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Unveiling the Mighty Gorilla: Nature’s Enigmatic Giant

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Unveiling the Mighty Gorilla: Nature’s Enigmatic Giant

 

If you want to know more about gorillas, you have come to the right place. This article will tell you everything you need to know about these fascinating animals. Read on to find out more about their anatomy and characteristics.

Female mountain gorillas reach maturity at nine years of age and give birth to twins.

They use auditory, visual, and odor signals to communicate with each other. And of course, these gorillas are not aggressive at all.


Female Mountain Gorillas Reach Maturity Around 9 Years Of Age

Male and female mountain gorillas are both sexually mature at about the same age, which is a little later than human males.

gorilla

Females reach sexual maturity around the age of 10 and give birth to one baby gorilla every four years. The babies die at an average rate of 26% in the first year, although twins are rare and celebrated by both tourists and conservationists.

Infant mountain gorillas are approximately two to three kilograms and can ride their mothers’ backs for up to four months. Males reach alpha status at different ages. They may be an infant, juveniles, or subadults, depending on group composition.

Some males remain philopatric and may be the dominant ones. Some females may even evaluate the male quality and prefer dominant males over subordinate males.

This may explain why females prefer dominant males over subordinate males. Nonetheless, there is no conclusive evidence about why female mountain gorillas prefer dominant males over subordinate males.

Mountain gorillas live in family groups. The size of these groups can range from two to thirty individuals. The leader is the silverback male, which is around ten times stronger than an adult human.

Each group has a silverback, the dominant male, which dictates the activities of the group. Males spend mornings feeding, and evenings resting, and males and females sleep together. They also build night nests of sticks in which to spend the night.

Gorillas are generally peaceful. They rarely fight unless provoked. The males, however, do battle over females. The new leader may kill unrelated infants, which makes the females’ cycle earlier. The new male will sometimes stand erect when displaying.

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Male gorillas do not climb as high as females do, as they cannot support the weight of males. If they are threatened, they may attempt to communicate with their aggressor.


Female Mountain Gorillas Give Birth To Twins

If you’re looking for an unforgettable trip, you’ll want to go to the Virunga National Park, which spans the borders of Rwanda, Congo, and Uganda.

gorilla

This park is home to the entire world’s mountain gorilla population. There were fewer than 800 of these primates in the wild at the last count, which was conducted 15 years ago.

The first person to discover them was American researcher Dian Fossey, who visited the park and filmed its plight. Sadly, mountain gorilla populations have declined to less than 800.

While their numbers have been decreasing over the past few years, they have recently repopulated in the Virunga mountain range. As of the latest census, there are only about 800 of these gorillas left in the wild.

The recent reports of twin births in Rwanda confirm this: mountain gorilla mothers gave birth to twins on Thursday. According to pro-government news outlet The New Times, this is the fifth time in the past 40 years that a gorilla mother has given birth to twins.

This is an unusual and rare event for mountain gorillas. The babies are helpless and need round-the-clock care from their mothers.

While there are only three known cases of Mountain Gorilla twin birth in Volcanoes National Park, two of them survived. The first birth took place in 1986.

It took nine days to raise the twins, but the other two were born later and died shortly afterward, likely from infanticide.

There are no studies on how often female mountain gorillas give birth to twins, but this unusual event does happen. These gorilla babies are often twin to a mother’s first baby.

It’s also an amazing sight to see, as it reminds us of the vulnerability and devotion of the gorilla mom. In addition to the twins, gorilla mothers also give birth to a single infant, but rarely have twins.


Female Mountain Gorillas Communicate Using Auditory Signals, Visual Signals, And Odors

The study of the relationship between odor intensity and arousal levels in wild gorillas in the Central African Republic shows that odor is a key element in communication.

gorilla

Odors have long been a primary mode of communication in humans, but new findings suggest that gorillas also use odor to communicate. Researchers say odors could have a role in regulating social behavior and in suppressing rivalry.

The three primary means of communication among gorillas are odor, vocalizations, and body language. While gorillas are largely silent creatures, they do make loud noises during copulation.

In addition, they spend most of the day sleeping and playing. They nestle in clumps of trees and other natural materials, and mothers sleep with their infants.

Male and female mountain gorillas live in troop-like groups. Each troop contains two to thirty members. Western lowland gorilla groups typically consist of five individuals.

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Each group contains a silverback male and a blackback female. Females usually stay with their mothers until they reach sexual maturity, after which they leave the group to seek their own mates.

The young gorillas do not leave the mother’s troop until they reach three years old. Male and female gorillas use different methods to communicate.

The dominant male in the group has a higher testosterone level than the subordinate male, and this may have something to do with how these gorillas distinguish each other.

Males often use the dominant male’s odor as a way to determine the reproductive status of their offspring. It may be relevant to odor control in gorillas, but it is far from clear as it has been shown in other species.


They Are Non-Aggressive

Although mountain gorillas are considered to be non-aggressive, there are some exceptions to this generalization.

For example, mountain gorilla groups have been observed to attack extra-group males. The most common motivation for intraspecific conflict is resource competition, which may be a major cause of the gorillas’ low levels of aggression.

While this may be a valid motivation for a small group of gorillas to attack each other, the reality is that mountain gorillas don’t have much of this.

Gorillas are gentle and intelligent creatures with complex social lives. Many people fail to realize that gorillas are wild animals. While gorillas seem aloof, a silverback male may become aggressive if he senses you close to his group.

If you are lucky, you may be able to interact with one without worrying about causing damage to the animal. Gorillas are not aggressive but they should always be treated with respect when interacting with humans.

Because gorillas do not attack humans, they are non-aggressive. They live in family groups, called troops. These groups may contain five to 10 individuals but can be as large as 30.

Each troop has a silverback, several adult females, and offspring, including sub-adult males called blackbacks. A silverback leads the daily activities of the group, including the socializing and resting of the troop. The gorillas sleep in nests made of dried branches.

One of the earliest observations of gorillas using tools was in the Congo. However, it had been forty years since chimpanzees began using tools.

Nonhuman great apes have semi-precision grips, and they can make and use simple tools and weapons. It has been documented that gorillas have been observed using a club from a fallen branch as a weapon.


They Are Genetically Similar To Humans But Haven’t Developed Immunities

While the mountain gorilla shares 98.5% of our DNA, it is genetically identical to ours, and the lack of immunities leaves them vulnerable to diseases that humans can get over.

Even a common cold can be fatal for a gorilla, so visiting them should be limited to those with no contagious illnesses. Visitors must also wear masks and sterile gloves.

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Scientists at the University of Washington are currently working to create a database of the genetic differences between humans and great apes. Gorillas and humans split from each other 12 million to 8.5 million years ago, and are related to each other.

Gorillas live in lowland tropical rainforests in central Africa and can weigh 440 pounds. Despite their size, gorillas spend almost half of their time eating plant stems.

Poaching for bushmeat and habitat destruction threaten their populations. Although gorillas are not immune to disease, they never attack when provoked. Male gorillas fight to win females and kill unrelated infants when they are trying to become the dominant male.

In order to warn other males of an impending attack, adult male gorillas stand on their hind legs, slap their chest, throw their heads back several times, and charge at the aggressor on all fours.

Western lowland gorillas give birth every four years. The previous offspring no longer rides on their back, so the female will become pregnant.

In her lifetime, a female gorilla can give birth to ten babies. This rate of reproduction means that Western lowland gorillas are vulnerable to disease. They do not develop immunities, but they are genetically similar to humans.


Questions People Also Ask: (FAQs) 

 

 

What Makes Gorillas So Unique in the Animal Kingdom?

Gorillas, the largest primates on Earth, stand out for their sheer size and strength. They share approximately 98% of their DNA with humans, making them one of our closest relatives. Their complex social structures, gentle nature, and remarkable intelligence also set them apart.

 

Where Can Gorillas Be Found in the Wild?

Gorillas inhabit the dense forests and mountainous regions of central and eastern Africa. The two main species, the Eastern Gorilla and the Western Gorilla, are further divided into subspecies, each with its own distinct habitat. Countries like Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Gabon are known for gorilla conservation efforts.

 

What Are the Key Threats to Gorilla Populations in the Wild?

Gorillas face several challenges, including habitat loss due to deforestation, poaching, and diseases. Illegal wildlife trade and conflict in their native habitats also pose significant threats. Conservation organizations and governments work tirelessly to protect these magnificent creatures and their natural environments.

 

How Do Gorillas Communicate and Interact Within Their Groups?

Gorillas communicate through a combination of vocalizations, gestures, and body language. They live in close-knit family groups led by a dominant male, known as a silverback. These groups engage in grooming rituals, play, and even resolve conflicts through peaceful means. Observing their social dynamics is both fascinating and heartwarming.

 

What Role Do Gorillas Play in Ecosystems, and Why Should We Protect Them?

Gorillas are keystone species, meaning they play a vital role in maintaining the health of their ecosystems. They aid in seed dispersal, which helps regenerate forests. Additionally, the presence of gorillas in protected areas often encourages ecotourism, benefiting local economies and reinforcing the importance of conservation.

Understanding and safeguarding gorillas not only preserves a remarkable species but also contributes to the broader effort to protect biodiversity and the delicate balance of our natural world.


We appreciate you for taking the time to read!

 

Finally, we hope you found this article interesting? And what do you think about ”Unveiling the Mighty Gorilla: Nature’s Enigmatic Giant!?”

Please you should feel free to share or inform your friends about this article and this site, thanks!

And let us know if you observe something that isn’t quite right.

 

Animals

Potential and Challenges of Applying Gene Editing Techniques

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Potential and Challenges of Applying Gene Editing Techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9, in Bovine Embryos Generated by IVF

Author:

CARLOS AUGUSTO DELMINDO FILHO

In vitro embryo production (IVP) has revolutionized cattle reproduction, allowing for the rapid multiplication of genetic material from high-value animals and opening up new possibilities for genetic improvement. Gene editing, with emphasis on the CRISPR-Cas9 technique, emerges as a powerful tool to enhance IVP, enabling precise manipulation of the genome and the introduction of desirable characteristics in animals. Gene editing techniques, such as CRISPR-Cas9, ZFNs, and TALENs, allow for precise modification of DNA at specific locations, representing an advance over homologous recombination techniques, which are inefficient and time-consuming.

However, the application of gene editing in bovine embryos generated by IVF still presents technical challenges, such as low efficiency and the occurrence of mosaicism, in addition to ethical and regulatory considerations that need to be addressed. This article discusses the potential and challenges of gene editing, focusing on the CRISPR-Cas9 technique, in bovine embryos produced by IVF, aiming to develop strategies to overcome barriers and ensure the safe and responsible application of this promising technology.

Potential of Gene Editing in Bovine Embryos

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing allows for precise manipulation of the genome, opening up a range of possibilities for genetic improvement in cattle. The technique can be used for:

  • Correction of disease-causing genes: Recessive genetic diseases, such as Bovine Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency (BLAD), can be corrected in embryos, eliminating the transmission of the disease to future generations.
  • Insertion of beneficial traits: The introduction of genes of interest, such as disease resistance or production traits, can accelerate the genetic improvement process, resulting in healthier and more productive animals.
  • Creation of models for research: Gene editing allows for the creation of animal models to study human diseases and develop new therapies.
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Challenges of Gene Editing in Bovine Embryos

Despite the potential, gene editing in bovine embryos still faces challenges:

  • Efficiency of editing: The success rate of gene editing in embryos is still relatively low, with the frequent occurrence of mosaicism (different genotypes in the same individual).
  • Editing specificity: The technique can generate unintentional mutations in other parts of the genome, with possible undesired effects.
  • Generation of viable animals: Gene editing can affect embryonic development and the viability of the generated animals.
  • Ethical and regulatory aspects: The application of gene editing in animals raises ethical questions about animal welfare and food safety, in addition to demanding a clear and consistent regulatory framework.

Strategies to Overcome Challenges

To overcome the challenges of gene editing in bovine embryos, several strategies are being explored:

  • Optimization of editing protocols: Optimization of gene editing protocols, such as the use of different CRISPR-Cas9 systems and choosing the ideal time for editing, can increase the efficiency and specificity of the technique.
  • Selection of edited embryos: The combination of gene editing with genomic selection of embryos (GSE) allows the identification and selection of embryos with the desired editing and high genetic merit, increasing the efficiency of the process.
  • Improvement of embryo transfer techniques: The development of more efficient embryo transfer techniques can increase the success rate in generating viable animals from edited embryos.
  • Ethical discussion and development of regulations: Ethical debate and the development of clear and consistent regulations are fundamental to ensure the responsible and safe application of gene editing in animals.
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Conclusion

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing represents a powerful tool for the advancement of animal production and food security, as long as it is used responsibly and ethically. The combination of gene editing with other biotechnologies, such as genomic selection, can accelerate the development of solutions for livestock challenges, such as diseases, low productivity, and adaptation to climate change. However, it is crucial that the scientific community and society engage in a constant dialogue to ensure that the application of gene editing is safe, transparent, and benefits both producers and consumers.

Gene editing, especially with the CRISPR-Cas9 technique, has enormous potential to revolutionize in vitro embryo production (IVP) and genetic improvement of cattle, opening doors to a promising future in livestock. By enabling precise manipulation of the genome, this technology allows the correction of disease-causing genes, the insertion of beneficial traits, and the creation of models for research in cattle. Overcoming technical challenges, such as increasing the efficiency and specificity of editing, along with the combination with other biotechnologies, such as genomic selection of embryos, has the potential to accelerate genetic improvement and boost IVP, resulting in healthier, more productive, and better-adapted animals to market needs.

However, the application of gene editing in bovine embryos also raises important ethical and regulatory questions. It is essential that the scientific community, together with regulatory bodies and society, establish an open and transparent dialogue to discuss the possible impacts of this technology and ensure its responsible and safe application. Additionally, the development of a clear and consistent regulatory framework is essential to ensure food safety, animal welfare, and consumer confidence in products derived from gene editing.

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Author:

CARLOS AUGUSTO DELMINDO FILHO is a veterinarian with extensive experience in bovine reproduction, specializing in various reproductive biotechnologies such as OPU, AI, and embryo transfer. He has worked on dairy and beef cattle farms, focusing on optimizing results and researching new technologies. Currently, he serves as an OPU specialist, performing follicular evaluation and aspiration in donors. He holds a degree in veterinary medicine and has completed specialization courses in bovine reproduction, surgery, and technical responsibility. Additionally, he has volunteered in underserved communities and participated in academic leagues.


Referências

  • Mueller, M. L., & Van Eenennaam, A. L. (2022). Synergistic power of genomic selection, assisted reproductive technologies, and gene editing to drive genetic improvement of cattle. CABI Agriculture and Bioscience, 3(1), 13.
  • Bogliotti, Y. S., Wu, J., Vilarino, M., Okamura, D., Soto, D. A., Zhong, C., & Ross, P. J. (2018). Efficient derivation of stable primed pluripotent embryonic stem cells from bovine blastocysts. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(9), 2090-2095.
  • Hennig, S. L., Owen, J. R., Lin, J. C., Young, A. E., Ross, P. J., Van Eenennaam, A. L., & Murray, J. D. (2020). Evaluation of mutation rates, mosaicism and off-target mutations when injecting Cas9 mRNA or protein for genome editing of bovine embryos. Scientific reports, 10(1), 22309.

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And let us know if you observe something that isn’t quite right.

 

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The Majestic Komodo Dragon: A Fascinating Creature of the Animal Kingdom

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green and brown lizard on brown soil

Introduction

Welcome to our blog post dedicated to the awe-inspiring Komodo Dragon! In this article, we will delve into the fascinating world of these magnificent creatures, exploring their unique characteristics, habitat, behavior, and conservation efforts. Join us on this thrilling journey as we uncover the secrets of the world’s largest lizard.

The Komodo Dragon: A Marvel of Evolution

The Komodo Dragon, scientifically known as Varanus komodoensis, is a species of reptile endemic to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. These majestic creatures have captured the imagination of people around the world with their immense size, powerful build, and intriguing features.

With an average length of 8 to 10 feet and weighing up to 200 pounds, the Komodo Dragon holds the title for being the largest lizard on Earth. Their muscular bodies, sharp claws, and serrated teeth make them formidable predators in their natural habitat.

Habitat and Distribution

Komodo Dragons primarily inhabit the dry savannahs and forests of their native islands. Their distribution is limited to a few specific regions, making them a unique and iconic species in the animal kingdom. These reptiles have adapted to a range of environments, from coastal areas to mountainous regions.

Due to their restricted range, Komodo Dragons are considered vulnerable to extinction. Efforts are being made to protect their natural habitats and ensure their long-term survival.

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Behavior and Diet

Komodo Dragons are solitary creatures, typically preferring to live alone. They are known for their patience and stealth when hunting, often ambushing unsuspecting prey. These reptiles have a diverse diet that includes deer, wild boar, water buffalo, and smaller reptiles. Their saliva contains a potent mix of bacteria, which aids in the digestion of their prey.

Interestingly, Komodo Dragons have a unique hunting strategy. After capturing their prey, they patiently wait for it to succumb to the bacteria in their saliva, making it easier to consume. This remarkable adaptation showcases the intricate balance of nature.

Conservation Efforts

Due to their limited distribution and vulnerable status, Komodo Dragons are protected by law in Indonesia. National parks, such as Komodo National Park, have been established to safeguard their habitats and promote conservation efforts.

Conservation organizations and local communities are working together to raise awareness about the importance of preserving these magnificent creatures. Education and research initiatives play a crucial role in understanding their behavior, population dynamics, and habitat requirements.

Conclusion

The Komodo Dragon is undoubtedly a marvel of the animal kingdom. Its impressive size, unique hunting techniques, and restricted habitat make it a captivating species to study and admire. As we continue to learn more about these incredible creatures, it is vital that we prioritize their conservation to ensure their survival for generations to come.


Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. How dangerous are Komodo Dragons?

Komodo Dragons can be dangerous if provoked or threatened. Their powerful bite and bacteria-laden saliva can cause severe infections in their prey. However, they generally avoid human contact and prefer to retreat rather than engage in aggressive behavior.

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2. Can Komodo Dragons swim?

Yes, Komodo Dragons are capable swimmers. They can traverse bodies of water, including open sea channels, to reach other islands in search of food or new territories.

 

3. Are Komodo Dragons endangered?

Komodo Dragons are currently classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Their limited distribution and habitat loss pose significant threats to their population. Conservation efforts are crucial to ensure their long-term survival.

 

4. How long do Komodo Dragons live?

Komodo Dragons have an average lifespan of 30 to 50 years in the wild. In captivity, they can live even longer, with some individuals reaching up to 60 years of age.

 

5. Can Komodo Dragons fly?

No, Komodo Dragons cannot fly. They are terrestrial reptiles with powerful legs and claws, adapted for a life on land.

Thank you for joining us on this exploration of the magnificent Komodo Dragon. We hope you found this article informative and inspiring. If you have any more questions or would like to share your thoughts, feel free to reach out to us. Until next time, keep exploring the wonders of the animal kingdom!

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The Fascinating World of Komodo Iguanas: A Comprehensive Guide

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a large lizard laying on top of a dirt field

Introduction

Welcome to our comprehensive guide on Komodo Iguanas, one of the most fascinating reptiles on the planet. In this article, we will delve into the world of these incredible creatures, exploring their habitat, characteristics, behavior, and much more. Whether you are a reptile enthusiast or simply curious about these magnificent creatures, this guide will provide you with all the information you need.

1. The Origins of Komodo Iguanas

Komodo Iguanas, scientifically known as Varanus komodoensis, are native to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, Gili Motang, and Padar. These islands form the Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The iguanas have adapted to the unique environment of these islands, making them truly remarkable creatures.

1.1 Habitat

Komodo Iguanas inhabit a range of habitats within the Komodo National Park, including dry savannahs, tropical forests, and coastal areas. Their ability to thrive in diverse environments is a testament to their resilience and adaptability.

1.2 Physical Characteristics

These impressive reptiles can grow up to 10 feet in length and weigh over 150 pounds, making them the largest lizards in the world. They have strong limbs, sharp claws, and a muscular tail, which they use for defense and balance. Their scaly skin provides protection from the harsh elements of their environment.

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2. Behavior and Diet

Komodo Iguanas are primarily solitary creatures, although they may congregate in areas with abundant food sources. They are excellent climbers and swimmers, allowing them to explore their surroundings with ease. Their diet consists mainly of small mammals, birds, and carrion, and they have been known to exhibit opportunistic feeding behavior.

2.1 Hunting Techniques

When hunting, Komodo Iguanas rely on their keen sense of smell and excellent eyesight. They patiently wait for their prey, then ambush it with a swift and powerful bite. Their saliva contains a mix of bacteria that can cause a lethal infection in their prey, ensuring a successful hunt.

2.2 Reproduction

During the breeding season, male Komodo Iguanas engage in fierce battles to establish dominance and win the right to mate with females. Females lay their eggs in burrows, where they are left to incubate for several months. Once hatched, the young iguanas must fend for themselves, facing numerous challenges in their early stages of life.

3. Conservation Efforts

Due to their limited habitat and the threats they face, Komodo Iguanas are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Human activities, such as habitat destruction and illegal poaching, pose significant risks to their survival. Efforts are underway to protect their natural habitat and raise awareness about the importance of conservation.

Conclusion

Komodo Iguanas are truly remarkable creatures that captivate the imagination of reptile enthusiasts worldwide. Their unique habitat, impressive physical characteristics, and fascinating behavior make them a subject of great interest and study. By understanding and appreciating these incredible reptiles, we can contribute to their conservation and ensure their survival for generations to come.

READ ALSO:  The Golden Lion Tamarin: A Glorious Icon of Conservation

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Are Komodo Iguanas dangerous?

Komodo Iguanas are not considered dangerous to humans unless provoked. They are generally shy and prefer to avoid human contact.

2. Can Komodo Iguanas be kept as pets?

Due to their size and specific habitat requirements, Komodo Iguanas are not suitable as pets. They require specialized care and a large, naturalistic enclosure.

3. How long do Komodo Iguanas live?

Komodo Iguanas have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years in the wild. In captivity, with proper care, they can live even longer.

4. Are Komodo Iguanas endangered?

Komodo Iguanas are classified as vulnerable, meaning they are at risk of extinction in the wild. Conservation efforts are crucial to their survival.

5. What is the difference between a Komodo Iguana and a regular iguana?

Komodo Iguanas are a distinct species known for their large size and unique habitat. Regular iguanas refer to various species within the Iguanidae family, which can differ in size, habitat, and behavior.

By providing this comprehensive guide on Komodo Iguanas, we aim to promote awareness and appreciation for these incredible reptiles. Through conservation efforts and responsible stewardship of their natural habitat, we can ensure the continued existence of these magnificent creatures for future generations to admire.

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