Good News for a Change: New Octopus Species Discovered & China Bans Ivory Products
We live in a time where humankind’s effect on the natural environment is so comprehensive and detrimental - both in terms of habitat loss and species extinction - a new epoch has been proposed: Anthropocene (Anthropo being derived from “Human” in ancient Greek.)
It is, therefore, heartening to be able to report on two Good News stories on this day. Firstly, we have the discovery of a new species in the waters off Alaska: the “frilled giant Pacific octopus”. Nature truly is marvelous.
Figure 1. De Montfort, 1810
No, it isn’t the Kraken of legend, but the species is nevertheless expected to compare or surpass the current largest known octopus: Enteroctopus dofleini, with individuals weighing up to 68kg. The discovery of the new species is so recent that taxonomical analysis is yet to take place, with no Latin naming as yet decided upon (Newsweek, 2017)
Figure 2. 'Karen', via Wikimedia
In further Good News (not before time) the world’s largest consumer of ivory from Elephant tusks - China - has announced a complete ban on these products (Digital Journal, 2017). This will put a massive dent in the demand for these elicit and deplorable products, hopefully going a long way to ending the slaughter of these majestic creatures for such an asinine purpose.
Figure 3. Sharp, 2004
Unfortunately, some countries may move to expand their own market for associated products. Among the organisations aiming to protect Elephants as well as other vulnerable species, the African Wildlife Foundation does terrific work. Please consider finding out more by visiting AWF.org and/or following the organisation on Twitter: @AWF_Official
The fight goes on, and undoubtedly future generations will recognise the senseless slaughter of these and other fellow creatures for the cruel insanity that it is.
1. By en:Pierre Denys de Montfort / fr:Etienne Claude Voysard [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons [Accessed: 30.12.17] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AColossal_octopus_by_Pierre_Denys_de_Montfort.jpg
2. By Karen from Los Angeles, USA (Giant Pacific Octopus) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons [Accessed: 30.12.17] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AGiant_Pacific_Octopus.jpg
3. By Charlesjsharp (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons [Accessed: 30.12.17] https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AAfrican_Elephant_walking.JPG
Digital Journal, 2017. [Accessed: 30.12.17] http://www.digitaljournal.com/news/environment/china-s-ban-on-elephant-ivory-sales-goes-into-effect-sunday/article/511032
Newsweek, 2017. [Accessed: 30.12.17] https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/techandscience/new-giant-octopus-discovered-in-alaska/ar-BBHuKLm?OCID=ansmsnnews11