The Myth of Python Snakes Strangling Prey

It is a myth that pythons suffocate their prey into submission and eventual death as they are technically causing obstructive shock of the circulatory system. This is performed by creating force pressure capable of exceeding the ability of the heart to compress, with this pressure focused tightly within the center of the heart, causing death as a direct result. As soon as pressure is elevated above what the heart utilizes to pump and eject blood throughout the circulatory system, the cardiac system becomes unable to eject blood causing prey to pass out within 10 – 20 seconds, similar in structure to how a headlock cuts off oxygen from the brain and causes a human opponent to pass out. As a python coils, it begins contracting its muscles to generate this tremendous crush pressure, referred to as “circumferential pressure”. To provide frame of reference, circumferential pressure is the type of pressure applied when a saturated cloth is rung out to expel all liquid. The blood pressure of prey typically doubles in stature after being constricted (e.g. moving from 120/80 to 250/160 to 300/200 over the course of 12.5 minutes), enough to cause syncope, a cerebral vascular accident, and death in most mammals. Sphygmomanometers typically exert 140 – 160 millimeters of mercury during a routine blood pressure examination, enough to cause blood perfusion to be cut off during measurement and pain to develop if the duration of the examination is extended for any reason. Python snakes are capable of applying 2x – 3x this rate of pressure, directly upon the neck or thorax of their prey. It is currently unknown if this ability can be increased when required (e.g. emergency situation of an animal escaping etc.)

The Japanese Shinto Faith

The Japanese Shinto religion translates to mean “way of the gods” in Japanese and primarily focuses upon ancestors and nature, with practitioners believing that every aspect of the universe has a deity (e.g. rivers have a god, mountains have a god, soil has a god etc.) with ancestors believed to have created the world for the current generation living within it. Japanese architecture is an excellent example of Shintoism as Shinto shrines are left in a minimalist state of color and simplicity, unlike contemporary Chinese architecture which is highly colorful and decorative. Shinto shrines never depict imagery of deities as the wood of the architecture itself is representative of nature, and from that simplicity and minimalism. This is also because it is believed that so many gods exist within nature that it would be foolish to only highlight a few in particular. Practitioners of Shinto observe festivals and holidays but no particular day of prayer, unlike monotheistic religions (e.g. Sunday for Christianity, Friday for Islam and Judaism etc.). There is no mainstay scripture of morality or ethical system attached to Shintoism. In Shintoism, old shrines are dismantled and moved for new shrines to be erected every 20 years. The 3 main elements of Shintoism are the mirror, precious stones, and wood

The Evolutionary Reason Human Beings Seek Violence and Conflict

Whilst observing chimpanzees in the wild, Jane Goodall noticed her observed chimpanzee community beginning to divide amongst itself, with some members choosing to spend more time in the northern region of the jungle and others in the south. By separating themselves, these chimpanzees inherently relinquished their right to be recognized as part of their previous clan. This once seemingly peaceful community began to become heavily engaged within primitive warfare and conflict, with the entire community which had moved south annihilated into oblivion by their northern counterparts. Goodall stated upon record that it took her considerable time to reconcile this brutality, as she had always thought of chimpanzees akin to human beings however better, kinder, and gentler. Goodall believed that conflict was a human invention, but eventually realized and accepted that the dark and cruel side of human nature was deeply embedded within the human genome and inherited from primate ancestors. It is most probable that a propensity for brutality, violence, and conflict has been hard coded into human beings genetically, at the fundamental level of deoxyribonucleic acid which create proteins, which produce neurons, and subsequently unique neural traits, such as a propensity for violence behavior(s). It would be advantageous for evolution to have evolved such traits because if a person (or animal) is being attacked, the ability to fight back with deadly force is expediently beneficial. This is believed by most scientists to be the reason why such traits have evolved within human beings. It should be noted, prior to Goodall’s work, scientists had no knowledge of chimpanzees engaging in warfare and/or hunting practices, which makes her work groundbreaking and revolutionary to say the least as it provides unique introspective into human behavior(s)

China’s Desire For Ivory and the Effect Upon African Countries 

Chinese-ivory

China is one of the only countries in which recently acquired ivory can be sold legally, and because it is in such high demand, China’s insatiable thirst for ivory is devastating elephant populations around the world. 80% of the Chinese middle class own one or more pieces of ivory and 84% of those people intend to purchase more in the future. Trade between Africa and China between 2003 and 2013 has jumped from $6,000,000,000 ($6 billion) to over $100,000,000,000 ($100 billion). China has been investing in Africa, building roads and shipping ports as a way to streamline the trading process. Some of the most popular goods traded include turtles which are eaten, shark fins which are also ingested, rhinoceros horn which is ground up and consumed, and elephant ivory which is carved into decorations. 60,000 shipping containers enter Chinese ports each day, with less than 1% being searched, making Chinese ports a smugglers paradise. Only 16% of ivory sold in China is legally traded and can be verified to have been sourced from legally acquired sources. Kenya has achieved success with elephant protection due to private philanthropy which funds the ability to patrol Kenyan parks via helicopter and land vehicles with armed security personnel, trained guards who have been authorized to shoot to kill when poachers have been identified actively poaching or attempting to poach

Charles Darwin’s “Survival of the Fittest”

Charles-Darwin

When Charles Darwin created the phrase “survival of the fittest”, he did so before the term “ecosystem” was commonly used within the English vernacular. Darwin originally intended to state that the species or organism which fit in best with its environment, would have the most probable chance of survival. It is a common misconception that Darwin was referring to physical attributes like strength, speed, and fight or flight endurance

World Population Growth

dense-population

200 years ago, the world had approximately 1,000,000,000 (1 billion) people. Today there are more than 7,000,000,000 (7 billion) people worldwide. By the end of the century, it has been predicted that Earth will have approximately 10,000,000,000 (10 billion) people. The majority, but not all, of the world’s population increase is due to impoverished third world countries as the governments of these nations are not meeting the same standards of industrialized countries in terms of educating their populous regarding sexual activity and birth control as well as affording free or subsidized birth control interventions. It is estimated that the world will not exceed 12,000,000,000 (12 billion) people as many countries, both industrialized and non-industrialized are now declining in their birth rates, due to conscious efforts made by governments to educate the general public in respect to sexual health

The Extinction of Species

extinction

130 species go extinct each day. 99% of all life which has ever lived upon Earth, is now extinct. Most species of mammals only survive 1,000,000 (1 million) years before going extinct. Modern human beings have existed for 200,000 years, but the most distant related ancestors of human beings, creatures more apelike than human but still bipedal and using tools, date back 3,000,000 (3 million) years with that particular ancestor being named “Australopithecus afarensis”

Sizes of Life On Earth

sizes-of-life-on-earth

Life on Earth varies from the massively large as is the case with trees which reach heights of 100 meters and have a mass of 1000 tonnes, to the incredibly small as is with bacterium which are less than 1,000,000th (1 millionth) of a millimeter with a mass less than 10,000,000,000,000th (10 trillionth) of a gram. These differences span over 22 orders of magnitude in mass