Etherial & Endangered

Today is Earth Day. It’s a day dedicated to taking care of this giant mass of soil and water that we all call home. There are a huge number of reasons our home needs help; air pollution, water pollution, ground pollution, etc. The human race’s wide spread destruction has also greatly effected the animals that share this world with us.  All of these animals need and deserve our attention. I have chosen to bring your attention to a few endangered versions of mythical creatures.

Mermaids

Half human/half fish beings cannot actually exist according to science, but that isn’t any fun. There are many theories on where these tales (hehehe) of mermaids started.  One of the most likely origins is the dugong or manatee. When Christopher Columbus recorded seeing mermaids off the cost of the new world he made the first recorded sighting of manatees in North America. Manatees are in great danger due to their general nature, large size and slow movements.  All three species are currently listed as near extinction. You can do something about this by joining forces with a conservation group such as Save The Manatee Club and help save the mermaids.

For those of you who still want to believe in the existence of mermaids you will be interested to learn of the aquatic ape theory.  According to this theory we land humans are descended from an earlier aquatic primate version….which would mean we are all defended from mermaids.

Fairies & Pixies

Fairies and pixies are known for being secretive and tiny.  Notorious for hiding from human eyes there is no way to say they don’t exist.  More visible flying beauties that may very well be responsible for the mythical stories of fairies and pixies.  Dragonflies and butterflies flit about a variety of landscapes with magical ease and beauty.  The translucent wings of dragonflies are especially etherial and fairy like.  Although these two types of insects may seem ubiquitous and plentiful there are many species who appear on the endangered species list. (The species shown are the Boisduval’s Blue butterfly, the Jamaican Giant Swallowtail butterfly, the Hine’s Emerald dragonfly and the Rivulet Tiger dragonfly.)  The Butterfly Conservation dedicated to helping the butterflies, though I could not find an organization dedicated directly to dragonflies.

Unicorns

It is theoretically possible that an animal similar to a horse with one single horn may have actually existed at some point in earths history.  There are no fossil records to prove this theory, but there’s nothing to say it’s impossible. There are some animals known animals that could have provided the inspiration for stories of unicorns.

The elasmotherium is now extinct, but may have lived along side humans who could have written about it as a large animal with one long center horn. One creature still alive today, the great indian rhinoceros, has one large central facial horn. The scientific name for this lovely being is Rhinoceros Unicorns due to this horn.  Rhinos are also related to horses though not close enough to breed.

Looking for a way to help save the unicorns?  Contact the International Rhino Foundation.

Dragons

Dragons, huge flying majestic and frightening creatures found in myths around the world. Although we don’t see these beings roaming the skies on a regular basis there are real life dragons in the world, though they are much smaller than you might imagine. The Yinnietharra Rock Dragon is one of those tiny beasts.  These little dragons are shy and only found in Western Australia. While they may not be the dragons of your imagination they still deserve to be protected. They are not well known or studied and do not have their own conservation organization.  The not-for-profit organization ARKive  works with the charity Wildscreen and have spent time researching and document the tiny dragons.

Yeti

Yetis are known for living in the frozen wilderness, being covered in white fur and sometimes attacking or eating explorers. They are basically a frozen version of big foot. Polar bears are and easily recognizable real yeti, especially when one stands up. For being so well known polar bears are endangered.  Thanks to global warming their habitat is shrinking.  This also affects their food supply and ability to make more little polar bears.  Once the habitat is gone there isn’t anywhere else for them to go.  There are many organizations working to save the yetis such as Polar Bears International with whom you can join forces.

If you want to learn more about endangered species you can find well organized listings on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.  You can also help by working with the organizations listed above or some others with broader focus like the World Wildlife Fund, Wildlife Conservation Society, Natural Resources Defense Council, or The Sierra Club.

This Earth Day take a moment and think about what you can do to help save the mermaids, unicorns, fairies, dragons and yetis. They might not be able to tell you in person, but they will thank you for any help you can provide.

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