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June 6th, 2019 - The Wordsmith's Forge — LiveJournal
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
Scientists have observed wild chimpanzees eating crabs, and hypothesize that aquatic prey facilitated brain development in early humans. 

I have seen diets based on what chimpanzees eat, and those are never complete.  None of them include insects.  Apparently, they're also missing crabs, tortoises, and monkey brains.  Let's say the diets are designed for charm rather than scientific accuracy -- although if you like the premise of eating like our close relatives, you can always adapt as we learn more about them.

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ysabetwordsmith
Elephant footprints provide breeding puddles and habitat connectivity for frogs, an example of the subtle and unexpected ways that species can interact.

This makes me wonder how much damage has been done to North America, which has lost almost all of its megafauna to humans. Horses, bison, wolves, grizzlies, etc. are confined to small areas. The mastodons and ground sloths are long gone. (They were so delicious.) We've seen that reintroducing even one keystone species like wolves can have tremendous effects. Occasionally, humans manage to replace a missing piece. How is a lawnmower like a bison? It cuts the grass so birds can forage for seeds and bugs, although regrettably it provides no other benefits such as fertilizer, meat, or buffalo robes. Ghost trees still make fruit and thorns for mammoths and ground sloths. It's the shifting baseline problem; we have a hard time seeing what isn't there.

Learn to look for the missing pieces.  And observe what's there while we still have it.

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ysabetwordsmith
Feathers seem to have evolved much earlier than the first birds, for insulation rather than flight, and were widespread among dinosaurs. 

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Folks have mentioned an interest in questions and conversations that make them think. So I've decided to offer more of those. This is the current list.

35. Name four things we have in common.

This is a lot harder with a whole crowd, but here goes:

* Intelligence

* Curiosity

* Love of literature

* Desire to make the world a better place

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 Check out these noctilucent (night-shining) clouds on Mars.  :D

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Today is warm and partly cloudy.  

I fed birds, including reloading the thistle sock.

I watered plants.

EDIT 6/6/19: Round Two, I trimmed grass around a row of 5 saplings in the savanna.  They are much more visible now.  \o/

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