Our future as a species may be tied to saving these animals and forests from extinction.
Besides the beauty and the uniqueness of these ancient animals and forests, scientists are finding that
1. Leatherback turtle blood clots quickly so sharks can not detect their scent after being injured. This may help scientists unravel clues to stem bleeding in humans. After surgery or injury, bleeding can cause death if not quickly stopped.
2. Cheetah’s are the fastest land animal. Their muscle protein structure may help understand their speed and help in muscle rehabilitation after an accident.
3. The naked mole rat is being studied for his longevity and extended family structure.
4. Leatherback turtles, the biggest species of turtle, can dive deeper than other turtles, leading experts to wonder how they regulate buoyancy. That and the shape of their shells could give clues to submarine or ship design.
5. Honey bee sting is used to decrease pain in joints from arthritis.
6. Frogs and lizards feet and a spider’s webs are being studied for their stickiness and its strength.
7. Tropical forests soak up greenhouse gases and are the treasure house for plants used to heal and a new source of income for poor nations.
Conserving endangered animals, sea life, the oceans, wetlands, forests and the air we breathe may take on such economic value that we will do whatever it takes to save them and us.
Excerpts courtesy of http://www.reuters.com
Images 1 and 3. courtesy of Nature’s Crusaders library
Image 2. courtesy of http://costaricanconservationnetwork.wordpress.com/leatherback.jpg