaves and debris unless they are eating or foraging for food. These are rather calm animals that can be found in streams and ponds in their forest, where they will rest in hiding under vegetation for hours on end. Rain seems to bring them to life, stimulating them to forage for food. They are rather aggressive when it comes to eating insects, worms and fish.Arakan forest turtles are omnivores; their diet consists of equal parts animals and plants, and they eat fruit they find on the forest floor. They are aggressive in eating insects, crustaceans, worms, fish or anything they can get their mouths on.Habitat loss is due to agricultural expansion, logging and bamboo harvesting."


Source of image:UPI Photographer/John Dickerson, 

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Thoughts worth thinking about

"Our subconscious minds have no sense of humor, play no jokes and cannot tell the difference between reality and an imagined thought or image. What we continually think about eventually will manifest in our lives."-Sidney Madwed



Laws alone can not secure freedom of expression; in order that every woman and man present their views without penalty, there must be spirit of tolerance in the entire population.- Albert Einstein Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. - Leo Buscaglia



A person's true wealth is the good he or she does in the world. - Mohammed



Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. -Albert Einstein



The best way to find yourself, is to lose yourself in the service of others. - Ghandi



The unselfish effort to bring cheer to others will be the beginning of a happier life for ourselves. - Helen Keller



Aim for success, not perfection. Never give up your right to be wrong, because then you will lose the ability to learn new things and move forward with your life. Remember that fear always lurks behind perfectionism. Confronting your fears and allowing yourself the right to be human can, paradoxically, make yourself a happier and more productive person. - Dr. David M. Burns



Life is as dear to a mute creature as it is to man. Just as one wants happiness and fears pain, just as one wants to live and not die, so do other creatures. -His Holiness The Dalai Lama



Mankind's true moral test, its fundamental test (which lies deeply buried from view), consists of its attitude towards those who are at its mercy: animals. And in this respect mankind has suffered a fundamental debacle, a debacle so fundamental that all others stem from it. -



Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being



The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them. That's the essence of inhumanity. -George Bernard Shaw

Ego's trick is to make us lose sight of our interdependence. That kind of ego-thought gives us a perfect justification to look out only for ourselves. But that is far from the truth. In reality we all depend on each other and we have to help each other. The husband has to help his wife, the wife has to help the husband, the mother has to help her children, and the children are supposed to help the parents too, whether they want to or not.-Gehlek Rinpoche Source: "The Best Buddhist Writing 2005 pg. 165

The hostile attitude of conquering nature ignores the basic interdependence of all things and events---that the world beyond the skin is actually an extension of our own bodies---and will end in destroying the very environment from which we emerge and upon which our whole life depends.