American Elephants

Animals You Didn’t Know Existed by The Elephant's Child


This handsome fellow with the spectacular horns and amazing beard is a Markhor, a large species of wild goat found in Northeastern Afghanistan and Pakistan. The species is classed by the IUCN as Endangered, as there are fewer than 2,500 mature individuals. The Markhor is the national animal of Pakistan. When it chews its cud, a foam-like substance comes out of its mouth which drops on the ground and dries. This dried foam-like substance is sought after by the local people, who believe it is useful in extracting the poison from snake bites.

This collection of 22 animals that most of us didn’t know existed simply accentuates Dr. Tim Ball’s column in the previous post.

We don’t know how many species there are. We don’t have even crude estimates of populations. We don’t know how much population numbers vary.

Animal populations and distributions vary considerable over time. Every report of decline or discovery in a new location is now attributed to human induced climate change or other human activity. Perhaps the most outrageous is the claim of humans hunting Ice Age species to extinction. All ignore natural variability, but that is the pattern of anti-humanity environmental hysteria.

I’ve posted articles before on newly discovered species that no one knew existed, as well as on species that were supposed to be extinct, except that we found some more.

The Endangered Species Act doesn’t have a very good record of success. Some stopped being endangered when we stopped shooting them, some were never endangered in the first place, some stopped being endangered when numbers of their predators were reduced, and some—like the wolf, beloved by the environmentalists, have returned in such numbers that they are a threat to ranchers and other wildlife. People aren’t very good at establishing the balance of Nature.

(via @MeredithDake. And thanks to Seriously for Real/Amazing World for the fascinating article)

2 Comments so far
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Not IUGN, but IUCN: the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

The goat bears an uncanny resemblance to Osama bin Laden.


Comment by Subsidy Eye

Can’t handle all these acronyms. Got it. I’ll fix it and thanks. The goat’s beard is prettier!


Comment by The Elephant's Child

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