Martha - Scientific Casualty of the Day
Martha, a pigeon, died on Sep. 1, 1914. Named after Martha Washington, Martha the pigeon had lived at the Cincinnati Zoo for 29 years. She was the last of her species, and when she joined the choir invisible, the world suffered perhaps its most famous extinction. For Martha was a passenger pigeon. Once her kind had darkened the American skies and numbered in the billions. Now, unthinkably, the billions had been reduced to one, and then to zero. Upon her demise, Martha was frozen in ice and shipped to the Smithsonian, where she was stuffed and put on display, as a reminder of the peril of unchecked plundering of our natural resources. You can access Martha’s acquisition record online. After a half-century of display, Martha was removed to some shelf in the bowels of the Washington mall, but as the centennial of her death approached, the National Museum of Natural History refurbished Martha and placed her once again on view. In fact, the museum created a new exhibition around her: Once There were Billions, which opened this past June. And if you noticed all the photos of Martha on the acquisition record, many were taken so the Smithsonian could give us this—a rotating three-dimensional view of Martha.
The Cincinnati Zoo has not forgotten its most famous long-term resident. They built a pagoda-shaped memorial aviary in the 1970s, and there is a bronze statue of Martha on permanent display out front (see second and third images above). The memorial aviary also commemorates the passing of the last surviving Carolina Parakeet, a male named Incas, which, amazingly, died in the very same cage that had held Martha, on Feb. 21, 1918.
Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City
One hundred years ago today, on September 1, 1914, Martha, the last-known living Passenger Pigeon died at the Cincinnati Zoo. Her death, at 29 after a lifetime in captivity, marked the disappearance of her once-abundant species from the world.
Difficult as it is to comprehend, there was a time when the Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) was the most common bird in the United States, numbering in the billions. But victim to overhunting and habitat destruction, Passenger Pigeon populations began to decline in the second half of the 19th century and the species was considered extinct in the wild by the turn of the century.
"I’ve been switching bodies for millennia; I have to change them out every decade or so, lest they disintegrate — however, I’ve had Sarah here for a good two centuries. She’s… stubborn, I suppose. Or strong."
|🍖:n.f.| There was a laugh followed by a wistful sigh, fingers absently toying with the pigtailed blonde strands that hung high from the vessel’s head. |🍖:n.f.|
"I was given my name by my current host, as well — I lacked one before her."
He was a little torn whether it was worth it to get rid of the creature based on what he was told. This wasn’t the first victim and Dove should protect them all equally, but a decade inbetween wasn’t horribly short. And this current victim’s body apparently had survived for far longer than that. He could take revenge for the previous ones, but was it worth it? Maybe if this host failed on the creature as well, then he would take his chance. For now, he wanted to learn more about it first and that was easier if it was alive.
"I see… I can relate, in a sense. I’m using the body of a white dove to sustain myself here on Earth; I’m not supposed to be in this realm. My own name is a nickname given to me by the one who brought me here and sacrificed her bird to me. That was several centuries ago now. I’m not nearly as old as you in age, but I’ve been around for a little while now~"
Eyes briefly met with Nate’s as Christine surveyed the other party-goers, all seemed to be having quite a pleasant time and were heavily absorbed in each conversation they were pursuing. Though as she passed the young captain, he held her gaze, a quizzical look being sent to her as he noted that she had not proceeded to mingle with the other guests as he was. She worried for a moment that he would decide to call her over, remove her from such a childish activity and force her to commence the act of a proper young lady again. So to answer his inquiring gaze, she gave the slightest of nods towards the Columbus family that the young lady was so preoccupied with entertaining; it seemed to suffice as an explanation, all he did was give a smile and turn from her.
Her attention was captured by the teasing words the author sent to the duo, deliberately riling them both up before they would have to commence in seeking him out. How arrogant he was, did he not realise how often she had played in these gardens as children? There was not a single spot here that hadn’t been scoured by young children in search of an adventure; every den, hiding place, hollowed out tree? She had found them all. It would be nothing more than a routine check of the nearby spots in order to find him, of course she would let Anne lead them there and discover her father, the victory of a game meant much more to a child then it did to an adult.
"If you insist, sir, but I’m sure we shall be able to trace you from wherever you choose to hide." Christine teased back lightly, face bright with excitement at the prospect of playing against someone who might prove a challenge. She was relieved to see Albus sweep up his beautifully pure locks into a bun, she imagined it would be rather disastrous if he managed to get leaves and twigs tangled amongst such well-maintained hair. In addition, the mere prospect of ruining his hair sent a pang of guilt into her heart, if it happened for real then she would feel terrible over it.
The gentle tug from Anne served it’s purpose and the young lady turned from the gentleman to begin her counting with the girl. Such a simple game, yet it provided many with hours of endless entertainment, regardless of their class or gender, there were no restrictions placed on the game. Perhaps, she wondered, if it was because children remained innocent of the constraints of adulthood? And as they were imposed on children, the less inclusive their games became… It was quite depressing really…
Dove himself generally had no free time for playing games, but even with his age he still enjoyed playing when he was invited. Whether they be games of wit, sportive ones, challenges, ‘childish’ games; He’d play anything. Of course he did always try to win even if he would go easy on others. Hence currently hiding in the shape of a bird to first watch them try and find him. It would be a little too easy for them to find him otherwise, and that was no fun, right?
From his perch in the tree did he see the two little ladies with their backs turned to him, and softly did he hear them count. As soon as they were done did he watch Ace excitedly turn around, clearly scanning the area for any sign of him. Christine seemed a little more passive, mostly letting her friend lead her. And oh did Ace crawl out of her shell, happily hobbling around everywhere to look underneath the various bushes, plants and flowers. He could hear her excited giggles loud and clearly.
It was especially precious to see their confused faces when there was no sign of the stark white man between the greenery. They seemed to be mostly focused on the ground level and Ace ran back and forth several times, her face frowning more and more as she seemed to fail locating him. When after the fifth time returning to the ‘base’ she still hadn’t spotted him, he decided to help out a little. Hopping to a branch a little more in sight, he then started cooing loudly to draw their attention.
Surely, soon enough she turned and looked up, eyes growing wide when realization dawned on her. An indexfinger pointed at him and she let out an ‘Ah!’ Well she had found ‘Dove’, but of course she couldn’t tell Christine that it was him, which made it all the more amusing to the demon. Of course he would switch back momentarily, first he dove down ((pun intended)) and landed on top of her head in a comical fashion, taking in their reactions which may prove quite hilarious.
All 10 drafts finished in a row and all queued, I will be taking a short break and then mosey over to Ace’s blog to get her owed replies done as well. If anyone would like to start a new thread here though, either like this post for a random starter later today or tomorrow, or send me an ask and we can plot something.
I didn’t mean for things
to be ѕ υ ¢ н a d͕̬͙̯̺͢i͡s̨̖̲a̫͔̗̟̺͎͉͞ṣ̣̫͙̦̀t͕e̸͖̭̲r̡̯̙.
I just wanted ᴛᴏ ʜᴇʟᴩ.
I just wanted
ｔｏ Ｍ Ａ Ｔ Ｔ Ｅ Ｒ.
- First row: 16th century
- Second row: 17th century
▪ ▪ ▪ ▌❤▐ ’ A light laugh bubbles past the angel’s lips all the same before he steps closer and allows bruised hands to come up ; reaching for glasses in a silent request to put them on for himself ( if this man doesn’t mind of course~ ).
To be honest the demon seemed a little startled at the request. Whether it was just unexpected, or because he saw those bruises on the angel… maybe even both.
He was a little hesitant to let go of the glasses, mostly because they were a gift and memory of Vivian, his late master. He still remembered how she had easily noticed he was overwhelmed with all the auras in the city. So without even thinking, she passed her own glasses to him, telling him that he needed them more than she did. She already relied on him to be her guide. For well over 300 years had these glasses survived every situation the demon had been thrown in. He was that careful with them.
So rather than letting Andrew take them off his face himself, Dove raised his hands to remove the glasses, carefully settling them on the angel’s nose instead.
▪ ▪ ▪ ▌❤▐ ’ Andrew’s trying not to laugh to be honest but — oh! He’ll go back to making dove and pigeon sounds, like cooing and chirping.
Happy Dove is happy. For the first time he’s not being ridiculed for the noises he tends to make. He excitedly continues cooing, before finally chuckling in amusement.
▪ ▪ ▪ ▌❤▐ ’ What about canaries? Can he do canary sounds?
He’s trying. It’s going better than owl noises atleast. Or so it seems?
Yeah, no, pigeons and doves are his forte. He has a lot to learn about other birds.
▪ ▪ ▪ ▌❤▐ ’ Makes owl sounds at next?
Aw boo, he can’t do other bird noises. But oh does he try, imitating Andrew to the best of his ability. He’s not even all that bad. Or so he believes.
▪ ▪ ▪ ▌❤▐ ’ !! Makes pigeon coos at in return.
Appears excited to have found a fellow birb frend and makes more pigeon sounds
▪ ▪ ▪ ▌❤▐ ’ Distressed angel sounds.
actual pigeon coos