Showing posts with label lions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lions. Show all posts

Sunday 24 March 2024

Will they change three lions on England badge to three domestic cats!?

There is a bit (big 🙄) of a furore about the Football Association (FA) deciding to alter the flag of England which is the St George's Cross by changing the red cross against a white background to a purple and blue cross against a dark blue background on the back of the collar of the new football shirt for England players.

High profile football professionals have criticised the move. A former British goalkeeper, the very well known David Seaman, asks "will they change three lions to three cats?" See below for the story behind the three lions on the badge.

Furore over change to St George's Cross on football shirts. Image: Nike/X.

He is very critical of the change to the England flag albeit for a bit of fun. It seems to be a reflection of woke Britain because the colours appear to be the usual colours of the LBGT movement.

The reference to the three lions being changed to three cats is a way of sarcastically belittling the change in the colours of the cross.

It's been revealed that Nike altered the St George's Cross using purple and blue horizontal stripes in a playful update to the shirt ahead of Euro 2024.

A lot of people don't see it as playful but as disrespectful. I don't think you would see Nike changing the American flag which is afforded a lot of respect in the United States for playful fun reasons. 

We should have the same respect for the England flag in England. It's a very well-known flag which goes back probably thousands of years.

England fans have decided to boycott Nike. And another thing: the shirt costs a rip-off £125! For a polyester shirt for Christ's sake. The fans are consistently ripped off in the UK where prices are known to be too high. We are sick of being ripped off by big business. And often it is foreign countries which think the UK is 'Treasure Island'! 😒

Below is a section about England's three lions and how they became part of the badge worn by sportsmen and sportswomen playing for England.

Keir Starmer, the opposition leader, said the same thing by the way. That's the mood in the country.

The Three Lions

The three lions on the England badge have a historical significance that dates back almost a thousand years. The symbol originated with King Henry I, known as the Lion of England, who had a lion on his coat of arms. When he married Adeliza of Louvain, he added a second lion to honor her father, Godfrey I, Count of Louvain. The third lion was added by Henry II after marrying Eleanor of Aquitaine, as her family also had a lion on their crest.

3 lions England badge
Image in public domain.

The three lions became associated with the English monarchy and were later adopted by the Football Association when it was formed in 1863. The badge has been a symbol of the national side ever since and is even referenced in the famous song by Baddiel, Skinner, and the Lightning Seeds.

Additionally, the England badge features ten roses, which are Tudor roses representing the traditional floral heraldic emblem of England. These were introduced to the badge in 1948-49 to represent the ten divisions of Football Association members at the time


P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

Friday 2 December 2022

Video shows how lions escaped Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, Australia

The security camera video shows how a family of lions escaped from an Australian zoo. It wasn't particularly amazing as they just crawled (walked) through what appears to be a fence with a hole in it! The interesting thing is that they all came back of their own volition bar one who was tranquillized and brought back. It seems that they are all conditioned to feel safe in the zoo and returned to experience that safety.

The lions involved were lion cubs Luzuko, Zuri, Khari and Malika and adult male Ato.

As you can see this is a BBC video taken from the security camera footage. The video is 'embedded' in this website using code. If the BBC deletes the video on their website, it will disappear here. Just so you know. I can't control what the BBC do.

Video shows how lions escaped Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, Australia
Video shows how lions escaped Taronga Zoo, in Sydney, Australia. Screenshot.

The video was released by the zoo which surprises me a bit because it shows us that the zoo management were allegedly negligent in allowing a hole to develop in the wire mesh fence. How did it develop? Weird. Perhaps it was faulty manufacturing and the lions gradually, over time, enlarged the hole.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Cool way to get up close and personal with wild lions

NEWS AND COMMENT - HARRISMITH, SOUTH AFRICA: The Glen Garriff (GG) lion sanctuary is a non-profit organisation in South Africa which currently takes care of 77 lions which opened for business in 2002. The lions live their lives in safety and security at the sanctuary. The non-profit has social media accounts through which they raise most of their money. Their stated mission is to "love, protect and preserve the magnificent lions in our care."

Lion experience cube at GG lion sanctuary
Lion experience cube at GG lion sanctuary. Photo: Suzanne Scott (presumed) via Caters News.

The director (and a photographer) of this non-profit company, Suzanne Scott, 53, has a cage which she uses to get up close and personal with lions when she photographs them. She is using this cage to allow paying customers to her sanctuary to do exactly the same thing. And she's photographed the lions and humans interacting. 

They are interesting photographs and my immediate reaction is that this is a good idea. How else do you get so close, in safety, to a genuine wild lion? And the bars are wide enough to allow a camera to be used to photograph these fabulous cats at very close range. It would be a great opportunity for an amateur photographer to get some interesting photographs. I am sure that there are strict rules though. There is still a potential for harm.

It seems social media has spread this idea to the world rather late in the day because Suzanne Scott said: "We have been offering this experience almost 2 years now and the safety of both our guests and big cats is the top priority. "

The cage originally came from a German photographer who visited regularly. They adapted the cage for customer use by making it into a "lion experience cube". A German TV company had used a plexiglass cube to film the lions and I guess they got the idea from them.

The cube is regularly checked to make sure that it is safe and that it can carry the weight of a lion or lions who jump on top of it which they appear to enjoy doing as it provides a nice vantage point.

The GG lion sanctuary is in the process of rescuing lions from a closed down zoo in the Middle East and are expected to bring another 17 lions into the sanctuary soon.

The cube is another nice source of income for them. It looks like it is an excellent idea because it benefits both the customer and the lions who are stimulated by its presence. It adds a bit of colour into their lives. It's called environmental enrichment in the domestic cat world.

Friday 9 July 2021

Are domestic cats related to lions and tigers?

Yes, domestic cats are related to lions and tigers and all the other cats because they all started off at the same source. This is about evolution and taxonomy. But you have to go back about 40 million years to Miacoids (miacids) which appear to be the first cats on the planet although they did not look like modern day cats. 

Tiger and domestic cat. Collage: PoC.
Tiger and domestic cat. Collage: PoC.

It is currently believed that from that start all the cat species evolved in different places and at different times. Miacids evolved into the Proailurus (a civet/cat creature) and that creature evolved into prehistoric cats which walked on their toes like modern day cats. 

An example was a species called Pseudaelurus. This creature was the size of a modern-day cat. It evolved into two main groups one of which was Schizailurus which in turn evolved into the Felidae (the family of cats). Martelli's cat was a species which inhabited Europe about 2.4 million years ago and which is believed to be the ancestor of today's wildcat, a species of cat which is still present in Europe. Apparently the first modern day cats were cheetahs.

Cat history from the start to modern day
Cat history from the start to modern day. Cat History For Kids. Credits: Landscape of N.America 10m years ago Wikimedia Commons author Jay Matternes. In public domain USA. Fair use pleaded. Pseudaelurus in public domain USA and fair use pleaded. USA 1945 by army.arch creative commons. Snowshoe cat copyright Helmi Flick. Note: there is one small deliberate mistake in the picture. Can you spot it and leave a comment?

You have to believe in evolution to believe that domestic cats are related to lions and tigers. But science supports evolution. It is through evolution that domestic cats are related to lions and tigers. Domestic cats are very, very similar in every respect to lions and tigers. There is not much difference which is apparent because they both look like cats! There's a massive size difference but the domestic cat, in its mind, thinks just like a tiger or lion. And their behaviour is incredibly similar. That alone tells you that they are related.

If you want to know a bit more about big cat history you can click on this link. And I cover the evolution of the cat species in a simplified way on this page (click link please). The science of taxonomy which is the classification of the species is evolving itself. It was enhanced through scientific knowledge of DNA. Before DNA scientists simply observed an animal undecided whether it was similar to another animal and therefore classified it as part of a species or subspecies. That proved to be imprecise whereas DNA testing is very precise because it gets to the core of the issue.

Friday 25 June 2021

How do cats cool down? 6 ways.

I'm going to refer to domestic cats mainly. I can think of 6 ways which help a cat to cool down. Cats do sweat but in a much more limited way than humans. They sweat from their paw pads and the latent heat of evaporation cools down their paw pads. You will see the sweaty pawprints of a cat in a veterinarian's consultation room on the table. This is because as they are nervous and agitated, they over heat and they sweat.

Licking helps to cool a cat as well as clean them
Licking helps to cool a cat as well as clean them. Photo: PDSA.

Another way is licking their coat. The saliva deposited on the coat evaporates and once again through the physical properties of the latent heat of evaporation, it's cools the cat down slightly. This is a substitute for sweating.

A third way is panting like a dog. I'm sure that you have seen this before. My female cat used to plant in the car in her cage when I took her to the veterinarian. She became agitated and overheated and so instinctively she panted to cool down. Panting as a cooling process works in the same way as sweating.

A fourth way is to find some shade! If a cat is lying in the sun, and they do like to lie in the sun as we know, after a while they will remove themselves from that hot spot and find some shade and a patch of cool ground to lie on to cool down.

In fact, using shade is the most natural and obvious way for a cat to cool down. You see the big cats like lions and tigers resting in shade, particular the lions because they live in quite open territory which is sunbaked and quite arid. They find a tree to rest and snooze under. Whereas tigers live in landscapes that are far lusher and more covered with vegetation and trees.

If a tiger wants to cool down, they jump into the water. Tigers love water and they often spend a long time in it because they live in parts of the world, Asia, where there are high temperatures. Jaguars also spend quite a lot of time in cool water. Domestic cats don't usually jump into water to cool down. Some individual cats might though such as an F1 Savannah cat.

Some lions rest on the branches of trees. This takes them off the ground where there are less flies and also where it is cooler. There might be more of a breeze 10 or 15 feet above the ground as well. This may help them keep cool.

I have just thought of a sixth way: drinking cool water from a faucet. Some domestic cats are particularly fond of this. It quenches the thirst and cools the insides a little bit.

The physics of the way sweat cools the body is quite technical. The latent heat of vaporization (evaporation) is the heat consumed or discharged when matter disintegrates, changing from fluid to gas.

Here is a video on the topic:

Note: This is a video from another website. Sometimes they are deleted at source which stops them working on this site. If that has happened, I apologise but I have no control over it.

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