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White Dolphin Functionally Extict

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the gone-the-way-of-the-dodo dept.

Science 868

An anonymous reader writes "For the first time in nearly fifty years another mammal, specifically an aquatic mammal, has gone extinct. In this case, it was the white dolphin, also known as the Baiji, which used to live in the Yangtze River in China. The dolphin had been known to exist for the last 20 million years."

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Oops! (5, Funny)

justkarl (775856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226318)

Makes me feel bad about the tuna sandwiches I had for dinner last night.

Re:Oops! (5, Funny)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226402)

Rest assured that all your future tuna sandwiches will be White Dolphin free.

Re:Oops! (5, Insightful)

J.R. Random (801334) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226484)

Makes me feel bad about the tuna sandwiches I had for dinner last night.

While many ocean dolphins do get killed by tuna nets, the species that went extinct was a river dolphin, unique to the Yangtze. They were done in by the increasing pollution of that river. So instead of feeling bad about the tuna sandwiches you had you should feel bad about the cheap DVD player you bought -- not only did the people who put it together get paid slave wages, but the company that employed them didn't "waste" any money on pollution control.

Re:Oops! (5, Informative)

Knara (9377) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226582)

According to TFA, it wasn't pollution, but rather overfishing and shipping traffic that did them in.

Re:Oops! (1)

MFINN23 (967656) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226642)

The guy was making a joke, and if you rtfa you would have seen that they said that it was the overfishing and traffic on the river that most likely attributed to it's extinction.

Re:Oops! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226504)

Why? Do you usually eat tuna (a saltwater fish) that has been caught in the Yangtze River (a freshwater river)?

It's too bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226324)

White Dolphin really was the other white meat. Deliciously extinct now.

Overloards (5, Funny)

pseudorand (603231) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226326)

I, for one, morn the loss of our potential aquatic overlords.

Thanks for all the fish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226332)

Let's hope the earth doesn't get destroyed tomorrow to build an intergalactic highway.

Re:Thanks for all the fish (1)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226696)

Then you'd better get a move on to the planning office in Alpha Centauri where the plans are on display.*

* - Disclaimer: Not responsible for leopard attacks.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226342)

BAM

I can only say... (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226344)

Well done, humans...

Did they say 'So long, and thanks for all the fish'?

Re:I can only say... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226384)

Don't kid yourself. If a white dolphin ever got the chance he'd eat you and everyone you care about.

Re:I can only say... (-1, Troll)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226620)

So what?

Natural selection can be a harsh mistress and if you can't keep up you shouldn't be suprised when something kills every last one of you. The entire world is one big killing machine. Tornados, floods, deer ticks with lyme disease, falling rocks, little globulous things you can't even see, all of it trying its damndest to kill you every day you exist. Because it wants to occupy the space you take up. Or maybe your flesh tastes good. Or your rotting corpse can be used to fertilize fields.

The world isn't fueled by rainbows and kitty purrs. Sometimes stuff dies. That is the way it is. You can either believe that invisible cloud people created everything just specifically for humans so that you can jam everything that will fit into your mouth hole with a clear conscience, or you can believe Darwin and realize that in order for Darwin to be right, stuff that isn't as well adapted has to die. Maybe some actions taken by people, or squirrels, or decaying nucleii will hasten things along for some other organism but unless those organisms learn to fight back it is curtains for them and more for us. The more sensitive among us might think this is a bad thing but it frees up resources for the fittest to become even fitter.

Re:I can only say... (1, Insightful)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226756)

Human action, alas, has little to do with natural selection.
Were it not for that fact, you would be right.

Oh, wait... you wouldn't be right even then.
Without competition, there is less need for adaption; freeing up resources (I can hardly imagine what kind, really) has nothing to do with someone "fit" becoming "fitter".
"Fitness" you speak of is so arbitrary and dependent on a plethora of outside factors that what can be considered "fit" today may well become "completely unfit" tomorrow. Or today, but in a different climate.

Re:I can only say... (2, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226862)

Humans are natural, hence they are part of natural selection. This false dichotomy between nature and man is, frankly, just so much hippie bullshit.

Re:I can only say... (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226816)

Natural selection can be a harsh mistress and if you can't keep up you shouldn't be suprised when something kills every last one of you.

Cause we all know how cruel those natural fishing nets and shipping barges are...

Re:I can only say... (5, Insightful)

GeckoX (259575) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226906)

20 Million Years.

Repeat after me: Twenty Million Years

Yeah, they just happened to have been naturally selected for extinction now, nevermind that we KNOW exactly what the cause of their decline has been, and that we KNOW it is because of OUR artificial impact on their natural environment.

You couldn't have picked a worse place or time to pull that steaming pile of shit out.

Re:I can only say... (1)

malsdavis (542216) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226908)

Right.. So if we nuke the entire planet and render every living species extinct then we're really just helping natural selection play its course?

Give me a break. This species killed off by overfishing and overuse of the river by motor boats. If similar extinctions happen among the many other threatened species due to human overpopulation and lack of ecological responsibility than the world will be a lot less amazing a place and the "oh it's just natural selection" argument will seem pretty flat.

article also extintict (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226354)


404 File Not Found

The requested URL (science/06/12/13/1731222.shtml) was not found.

If you feel like it, mail the url, and where ya came from to pater@slashdot.org.


But really, the best way to bring them back is to make them profitable. So... the answer is a "swim with the white dolphins" exhibit in China. Then, if the place can sell the swim with the dolphin experience for 200 bucks, people will start breeding and stop killing white dolphins!!

Perfect!

So when do the vogons arrive? (1)

drachenfyre (550754) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226356)

I've read this somewhere before..... Has anyone checked the local galactic construction office over at Alpha Centuari for hyperspace bypass plans?

I just have one question! (4, Funny)

Eros (6631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226364)

How did they taste?

Re:I just have one question! (4, Funny)

tuxette (731067) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226542)

How did they taste? Like tuna...

Re:I just have one question! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226556)

In totally unrelated news, six Swift & Co. plants across the country close their doors.

really... (-1, Flamebait)

GmAz (916505) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226376)

Lived for the last 20 million years. Sure, then in the next 5 years, that will change to the last 30 million years..then suddenly someone will spot another white dolphin. Millions will be invested into the study and cloning/repopulation of them and guess what...ITS A FREAKING FISH (I know its not a fish, its a mammal). The world's ecosystem will not be dramatically harmed if any. No one will care about it in a month. Its just a way for eco-freaks to start yelling that we are killing the earth as they drive off in their new Hummer as they go for a friendly Sunday drive to observe nature.

Re:really... (4, Funny)

danpsmith (922127) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226462)

Its just a way for eco-freaks to start yelling that we are killing the earth as they drive off in their new Hummer as they go for a friendly Sunday drive to observe nature.

That's not true...We take the Lexus to the environmental rally on Sundays, Saturday is Hummer day.

Re:really... (1)

kalidasa (577403) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226922)

I can just see the "alien anthropologist" saying the same thing a few thousand years from now - "I WAS JUST A FREAKING MAMMAL."

Idiots. (5, Insightful)

Fayn (1003629) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226380)

Hindsight in 20-20 indeed. Maybe now governments will get the idea that if you want to protect a species, you actually have to protect it. Just sitting arond and holding press conferences and askind advisors endlessly will not solve a single thing. This crap needs to change, and soon.

Ironic Article Timing (4, Funny)

adavies42 (746183) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226388)

I know they're not really equivalent, but it's still funny to see this right above "New Zealand's First Land Mammal Discovered".

Re:Ironic Article Timing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226570)

Coincidentally, they are equivalent:

#mammals = #mammals - 1 + 1 = #mammals

There you have it!

Re:Ironic Article Timing (3, Informative)

Whalou (721698) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226814)

Except that the "+1" mammal from New Zealand in that equation has been dead for 16 million years.

Re:Ironic Article Timing (2, Insightful)

Tyger (126248) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226868)

Considering the other article is about a fossil of a mammal found, it's more like...

deadmammals++;
livingmammals--;
deadmammals++;

More liberal policies run amok (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226390)

Do we need more evidence that affirmative action is reverse discrimination?

Victory! (1)

nate nice (672391) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226394)

Chalk another one up for the Human race! If only I could drink the blood of our eco-enemies!

Re:Victory! (1)

steak (145650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226624)

yep we're undefeated, and we'll stay that way until some jackass, who never saw Jurassic Park, brings dinosaurs back. then we're screwed.

Re:Victory! (1)

deKernel (65640) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226798)

You make it sound like we are the sole reason for its demise. It is sad, but guess what species have come and gone over that last few bazillion years.

Why do we care all that much? (0, Troll)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226404)

More than 995% of all zoological diversity, in total, ever, is extinct. Why do we need to sweat it when the White Dolphin, or the Black Rhino, or the African Elephant or the Manatee or the Tiger all disappear?

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1)

NG Resonance (794484) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226444)

Because some people respect the diverse forms of life on Earth today and see them as worth protecting.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226548)

Maybe you should respect their choice to just die off and end their misery? How the hell do you or any of these other people know they WANT to be protected? Goddamned hippies!

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1)

multipartmixed (163409) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226450)

If more than all life is extinct -- how did you write this message?

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226562)

If more than all life is extinct -- how did you write this message?

Our intellects all got assimilated into a giant hive-mind computer about 42 years ago. We just *think* we're still on Terra. I guess you can call it life, but it ain't carbon-based.

-b.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (2, Insightful)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226476)

Where did you learn Math? Verizon? Anyway, we should care because we are directly responsible for their extinction, not mother nature.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226538)

Are you crazy? What are going to use for sexual potency conctions without rhino horn and powdered tiger? Do you think piano keys amd ivory figurines just grow on trees? How much poorer will the world be if we never again hear a small child ask for another flipper cheese burger?

Re:Why do we care all that much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226544)

Exactly. Thousands of animals go extinct, but look at the diversity of products on the shelves. Why, three new species of iPods this year only. Nature finds a way. /sarcasm.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (5, Insightful)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226572)

Because this extinction can be directly traced to human interference. Because the animal was part of an ecosystem that has now been diminished, and human interference therefore harmed the entire ecosystem. Because diminished ecosystems are less resistant to new predators and diseases. Because diminished ecosystems have a point of no return at which they completely collapse, even if other species are still present.

Most importantly though, because the planet just got a little less interesting and wondrous.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1)

ShakaUVM (157947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226710)

More importantly, if this is the first mammal to go extinct in 50 years, I'd say we're doing pretty damn good, and we're not losing the "500,000 species going extinct per year" or whatever ridiculous number some people throw around. Even if most of those were insects, if we were losing 500k per year, I think we'd see more than one mammal every 50 years.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226794)

So humans aren't part of the ecosystem?

Re:Why do we care all that much? (1)

955301 (209856) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226904)

I for one welcome the extinction of animals on behalf of our predecessors who died on the forest floor at the teeth of lions, paws of tiger and claws of bears. At some point in the past, we were at the mercy of the rest of the animal kingdom and nature in general for our existence. We broke the dominance formula by having brains instead of just might (military and warmongers - pay attention) and if a handful of animals go extinct at the expense of our success, I'm not surprise and I'm glad it's not the other way around.

I hear they just learned whales have significant intelligence as do several species of monkeys - let's off them next...

Re:Why do we care all that much? (5, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226598)

More than 995% of all zoological diversity, in total, ever, is extinct. Why do we need to sweat it


Because maybe one of those extinct species was good at statistics.

Re:Why do we care all that much? (5, Funny)

Zaatxe (939368) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226880)

"First they came for the white dolphin, but I didn't say a word because I'm not a white dolphin..."

White Dolphin "Functionally" Extinct?! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226408)

Wouldn't "Near" or "Almost" be more adequate than "Functionally"? For a moment, I thought this was a story about trained dolphins no longer wanted by the military since they were "functionally" useless.

Re:White Dolphin "Functionally" Extinct?! (2, Informative)

Forseti (192792) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226516)

No, "near" or "almost" implies that there is still a chance to bring them back. In this case, the gene pool is aparently too small to do that. That's what "functionally extinct" means.

Re:White Dolphin "Functionally" Extinct?! (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226688)

Didn't we start with Adam and Eve?
Functionally extinct means there is only 1 gender left.

Puts a whole new meaning to "if we were the last 2 humans on earth..." if infact its too late by then.

Re:White Dolphin "Functionally" Extinct?! (1)

Evangelion (2145) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226820)

Didn't we start with Adam and Eve?

No, no we didn't....

Re:White Dolphin "Functionally" Extinct?! (1)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226706)

RTFA. No, they're functionally extinct, as in, there are not sufficient numbers to maintain their population through breeding. So while they might not be completely gone yet, its just a matter of time and the probability of bringing them back is exceedingly low.

Just think, future paleontologists will refer to this time period as a mass extinction. Future archeologists will refer to this as the trash layer and will be able to date sediments based on all the little bits of colored plastic buried in the dirt.

Re:White Dolphin "Functionally" Extinct?! (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226822)

I read the article. I just don't think "functionally" is the correct word. Or, as Stephen King once put it, "Adverbs are not your friend."

So no more White Albacore? :( (1)

lectos (409804) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226428)

So no more White Albacore? :(

I'm not seeing the huge deal (2, Interesting)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226430)

Extinctions have happened all throughout the history of the earth, it's what happens over time. Sure, our species and it's utter dominance of the foodchain has hastened the extinctions of some species and areas, but that is to be expected and there's no getting around it happening because as a species we are not going to bend over backwards and harm our own civilization to save another species. And why should we?

Re:I'm not seeing the huge deal (1)

b0s0z0ku (752509) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226498)

because as a species we are not going to bend over backwards and harm our own civilization to save another species.

If it becomes a trend (I know, TFA said "first mammalian species in 50 years" - but what about the non-mammal species?) then it's worrisome. We need other species on the planet to survive, not to mention that an Earth without other animals would be damn boring.

Cheers, -b.

Re:I'm not seeing the huge deal (1)

selsine (731825) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226870)

I agree, kill'em all and let a norse god sort'em out.

Actually a disagree, I just thought I'd be funny.

heartbreaking (3, Interesting)

nomadic (141991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226436)

Douglas Adams had a chapter on the efforts to save the baiji in
  • Last Chance to See
, which is really an amazing book for those of you who haven't read it. The sadness of this situation will no doubt be marred by countless slashdot posts by the rabid anti-environmental right who tend to post on these sorts of stories.

Re:heartbreaking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226632)

The sadness of this situation will no doubt be marred by countless slashdot posts by the rabid anti-environmental right who tend to post on these sorts of stories.

Yeah, because the left is so eco-friendly.

never mind the number of Kerry/Edwards stickers we see on SUVs.

Re:heartbreaking (2, Insightful)

gt_mattex (1016103) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226698)

It is heartbreaking.

In the end it doesn't matter if your political views are left or right. Extinction is threatening a great multitude of species and sooner or later you will be affected negatively. Regardless of who you are or how you define affected.

I agree. (4, Insightful)

Irvu (248207) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226758)

I agree. In the book he gives a poiniant description of the environment of the Baiji. Due to heavy traffic the river itself contains constant mechanical noise. For a creature that uses sonar to see and move life in white noise is blindness. He compared it sleshwere eloquently to spending your life in a snowstorm able to see but seeing nothing.

As much as people may want to celebrate this, or at least gloat, about the weak dying off and this being part of the "natural cycle" I say that's just a bit sick and way too short sighted.

I'm an environmentalist for many reasons chief among them is that I'm selfish. No matter how much we may like to hide in our offices we depend, completely depend, upon the life on the earth around us. Between Dolphins dying in the Yangtse, to the sheer number of ocean species that will die as the ice retreats the web we depend on is, strand by strand, being cut. Sitting around and saying "I told you so" to each other will do no good. Either we all (all animals) survive or we don't but resorting to simple stories gets us nowhere.

Dr. Zoidberg wanted for questioning... (1)

turthalion (891782) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226452)

"Okay I admit it. We ate them all up. They tasted so good, we thought eating a few couldn't hurt. But then we couldn't stop!"

I call shenanagins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226456)

First off... you've heard the term "white elephant" meaning something you don't want? Well...same thing with dolphins
Secondly, the quote: "they have known to exist for 20 million years" is simply untrue because people have only been around for 6,000
Yes, it is true, they probably would have survived Noah's Great Flood (tm), but we all know that 20 million years is just too long.
I mean seriously, my grandpa was 91 when he died...that's, like, one one-hundredth or something similar of 20 million years.

Captivity? (1)

bkg_cjb (952573) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226486)

Does this mean there are none in captivity either?

Re:Captivity? (2, Informative)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226872)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :


A captive specimen, a male named Qiqi (), was located at the Wuhan Institute of Hydrobiology from 1980 to July 14, 2002. Qiqi was discovered by a fisherman in Dongting Lake, and later became the sole resident of Baiji Dolphin Aquarium () beside East Lake. There was a later captive, which died after living a year (1996 to 1997) in the Shishou Semi-natural Baiji Dolphin Sanctuary () that had been empty since 1990. A female was found in Chongming Island near Shanghai in 1998, but she did not eat any of the provided food and starved to death within a month.

20 million years seems like a pretty good run (4, Funny)

steak (145650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226490)

it sucks that they're gone, but times change and evolution is cruel mistress. they should have grown opposable thumbs 20000 years ago and stopped our ancestors from inventing the plow then maybe they would have stood a chance.

Re:20 million years seems like a pretty good run (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226762)

The only reason this species is going extinct is due to human intervention. But for humans, these creatures would be thriving. I could care less how many years they had. If people can't learn to share the planet with the other animals, we should not be here. And if we do not learn to share the planet with other animals it is very likely we won't be here.

I am not a violent person, but in my imagination I would like to take a small arsenal and go hunt down the business men worldwide who think it is a-okay to dump their toxic waste in the rivers of the world. Some people just do not deserve to live. Those who value profit over life should be facing down the barrel of a gun. (Yeah, I know the ethical problems this presents. That is why it is in my imagination.)

So long (3, Funny)

wiredog (43288) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226496)

and thanks for all the fish!

So it goes. (1)

ebers (816511) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226502)

with apologies to Vonnegut

'60s TV reference alert (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226522)

They called him Fripper, Fripper ...

Re:'60s TV reference alert (1)

mungtor (306258) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226924)

I'm definitely going to hell for laughing at that...

I wouldn't worry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226536)

I'm sure a new one will darwinistically evolve any day now. Stuff like that is commonplace around here, evidently.

HitchHiker's Reference (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226552)


So long and thanks for all the fish!

Last Chance to See (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226592)

Those of you referencing HHGTTG are off a bit....

Douglas Adams wrote "Last Chance to See...", with naturalist Mark Carwardine, and one of the endangered species they sought out was....

The Baiji river dolphin.

And now, the last chance has passed. I miss Mr. Adams, but I'm glad he didn't have to see it.

- j

I blame George Bush (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226594)

fuckin' unelected lying Chimp
He and the GLOBAL WARMING DENIERS killed the white dolphin
it probably drowned because all the ice on the Yangtzee thawed thanks to Halliburton.
All you stupid Christian idiots probably think Osama bin Laden did it.
Even though there is NO connection between 911 and white dolphins!

Mmmmmmm.... (1)

sgt.greywar (1039430) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226602)

White dolphin tastes just like chicken....

Re:Mmmmmmm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226846)

White dolphin tastes just like chicken....

It's a sad sad day when after reading about the extinction of a species, drivel like this gets modded +1. It's a new low for the human race, and for Slashdot.

Yeahhh! (0)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226626)

1) We got another one
2) THIS is the October Surprise
3) Yet another thing George Bush couldn't protect
4) Pork, the only white meat left
5) This is a result of the trade imbalance
6) 42

Cataloguing DNA for future use (5, Interesting)

ReverendLoki (663861) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226664)

My question is, is anyone preserving DNA samples from the existing specimens? Maybe another 20 years it will be feasible to produce clones of the species. I'm not saying try and repopulate the species into the wild, though that could be an option, but rather perhaps just for preservation in a zoo or similar habitat. Whether or not this actually happens in the future, we'd need to start thinking about gathering and preserving the DNA samples now. If we hurry, it may not even be too late to come up with 20 to 25 unique sets to match the number the article suggests is the minimum number of dolphins needed to even hope for a resurgence of the species.

Re:Cataloguing DNA for future use (3, Interesting)

sadr (88903) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226878)

Saving the DNA might be useful, but for many mammals and birds, there's much more to behavior than just DNA.

While it is not as dramatic as aliens saving human DNA without any of our culture, many animals don't function well if they don't have their parents (or other members of their species) to teach them how to survive.

Combine it with needing the rest of their habitat, and it is almost meaningless to talk about trying to "preserve" the species that way.

Moo (1)

Chacham (981) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226666)

The dolphin had been known to exist for the last 20 million years."

Ehem?

I assume you mean that the dolphin had been assumed to exist for that long. How could it be "known"?

Regardless, this is not good. The losing of any species replaces diversity with monotony, and perhaps gives off the impression to some malevolent humans that less is better.

Diversity is a good thing, if only that it makes us appreciate ourselves for what we are, and not what other people are not, even if it is "just" in a dolphin.

Re:Moo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226874)

>Regardless, this is not good. The losing of any species replaces diversity with
>monotony, and perhaps gives off the impression to some malevolent humans that less is better.

On the other hand, extinction of a species can make way for something new.

Endgame (2, Interesting)

arbour42 (731167) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226670)

Any species that consumes without taking responsibility for the survival of the communities it consumes, and thereby destroys them, is suicidal. This was a main point in Derrick Jensen's book "Endgame":

Endgame [endgamethebook.org]

a couple quick excerpts relating to these dolphins:

Premise Six: Civilization is not redeemable. This culture will not undergo any sort of voluntary transformation to a sane and sustainable way of living. If we do not put a halt to it, civilization will continue to immiserate the vast majority of humans and to degrade the planet until it (civilization, and probably the planet) collapses. The effects of this degradation will continue to harm humans and nonhumans for a very long time.

Premise Ten: The culture as a whole and most of its members are insane. The culture is driven by a death urge, an urge to destroy life.

Premise Fourteen: From birth on - and probably from conception, but I'm not sure how I'd make the case - we are individually and collectively enculturated to hate life, hate the natural world, hate the wild, hate wild animals, hate women, hate children, hate our bodies, hate and fear our emotions, hate ourselves. If we did not hate the world, we could not allow it to be destroyed before our eyes. If we did not hate ourselves, we could not allow our homes - and our bodies - to be poisoned.

Premise Nineteen: The culture's problem lies above all in the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable.

So long and ... (1)

Harin_Teb (1005123) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226680)

Thanks for all the fish,

Are you sure they didn't just leave?

Blame (1)

silentounce (1004459) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226694)

I blame Darwin. That lousy bastard!

geroge bush (0, Offtopic)

minus_273 (174041) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226702)

Al gore and Michael mooore tell me this would not have happened if geroge bush had not stolen the election. One more reason to vote for a democrat in 2008.

Do you think... (1)

Mizled (1000175) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226720)

Do you think it will help save us from the intergalactic overlords if we lay on the ground and put paper bags over heads?

Douglass Adams (4, Interesting)

shrapnull (780217) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226726)

Chinese river dolphins (of both the pink and white variety) are covered in a lesser-known but extremely good book by Douglas Adams called "Last Chance to See", which covers a variety of endangered species.

I love how the publicity for the dolphins led to a media circus that resulted in them actually being considered a delicacy in the area.

Choice quotes from the book here: Douglas Adams: Last Chance to See Quotes [quotegeek.com]

mammals (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226742)

they went to new zealand

Gamecube, we hardly knew ya! R.I.P. (0, Offtopic)

Bones3D_mac (324952) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226744)

Yeah, yeah... we know the Wii is cool and all, but calling the Gamecube already extinct is a bit over-dramstic, don't you think?

Humanity FTW!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226752)

n/t

Huh (3, Funny)

locokamil (850008) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226796)

Find one (nouveau New Zealand mammal), lose one (Chinese White Dolphin). It evens out, no? :: Goes and votes Republican ::

I kid, I kid.

That's okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226840)

We just found a new land mammal [slashdot.org] to make up for it, so Nature, we're square, okay?

Evolution... (1)

agent (7471) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226842)

The black dolphin has a larger penis, and is clearly superior.

It Was The Sharks (0, Redundant)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226888)

. . . with frickin' laser beams that killed off the white dolphin>

12 Million Years? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17226890)

Says who exactly. Dating dirt is a theory. But why 12 Million and not 50 Billion or the six thousand the bible says.

Yangtze River (2)

juan2074 (312848) | more than 7 years ago | (#17226898)

Like the any grammar nazi here, a geography nazi would bring up this:

Can we please call the river by its true name: the Long River?

This mistake of taking the name of a small part of the river (Yangtze [wikipedia.org] ) and using that name for the whole river has been compounded by nearly every English-language atlas and reference book. But it's still wrong.

At least we use the proper names of the Yellow River and Pearl River in China. And some people even call the Amur River the Black Dragon River (Heilongjiang [wikipedia.org] ).
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