We might have missed last week’s Weekly Round-Up, but never fear, we’re back in full force this week- and what a weirdly chameleon filled week it was. This week wasn’t all about chameleons though, there was also some timely environmental tips from our friends over at TransCanada (the pipeline guys), and good news for orcas in Ontario. It wasn’t the craziest of weeks, but it sure had it’s ups and downs, so let’s dive in.
Before we get into the chameleon stuff, we’re unfortunately going down a more serious road first. There was another oil spill this week in Santa Barbara, California, where 105,000 gallons of oil spilled into the Santa Barbara Channel. The situation has had very few redeeming qualities about it, and investigations are underway looking into Plains All American Pipeline, the operators of the pipeline, regarding their handling of the situation. Fortunately, and really the only redeeming quality about this, many nature groups jumped into action right away. Armed with dish detergent and tooth brushes, the International Bird Rescue and the Oiled Wildlife Care Network have been hard at work cleaning off pelicans, seals, and other marine animals. While the process is quite stressful for the animals themselves, at least it gives them a fighting chance at surviving this catastrophe.
Related to this, and what can only be described as laughably comical, TransCanada’s twitter released a gem of a tweet this week. Now, normally I wouldn’t call tweets legitimate news, but I just couldn’t let something like this pass by. Now, keeping in mind what just happened in California, TransCanada released a tweet that read, and I shit you not, “We help protect the environment by burying pipelines below riverbeds, brooks and streams.” Guys, Christmas just came early! I don’t think I need to go into detail about how ridiculous this is, so instead I’m going to tell you some of my favourite tweets in response. *Ahem* “We want some of what you’re smoking”- @RisingTideNA, “We protect the environment by taking tar sands and storing it as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, where it’s invisible!”- @duncanwrites, “Has @TheOnion taken over @TransCanada twitter account? #nokxl”- @janekleeb, and finally, “wow”- @BowsXArrows.
Now for some of that chameleon news. A chameleon owner in Chicago just missed getting slapped with animal cruelty charges for smoking pot… wait for it… with his chameleon. In court, and on record, his actions were called “uncalled for and immature”, which included blowing smoke into the chameleon’s mouth, while on video, but luckily he just missed criminal charges. The reason behind his actions? The chameleon was a bit too aggressive, and needed to calm down. In case you didn’t know, marijuana is toxic to animals, so don’t go trying this at home, and the Chicago owner, Bruce Blunt, could have gotten hit pretty hard. Honestly, he’s just lucky that his future didn’t just go up in smoke… see what I did there… :D.
The judiciary system wasn’t all fun and games this week though, as Ontario saw the passing of a new law that prohibits the breeding and selling of orcas within the province. Part of a larger plan that helps protect all marine animals in captivity, the law is the first of its kind in Canada, and will hopefully cause changes elsewhere, both within the country and outside of it. While this is great news, it is, however, just a first step. The law doesn’t include the breeding and selling of other marine mammals, such as belugas, so we can only hope that further steps are taken to protect all cetaceans. For all intents and porpoises, it’s needed.
WWF is back in the news this week, once again looking to new technologies to help protect endangered species. It’s seems that emojis were simply the first step in online protection of animals, as they’ve now come out with a new font designed to help pandas. Called the Panda Font Project, the new project gives you everything you could ever need to write full essays using panda bears as letters. Hell, it’s even got accents for languages other than english, and mathematical symbols perfect for math class. The full font package hasn’t yet been released, but you can see all the lovely letters here. Personally I think my favourite is the lower case “y”, have you ever seen a more relaxed panda?
And finally, back to some chameleon news. Researchers working, in Madagascar, on how chameleons are able to produce a wide variety of skin colours, have discovered that the panther chameleon is not just 1 species of chameleon, but 11. It turns out that, just like books, you should never judge a chameleon by its cover, especially when it’s able to change it. Now that we have 10 new species, to me at least, it seems like the next step is naming them all, as we can’t call all of them panther chameleons. So, to make the job easier, here are a few options: Chamelying, Panother Chameleon, Cha-misinfomed-leon and Chameleonnaire. So if any of you researchers are reading this, you can have any of ’em, free of charge… you’re welcome.
What about you guys though? Can you come up with better new chameleon names? Comment below with what you come up with!