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Darwin's World

Credit:Praveen P. MohandasFebruary 2009: There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the…

The Evolutionary Climate

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us. – Carl Sagan

Man’s Best Friend

Credit:Hira PunjabiDecember 2008: I love dogs. The ones in my home; the ones on India’s mean streets; the wild ones that run chital and sambar down in deep forests and the ones that started it all, the ultimate top dogs – wolves, Canis…

Both Ends

“Never burn your candle at both ends.” I doubt that I will ever forget that line of advice, proffered consistently by my father, Lal Chand Sahgal, through the decades. Were he alive today (he left us on August 22, 2008 after an incredibly full 97 years), he would have agreed that this image of a Periyar Tiger Reserve forest fire, raging around a high tension power cable, perfectly exemplifies the…

Tomorrow's World

October 2008: Only someone who has seen a tiger in the wild can possibly understand the weightless joy that pervades the soul when one condescends to reveal itself in its forest. Sanctuary magazine draws on appreciation to cement people together in defence of the natural world. The tiger does tend to dominate our mission, but is little more than a metaphor for all nature –…

On Insecurity

Water, water, every where, And all the boards did shrink; Water, water, every where, Nor any drop to drink. – The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Red Alert

August 2008: The general consensus is that red pandas Ailurus fulgens are related to raccoons, and giant pandas Ailuropoda melanoleuca to bears. But neither the fossil record nor blood protein analysis are able to give us a definitive answer. For now, therefore, the red panda you see in this image has been placed in its own unique family – the Ailuridae

The Singer and the Song

These young children are making their voices heard. For years now, Kids for Tigers, the Sanctuary Tiger Programme, has taught millions of rural and urban Indians the value of wild nature and the connection between human happiness and ecological harmony. With help from over 1,500 educationists and thousands of proactive parents, Sanctuary has taken great care to instil in these innocents…

Vanishing Stripes

June 2008: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is an honourable man. And he would probably be just as moved as you or I at the sight of this strapping, young tiger striding across a path in Corbett, among the few safe havens left in India.

Over a Barrel

The earliest known leopard Panthera pardus fossil, discovered in Laetoli, Tanzania, dates back 3.8 million years. The spotted cats are believed to have found their way to Eurasia about 900,000 years ago. The leopard, lion, tiger, jaguar, snow leopard and even the clouded leopard are related. Though no one has yet discovered any fossil evidence of the immediate ancestor that links all these…

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