Archive for May, 2001

Despite Prediction, Viagra Hasn’t Stemmed Trade in Threatened Wildlife

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 31, 2001   View Article

When the male potency drug Viagra came on the market in 1998, conservationists and animal protection groups were hopeful it would produce an unintended side effect: an end to world demand for animal parts—often from endangered species —used as aphrodisiacs.

In the case of harp seals, which are not endangered, anecdotal evidence has suggested that Viagra may have helped to shrink trade in seal genitals used in traditional medicines to enhance male virility. But conservationists and others caution against overstating the significance of such evidence, saying the link is tenuous.

“Tidal Giant” Roamed Coastal Swamps of Ancient Africa

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 31, 2001   View Article

Researchers have unearthed fossils of what appears to have been the second largest known creature ever to walk on Earth. The dinosaur, named Paralititan stromeri weighed in at an estimated 75 tons and measured as long as 100 feet (30.5 meters).

It dwelled 94 million years ago in mangrove swamps that once covered what is now a remote desert area in western Egypt.

Multimedia Project Invites Discourse on Human Existence

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 23, 2001   View Article

Will the Internet change humanity? Why do we make music and art? Does sex have a future? What will tomorrow really be like? Questions such as these lack simple answers, but open discussion of them is vital to understanding the nature of human existence.

At least that’s the theory of Robert Kuhn, an investment banker with a Ph.D. in brain science from the University of California in Los Angeles and a passion to use communications technology for intellectual discourse, not to sell advertising.

High Demand for Tequila Puts Mexico’s Dry Forests at Risk

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 14, 2001   View Article

Since the late 1990s, tequila has moved to the front of the shelf as one of the world’s most popular alcoholic drinks. Behind the scenes, however, the trend is threatening tropical dry forests of Mexico.

The key to preventing that may lie in a bottle of mezcal, a close cousin to tequila, which is produced in limited quantities and is gaining ground as new premium alcohol.

Penguin Decline in Antarctica Linked With Climate Change

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 9, 2001   View Article

Emperor penguins like it cold. Now, scientists have determined that the penguins’ susceptibility to climate change accounts for a dramatic decline in their number over the past half century.

Over the past 50 years, the population of Antarctic emperor penguins has declined by 50 percent. Using the longest series of data available, researchers have shown that an abnormally long warm spell in the Southern Ocean during the late 1970s contributed to a decline in the population of emperor penguins at Terre Adelie, Antarctica.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach