Tag: System Animals

Suburban Utopia

Could Biomimicry Help us Solve the Refugee Crisis?

Millions of people are, in this very moment, in the midst of one of the biggest refugee crisis of the last several decades. The war in Syria and the unstable situation in the middle East is forcing masses of people into Europe, at a pace and scale that is causing incredible strife. Europe’s ability to absorb an ever growing number of refugees (some data points to 1.5 million people in Germany alone) is put into question both by logistical issues – can these people be taken care of in a proper, humane way? As well as by ideological and political matters – do European nations have the obligation to deal with this problem by themselves? What does this entail?

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Manufactured Animals

Gene-Edited Micropigs Will Be Soon Sold As Pets

Earlier this year, a group of Chinese scientists published a paper about the modification of the genome of human embryos with the cutting-edge powerful technique called CRISPRs. The research arose ethical debates among scientists. Last September, Beijing Genomics Institute (BGI) has revealed another study that caused a new wave of disputes and concerns among scientists, ethicists and animal welfare organizations: they will start selling genetically engineering miniature pigs as pets.

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Anthropo-scene #7: Anthropocene Bird

What does it mean to be a bird in a world massively altered by human actions? This White-tailed Kite (Elanus leucurus), a beautiful raptor, is finding it out while hovering above Baylands Park near Palo Alto, California.

Humans have made not only the Dodo, but dozens of bird species, vanish from Earth in the past decades, through hunting, habitat destruction and the spread of cats, rats and dogs with the help of ships. Globally, 1300 out of a total of 10,000 bird species are seriously in decline. Other birds have learned to live with humans and profit from their presence.

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Bug Art

Bugs Paintings: Mixing Art and Science

Have you ever thought of using bugs as living moving brushes? Los Angeles painter Stephen R. Kutcher did! He employs different insects, such as flies, cockroaches and beetles, to create “wild” paintings, by dipping the bugs’ legs in the paint and releasing them on canvas to scratch out their masterpieces.

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Next Natural Goats Adapt to Climb Trees

We learned from the natural world that squirrels and birds live in trees and that goats stay on the ground… but not in next nature! These acrobatic goats, found in Morocco, have become adept at climbing Argan trees in search of food, showing us a great example of their intelligence and adaptability.

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System Animals

Crows crack nuts… and traffic patterns

Narrated by the incomparable David Attenborough, this footage goes to show that urban birds really are smarter.

The cross-walking crows recall a similar feat accomplished by the dogs of Moscow. Each day, the stray mutts take the subway to the city center to forage for shoarma and other treats, and ride it to the suburbs at night, presumably where the sleeping arrangements are more amenable. These behaviors demonstrate that urban environments don’t just inspire novel cultural traits in humans, but in big-brained animals as well. Old nature has gotten street smart.


System Animals

What animal is so naive to come into this world as a naked and crying infant, completely vulnerable, helpless, and an easy prey for any predator? Newborn lamb or giraffe’s babies can walk within a few hours, but it takes humans years and years to learn to take care of themselves. Yet, despite our physical vulnerability, we’ve proven not only able to survive, but even to dominate the planet. How come?

Unlike other animals, which have specific organs, skills and reflexes that enable them to survive in their proper environment, humans have never been placed in an environment for which we are specifically equipped. The human physique implies that there is no such thing as a ‘purely’ natural environment for us. We are system animals: technological beings by nature.

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