The saiga is a critically endangered antelope that currently resides in remote parts of Russia. At one time, it’s species covered a vast area, populating China and even some parts of Europe. Before the ice age it’s said to have inhabited certain parts of North America as well.
One of the major reasons the animal has become endangered is because the horns of the saiga are believed to contain miraculous healing power.
The nose of the saiga looks like a strange curved trumpet. It varies from species to species, but it plays a vital role in their existence. It filters wind-blown dust and sand from the air the animal breathes. It also acts as a heat-exchange device. The nasal mucus warms the freezing air of the Eurasian steppes, where the saiga has no natural shelter.
The animal travels in herds, constantly on the move and always on the guard against attack from predators.
Mating takes place at the beginning of winter. The herds break up into harems, each led by an older male. The young males form bachelor herds of their own.
Ecologists and other experts are working hard to help maintain their population and pave the way for a safe migration cycle.
Hopefully their efforts are met with success in preserving such a fascinating creature.
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne tweeted yesterday that his band’s highly anticipated collaboration with producer Prefuse 73 would be “coming out later today.” Always true to his word, today saw all four tracks from the EP appear on YouTube courtesy of the band (as first reported by Psych-rock blog Psych Explorations of the Future Heart). As previously reported, instead of a traditional album the Lips plan to release a series of EPs and recordings throughout 2011. You can stream all four songs above. (via Jambands.com)