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Mummified Birds Transported Hundreds of Miles Alive Across the World’s Longest Mountain Range

Mummified Birds Transported Hundreds of Miles Alive Across the World's Longest Mountain Range

Recent research has revealed an intriguing historical practice where traders transported parrots across the Andes Mountains over a thousand years ago. These vibrant birds were taken on a journey spanning over 300 miles, all the way from their native lands in the eastern Amazon to the dry regions of the Atamaca desert. The purpose behind this long-distance transportation was to trade their colorful feathers with consumers in the desert area. This fascinating discovery was made through the examination of six preserved bird species.

Image source: PNAS

The parrots were captured from their natural habitats while they were alive, and they were transported in cages attached to llamas. During the journey, they were fed corn to sustain them. The vendors would regularly pluck their colorful feathers, which held significant value in the societies of pre-Columbian South America. These valuable feathers were often kept in cases and were even buried with their owners as prized possessions.

The importance of bird feathers was well-known in South American societies before the Spanish invasion. However, the reasons behind mummifying the parrots have remained a mystery. Experts conducted research on a total of 27 samples, which included both complete and partially preserved specimens.

Image source: Pinterest

They utilized a device to remove the internal organs of the birds through their cloaca, the same opening through which their waste is expelled. Afterward, the birds were wrapped in cloth or bags. Researchers admit that they are uncertain about the reasons behind these practices.

The preserved birds, which were discovered to be around 900 years old, belonged to six different species: scarlet macaw, blue-and-yellow macaw, mealy amazon, yellow-crowned amazon, blue-fronted amazon, and mitered conure. By analyzing isotopes in their remains, scientists determined that these birds did not perish in the same region where they were born. This suggests that they were transported across the continent from the Amazon rainforest to the Atacama Desert, known as the driest place on Earth.

Image source: PNAS

Researchers speculate that ancient traders relied on llamas to transport the birds across the challenging Andes mountain range, which reaches heights of 10,000 feet. Despite llamas not being particularly strong for carrying heavy loads, traders somehow managed to use them to transport the birds across the mountains and the harsh desert to reach this oasis. This journey involved navigating vast plains, enduring cold weather, and overcoming difficult terrain, which surprises researchers given the llamas’ limitations.

Experts also suggest that the parrots were unable to cross the mountain range on their own. Furthermore, they believe that the treatment of these animals fell far short of today’s recognized standards for animal rights. Some birds were kept solely for their feathers, which were quickly plucked as soon as they reached a certain length.

Image source: PNAS

Researchers also discovered signs of parrots with trimmed claws and beaks, suggesting that they may have endured these conditions for extended periods. The majority of their remains date back to a period between 1100 and 1450 AD, spanning the transition from the Tiwanaku empire to the Inca empire.

The timeframe during which these mummified parrots were found coincided with a period of warfare, which surprisingly also saw significant commercial activity. Evidence of llama caravans on the move was discovered, indicating the transportation of goods. Most of the mummies were uncovered at Pica 8, an archaeological site located near a present-day trading center that serves as a hub for commerce.

Source: PNAS

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ANIMALS

Eagle and Fox in an Epic Midair Battle Over a Rabbit, Were Captured by a Photographer

Eagle and Fox in an Epic Midair Battle Over a Rabbit, Were Captured by a Photographer

Wildlife photography often depends on the perfect combination of good timing and the right place.

That’s exactly what happened when Kevin Ebi, an experienced wildlife photographer, captured an incredible battle between a bald eagle and a red fox, both competing for a rabbit meal.

In a detailed blog post, Ebi shares the fascinating series of events that unfolded while he was photographing foxes in San Juan Island National Historical Park, located in Washington state.

Ebi noticed a lively group of eight fox kits as they began their hunting lessons. Suddenly, they spotted a rabbit, and a thrilling chase ensued. Eventually, one of the foxes emerged as the winner, proudly carrying the rabbit across the field.

Image source: Kevin Ebi

Ebi shares what happened at that moment: “As I followed the fox with my camera, a sudden bald eagle cry caught my attention. It was swiftly approaching, clearly aiming for the rabbit. I quickly focused on the fox, anticipating a quick turnover of events.”

To Ebi’s astonishment, instead of a quick surrender, the situation turned into a intense fight in the air.

The eagle used its power to lift the fox and rabbit high up in the sky. Even while airborne, the fox attempted to break free by swinging back and forth.

Image source: Kevin Ebi

Image source: Kevin Ebi

Image source: Kevin Ebi

In the end, the eagle moved the rabbit to its other claw, causing the fox to let go. The intense battle came to an end in less than 10 seconds.

Image source: Kevin Ebi

For those worried about the fox’s well-being after the fight, Ebi reassures that it was not injured. The fox swiftly bounced back from the encounter and resumed its playful behavior with the other young foxes, showing no visible wounds from the aerial clash.

Image source: Kevin Ebi

Image source: Kevin Ebi

Image source: Kevin Ebi

Image source: Kevin Ebi

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ANIMALS

Firefighters Rescue Dog Stuck in Tire

Firefighters Rescue Dog Stuck in Tire

Certain jobs need bravery and determination. They’re not easy.

Being a firefighter is one of those tough jobs.

The Franklinville Volunteer Fire Company (FVFC) in New Jersey, along with the Franklin Township Police Department, worked together to save a dog in trouble.

The dog, Daisy, got her head stuck in a tire at her home.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

The FVFC posted about it on Facebook, and they included a picture showing Daisy’s head sticking out from the middle of a big Firestone tire.

The picture showed how serious the situation was, with emergency workers working hard to rescue the scared dog.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

At first, they tried to get Daisy out with soap and water, but it didn’t work.

Then, one of the FVFC lieutenants used his own plasma cutter, which was a new idea. It turned out to be the thing that finally freed Daisy.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

The FVFC also shared a tense video of the rescue, filmed by the police.

In the video, you could see the emergency team working carefully around Daisy, who was waiting patiently to be freed.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

The rescuers were really careful to make sure Daisy felt safe and comfortable.

They put two blankets around her neck to protect her while they cut the tire. It also made her feel safer.

Then, they used the plasma cutter to cut a piece out of the top of the tire. It was pretty dramatic, with sparks flying everywhere during the rescue.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

In the middle of the video, one of the team members thought it would be a good idea to put a collar and leash on Daisy.

This was just in case she got scared and ran away once she was free.

The team kept cutting through the tire rim carefully until there was enough space to get Daisy’s head out safely.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

The moment everyone felt better was when one of the team members carefully pulled Daisy out of the tire, and then they wrapped her up in blankets.

After finally getting out, Daisy wiggled out of the blankets and stretched, showing how grateful and relieved she was. Someone held onto her leash while she did this.

Image source: Franklinville Volunteer Fire Department 

In another post, the FVFC shared a picture of the tire after they rescued Daisy. You could see that about a quarter of the top of the rim was cut off.

The post also had some good news: Daisy was okay and doing fine after what happened.

The FVFC proudly said, “This is the dedication and commitment you can expect from the FVFC each time we respond to a call. We are grateful to everyone who responded today to help Daisy.”

Image source: Youtube

This event shows how skilled and dedicated the Franklinville Volunteer Fire Company and the Franklin Township Police Department are.

It’s also a nice reminder of how much our emergency responders care about everyone’s safety, whether they’re people or animals.

To see the brave rescue happening, check out the video below.

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ANIMALS

Cleanup Crew Member Finds Abandoned Puppy in Trash Can

Cleanup Crew Member Finds Abandoned Puppy in Trash Can

In a heartwarming rescue tale from St. Louis, the Stream Team of the Missouri Department of Conservation found something surprising during their cleanup in North County—a 12-week-old puppy left in a pile of trash.

This story starts with a surprising meeting with a white dog named “Dude.” Even though he was in a tough situation, he showed that there’s still hope and strength in tough times.

Image source: Missouri Dept. Of Conservation

Brian Waldrop, part of the Stream Team, talked about the touching moment they found the puppy. He said they first thought the puppy was a dead animal.

They were surprised when they saw the supposed dead animal move, and realized it was actually a dirty white puppy.

According to Brian, what happened was not only unexpected but also really touching. It created a special connection right away between him and the puppy.

Image source: Missouri Dept. Of Conservation

The puppy, who was hidden in a pile of trash and stuck in a black garbage bag, went through a surprising change.

At first, he was dirty and yellow from all the filth, but after a good bath, his coat turned into a clean and shiny white. It showed how much he had been neglected but still managed to survive.

“He was found in a black trash bag in a pile of trash. His first name could have been Hefty, you know,” Brian told Fox 2 St. Louis.

Image source: Missouri Dept. Of Conservation

Finding the puppy wasn’t just about rescuing an animal; it also showed how bad the environmental problems are in the area.

The Stream Team usually picks up trash, but they didn’t expect to find a living thing among it.

This shows how serious the problem of waste disposal is and how it affects everything around us.

Image source: Missouri Dept. Of Conservation

Apart from the rescue, the story makes us think about the bigger problem of the environment, shown by the Stream Team finding “Dude.”

The issue of garbage isn’t just in one place—it’s everywhere. It affects cities, countryside, and nature areas alike, showing a troubling lack of care for the environment and the creatures living in it.

Image source: Missouri Dept. Of Conservation

Finding an animal among the trash is a powerful reminder of what happens when we don’t throw away our garbage properly.

The puppy being the first animal they’ve found in this situation shows how uncommon this rescue is and how bad the environmental problems are.

Image source: Youtube Screenshot

Talking about the big problem of waste management, the team member said they’re upset about how money issues make people dump trash illegally.

Throwing away trash improperly is easy and cheap, so people do it a lot. This creates a culture where people don’t care about the penalties for dumping trash because it’s so convenient to do.

Image source: Youtube Screenshot

“This is not just a Missouri problem; it’s a worldwide problem where, you know, people need to get rid of trash, it costs too much, it’s cheaper to dump it,” Brian said.

The puppy’s rescue isn’t just a one-time thing—it’s a reason for us to do something.

It shows that we really need to change how we handle trash, and it also shows how important it is to have groups like the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Stream Team.

Image source: Youtube Screenshot

Dude’s” journey, from being thrown away in the trash to becoming a symbol of hope and caring for the environment, tells a powerful story about being strong, loved, and taking care of our planet.

And luckily, “Dude” has a happy ending. Brian adopted him, and now he’s living happily in his forever home. We’re really happy “Dude” has found a place to belong.

You can watch the Dude’s full story here!

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