ARKive.org: Bringing endangered species to life
Hello, We’re ARKive, the world’s only centralized digital library home to thousands of images and films of globally threatened species. We’ve partnered up with Endangered Species Chocolate’s Involved blog to give you a glimpse into the world of ARKive and the amazing imagery and facts you can find on the planet’s rarest species. From the diving feats of the osprey to the tiny baby thorny devil, you can learn about these species and over 13,000 more on ARKive.
Since any reader of this blog likely has a sweet tooth, we thought we’d highlight some of the sleepiest critters on ARKive who could have definitely used a few Endangered Species Chocolate bars to stay awake…let’s see if you’re not yawning by the end of it!
ARKive’s Top Ten Sleepiest Species
One Wiped Out Fellow! I would be tired too if I were capable of impressive diving feats like the Gentoo penguin who can pursue prey up to 170 meters or 500 feet deep down in the ocean.
A Sweet Sleeper. Although taking a moment to catch up on some sleep here, the arctic fox is usually always on the search for food and amazingly, can reduce its metabolism by half, while still being active, to help conserve energy while on the hunt.
Sprawled Out Slumber. It’s well known that most bears hibernate through the winter months but sometimes it’s worth a reminder how truly unique this process is. Once brown bears enter their hibernation period, they don’t eat, drink, urinate or defecate for up to six months! Could you imagine not getting out of bed for anything for 6 months?
Chameleons Catch Forty Winks It seems as though Parson’s chameleons start off as sleepy critters. With one of the longest incubation periods in the reptile world, it takes a whopping 20 months for a Parson’s chameleon egg to hatch. I guess if I had a nice safe place to sleep, I wouldn’t be in a hurry to hatch either!
Down for the Count. It’s not surprising to catch all these big cats sleeping in the middle of the day. Lions are inactive 20 out of 24 hours a day and reserve their energy for the cool and darker times of day, such as sunrise and sunset, to hunt.
Submerged Snoozer. Manatees need to come up for air approximately every 20 minutes or less, making them the top napping species on the list. Since manatees never leave the water, they don’t experience long periods of slumber like humans and so frequent, short bouts of sleep while resting on the ocean floor are enough for them.
Daytime Dozer. Although most owls are nocturnal, meaning they are active at night and mostly inactive during the day, the little owl is actually diurnal and prefers to do most of its hunting during the day. This little owl, however, seels to have taken the opportunity to catch a few winks before bedtime.
Curled Up to Catch Zzzs… The dormouse is such a sleepy creature that its name is thought to derive from the French word ‘dormir’ meaning ‘to sleep.’ When ready to begin hibernation, which can last up to 7 months, the dormouse enters a state of extreme torpor where its body processes slow to a fraction of their normal rate.
Cat-napping Koala. Another sleepy species, the koala spends a vast majority of its time snoozing away and even when awake, it’s a very sedentary species. you’ll find koalas often catching Z’s while balancing on branches in trees well out of harm’s way.
What a Yawn! Although extinct, we still know some very interesting facts about this species and that while it yawned, the Thylacine could open its jaw wider than any mammal on the planet. Are you yawning yet?
We hope you enjoyed this introduction to endangered species on ARKive. To come face-to-face with more endangered species around the world, visit ARKive today!
Selecting Wrapping Paper
“So what species should we put on the wrapper?” is the main thought that obsesses our minds after determining a flavor for a new Endangered Species Chocolate bar. This packaging element is the first thing people notice about our chocolate bars. The success of a flavor can often hinge on the appeal of the animal. Case in point: a boost in our Smooth Milk Chocolate Bar sales coincided with a cover art switch from the red salmon to the sea otter. Coincidence?
Everyone can connect with the cute and cuddly. But we don’t want to do a disservice to the rest of the world’s endangered species – you know, the ones that some consider a tad creepy. So yes, the majority of our chocolates feature animal photography that is easy on the eyes but that doesn’t mean we neglect the weirder ones. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
Would a chocolate bar boasting a bat on the wrapper fly?
We boldly assigned the bat as the ambassador of our Intense Dark Chocolate with Cacao Nibs bar in 2004. Among the most endangered of wildlife, bats, as pollinators and controllers of insects, are vital to nature’s existence. But they give many people the willies! That’s why I’m pleased to report that “The Bat Bar” has been embraced by our consumers and enjoys a healthy sales ranking to this day.
An Iguana? Really?!
It doesn’t always work though. Take our long ago misguided notion to have a marine iguana grace the cover of the Organic Smooth Dark Chocolate Bar (view it here). This flavor should have been a shoo in for top selling flavor but it languished. After months of struggle, it was stuck being the least popular chocolate bar in our collection. However, almost immediately after the wrapper art was morphed into a butterfly, this bar soared to the top sales spot and is still there today!
Ophiophobia (fear of snakes)
So would my debilitating fear of snakes keep me from grabbing a chocolate bar that had a serpent on the wrapper? I’d like to think not. Each creature holds its own important place here on Earth – and honestly, I think there is beauty to be found in the strange and unique (a sentiment shared by ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle).
“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle
What creatures do you find fascinating that others tend to shy away from?
Meet Natalie Patton, winner of Endangered Species Chocolate/Whole Foods Market’s ‘Indulge in a Cause’ photo contest. Natalia offered to guest blog and share her experience of seeking out and selecting the receipient of the contest’s grand prize $5,000 donation. Her passion is contagious!
I’ve wondered it, I can promise you have too and wouldn’t we all just like to know? I mean, just exactly how many chocolate bars qualify as a years worth of chocolate? Like you, I was not entirely sure, but it peaked my interest enough to submit a photograph to the Endangered Species Chocolate and Whole Foods photo contest. Because let’s face it, chocolate is quite the compelling force. And $5,000 to go toward my favorite environmentally focused non-profit? Say no more! Submission here I come.
A patch of green in a concrete jungle
I find myself in a squished, but comfortable apartment with my childhood best friend. We live in the midst of a concrete jungle of white cement and bricks smeared with dirt and soot reusing to leave any space un-smogged. If you came for a short visit, the tour would be incredilby short lived, since you can see it all by standing in the entrance. So instead, I would direct your attention outside. I would tempt you to wander up to the roof of our apartment building and tell you to keep wandering around to the back corner. Because in that back corner there is a little color, curve and life in the midst of great gray and squareness.
And it is precisely that back corner that intrigued my lens one afternoon. The submitted photo is of my friend doing a little weeding of our roof-top garden. It’s not much, but we are becoming quite attached to our tomato, pepper and strawberry plants.
Indulge in a cause (getting involved and asking questions)
Thanks to my roommate’s web-surfing, some persuasive encouragement, Endangered Species Chocolate and Whole Foods, and some serious voting from the world of Facebook, I found myself, only a few short days after submitting my roof-top garden photo, sitting with an email in my inbox telling me the news: my photo had won the contest. As I sat staring at the email, I realized I had an incredible opportunity at my finger tips. Yes, of course the years supply of chocolate, but the donation?
As a recent college grad, this amount of money seemed extraordinarily astronomical, but that’s probably because the only people seeing any of my income with significant digits (or any multiple zeros with commas) is the US government – thanks student loans. Needless to say, this sum of money seemed to possess great potential for good.
So where to begin? How can one begin to narrow down all the wonderfully worthy environmentally focused non-profits out there? And how does one go about giving away money? Which non-profit would use it best? How can one be sure the money will be spent wisely and efficiently?
Now, I should tell you, I know what it’s like to be one of the many voices advocating for the important work done day in and day out at a non-profit. I know the feelings that possess the gut when seeking to form the proper words for writing that one grant; when every ounce of energy dripping with the deepest depths of sincerity, believing beyond passionately that this organization should receive that money. Those feelings are familiar.
I had never been the one with the money. At least, not until last week.
Embracing a Passion: Urban Gardening Efforts
So…where to begin? Food is important to both my friend and I. The growing of food, to the fair treatment and pay to the farmers who grew the food, to the proper respect given to the land from where the food was grown – all of these things I care deeply about. So immediately, we knew that if our photo won the contest, we would choose to have the money go toward sustainable urban gardening efforts.
Now I am a born and bred Mid-west, Minnesota native. Raised just outside the city center hub of Minneapolis, St. Paul. I knew immediately that I wanted the money to go to a local grassroots organization located within the city.
After some digging and emails to various non-profit directors, Youth Farm and Market Program caught and held me and my friend’s attention. Their main goal is to empower kids through the process of growing food in several urban gardens.
Youth Farm and Market Program (YFMP) is about connecting locally produced food to the neighborhood communities from wich it was grown. They are about educating youth, living in urban neighborhoods, in gardening, nutrition and entrepreneurship skills. By seeing this young and growing generation and what ideas and dreams they have to offer their communities. YFMP is empowering young voices to be advocates and leaders within their own communities.
Since YFMP is such a community based organization, the Executive Director, Gunnar Linden, confidently assured that every dollar of the donation would go directly toward achieving said goal of growing food as a medium to develop youth in the community. Whether that be supporting the costs of adding two new neighborhood gardens this summer or supporting Powderhorn Project LEAD where youth are taking part in paid internships, or finally being able to buy that truck they’ve been needing. All options are signs of exciting growth of a great organization.
There is a video of YFMP in action on their website. I encourage you to watch this video, particularly the last interview with a wee girl, because she says it best. When asked why she came back for another year of youth Farm Camp, her gentle, whispered response is, “Because, it was like te funnest summer I ever had.”
But don’t take my word for it. Learn more about the great and inspiring work they are doing on their website. Visit www.youthfarm.net.
To Endangered Species Chocolate and Whole Foods – thank you for this incredible opportunity. To Youth Farm and Market Program – keep working, learning, growing and empowering. Your work is important. To the rest of you – if you are still curious about what a year’s worth of chocolate might look like…check out the evidence.
‘Involved’ asks: What criteria do you consider when choosing to donate to a non-profit? Are there any tools you find helpful to narrow down selections for your donations? How does giving make you feel? Share thoughts and ideas by commenting below.
As I find more and more ways to green up my life, I find that there are some eco-minded acts I relish more than others. I may not LOVE all the eco chores on my To Do list – but I incorporate them into my family’s life because the actions reflect how we want to support the planet.
→ Rinsing out peanut butter and jelly jars before tossing them in the recycle bin? *grumble, grumble, complain*
→ Hitting myself over the head when I forget to BYOBag on shopping trips? Ugh, now I have to lug those horrid plastic bags home, hanging my head in shame.
→ And taking kitchen scraps out to the compost bin? According to my husband, I put this chore off till the last minute each and every week.
But enough about the small handful of eco-tasks that I don’t totally dig! There is a long list of green-minded habits that I find inspiring, enjoyable and – dare I say – indulgent. Finding ways to help the planet that mesh with your personal interests is a great way to nurture a lasting commitment to being green.
→ As a girl that likes to get her hands dirty, I find it a fun, educational challenge to raise my flowers and vegetables organically. And all those drought-resistant native plants I planted over the years? They give me a beautiful backyard that requires little to no watering or maintenance.
→ Biking is an excellent way to reduce my carbon footprint – but really, pedaling home from work is a rather selfish act that allows me to arrive home refreshed and stress free.
→ Shopping at our local farmer’s market tests my budding culinary skills as I create a meal from the organic produce available that day. It also is a great way to spead a Saturday morning outdoors with my family.
Next on my list of Earth-friendly chores to employ are putting up a backyard clothes line and joining an environmental advocacy group in my area. Being environmentally aware isn’t all about the mundane daily tasks (note to self – remember to buy energy-efficient bulb for front porch light!), it’s about finding creative, fun ways to incorporate green acts into your lifestyle. Want to see how other’s do it? Check out the photo entries in Whole Foods and Endangered Species Chocolate’s “Indulge in a Cause” photo contest. Vote for your favorite by May 13th; the grand prize winner receives $5,000 to donate to the eco-charity of their choice and a year of chocolate from ESC.
What eco-tasks do you find not all that thrilling? Which ones do you truely embrace and enjoy? Share with us by commenting below.
Have you happened across our new Endangered Species Chocolate ads yet? You’d remember if you did because they are STELLAR! (Me, biased? Never!) The animal photography featured in our “Indulge in a Cause” ads was captured by the camera of Eric Isselée. We were not only drawn to the powerful presence of his images, we were also captivated by his philanthopic mission and compassionate approach.
Eric Isselée’s project, Life on White, aims to document Earth’s endangered animals and insects. Over the past four years, his series of wildlife set against pure white backgrounds has grown to over 10,000 photos of over 450 animal species. Images this special shine a spotlight on these species, thereby raising their public profile and ultimately, helping to ensure their conservation. In addition to capturing images for future generations, Life on White donates generously to animal charities and sanctuaries.
Eric’s team travels worldwide to get their shots. The team insists on the animals being photographed in their own environment (mostly sanctuaries and zoos) so animals don’t suffer any undue stress linked to transport or unknown environments. You can watch for yourself by clicking on Life on White’s “Making Of…” videos. Imagine patiently waiting 72+ hours for a peacock to strut his stuff for your lens. Or clicking away as mischievous monkeys cavort across your portable white backdrop.
This work results in stunning photos that show each animal’s beauty, emotion and personality. Images this vivid and artistic bond the viewer to the animal and create compassion. We love supporting and sharing this work.
Name some of your favorite wildlife/conservation photographers. Have you ever photographed wildlife – what challenges did you face? Share what inspires you visually by commenting below.
THE TWEET FEED
- This supermodel cares about animals & starts each day w/ chocolate. @pnemcova, we have a choc bar for you! http://t.co/BEAcV6Lfba
- RT @ARKive: @ESC_Chocolate Check out the winner of the title - World's #FaveSpecies! http://t.co/jrzR0GEOFB #endangered
- RT @whos_that_kmj: @ESC_Chocolate I do! You sent me some. It was gorgeous and yummy @yourebeauteous
- RT @halfkorean: @ESC_Chocolate I can't remember the magazine, but as soon as I saw your ad about 5 years ago, I placed an order online!