Open thread

Birds in the News 72 (v2n23) has some great photographs and a roundup of avian news from around the globe.

This is a cool video tribute to Carl Sagan.  Watch carefully.  Read fervently.  Listen attentively.  How I miss that man…

Unfortunate and preventable: “PLANO, Texas — Authorities have taken a monkey, an alligator, a tarantula and six piranhas from a man’s suburban Dallas home after showing up on his doorstep to investigate a hit-and-run fender bender. Animal control officials last week cited Bobby Crawford Jr. on misdemeanor charges for his illegal collection of exotic animals. Crawford, 42, cried Friday when discussing Darwin, an 8-year-old rhesus macaque monkey he said he has raised since it was little.”  I feel for his loss and emotional attachment to these animals, but there are important reasons the laws are in place regarding such things.  To add to that: While cats and dogs have been domesticated for thousands of years, most animals are not so accustomed to life with humans.  I find it regrettable and abhorrent that people—even in zoos—capture and keep such creatures.

What will the anti-gay crowd say about this?  It’s the latest addition to the more than 1,500 species that participate in homosexual sex and relationships (at least 500 of which have full scientific documentation on the practice).  Do you suppose all those creatures are unnatural and making a moral choice to sin?  I mean, if that’s the case with humans, what’s the excuse for all these animals doing the exact same thing?  To wit: “Female koalas indulge in lesbian ‘sex sessions’, rejecting male suitors and attempting to mate with each other, sometimes up to five at a time, according to researchers.”  Of course, if male koalas are anything like male humans, they’ll have no complaints about such sessions.  [via Whatever]

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