OMG love it love it love it! <3
When it comes to bodyguards, you really couldn’t do much better than these guys. In a heartwarming display, a mighty herd of elephants huddles around a female to protect her from prowling lions and hyenas as she gives birth. The amazing pictures were taken in the early hours at the Amboseli National Park in Kenya at the start of the month.
Wildlife photographer Paolo Torchio noticed the unusual behaviour on a morning drive and was staggered as he watched the drama unfold over the course of an hour. The protective group circled the mother, scratching the soil with their enormous feet and closing any gap between them to block the view of any potential predators.
Moments after the birth, the calf can be seen clutching the tusk of an adult with its trunk as it staggers to its feet for the very first time. Paolo said: ‘We observed an unusual tight congregation. ‘All those elephants were in high agitation, seriously nervous, and closing the formation shoulder to shoulder. ‘A strong wall of muscles and tusks that can scare any kind of other animal. ‘This is the formation they are normally taking in only two cases: under attack by predators like lions, or during the birth of a new elephant.’ ‘After 22 months of pregnancy the moment arrived’.
The Amboseli National Park covers 3,100 square miles across the Kenya-Tanzania border. The park is famous for being the best place in Africa to get close to free-ranging elephants. Paolo added: ‘It was incredible, because to witness the birth of an elephant in the wild is almost impossible. ‘This is because it is impossible to predict the exact moment. ‘It is almost impossible to determine if an elephant is pregnant or not. So, what was happening in front of us was really the most intimate and secret event in the elephant’s life.’
‘At about 7:30 am the elephants started trumpeting as though they were welcoming the new arrival,’ said Paolo. ‘Five minutes later we had the first glimpse of the new born between the legs of the giant animals.’ Huddled shoulder to shoulder in close formation, the elephants began thrusting mud around, it is believed, to put off predators off the scent of blood.
‘All the elephants were very, very, exited, and were digging the soil with the tusks and feet,’ said Paolo. ‘Also they were throwing grass and soil all over in an attempt , I can only suppose, to hide the smell of the blood and the placenta, and confuse possible predators.’ Creating an impenetrable wall around the calf, the adults, which included other females, attempted to help the youngster to its feet.
‘It was amazing to observe the unity of the family, with all the other female trying to help the new born, ‘At 8:15 am, almost one hour after birth, finally the new born elephant stood up with his mother and got a deserved dose of milk!’
Partial Eclipse - UV Image
Image via SDO/NASA
On Tuesday (Feb. 21st, 2012) NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory watched as part of the moon crossed in front of the sun, creating a partial solar eclipse that was visible only from space. During the eclipse the moon briefly blocked an active region on the sun that had been spewing strong ultraviolet radiation into space. The resulting dip in the sun’s extreme ultraviolet emissions could help scientists figure out exactly how much of the energy output can be attributed to the active region.
(via: National Geo)
We are writing to ask you to consider adding a ‘Conservation’ or ‘Environment’ featured tag.
We’re not outright asking. We know that featured tags are those that have a certain amount of traffic, but please consider the following:
1. The field of conservation is wide-ranging. As a result related content is tagged under a mix of terms. Combining the traffic for the following (and related) tags could amount to enough traffic for a featured tag. Like Science, with it’s different fields, combined under one umbrella term.
- Sustainability (already featured in your directory)
- Climate Change
- Global Warming
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- Endangered Species
Followers, please feel free to add to this list any tags that may have missed out.
2. It’s the right thing to do. Conservation issues are as pertinent to modern society as Science, Politics, Film, Fashion…….even Nail Art which has it’s own featured tag.
3. Tumblr is opening up as a platform for high profile conservation organizations, much as Facebook and Twitter are now the most used platforms for sharing conservation news.
[Edit] Forgot Earth Hour. How silly!
Social media is a powerful tool in conservation, and can make a difference in the “real world”. We’d hate to see Tumblr left out of the excitement. Especially with it’s viral powers.
4. Tumblr has been an essential part of publicizing social and political changes in several countries during protests and revolutions last year. The content that would be featured in this tag involve changes that affect us globally, and deserve a share of the spotlight.
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When Tumblr created the ‘sustainability’ spotlight list, I believe they were doing what you are asking for here. When I joined on as a featured blog, I wrote to Tumblr that I thought ‘Environment’ would be a better option and more fitting for the topics of the included blogs but sustainability is not an awful category.
Blogs covering the categories you listed above are in the sustainability tag. Although, I would still prefer an ‘environment’ spotlight category.
Lone gray wolf in California inspires conservationist push
A gray wolf known as OR-7 made California its home for 2 months, and environmental groups want the species to re-establish a foothold in the state. Before OR-7 arrived in California from Oregon in late December, no gray wolf had been known to roam in the state since the last, an old and emaciated animal, was killed in 1924.
@joelrama: “This is a VERY happy stoat! It takes 60-80 of these guys to make one fur coat. Be fur-free!”