Saturday, March 16, 2013

Resurrection Ecology

An upcoming TEDx session at the National Geographic Society is called "De-Extinction", but I like Brian Switek's phrase "resurrection ecology" as a description of the almost religious and often extraordinary efforts to bring back individual extinct critters as well as devastated ecosystems.

The session (and the times) have sparked a wave of related stories. I was just putting together a list of my own to send when I found this list at the top of Ed Yong's "Missing Links" for this week. No better place to start. Here's Ed:

All the buzz this week is about de-extinction – bringing extinct species back from the dead. Start with Carl Zimmer’s great story for National Geographic. And here’s more:
But, typically, Ed didn't include any of his own related pieces, so here are a couple:

A piece "resurrected" itself from last year, when it was written, "Will we ever bring back the woolly mammoth?"

And, just posted, on resurrecting and cloning a gastric brooding frog, a frog that swallows her own eggs, stops making acid in her stomach so that they can survive, even as they grow and collapse her lungs so that she has to breathe through her skin until she "propulsively vomits" them into the world as little froglets: "Resurrecting the Extinct Frog with a Stomach for a Womb"

Zuckerman's Flower Lifecycle Videos

Wonderful, very short (17-33 secs) Vimeo time-lapse videos of the life cycle of flowers. The flat white backgrounds make them look like animations. Great use of sound, too, to highlight pace, by artist Andrew Zuckerman. Three contrasting styles:

"White Lily"


"Pink Lily"

You'll find several more of Zuckerman's films on the Vimeo website.

Maria Popova at Brain Pickings spotted these: "Andrew Zuckerman’s Extraordinary Portraits of Flowers"