Humans have evolved to their relatively high state by retaining the immature characteristics of their ancestors. Humans are the most advanced of mammals - although a case could be made for the dolphins - because they seldom grow up. Behavioral traits such as curiosity about the world, flexibility of response, and playfulness are common to practically all young mammals but are usually rapidly lost with the onset of maturity in all but humans. Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature.
South America had been an island continent, far bigger and far more diverse than Australia, for tens of millions of years before the Isthmus of Panama rose just a couple of million years ago. The resulting flood of North American mammals across the new land bridge corresponds in time with the decimation of the native South American fauna. In fact, most large mammals generally considered distinctly South American... are all recent migrants from North America.
Stephen Jay Gould
Consciousness," according to current scientific thought, was something the higher mammals had evolved in order to help them reproduce, much the way a garden slug secretes slime. It had no special ontological status. The "self" was a genetically modulated and biologically useful illusion.
Robert Charles Wilson
I feel certain that the largest part of all photographs ever taken or being taken or ever to be taken, is and will continue to be, portraits. This is not only true, it is also necessary. We are not solitary mammals, like the elephant, the whale and the ape. What is most profoundly felt between us, even if hidden, will reappear in our portraits of one another.
For more than a century, people have often thought that the conclusion to draw from Darwin's vision is that Homo sapiens, our species - and we're just animals too, we're just mammals - that there is nothing morally special about us. I myself don't think this follows at all from Darwin's vision, but it is certainly the received view in many quarters.
We have chosen to bring future generations into this world of rising seas and warming temperatures, droughts and floods, heat waves and wildfires, a world in which one in four mammals and one in eight birds are at risk of disappearing forever. While the damage we've done is irreversible, that doesn't give us the right to do nothing.
We are medium-sized mammals who only prosper because we've developed a half-arsed ability to terraform the less suitable bits of the planet we evolved on, and we're conscious of our inevitable decay and death, and we can't live anywhere else. There is no invisible sky daddy to give us immortal life and a harp and wings when we die.
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will provide plenty of time for silence.
It is estimated that one-third of all reef-building corals, a third of all fresh-water mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fifth of all reptiles, and a sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion. The losses are occurring all over: in the South Pacific and in the North Atlantic, in the Arctic and the Sahel, in lakes and on islands, on mountaintops and in valleys,
I had learned that a dexterous, opposable thumb stood among the hallmarks of human success. We had maintained, even exaggerated, this important flexibility of our primate forebears, while most mammals had sacrificed it in specializing their digits. Carnivores run, stab, and scratch. My cat may manipulate me psychologically, but he'll never type or play the piano.
Stephen Jay Gould
If insemination were the sole biological function of sex, it could be achieved far more economically in a few seconds of mounting and insertion. Indeed, the least social of mammals mate with scarcely more ceremony. The species that have evolved long-term bonds are also, by and large, the ones that rely on elaborate courtship rituals. . . . Love and sex do indeed go together.
E. O. Wilson
Society's only real 'progressives' are the deviants and mutants. Look at evolution - fish who didn't deviate never became amphibians; frogs who didn't mutate never became reptiles; conformist snakes never became mammals , etc. Normal Humans will remain humans, and they'll be subjugated by the digital monsters of the next few millenia.
I do not see the value of separating humans into a body, soul and spirit. We don't do this with any other mammals, so why do we do it with ourselves? Thinking and fresh ideas arise naturally from the rhythm of one's internal felt-sense. It is the process artists demonstrate to humanity-to express our individuality in real-time, as a living process, rather than a 'copied' idea.
"ŽUsing his burgeoning intelligence, this most successful of all mammals has exploited the environment to produce food for an ever increasing population. Instead of controlling the environment for the benefit of the population, perhaps it's time we controlled the population to allow the survival of the environment.
There are good reasons why natural selection has become widely accepted as an explanation of evolutionary development. When applied to mammals and other large animals, it fits perfectly. But we cannot assume that all evolutionary steps arise from selection, particularly when looking at smaller animals.
John Tyler Bonner
The reptiles had taken over the city. Once again they were the dominant form of life. Looking up at the ancient impassive faces, Kerans could understand the curious fear they roused, rekindling archaic memories of the terrifying jungles of the Paleocene, when the reptiles had gone down before the emergent mammals, and sense the implacable hatred one zoological class feels towards another that usurps it.
J. G. Ballard
No writer in a free country should be expected to bother about the exact demarcation between the sensuous and the sensual; this is preposterous; I can only admire but cannot emulate the accuracy of judgment of those who pose the fair young mammals photographed in magazines where the general neckline is just low enough to provoke a past master's chuckle and just high enough not to make a postmaster frown.
It is now generally accepted that the roots of our ethics lie in patterns of behavior that evolved among our pre-human ancestors, the social mammals and that we retain within our biological nature elements of these evolved responses. We have learned considerably more about this responses, and we are beginning to to understand how they interact with our capacity to reason.
For example, both humans and chimps have a broken copy of a gene that in other mammals helps make vitamin C. ... It's hard to imagine how there could be stronger evidence for common ancestry of chimps and humans. ... Despite some remaining puzzles, there's no reason to doubt that Darwin had this point right, that all creatures on earth are biological relatives.
All Nature bristles with the marks of interrogation-among the grass and the petals of flowers, amidst the feathers of birds and the hairs of mammals, on mountain and moorland, in sea and sky-everywhere. It is one of the joys of life to discover those marks of interrogation, these unsolved and half-solved problems and try to answer their questions.
J. Arthur Thomson
I found it possible to observe at least the superficial capillaries of muscles both in the frog and in mammals through a binocular microscope, using strong reflected light as a source of illumination. Resting muscles observed in this way are usually quite pale, and the microscope reveals only a few capillaries at fairly regular intervals.
The notion that big business and big labor and big government can sit down around a table somewhere and work out the direction of the American economy is at complete variance with the reality of where the American economy is headed. I mean, it's like dinosaurs gathering to talk about the evolution of a new generation of mammals.
Livestock adopted in Africa were Eurasian species that came in from the north. Africa's long axis, like that of the Americas, is north/south rather than east/west. Those Eurasian domestic mammals spread southward very slowly in Africa, because they had to adapt to different climate zones and different animal diseases.
Apparently being a mermaid is dead dull. I watched The Little Mermaid with her once a few years ago""she thought it was freaking hilarious. She couldn't stop laughing about the shell-bra thing, given that mermaids aren't mammals. Plus, as she put it, Prince Eric was far too hairy and "peach colored" for her taste. I always thought he was pretty hot, but then again, I am a mammal.
I never sleep. Like the dolphin and the spiny anteater, I don't experience REM. Unlike the dreamless mammals, I'm a construct. I am a living program inside a vast network of electronic impulses known as the LINK. In that datastream I've uncovered the meaning of another kind of dreaming-that of a fond hope or aspiration, a yearning, a desire, or a passion. This much I have. When I dream, I dream of Mecca.
Man is not the most majestic of the creatures; long before the mammals even, the dinosaurs were far more splendid. But he has what no other animal possesses: a jigsaw of faculties, which alone, over three thousand million years of life, made him creative. Every animal leaves traces of what he was. Man alone leaves traces of what he created.
Know your load. That's rule numero uno in this business, which is why I make them count the penguins out in front of me one at a time. I'm not going to be the schmuck who shows up in Orlando twobirds short of a dinner party....I know I'm pulling out of Houston with exactly forty-two Gentoo penguins, seventeen Jamaican land iguanas, four tuataras from New Zealand, and a pair of rare, civet-like mammals called linsangs. No more, no less.
Jacob M. Appel
Know your load. That's rule numero uno in this business, which is why I make them count the penguins out in front of me one at a time. I'm not going to be the schmuck who shows up in Orlando two birds short of a dinner party... I know I'm pulling out of Houston with exactly forty-two Gentoo penguins, seventeen Jamaican land iguanas, four tuataras from New Zealand, and a pair of rare, civet-like mammals called linsangs. No more, no less.
Jacob M. Appel
Compared with mammals, birds have relatively large eyes. In simple terms, a bigger eye means better vision, and excellent vision is essential for avoiding collisions in flight, or for capturing fast-moving or camouflaged prey. Birds' eyes, however, are deceptive - they are bigger than they look.
We are like dogs, cats, cows, rats ... What separates us from them and from the remaining matches against mammals is negligible. To have the same diseases. Rats spread plague like us, but we are just as contagious as them. And the dogs get diabetes, like we do, and get cancer, like us. And age, like us. And die, like us. Why then the biblical claim that man is the king of creation? Perhaps because only man has developed spoken language, the words, wherein lies its prodigious ability to lie.
Every civilized human being, whatever his conscious development, is still an archaic man at the deeper levels of his psyche. Just as the human body connects us with the mammals and displays numerous relics of earlier evolutionary stages going back to even the reptilian age, so the human psyche is likewise a product of evolution which, when followed up to its origins, show countless archaic traits.
On its 2015 list, the Fish and Wildlife Service included the 'ea, or hawksbill turtle, as well as the green turtle, Ridley sea turtle, leatherback turtle and loggerhead turtle. Four mammals are considered endangered: the Hawaiian hoary bat; the kohola, or humpback whale; the sperm whale; and the endemic Hawaiian monk seal.
Beware the irrational, however seductive. Shun the 'transcendent' and all who invite you to subordinate or annihilate yourself. Distrust compassion; prefer dignity for yourself and others. Don't be afraid to be thought arrogant or selfish. Picture all experts as if they were mammals. Never be a spectator of unfairness or stupidity. Seek out argument and disputation for their own sake; the grave will supply plenty of time for silence. Suspect your own motives, and all excuses. Do not live for others any more than you would expect others to live for you.
There are transitional forms between the metals and non-metals; between chemical combinations and simple mixtures, between animals and plants, between phanerogams and cryptogams, and between mammals and birds [...]. The improbability may henceforth be taken for granted of finding in Nature a sharp cleavage between all that is masculine on the one side and all that is feminine on the other; or that any living being is so simple in this respect that it can be put wholly on one side, or wholly on the other, of the line.
There are transitional forms between the metals and non-metals; between chemical combinations and simple mixtures, between animals and plants, between phanerogams and cryptogams, and between mammals and birds [... ]. The improbability may henceforth be taken for granted of finding in Nature a sharp cleavage between all that is masculine on the one side and all that is feminine on the other; or that any living being is so simple in this respect that it can be put wholly on one side, or wholly on the other, of the line.
Woodpeckers are natural engineers whose abandoned nest and roost cavities facilitate a great diversity of life, including birds, mammals, invertebrates, and many fungi,moss, and lichens. Without woodpeckers, birds such as chickadees and tits, swallows ans martins, bluebirds, some flycatchers, nuthatches, wood ducks, hooded mergansers, and small owls (screech, saw-whet, and pygmy) would be homeless.
Empathy, evidently, existed only within the human community, whereas intelligence to some degree could be found throughout every phylum and order including the arachnida. For one thing, the empathic faculty probably required an unimpaired group instinct; a solitary organism, such as a spider, would have no use for it; in fact it would tend to abort a spider's ability to survive. It would make him conscious of the desire to live on the part of his prey. Hence all predators, even highly developed mammals such as cats, would starve.
Philip K. Dick
I don't know why people don't paint more warthogs. Warthogs are fantastic. They have the most marvelous faces, like cracked mud with tusks. And the eyelashes! Like many otherwise hideous animals, they have truly spectacular eyelashes. But nooo, it's always the charismatic mammals, like foxes and wolves and tigers. Have you ever smelled a fox? Believe me, the warthog produces a light, airy fragrance suitable for the home or office compared to a fox. Um. What was I saying again?
Perhaps no order of mammals presents us with so extraordinary a series of gradations as this [step by step, from humans to apes to monkeys to lemurs] - leading us insensibly from the crown and summit of the animal creation down to creatures, from which there is but a step, as it seems, to the lowest, smallest, and least intelligent of the placental Mammalia. It is as if nature herself had forseen the arrogance of man, and with Roman severity had provided that his intellect, by its very triumphs, should call into prominence the slaves, admonishing the conqueror that he is but dust.
The civilized people of today look back with horror at their medieval ancestors who wantonly destroyed great works of art or sat slothfully by while they destroyed. We have passed this stage.... Here in the U.S. we turn our rivers and streams into sewers and dumping grounds, we pollute the air, we destroy our forests and exterminate fishes, birds and mammals - not to speak of vulgarizing charming landscapes with hideous advertisements. But at best it looks as if our people were awakening.
Now the leatherback turtle overcame the heat issue via a simple, but evolutionarily impossible solution; it is the only reptile that possesses fatty insulation known as brown adipose tissue, and the only reptile that regulates a high body temperature. This brown adipose tissue is the expression of the UCP1 gene, and, aside from the leatherbacks, is found only in mammals, amphibians, and fishes. Not one other reptile has UCP1.
There are various orders of beauty, causing men to make fools of themselves in various styles... but there is one order of beauty which seems made to turn the heads not only of men, but of all intelligent mammals, even of women. It is a beauty like that of kittens, or very small downy ducks making gentle rippling noises with their soft bills, or babies just beginning to toddle and to engage in conscious mischief -a beauty with which you can never be angry, but that you feel ready to crush for inability to comprehend the state of mind into which it throws you.
If the germ plasm wants to swim in the ocean, it makes itself a fish; if the germ plasm wants to fly in the air, it makes itself a bird. If it wants to go to Harvard, it makes itself a man. The strangest thing of all is that the germ plasm that we carry around within us has done all those things. There was a time, hundreds of millions of years ago, when it was making fish. Then ... amphibia ... reptiles ... mammals, and now it's making men.