It is: 3 days till Patriot Day
It is: 5 days till Earth Day
It is: 23 days till Mother's Day
It is: 56 days till Jurassic World's theatrical release!
It is: 63 days till Inside Out's release!
In the Spotlight:
Not much to share this week in terms of Jurassic World, but there was a new image from the film released not too long ago. Here it is:
|The gyrosphere ride at Jurassic World among Apatosaurus (left), Triceratops (right) and a herd of Stegosaurus in the background.|
Also, this came out a little while ago, but it slipped past me completely. A new trailer for Pixar's upcoming Inside Out was aired! You can check it out below:
Based on the trailer, it looks like this is going to be an interesting movie. I can't wait to see how they make a movie staring...emotions. Sounds kind of like a strange concept at first, but I expect Pixar is going to turn it into a great movie. It definitely is very unique.
Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Not many people know this, but there were actually nine subspecies of tigers that have lived on the continent of Asia:
|South Chinese Tiger|
|The only free Bali Tiger picture I could track down|
Today, there are only six species; the Caspian (which went extinct in the 1970's), the Bali (which went extinct in 1937) and Javan Tigers (which also went extinct in the 1970's) are all gone, which is why the pictures I found are in black and white. We’ll talk about why in just a minute. Now technically, tigers actually are related to lions, as only a single pair of cats came off Noah’s Ark after the Flood. And this cat kind had the DNA in it for ALL the later species of cats. And from this cat kind, a species called the tiger emerged from a process of natural selection. Natural selection is NOT evolution, by the way. However, today I wish to stay on the tiger topic, so for more on natural selection, check out one of my previous posts entitled “Return of the Great Mammoths”.
Now, where was I? Oh yes, I remember. Tigers all descended from the cat kind and from there they spread out over Asia and diversified into the different sub-species of tigers. A subspecies is different from a species. “Subspecies” is a term that is used to describe the differences within a species of animal, in this case, the tiger.
Tigers habitats very greatly. They live everywhere from the lush tropical forested, almost swampy habitats, to the freezing cold Polar Regions called the Taiga. They also hunt a wide range of prey, including wild pigs, monkeys, orangutans, deer, baby elephants, you name it! They use those black stripes to camouflage into the dense jungle. Did you know that tigers are the only cats to have orange skin? Yep, the fur is not the only orange thing on this cat. Tigers also can be white. This is caused by a genetic mutation. However, no matter how hard you look, you will never ever see an adult white tiger in the wild. Why? Well, because they are too easy to spot in the dark jungles. A predator can easily spot a baby tiger and eat it. And even if the baby white tiger managed to survive predators, it wouldn't be able to catch enough food because prey would see it from a mile away. Now if these white tigers lived near, let’s say the North Pole and they had a thick coat of fur, they would be quite common in the wild. But apparently, God didn’t want these cats in the North Pole. So if you’re looking for a white tiger, try the nearest zoo.
You have probably heard about a famous extinct cat called the Saber-Toothed Tiger. It probably got this name, not only because it has saber-teeth, but also because of its resemblance to a tiger. But guess what, the name “Saber-Toothed Tiger” is really a misnomer, since these cats are only distantly related to tigers. This is why scientists prefer to call them “Saber-Toothed Cats”. By the way, since we are talking about extinct cats, this is probably a good time to bring up the topic of why some subspecies of tiger have gone extinct. The answer is that they were overhunted. Who could dare over hunt the beautiful tiger? Well, their beauty is also their downfall. Many hunters over the years have hunted these cats for their coats. Fortunately, some ingenious people noticed that tiger populations were in decline, so they had the tiger put on the Endangered Species List so it was illegal to hunt the tiger. Now they’re safe . . . right? Not quite. See, there are still people who will illegally go out and kill tigers. These evil hunters are called poachers. Even today, tiger skin and bones will fetch a pretty price in some countries. You may be wondering why on earth so many folks would want tiger bones (and most of these people don’t wish to display the tiger bones in a museum or something). In many cultures, people believe that tiger bones have medical capabilities and are crushed up to use as medicine! Really, I’m not joking around! And believe it or not, these so-called “medicines” don’t really work, so they have no practical use to the buyer (but apparently, the buyers don’t know that). The South Chinese Tiger is really on the brink, it is almost extinct in the wild. The majority of these tigers is in captivity. And even the ones in captivity only came from about six individuals, so the gene pool is very small. It is already too late to save the Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers, but what can we do to save the other six species of tigers?
Well, people have set up national reserves to protect the living space for these predators! Also, people have been breeding tigers in captivity so that their numbers can eventually go up. In the past few years, tiger numbers world-wide are starting to become stable. There is also a way that you can help! How? Well, tell your friends and family not to buy tiger products and to also tell other people about the tiger’s plight. You can even send money to special organizations who help tigers (I’m not saying use money that would otherwise go in the offering plate at church. Give 10% to God, the creator of the tiger and then use some for the tigers themselves). By doing all these things, we can save one of God’s creations, the tiger, from extinction!
Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via my email address.