Jenna: Welcome back, animal fans. I am happy to introduce a new Creature Feature writer this week, my very own brother! AJ, take it away.
AJ: Hello all! I’m excited to be a part of the Fanimal family and to share my animal advocacy passion. Being fascinated with sea life, naturally, I chose an article about shrimp to highlight this week. A mind blowing discovery about shrimp further connects them to their distant cousins, the insects. Many know that insects and shrimps share common ancestors, but new scientific studies have brought them closer than ever before. We now know they both share the same brain structure required for learning, memorization, and better understanding about their environment.
Jenna: So, I guess calling someone a shrimp brain isn’t as much of an insult now, is it? In other news, as you know AJ, International Women’s Day was March 8. LiveKindly published a list of amazing, hard-working women involved in animal advocacy, and we wanted to share some of their work. In 2019, Genesis Butler became the PETA Young Animal Activist of the Year. Angela Davis focuses on educating people of the ties between human and animal rights. Rooney Mara developed a clothing line that is exclusively vegan and helped with revealing factory farm animal injustices. Review the list here to learn about even more kick-ass female activists.
AJ: Nice list! I want to call attention back to the Australian bushfires that have seemingly stopped topping headlines. Animals are still suffering from the impacts of these fires; this especially includes freshwater, aquatic animals. I know what you’re thinking; it does seem sort-of counterintuitive that underwater habitats can be impacted by fire.
Jenna: That’s exactly what I thought after reading the headline, but over half of the animals most affected by the fires are animals residing in rivers or in the immediate surrounding rivers. Sadly, this includes crayfish, frogs, fish, turtles, and even platypus. Ash in the water and loss of surrounding vegetation is most concerning, as these change important components of the river water. Less vegetation means higher temperatures, and ash destroys water quality. The World Wildlife Fund lists ways you can help here.
AJ: That being said, let’s end on a positive note, shall we? A video of a dog welcoming home its astronaut owner reminds us how much our furry friends love us. Check out the video here to brighten up your day.
Jenna: AJ and I will be back next week with more animal news. In the meantime, be sure to show us your Fanimal love by sending us a short clip of you saying “I am a Fanimal!” at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 14.
Animal news this week:
Sneezing Dogs, Dancing Bees: How Animals Vote from The New York Times
The dog that knows the names and categories of its 100 toys from Independent
Lab animals can now be adopted instead of euthanised, FDA says from Independent
The brains of shrimps and insects are more alike than we thought from ScienceDaily
Beer and bagels please: New York rats evolve to mirror human habits from The Guardian
Dozens of Blue Whales Spotted in Antarctica For the First Time Since 1980s Whaling Ban from Good News Network
Bright yellow spots help some orb weaver spiders lure their next meal from Science News
Black-Throated Warbler Migration Pattern Affected by Global Warming from Nature World News
The impact of energy development on bird populations from Phys.org
Here’s how butterfly wings keep cool in the sun from Science News for Students
Group May Sue to Protect Whales and Turtles From Being Stuck by Ships in SoCal Ports from NBC Los Angeles
How beef eaters in cities are draining rivers in the American West from National Geographic
Dinosaur-age cockroaches found preserved in amber from Fox News
11 Fierce Female Activists Changing the World from LiveKindly
Thank you to John Delconte for sending us articles! Also, thank you to the Center for Biological Diversity for being a great source for animal news.
Photo credit to Boris Smokrovic