by Matthew Cobb
We have previously discussed the ethics of playing with a laserpointer and animals of various kinds, with some commenters (like me) expressing concerns about inducing frustration/injury in the hapless beasts that cavort after that elusive red dot. Even when they catch it, it’s no fun. So what about this poor salticid? Do we care? Why (not)?
And, à propos des bottes (look it up – you might prefer passer du coq à l’âne), an albino Southern right whale calf (Eubalaena australis) has been filmed by surfers off the coast of Chile (excuse inane commentary; you can find a longer version sans commentaire here; I gave up struggling to embed it):
The mother, as you will note, is not albino. There are thought to be only a few thousand Southern right whales left; assuming that this is a genuine case of albinism and not leucism, inbreeding will make the appearance of such recessive mutations more likely. The calf might find life difficult – in particular it will be prone to sunburn.