Sunday, January 19, 2014

All Extinct Species Are on Special

There is some potentially good news on the shark front.  As most people are aware these innocent ornaments of the deep have taken a bit of a battering in the reputation stakes of late.  Granted there has been the occasional individual shark who has registered their objection to human presence in their environment with perhaps an excess of enthusiasm and a little less than perfect judgement.  This of course has led to the usual lurid media coverage which manages to convey that the water is so stuffed with psychotic sharks that it isn't safe to turn on a tap.

However there may be a little good news for our cousins of the ocean.  Apparently a shark long considered to be extinct has turned up again.  Unfortunately it turned up on a slab at a fishmarket in Kuwait but its presence is undeniable.  This is heartening news for sharks in general if not that shark in particular.  Seized with what passes for excitement amongst people who pick through fishmarkets for long dead animals scientists of a briny persuasion swooped on all the other fishmarkets in the area and turned up nearly fifty other examples.  In one swift movement we've gone from extinct to overabundant. although one can't help suspecting that if the shark wasn't extinct before this it might be now.

The fishmarket experience does give us a suggestion about what to do if we want to search for extinct species.  At present we search their habitats looking for droppings, nests or even a glimpse of the animal itself.  Apparently we would do better to drop by the local supermarket.  It seems that one of the most effective ways of discovering rare animals is to kill and eat them.  If we look carefully we might find dinosaurs. 

Wouldn't that be amazing?  A species thought to be extinct for hundreds of millions of years turning up in the freezer section of the local shop n go.  Think of the excitement in scientific circles and of course children who would finally get to see a dinosaur (or at least bits of a dinosaur) in the flesh.  All sorts of misconceptions could be cleared up in the course of an afternoon shopping trip and a huge number of questions could be answered.  The most important being, what does dinosaur taste like?  I think it would taste something like chicken.

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