Day: March 19, 2019

Apes – Our Intelligent, Endangered, Relative.

palmoilorand death

They’re our closest living relatives of the animal world, some sharing almost 99% of our DNA. They are far more intelligent than scientists once realized, with elaborate social structures and family networks. They make sophisticated use of tools. And they are among the most endangered mammals on the planet. These are the apes, a group of animals about whom we still have much to learn despite decades of scientific research.

The ape most famous for close genetic ties to humans is the chimpanzee, one of the “great apes.” Chimpanzees live only in tropical forests of Central Africa, the continent where modern humans first evolved some 100,000 years ago. Despite this long history of chimps and humans living in close proximity, the scientific community knew little about their behavior in the wild until the 1960s, when primatologist Jane Goodall began studying chimps at Gombe Stream in Tanzania. By carefully and patiently observing them in their natural habitat, Goodall became the first scientist to witness chimpanzees making tools, hunting and eating meat, and displaying complex social behaviors, among many other discoveries.

Today we know chimpanzees live in loosely connected social groups of as many as a few hundred individuals, divided into more closely knit subgroups. Mother chimps spend years caring for their offspring and family ties can remain important even once chimps reach maturity. Chimpanzees use a wide array of vocalizations and facial expressions to communicate. Scientists have even observed cultural differences between chimpanzees over different parts of their range, with groups in some areas practicing behaviours that are never seen in other chimpanzee communities.


It is now widely known among even the general public that chimpanzees share almost 99% of humans’ DNA. However, in the last few years evidence has emerged that another ape species may be as or even more closely related to us. This is the bonobo, formerly known as the “pygmy chimpanzee.” Genetic studies suggest it’s a toss-up whether chimpanzees or bonobos actually deserve the title of closest living human relative. But studies of human, chimpanzee, and bonobo muscular systems show bonobos appear to be more physically similar to us.

Whereas as chimpanzee societies are male-dominated, bonobos are matriarchal. They are also known for being less prone to social conflict than chimpanzees, and for using sex to maintain social bonds. Bonobos eat mainly fruit, other vegetation, and insects, and unlike chimpanzees they hunt meat only occasionally. From a conservation standpoint, another important fact about bonobos is they are restricted to only a single country: the Democratic Republic of the Congo.



Only slightly less closely related to us than chimpanzees and bonobos are gorillas. There are actually two species, the eastern and western gorillas. Eastern gorillas are divided into two subspecies: the eastern lowland gorilla and mountain gorilla. The western species is likewise divided into the western lowland and Cross River gorillas. Like other African great apes gorillas are social, but their networks are smaller than those of chimpanzees. Gorillas travel in groups related by family ties, consisting of as few as five or as many fifty individuals. Groups are dominated by an older male known as the silverback.

The only great apes found outside of Africa are orangutans. They differ from African great apes in several important respects, including their habits. While gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos are all social, orangutans are solitary with adults normally coming together only to mate. They are also the only great apes to spend most of their time in the trees. This makes orangutans the largest truly arboreal, or tree-dwelling animals in the world.

Orangutans are found only on the Southeast Asian islands of Borneo and Sumatra, and for many years scientists recognized two species, each confined to one of the islands. However, in 2017 a third species was announced. Known as the Tapanuli orangutan, this species lives in northern Sumatra and was previously thought to be simply a population of the Sumatran orangutan. Tapanuli orangutans are the most recently-described great ape species–and with only 800 individuals are also the most endangered.

More than a dozen additional ape species live in the tropical forests of Southeast Asia. These are the gibbons, or “lesser apes.” They get this name not because they are somehow less important than great apes, but simply because they are much smaller. Like orangutans, gibbons are mainly arboreal. They are famed for swinging hand-over-hand through the tree branches at speeds of up to 35 miles per hour,

Sadly, all or most apes are at risk of extinction due to factors like deforestation and hunting for the meat and pet trades. Although Tapanuli orangutans have the smallest population of any great ape, all the others are classified as endangered or critically endangered. In Africa threats like logging, poaching, and armed human conflict threaten great apes. Gorillas have also been seriously affected by the spread of the Ebola virus, which is deadly to them just as it is to humans. While the outlook for Africa’s great apes is grim, there are rays of hope. For example, thanks to conservation efforts mountain gorillas has seen a modest population increase recently.

In Borneo and Sumatra the single largest threat to orangutans–and gibbons found on the islands–is the conversion of rainforests into palm oil plantations. Used both as biofuel and an ingredient in everything from peanut butter to shampoo, palm oil production has skyrocketed as demand for these products increases worldwide. Limiting this industry’s expansion represents the best hope for Borneo and Sumatra’s apes. Fortunately, consumer-driven campaigns led by groups like Greenpeace and the Rainforest Action Network have had success pressuring some U.S. food companies–including Kellogg’s, Mars, and General Mills–to adopt policies limiting their use of palm oil that is not sustainably grown. More public pressure is needed to persuade additional companies to cut ties with palm oil deforestation.

Most people know iconic great apes like the mountain gorilla are endangered. However, the apes at greatest risk of imminent extinction are gibbons. With only about two dozen individuals in existence, the Hainan crested gibbon has the smallest population of any primate species. They live only in a single forest on the island of Hainan in the South-China Sea and have lost 99% of their habitat. Only slightly better off is the world’s second-rarest primate, the Cao-Vit gibbon. Only 100 members of this species survive in a forest in Northeast Vietnam. Though not quite as rare as these two, most other gibbon species are also at severe risk. Habitat loss is the most serious threat, but gibbons are also hunted for meat, with babies sometimes being sold into a life of captivity in the pet trade.

If our ape relatives survive into the latter part of the twenty-first century, it will be because of the caring actions of people all over the world. Whether by writing to major food brands and encouraging them to adopt sustainable palm oil policies, or supporting conservation groups working to protect great apes and gibbons from poaching and habitat loss, you can take action wherever you live. If you travel to Central Africa or Southeast Asia, consider patronizing eco-tourist organizations that help local communities profit from conservation.

With their intelligence, complex societies, and human-like expressions, apes are a reminder that humans are not as separated from our animal ancestry as we sometimes like to think.

By saving these remarkable primates from extinction, we are also preserving links to our own rich evolutionary heritage.


Regards Mark.

Who has a spider in his home, should be lucky!


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The fear of spiders is quite common. Most people disgust themselves and grab a vacuum cleaner or paper towel when they find one in their home. They must be killed immediately or disposed of, so that one can feel well again. And even those who are not afraid of the eight-legged, they do not want to have them in the house. Because cobwebs always look like a messy and not clean home.


The 14th of March is National “Save a Spider” Day, a day when arachnids everywhere relax and let their spinnerets down!! While spiders can be terrifying to some, they actually provide incredible services to humans and our ecosystem.
Spiders survive on insects like fleas, flies, and mosquitoes annually up to two kilograms of insects.

spinnen-nutzen-tMost people are afraid of the creepy-crawlies and kill the beast because they do not know how to help each other better. But one thing you should definitely know: The so threatening acting spider does not want you any harm. She is more afraid of you than you are of her and she is not poisonous at all.

  • Fans of Spyder roadsters, did you know that spiders extend their limbs using hydraulic pressure?
  • Spiders eat a lot of the insects whom people aren’t always so fond of, such as mosquitoes, flies, ants, and aphids.
  • Spider webs are similar in strength to nylon, but they’re much more elastic and less prone to breaking or losing their shape.
  • Spiders were used in some ancient artwork to symbolize patience.
  • One species of spider is actually vegetarian. (Spiders for the Ethical Treatment of Animals?)


If you really can not stand this spider at home, in your garage, or wherever, try to catch it and bring it out instead of killing it. She will be looking for a new place and both parties will be pleased with this outcome. We should better learn to live with these roommates rather than kill them, because in the end they are well-disposed to us … at least most of them!

And don`t forget:  spiders are usually harmless!
We are a much bigger danger to them than they are to us.

My best regards, Venus

Dead Philippines whale had 40kg of plastic in stomach.



Dead Philippines whale had 40kg of plastic in stomach

A dead whale that washed up in the Philippines had 40kg (88lbs) of plastic bags inside its stomach, researchers have said.

Workers at D’Bone Collector Museum recovered the Cuvier’s beaked whale east of Davao City earlier in March.

In a Facebook post, the museum said the animal was filled with “the most plastic we have ever seen in a whale”.

There were 16 rice sacks in its stomach, as well as “multiple shopping bags”.

The museum will post a full list of the items found in the whale over the next few days.

plastic planet

“I was not prepared for the amount of plastic,” the museum’s founder and president, Darrell Blatchley, told broadcaster CNN. “It was so big, the plastic was beginning calcification.”

The use of throwaway plastic is a particular problem in some South East Asian countries, including the Philippines.

Five Asian nations – China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand – accounted for up to 60% of the plastic waste that ends up in oceans, according to a 2015 report by environmental campaigner Ocean Conservancy and the McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.

In June last year, a pilot whale died in Thailand after swallowing 80 plastic bags.

Its death came shortly after a report for the UK government revealed the level of plastic in the ocean could triple in a decade unless steps are taken to curb litter.


The following pictures are NOT associated with this article – including the Whale – WAV.

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plastic whale trash

plastic beach 3

Cheers Jean “Clown” Juncker!!


When the media deal with Juncker, they do it for two good reasons: either because of his sciatica or because of his drinking. He, however, has officially stated that shaking at him only comes from sciatica.

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Since the Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem, Juncker has called “a stout smoker and drinker”, the explanation with sciatica does not work gut, sways strong, like him….

Juncker wuschelt_2

We have only one reason to give Jean “Clown” Juncker a small price: because it is considered the perfect symbol of the EU: frivolous, rundown and dement.

Juncker küsst eine GlazepgLet’s shake each other’s hair and sing Beethoven’s  9 Symphony!!


It is an open secret in EU circles that the Commission chief likes to drink gin and sparkling wine. “Whenever an assistant brings a glass of water to the head of commission, everyone knows it’s gin, the French EU correspondent Jean Quatremer recently quoted in the British magazine “The Spectator.”

Juncker betrunken mit BodygardsIn the following video you can easily see what luck it is to have such sweet guys in the EU. This is how EU looks like!

And after this video, we could not hesitate for a minute to award Juncker the prize for the best jerk. You can easily see, he is ” blue” and sees stars, and snaps off anyone, whether he likes it or not ….

juncker fasst Haare an

…Merkel mentally ill, Andriukaitis meat mafia lobbyist, Juncker alkoohliker … a great company this EU!

Juncker und MerkelgThey kiss each other like old communists. Or like mafia bosses.


At the NATO summit and just before the Torkel Tour began, the boss was seen in the wheelchair. According to Mainstream Media, this was a sciatica attack. For this kind of “back pain” in Italy, Police take away your driving license …But  the EU leaders smile and kiss drunk Juncker. Tolerance is part of the business!

Juncker in rollstuhl

But just imagine, only imagine!

Trump will appear in front of cameras and constantly drunk in Parliament, in front of more than 300 million people in the US and makes his work drunk, and harasses in front of the camera every employee who can NOT defend himself!

Imagine! Imagine that you show it the Greens in Germany, various German journalists, Merkel, the feminists.. and they SAY NOTHING AGAINST TRUMP??


Does not work, we know.

The double morality in the Western world is really scary, what we Germans should know best!

Juncker muss gestützt werdenpg

After all, the sex change of the alcohol in Ischia gives us all a great idea. Now we finally know what we can say to our partner when we come late at home with blue stars on the eyes..

We see only one benefit from Juncker’s Jin influence: at least attacks on him are very unlikely. Moving targets that still wobble, sway, and cause strange contortions are hard to grasp!

Junck in Hitler Gruß

Cheers Jean “Clown” Juncker, and we wish no longer see you after the elections!

Best regards to all, Venus and Mark