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2 Distinguished Paleomammalogists

Fariña, Richard A. Indiana University Press ePub


In any human activity, there are people who distinguish themselves, whether through bold ideas or the pioneering character of their efforts, but always on the basis of hard work, such as those commemorated in the niches of the facade of the Museo de La Plata (see opposite page). For the paleontology of South American mammals, there are a few investigators to be included in the pantheon, and their feats with pick and pen are recounted and closely imitated. The following roster includes some of the people that most current South American mammalian paleontologists would include in their short lists. Some of them never set foot in South America but worked on material sent back to their home institutions (e.g., Cuvier and Owen), whereas others, foreigners or native South Americans alike (e.g., Darwin, Lund, the Ameghinos, Kraglievich), spent time there in excavating fossils, publishing on them, or both. By and large, the nonnative researchers often arrived with the then most current conceptual and methodological tools, whereas many of the natives had to overcome both intellectual and institutional isolation (an interesting though incidental parallel to the conditions of the South American mammals themselves) in which they had to work. Florentino Ameghino was clearly an exception, in large part because he had managed to travel to Europe to collaborate with some of the leading scientists of the day. Although sometimes disparaged for having invaded and carted away precious fossils, the foreigners were instrumental both in studying South American fossils, thus making them known to the rest of the scientific community, and in inspiring or directly assisting in the formation of a paleontological research community in South America.

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8 • The Magnificent Seven

Lynn Marie Cuny University of North Texas Press PDF




Twenty years ago, when Wildlife Rescue was still based in my home in San Antonio, I was contacted by a woman who had run over a momma opossum. She stopped and got out of her car, and was horrified to find that she had indeed killed the mother. But there were seven tiny baby opossums who had somehow survived the accident. She brought them to me, still attached to their dead mother. As I peered into the cardboard box, I saw, looking back at me, seven pairs of dark black eyes set in seven soft, gray and black bodies. Every infant was making the low barking sound unique to baby opossums. I knew these little guys might be too young to survive without their mother's care. Since opossums are marsupials, they develop and grow in the safety and warmth of their mom's pouch.

(There can be as many as thirteen.) They do not suck the way raccoons and kittens do. For opossums, their lifeline is the tiny thread of their mother's nipple that each baby attaches to. The nipple then swells in the infant's mouth and firmly

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5. Integrated Coastal Management in the Mississippi Delta: System Functioning as the Basis of Sustainable Management

John W Day Texas A&M University Press ePub

System Functioning as the Basis of Sustainable Management

John W. Day, John Barras, G. Paul Kemp, Robert Lane, William J. Mitsch, and Paul H. Templet

The Mississippi Delta is one of the largest and most important coastal ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and one of the most important natural habitats in North America. It is very important, ecologically and economically, to both the state of Louisiana and to the nation. The coastal ecosystems of the delta provide habitat for fish and wildlife, produce food, regulate chemical transformations, maintain water quality, store and release water, and buffer storm energy (Day et al. 1997; Day et al. 2000; Day et al. 2007). These processes support a diversity of economic activities vital to the state and national economies. Louisiana has the largest fishery by volume in the contiguous United States. Other wetland-related activities include ecotourism, hunting, and fur and alligator harvest. Those natural resource dependent activities generate several billions of dollars in economic activity when associated goods and services are incorporated (Day et al. 1997). In addition, port activities on the lower Mississippi River are first in the nation by tonnage, and about a third of oil and natural gas used in the United States is either produced in the north-central Gulf or transshipped through the delta.

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Kenneth J. Schoon Quarry Books ePub

Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, the newest public beach in Duneland. Pete Doherty, Doherty Images

Dunes in Bloom. (above) Pete Doherty, Doherty Images

Goat’s rue.

Western sunflower.

Compass Plant. (left)

Sullivant’s milkweed. (above)

All photos by Ron Trigg

New England aster.

Savanna blazing star.

Fringed gentian.

Stiff goldenrod.

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Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

In memory, I wait beside Eva in the vestibule of the church to play my bit part as father of the bride. She is supposed to remain hidden from the congregation until her queenly entrance, but in her eagerness to see what’s going on up front she leans forward to peek around the edge of the half-closed door. The satin roses appliquéd to her gown catch the light as she moves, and the toes of her pale silk shoes peep out from beneath the hem. The flower girls watch her every motion. Twins a few days shy of their third birthday, they flounce their unaccustomed frilly skirts, twirl their bouquets, and stare with wide eyes down the great length of carpet leading through the avenue of murmuring people.

Eva hooks a hand on my elbow while the three bridesmaids fuss over her, fixing the gauzy veil, spreading the long ivory train of her gown, tucking into her bun a loose strand of hair, which glows the color of honey filled with sunlight. Clumsy in my rented finery—patent leather shoes that are a size too small and starched shirt and stiff black tuxedo—I stand among these gorgeous women like a crow among doves. I realize they are gorgeous not because they carry bouquets or wear silk dresses, but because the festival of marriage has slowed time down until any fool can see their glory.

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