Animalia · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Public Space

Flattened Fauna: A Field Guide to Common Animals of Roads, Streets, and Highways

Are you among the millions of people whose only opportunity to observe wildlife comes after it has been run over and pressed into a patty by big rigs, then desiccated by the elements until even flies don’t recognize it? This is the field guide for you! Roger Knutson, a biologist at Luther College, IA, fills an important gap in our natural history knowledge and fosters a heightened respect for the ecology of the paved environment. FLATTENED FAUNA is a classic field guide to the 36 most common species of roadside remains in North America. The book includes descriptions and silhouetted illustrations of the top squashed avian, mammalian, reptilian, and amphibian species. Due to rabid interest from overseas, the expanded new edition includes global ramifications of international necrology.

“At a time when the total world fauna is surely shrinking in both absolute numbers and species complexity, the road fauna is clearly increasing. Before 1900, in the United States, its presence was recorded by only the most fragmentary references to the occasional horse-stomped snake. With the development in the twentieth century of a much elongated road network and dramatically increased traffic speed, the flattened fauna has increased in both species and total numbers.” — Roger M. Knutson

Text and Image via Amazon

The badger, “the largest, flattest creature to be found on the road,” is here compared to a standard road marking for ease of identification. From Flattened Fauna.

Bio · Human-ities · Science · Technology · Vital-Edible-Health

Biologists grow human-eye precursor from stem cells

A stem-cell biologist has had an eye-opening success in his latest effort to mimic mammalian organ development in vitro. Yoshiki Sasai of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology (CBD) in Kobe, Japan, has grown the precursor of a human eye in the lab.

The structure, called an optic cup, is 550 micrometres in diameter and contains multiple layers of retinal cells including photoreceptors. The achievement has raised hopes that doctors may one day be able to repair damaged eyes in the clinic. But for researchers at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Yokohama, Japan, where Sasai presented the findings this week, the most exciting thing is that the optic cup developed its structure without guidance from Sasai and his team.

Excerpt of an article written by David Cyranoski, at Nature. Continue HERE