Caribbean Monk Seal – It Was Very Good

Caribbean Monk Seal
Caribbean Monk Seal as depicted in “The Fisheries and Fisheries Industries of the United States”, by George Brown Goode

Caribbean Monk Seal (Neomonachus tropicali)

The Caribbean monk seal, West Indian seal or sea wolf was a species of seal native to the warm temperate, subtropical and tropical waters of the Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the west Atlantic Ocean. The seal had a relatively large, long, robust body, that could grow to be 8 ft in length and weigh between 375 to 600 lb. The Caribbean monk seal had a distinctive head and face. Their coloration was brownish and grayish with a lighter underside. They were also known to have algae growing on their fur, giving them a slight green tinge.

Caribbean Monk Seal
Two young Caribbean Monk Seals in New York Aquarium, 1910

The first historical mention of the Caribbean monk seal is recorded in the account of the second voyage of Christopher Columbus. Wherein the famous explorer killed eight of the animals while they rested on the beach. The animals were routinely slaughtered in large animals for their oil. By 1850 so many seals had been killed that there were no longer sufficient numbers for them to be commercially hunted.

The last confirmed sighting of the seal was in 1952 in the Caribbean Sea at Seranilla Bank, between Jamaica and the Yucatán Peninsula. After an extensive five-year study, the Monk seal was declared extinct in 2008.

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Cape Lion – It Was Very Good

Cape Lion
Only known photo of a live Cape Lion, in Jardin des Plantes, Paris, 1860

Cape Lion (Panthera leo melanochaitus)

The Cape Lion was native to the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of the African continent. It is believed the lion was the largest and heaviest of the sub-Saharan lions. The Cape Lion was recognizable by it thick black mane and black tipped ears. The species was especially noted for its “luxuriant and extensive manes.”

Cape Lion
Drawing of a Cape Lion by Rembrandt, 1650

The Cape Lion, unlike most other extinct big cats, was hunted to extinction. Unlike other species that slowly driven extinct by habitat loss or removal of their prey. The last known adult was killed in South Africa in 1858.  A juvenile was captured by an explorer a couple of decades later but died in captivity shortly thereafter.

In 2000, South African zoo director John Spence believed he had located a pair of the Lion in captivity. The putative Cape Lions were living at the Novosibirsk Zoo in Russia.  Spence announced plans to perform us genetic testing to determine if the lions truly were Cape Lions. If so, a captive breeding program would be implemented with the hopes of bringing the species back from extinction.

Unfortunately, Spence died in 2010 and the Novosibirsk Zoo closed a couple of years later.

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Let’s Play Quest for Glory 4 – Part 13

Lost in the Woods

If you recall from the last two updates Garcon had recently learned Baba Yaga was in Mordavia, a Gnome had come to him without his humor, a talking skull wanted to up its style, and he’d just been giving a rehydration potion from Dr. Cranium.

Perseii spent the rest of the day wandering the wilderness until nightfall. Once the sun had gone done though he started heading towards Erana’s Garden in the valley. We’re not looking to go to the garden but there is something we want on the western edges of it. Along the way Jackson returns into some of the valley’s nightlife:

Quest for Glory Quest for Glory

Not much to see here really. Just the shambling undead. Turns out corpses don’t much appreciate being set ablaze. It also turns out that Danar doesn’t really care what the undead like or don’t like. Continue reading “Let’s Play Quest for Glory 4 – Part 13”

California Grizzly Bear – It Was Very Good

California Grizzly
Monarch, preserved specimen at the California Academy of Sciences

California Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos californicus)

The California Grizzly Bear, once considered its own species Ursus horribilis, was a subspecies of the North American Brown Bear or Grizzly Bear. The California Grizzly was very closely related to the Grizzly Bears of the southern coasts of Alaska. The bear was known, and lauded, for its size, strength, and beauty. The bear shared its physiology with the Kodiak Bear, though it appears to not have had the pronounced shoulder hump those bears do.

California Grizzly

Experts estimate that the California Grizzly population was approximately 10,000 at its peak, around the 1820s and 1830s. The bears were a common sight to the Indians, the Spaniards, and the flood of Americans arriving during and after the Gold Rush. The animal was endemic to the lowlands and foothills of the state from the Sierras down to the deserts in the south. The expansion of humans into California and Grizzly habitat after the Gold Rush lead to direct competition between the two species. California newspapers of the late nineteenth century were replete with accounts of grizzlies raiding livestock and occasionally killing humans. By the end of the 1800s, the animal could only be found in the Santa Ana Mountains, the Southern Sierra Nevada, the mountains of Santa Barbara County, and the San Gabriel Mountains.

It is believed the last California Grizzly was killed in 1922 in Tulare County.

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