Variations on a theme: evolution

27783168559_c728772c11_kThis week’s topic is variations on a theme. This made me think of a recent visit to the Paris Natural History Museum where all sorts of species are presented. Some are fake plastic replicas, some are – quite realistic – stuffed animals like these North African lions (extinct). 39559401531_ab9e46898e_kA Hyena, not yet extinct nor endangered but diminishing numbers.39559399101_98ffc1fca0_k38663401465_e8feb1892f_kAs to elephants it’s a complete disaster. Let’s not mention it. Here an African elephant.38850583754_8ff1489a72_kSperm Whales aren’t performing any better. And this isn’t new. I found this humongous character rather intimidating. Well, that’s where the variations on a theme comes in. Almost none of the species we saw there were in good shape. Almost all of them are either diminishing, or extinct or endangered. I found it depressing that our grandchildren might never be able to see even a film with those animals. Boy! What have we done to this Earth?!

Yann Gourvennec
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  1. A slightly different take on ‘variations on a theme’ is the building itself, just as imposing as, but very different from the Natural History Museum in London. Very fine places in which to contemplate the losses the earth is sustaining – thanks to us.

  2. It really is heartbreaking to look at these stuffed animals and to think of the species that are disappearing almost before our eyes, isn’t it. I can’t help thinking of the words of wise of Chief Seattle, who said that “Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.”

  3. … but on a brighter note, you’ve shown me this favorite museum as I’ve never seen it before! Is the blue lighting a new addition — and is it lit like this all the time?

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