Friday’s photo research fun

1. This week, I bring you the snake-necked tortoise:

One can only marvel at the evolutionary pressures which favoured such an extravagant illustration of the phrase “sticking one’s neck out”.

Also, an orphaned Aussie sugar glider:

Who looks to me like convincing evidence for Walt Disney being the Intelligent Designer of whom creationists are so fond.

2. And then, a picture which illustrates vastly different elements of what it means to be a human being. On the one hand, more than 3,000 years ago humans created a civilisation so sophisticated, elaborate and wealthy that they preserved and entombed their dead in a way that still fascinates us today. On the other hand, a minority of the descendants of that self-same civilisation are currently using the political and economic turmoil in Egypt to loot and destroy treasures – such as their mummified forebears – that had survived intact through several millennia. They were already ancient before the invasion of Alexander the Great, saw the rise and fall of ancient Rome, witnessed the birth of both Christianity and Islam and survived the ravages of Napoleon and two world wars.

This pic from National Geographic shows evidence of recent damage to a mummy at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. For shame.

3. Lastly, in their annual survey of the thousands of miles of jungle within their territory, the Brazilian government has again taken pictures from the air of a people so remote that no contact with outsiders other than the yearly fly-by has been recorded. They apparently know we exist but are not interested in us and simply wish to be left well alone. Judging by the ample supplies of cassava and other foodstuffs in the picture, and their obvious good health, I can’t say I blame them.

And let us just take a moment to observe their feet. Robustly shaped, with widely-spaced toes and not a bunion in sight, just like feet ought to be. Which just goes to show you what generations of wearing shoes has done to our own feet.

4. I’m running a 7km road race tomorrow from Dee Why to Manly. The race starts at 6.45am to beat the crushing heat and so I should be finished by about 7.25am – in plenty of time for a lovely big breakfast of bacon and eggs by the ocean. I’ll try to remember to take some pics.

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6 Responses to Friday’s photo research fun

  1. I just love that tortoise! The first time I saw a box turtle with her head fully extended I was astonished at just how long their necks are.

    These shots are great, my favorite has to be the barefoot people at the bottom though. I don’t know when I have seen a better example of why we should be careful about our shoes and how they fit! Of course, right now with the temperatures hovering in the teens here (that would be below zero Celsius), I’m not sure I can imagine going barefoot.

    • Woo says:

      I love reptiles, the more I know about them, the more incredible their lives and variety seem.

      We’ve had the opposite problem here for over a week – a heatwave so hot that the pavements will literally scald the skin off your soles if you go barefoot, so flip flops are the only solution… though my physio friends tell me they are terrible for your feet and gait, as they offer no support to the arch of the foot at all.

  2. Loving the Friday photo feature…and I would like to have a sugar glider to carry around, just to cheer me up.

    • Woo says:

      Jolly glad you’re enjoying it. I’m putting together an ever-increasing list of animals that I’d like to have at home. Top of the list at the moment is a sea otter, but the sugar glider is definitely up there, too.

  3. azahar says:

    I’d love to go barefoot all the time. I guess the next best thing is being able to wear sandals eight months out of the year.

    Cute sugar-glider.

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