Adventures in Learning #3

21 May

More tidbits of knowledge from The World Without Us by Alan Weisman.

This week:

The extinct “megafauna” of North America that existed before we came along included a beaver the size of a bear and a ground sloth the size of a cow. The only reason big animals still exist in Africa is because it’s the only place that humans are technically “from,” so they evolved with the animals there, rather than showing up and drastically altering the environment in a short time.

Some day every day will be Caturday. Still talking future Manhattan here: “Long before, the predators finished off the last descendants of pet dogs, but a wily population of feral house cats persists, feeding on starlings.” Hah! Wily like a feral house cat! Later in the book, he says that part of the reason for the longevity of house cats is that even in domesticity, they never lose their hunting urge, even if only in play. So that kitten tumbling around with a ball of yarn (does this ever happen?) may LOOK cute, but really, Boots and Fluffy are just preparing for human doomsday.

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3 Responses to “Adventures in Learning #3”

  1. Sonja May 23, 2010 at 6:16 pm #

    Well I guess I should keep buying lots of those toy mice then, so Veronica will be well prepared when that day comes!

    • Lija May 26, 2010 at 2:39 pm #

      Exactly. Maybe teach her how to swim, too.

  2. Margo May 23, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    His website has (had?) these great animations of houses, etc, being overtaken by nature over years. Also, his Daily Show interview was kickass.

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