Friday, March 14, 2014

Seeing Endless Forms Most Beautiful: I am...

Credit: Big Cat Rescue
Perhaps it is the most well-known quote by any biologist in history.

There is a grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one: and that whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved.

This is Charles Darwin at his poetic best (oh my, Darwin writes lyrically, with extraordinary clarity. He is a shining example of why budding scientists need a liberal arts education). Darwin experimented with the phrasing of this concluding passage of The Origin Of Species for over twenty years, finally satisfied with this version for the original publication in 1859. 

How right this statement is. Everywhere one looks in the natural world, there is inescapable awe at the loveliness of the living creatures with which we share our world. 
 Copyright: Global Canopy Programme. Photo by: Jo Ross and Andrew Hearn
Wednesday's Who Am I? is the Borneo Bay Cat, Pardofelis badia

An endangered species found only on the island of Borneo, deforestation for the expansion of palm oil plantations threatens these mysterious and beautiful cats (actually, 80% of Borneo's wild cats). Almost nothing is known about them - in fact they were first photographed in 1998! We don't even know what they eat. Researchers are setting camera traps and interviewing locals to learn more in time to save them. 

Experts speculate that there are fewer than 2500 Borneo Bay Cats alive today. For perspective, there were 2200 students at the high school where I used to teach. Here is the only video of the Borneo Bay Cat:

This I believe: to know the extent of human impact on the other life on Earth, one must know that the familiar large birds, mammals, reptiles are not even the tip of the iceberg of our planet's biodiversity. This lack of awareness prevents our civilization from demanding the changes needed in order to treasure the resources and habitats that all life, including humanity, needs to survive and flourish.

I love presenting these unknown endangered creatures to be admired on Terra Toby. It's so much fun choosing an animal every other week. Thank you to everyone who guesses and comments on these feline or canine strangers. I see beauty in every one of you who appreciates our precious endless forms, most beautiful and wonderful.

Participating in the See Beautiful Blog Hop! Join us!


  1. Bombay Cat. well I'll be a cat we were not familiar with and we appreciate that you shared.
    Hugs to you and Toby
    Madi and Mom

  2. what a gorgeous animal! I am loving learning about all these different animals from you

    retro rover

  3. Hi Y'all!

    Beautiful cat.

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  4. Interesting! Love it and what a Beautiful cat. Happy Seeing Beauty. Golden LOVE n Woofs

  5. Thanks for your sweet comment on my blog today. I definitely don't think I'm beautiful. Though everyone is beautiful I. Their own way if course, but as I get older I do get more confident and I love to dress up
    By the way I really love Tera Toby and how you are sharing Toby and your passion for the environment
    Retro rover

  6. Beautiful cat, thanks for sharing.


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