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Planet Earth

The sad story of the Tasmanian wolf

On September 6, 1936, a female Tasmanian wolf died at Hobart Zoo.

Autopsy showed that the cause of death of the animal was heart failure caused by old age. Perhaps, at that time, no one even suspected that another amazing and unique species of animal was disappearing on Earth that day.

For the extinction of the Tasmanian wolf, man had no direct fault, but no doubt played an indirect role.

The famous English zoologist and writer Gerald Durrell  writes in one of his books :

“… inhabiting new lands, humans destroy animals, without even having the time to really explore them.”

Gerald Durrell

These words, spoken by the great defender of wildlife, can also be referred to as the Tasmanian wolf or, as scientists call it, thylacin (Thylacinus cynocephalus). It has lived close to people for about 3000 years, but there is very little reliable information about it.

Once upon a time, about 30 million years ago, Tasmanian wolves were spread not only in Tasmania but also in Australia, South America, and probably Antarctica. Their numbers appear to have been large. In South America, however, this predator disappeared about 7-8 million years ago, from Australia about 2-1.5 thousand years ago.

The reason, obviously, was the same everywhere – the advent of representatives of other predatory mammals on these continents.

One of the peculiarities of thylacins is that they gave birth to “premature” little ones that looked more like embryos. Therefore, their mothers needed a special organ – a bag, where the baby crawled after birth and where it’s “development” occured.

With this method of birth, the fertility rate could not be very high, because they could not longer live in a small bag. The infant mortality rate for thylacins was extremely high. If they did not quickly reach their mother’s pocket, anything from colds to injuries could kill them.

Therefore, the number of thylacins, compared to placental mammals, that is, those whose babies are born more developed, was increasing slowly. So, if a representative of placental mammals begins to compete with a species of Marsupial mammalian group , then no doubt the former will quickly displace it.

Therefore, it is thought that the thylacines were “expelled” from South America, being invaded by foxes and coyotes, and from Australia by aborigines and dingo dogs (Canis lupus dingo).

But in the latter case there are some doubts. Scientists have repeatedly observed that even young thylacin can easily handle a pack of dogs several times larger than it.

The Tasmanian wolf had fantastic maneuverability and the ability to deal deadly blows.

Despite the fact that dingoes and tilacins fed on the same prey, they were unlikely to be deadly competitors, as dingoes were active during the daylight hours and the Tasmanian wolf was an extremely nocturnal hunter. In addition, tylacins preferred to live in mountain forests and dingoes in the Australian savannah.

Watch the only video of tilacin.

However, by the time the naturalist Harrison described in detail the emergence and anatomy of an “unprecedented animal”, the Thylacins inhabited only the island of Tasmania. In fact, Harrison coined the term Tasmanian Wolf, which is based solely on the external resemblance of thylacins to the common wolf.

But, in his way of life, this predator was a cross between a gold and a cat.

The thylacins were not very large – about 60 cm high and about 1.5 m long. Their magnificent sand coat was decorated with 12 black stripes that resembled the tiger’s color.

Thylacins spent their day in their asylum. Sometimes these animals were found sleeping in tree hollows 4-5 meters above the ground. They hunted at night.

Tylacins were fed exclusively on live prey. They were so contemptuous that he never returned to the corpse of the animal they had killed for second time.

In zoos, most of the tilacins even refused to eat thawed meat. This predator is thought to have ambushed and killed it’s victim by grabbing the base of it’s skull. Cats hunt this way, but not dogs.

Thylacins had the striking ability to open their mouth 120 ° – wider than any modern mammal. Thanks to this ability, the Tasmanian Wolf, without having long teeth, could deal a fatal blow to it’s victim.

There were times when thylacines chased their prey, but their sprinting skills were not good. On the other hand, they swam and climbed trees much better than dogs and cats. In addition, sometimes, chasing it’s prey, the thylacin bounced on his hind legs like a kangaroo. At the same time, it’s long, powerful tail served for balance.

The complete life of the Tasmanian wolves was disrupted by the arrival of immigrants from Europe to Tasmania in 1788. Initially, the majority of colonists were convicts, and they did not bother for these animals. However, when cattle farmers joined them, thylacins were threatened.

It is not known why the breeders decided that this animal was a danger to their flocks. There have been no reports of attacks on lambs and sheep from thylacins. They did not come close to the herds that were guarded by dogs, but hunted game in the forests.

However, farmers who did not understand the nature of thylacin soon declared a merciless war with them. Throughout the 19th century, the Tasmanian wolves were mercilessly exterminated. But even this active hunting did not reduce their numbers so much, as evidenced by the fact that in the 1980s, dozens of these animals were hunted for zoos.

At the end of the last century, a plague epidemic broke out in Tasmania. Many thylacins appeared to be susceptible to the disease. Since that time the thylacine population was localized in a mountainous region of Central Tasmania, it is not surprising that by the early 20th century this predator was on the verge of extinction.

The case of the last human murdered thylacin has been around since the 1930s. Six years later, the last specimen to live in captivity died. Since then, few have seen thylacin. There are reports of people who have encountered the Tasmanian wolf, heard its characteristic sounds or discovered its traces.

The last such case is from 1978, although after that date, the forester claims to have encountered thylacin, and he is a person well versed in animals.

In March 2005, the Australian magazine The Bulletin announced a $ 1.25 million prize for one who caught a live thylacin. Alas, the prize has not yet been received by anyone.

Three years later, Australian scientists tried to clone a Tasmanian wolf using genetic material from embryos of that predator, but most DNA is not viable, although several thylacin genes are still “living and working” in the cells of laboratory mice.

Every year there are expeditions to the center of Tasmania, but so far, enthusiasts have not been able to fully explore the area of ​​Tasmanian Wolf’s last refuge.

Many scientists believe that thylacins have survived. Perhaps that is why in the IUCN Red Book this species is still in the “endangered” section and not in the “extinct” section. However, optimists are getting less and less with each passing year.

It is true that a version has recently emerged that the Tasmanian wolf may have survived on small islands near New Guinea. The remains of thylacins, which are about 3000 years old, are often found in this region, and many have not yet been studied by scientists.

It can be said with certainty that thylacin was destroyed by human ignorance. If farmers knew that this predator was not a danger to their sheep and if they had vaccinated their dogs against the plague, then thylacin would not only have survived, but would have helped the Australians deal with the rabbit invasion.

May the sad story of the Tasmanian wolf serve humanity as a good lesson, the essence of which is that the wildlife world is extremely fragile and vulnerable so that it cannot be invades without considering the consequences of it.

If this lesson is not learned in the near future, the human race will share the fate of the Tasmanian wolf.


Planet Earth

M6.5 earthquake in Idaho. Is Yellowstone or Rainier next?

On the night of March 31 to April 1 (2020-03-31 23:52:31 (UTC)) in the USA, in Idaho,a M6.5 earthquake occurred. The epicenter of the seismic event lies at a depth of 10 km:

This seismic event has become the second strongest in the history of the state. The first place is occupied by an earthquake in the same area, on October 28, 1983, the magnitude of which was 6.9 points.

At the moment, information about the victims and damages is only being collected, but all this is not the main thing. The main thing here is different:

The Roller City of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada is is more than 700 km from the epicenter in the north direction, more precisely – a little to the north-west, or more precisely – along the line of the so-called Challis Arc:

The Challis Arc is a volcanic field with a length of about 1,500 kilometers, the origin of which is not very clear. It is assumed that the field appeared as a result of subduction of the ancient Kula / Farallon plate under North America:

The ancient plate partly sank, displacing magma, which, in turn, climbed out of volcanoes. The partly remains of Kula / Farallon were absorbed into the base of North America. All together, this led to the appearance of corrugated belts along the west coast. One of these belts is called the Challis Arc:

Thus, the epicenter was somewhere in a zone of very deep subduction and the earthquake mechanism there looks something like this:

That is why the earthquake was felt in Canada, that is, along the Challis Arc, but it did not spread a thousand kilometers to the West, East and South.

The mechanism of the earthquake is known, the earthquake is not very unusual, and the topic could be closed. However, the problem is that Utah and Idaho appear in a series of prophecies that promise a series of cataclysms to the United States. if we talk about earthquakes, we explained the mechanism above: the cause of the earthquake in Idaho and the previous earthquake in Utah are the ancient pieces of the lithosphere floating under the continent.

For some reason, fragments of these plates intensified: maybe they started to sink again, maybe they decided to float – we don’t know this. But we know that according to one theory, Yellowstone was the result of flooding / melting of fragments of the Farallon plate. The same goes for the Cascade Mountains. Therefore, if the Farallon plate suddenly became active – now we need to wait for major news from the Rainier volcano or even from the world-famous caldera!

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Planet Earth

The sun affects the emergence of large-scale epidemics on Earth

A Serbian scientist saw a correlation between weak ultraviolet radiation and the emergence of large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases. Images from American satellites confirm that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun or the disinfection of the atmosphere at the time when COVID-19 appeared was even weaker than during the period of H1N1 propagation.

Let’s recall the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic. It spread, despite all the efforts of the World Health Organization. Of course, nothing could be done with this epidemic, since it erupted during the period of the weakest solar radiation. After all, just as after surgery, the surgical room is sterilized with ultraviolet lamps, the atmosphere of the earth naturally sterilizes ultraviolet solar radiation.

Low radiation and epidemics

The founder of heliocentric electromagnetic meteorology Milan Stevanchevich saw a correlation between weak ultraviolet radiation and the emergence of large-scale epidemics of infectious diseases. Although NASA has not yet linked these phenomena, images from American satellites confirm that the ultraviolet radiation of the sun at the time the coronavirus appeared was even weaker than during the period of H1N1 propagation. In 2009, the level of ultraviolet radiation of the sun was eight units, and in 2019 – only five units. The lack of ultraviolet radiation, that is, disinfection of the atmosphere, in both cases led to the unhindered spread of the virus in the northern hemisphere.

Seasonal character

The Belgrade School of Meteorology believes that the level of ultraviolet radiation is also seasonal. In winter, the level is much lower than in summer. During maximum solar activity, ultraviolet radiation reaches 35 units. But in the period between two cycles of solar activity, ultraviolet radiation reaches the lowest levels or disappears.

Milan Stevanchevich explains:

​​“On March 11, the outbreak of AP 2758 on the Sun caused an increase in ultraviolet radiation. In the geoeffective position, one x-ray emission was recorded, which became the first after more than 300 days of inactivity of the Sun.”

When a flash on the Sun occurs on a side not visible from Earth, the level of ultraviolet radiation decreases. Its next growth is expected in early April 2020, and entry into a geoeffective position is expected on April 7, when the radiation will be sent directly to the Earth.

The level of ultraviolet radiation at the surface of the earth depends on the radiated power and density of the clouds over a particular place. Although ultraviolet radiation has a diffuse nature, the influence of clouds is great, since they reduce the level of ultraviolet radiation above the surface of the earth. Water in the atmosphere is an element that creates the effect of a greenhouse, so exposure to ultraviolet radiation also depends on cloud cover. Clouds weaken all types of energy emanating from the sun.

An increase in temperature does not play any role in the disinfection of the atmosphere, so flu can appear even when the daytime temperature is high.

Ultraviolet radiation is a natural phenomenon that makes possible the existence of man on planet Earth. But strong ultraviolet radiation is very dangerous for human health. Fortunately, nature has provided for everything. When activity on the Sun grows, cloudiness intensifies, as clouds are formed by the combination of hydrogen and oxygen, which are emitted by the Sun, and therefore the level of ultraviolet radiation decreases.

It is expected that weak X-ray radiation will reach a maximum on April 7, when the AP 2758 volcano appears on the visible side of the Sun, which disinfects the atmosphere more. No matter how weak the effect of x-rays, it plays a large role in the total radiation of the sun.

Studies show that pandemics can occur only between periods of two activity cycles, when the activity of the Sun is minimal, that is, when the level of ultraviolet radiation in winter is the lowest. Epidemics occur only at the beginning and at the end of the solar cycle. Seasonal influenza with variable variability depends on the current activity of the Sun. The weakest viruses in the period of maximum activity of the Sun.

For the disinfection of the atmosphere, the angle of incidence of ultraviolet and x-ray radiation plays a large role, since the level of radiation per unit area during the day depends on it.

It must be said that the transition period between the 24th and 25th cycles of solar activity is exceptionally long. The activity of the Sun reached an extraordinary minimum. The level of activity of the Sun in 2019 – 2020 is the lowest since 1810. Temperature has no effect on COVID-19.

If NASA’s forecast comes true, then in ten years we should expect another mutation of the virus.

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Planet Earth

Michigan nurse shares details of what is happening in hospitals

One of Michigan’s nurses shot a terrifying video of her workday so people would be more careful about their health and especially with coronavirus. The woman added that she felt as if she was in a battlefield.  During her story, she was constantly in tears.

During her last shift, the duration of which was 13 hours, she was separately from her colleagues and was involved in the treatment of two seriously ill patients. She supported them with an assisted breathing apparatus. The nurse encourages people to be more careful and take this problem as seriously as possible.

The nurse plead for hospitals to make every effort possible to eliminate the effects of the coronavirus outbreak, which has only recently intensified. To date, Michigan is in fifth place in case numbers, in which more than two thousand are infected with coronavirus and at least 43 deaths were recorded.

Just a few days ago, two hospitals already announced that they were completely full and they did not have the opportunity to accept new patients. The state expects that over the next three weeks the number of patients may increase to 16 thousand. The government, in turn, said that at the moment there are only 25 thousand beds, 80% of which are already occupied.

The number of cremated people in Wuhan significantly exceeded the death toll from coronavirus

On March 23, Chinese authorities allowed relatives of coronavirus victims in Wuhan to receive the urns with the ashes of their relatives. According to Liu Ping (pseudonym), a local resident who was in front of the Hankou funeral home, there were huge queues of people lined up. Liu Ping arrived in the morning to pick up her father’s ashes, and was only able to pick up the ashes at 14:00.

After leaving the bureau, Liu Ping saw a truck that was transporting bins. She found out from the driver that an order had been placed for 2500 boxes, the same quantity had been delivered the day before. A total of 5 thousand deaths from coronavirus is against the 2531 official cases. This information is from only one funeral home. There are eight in total in Wuhan.

According to Sun Jiatong, deputy director of the Wuhan City Civil Affairs Bureau, 21,703 corpses were cremated in a month and a half, eight times the official statistics.

At first, all the bodies were planned to be taken to the Hankou crematorium, but there were no available spaces there. As a result, other local institutions accepted and shared the dead between them. It is scary to imagine the real number of deaths in the whole of China.

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