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We Probably Can't Save the Vaquita—But We Can Learn From Them

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Save the Vaquita Day is the first Saturday after the 4th of July, and it serves as a reminder that preventing extinctions means acting early. Hosted by: Hank Green Head to https://scishowfinds.com/ for hand selected artifacts of the universe! ---------- Support SciShow by becoming a patron on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/scishow ---------- Dooblydoo thanks go to the following Patreon supporters: Lazarus G, Sam Lutfi, Nicholas Smith, D.A. Noe, سلطان الخليفي, Piya Shedden, KatieMarie Magnone, Scott Satovsky Jr, Charles Southerland, Patrick D. Ashmore, Tim Curwick, charles george, Kevin Bealer, Chris Peters ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Instagram: http://instagram.com/thescishow ---------- Sources: Vaquita: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/conl.12331 https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2017/11/vaquita-porpoise-mexico-extinction/545204 https://www.vaquitacpr.org/ http://www.jstor.org/stable/4621011?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2000.98191.x https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2907.2006.00088.x Amur Leopard: https://academic.oup.com/jhered/article/93/5/303/2187228 https://www.companimalmed.com/article/S1938-9736(13)00081-0/abstract http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/zoo/sd-me-amur-leopard-cubs-zoo-20180601-story.html https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/extinction-countdown/amur-leopard-population-triples-to-103/#jCp https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071023081613.htm https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/5aec/636a15c7c4fc91f4dac4f52cf9ed09f6c0f1.pdf Javan Rhino: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/19495/0 https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10592-006-9139-4 https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/76/2/335/958233 https://books.google.ca/books?hl=en&lr=&id=Wxu7Ybou0qsC&oi=fnd&pg=PA89&dq=javan+rhino&ots=OingA2uYE4&sig=fwbNUv4DtFx57EphPSqYzjQYGI4#v=onepage&q=javan%20rhino&f=false Other: http://cmsdocs.s3.amazonaws.com/summarystats/2017-3_Summary_Stats_Page_Documents/2017_3_RL_Stats_Table_3a.pdf [PDF] http://advances.sciencemag.org/content/1/5/e1400253.full http://cmsdocs.s3.amazonaws.com/summarystats/2017-3_Summary_Stats_Page_Documents/2017_3_RL_Stats_Table_1.pdf Images: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Thylacinus.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edwards%27_Dodo.jpg https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/cartoon-cute-animals-vector-set-hand-drawn-style-gm512107742-86988065 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vaquita4_Olson_NOAA.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gulf_of_California.jpg https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/flying-fish-trapped-in-fishing-net-gm177028837-19987555 https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Leopard-digitalART.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amur_Leopard_distribution.PNG https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Amur_Leopard_Panthera_pardus_orientalis_Facing_Forward_1761px.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Rhinoceros_sondaicus_in_London_Zoo.jpg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Javan_Rhino_Range.svg https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Aren_pinna_070612_042_stgd.jpg
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Text Comments (961)
mynameisnotdave23 (6 hours ago)
Actually we probably could. The problem is that people care more about the next I-phone hitting the shelves.
Kayleigh Hay (10 hours ago)
I hate to say this but survival of the fittest. This is natural selection. If you can’t adapt to changes then you can’t thrive. This species clearly cannot thrive and will just have to wait for nature to give it something that will help it.
Foxison (15 hours ago)
Ive been doing projects on vaquitas since 6th grade and the fact that i could actually see the population shrinking was just absolutely heartbreaking,,,,,, this shouldn't be happening
Sara3346 (16 hours ago)
Why is mexicos...coastal foraces not patrolling for illegal offsure activities...wouldn't that help.
Alexis Soriano (18 hours ago)
Mike Coffin (2 days ago)
Such a true and depressing video......
Jolteon RL (2 days ago)
4:11 I'm triggered that you pronounced "Ujung Kulon" as "Ujong Kulon"
Freeman (4 days ago)
There is still more and more humans and we are still supporting further and further reproduction in fear of the pension system failing. As long as this crazy circle continues, most other forms of life will suffer.
【Silver Bytez】 (4 days ago)
Crossbreed them? Find a species genetically close enough to the Vaquita. The newer generations may not be the true species, but since there are so few left, there really isn't much choice. If the species ends up completely inbred, possible complications could kill them completely.
Kye Talks (6 days ago)
Couldn't you create clones from remains of dead animals? Like especially for the ones getting poached... Like that pelt still has the DNA, right? Could you not use it to make a clone? Do that a few times, add a bit of genetic diversity.... And tada. Only issue is getting to the poached pelts.
Vaquitas have a difficult possibility to sustain but there are many others who needs our help. Like the famous Kashmir Hangul or Kashmir Stag which is a magnificent species of Red Deer known for its 11 to 16 pointed horns. I have signed a petition to save these big Deer and I want all my sci show fans to sign the petition so that we all can make a better world where animals too have a right to live. Links to the petition given belowhttps://www.thepetitionsite.com/673/681/583/save-the-hangul-the-kashmir-stag/THANK YOU!!!!
drz (8 days ago)
I don't care about animals at all.
Metaknight145 (8 days ago)
Can't you use crispr to try to solve the diversity problem? If they're going to die anyway no point in not trying it.
Ninja Man (9 days ago)
we all cousins anyways so...
Gatot Rahmanto (9 days ago)
I am from java i saw a javan rhino in ujung kulon
Charles Peckham (9 days ago)
Trevor Phillips (10 days ago)
The Saimaa ringed seals from Finland are going to dodge extinction barely, people got paid for killing them back in 1930's. There were only 100 left in the 1950's and today there are over 600
Nova DragonWraith (10 days ago)
Wait, couldn’t we just, you know, shove them into aquariums for their safety?
qqqqqqq448 (11 days ago)
An apologize from my goverment for not taking action earlier.
Sammi Graham (11 days ago)
I work at McDonalds and we play a video every day about these dolphin whale things. Doesn’t really help, obviously, but it does raise awareness and ppl get home and google it 🤷🏼‍♀️
Karl Slicher (11 days ago)
More TCM victims?
Paola Rosario (12 days ago)
Well, this depressed me even more.
SteveVi0lence (12 days ago)
Yummm only a limited amount of time to taste vaquita
Iago Silva (12 days ago)
Folks, I'm not saying that extinction is something to look for, but try considering this: what would be worse for our species - letting the cute little cows die out, or sinking $X in conservation efforts? I don't mind giving research grants to scientists to study certain species (which may include conservation efforts), but it's straight unethical to leech off public opinion to drive these programs. We shouldn't save the vaquita because it's cute or quaint, but rather because of its ecological footprint and research potential
Here's a long-term solution for future species: stop having human babies! We're damn too many on this planet!
Ellie Smile (13 days ago)
This video was really interesting and sad. I wished we humans weren't so destructive and ignorant :( great message at the end!
Tiber Septim (13 days ago)
On a more hopeful note, the Arabian Oryx went from being extinct in the wild to having a healthy population. Conservation efforts don't always work but there is hope.
lumburgapalooza (12 days ago)
The heart of the problem is that we consider the very slightest of inconveniences to ourselves to be of greater concern than the extinction of another species. We are collectively unwilling to accept any degree of work or hardship in order to prevent the loss of nonhuman life until it's too late. The only way we can think to solve these problems is use mass psychology tricks to force a trickle of public decency to address a tiny fraction of the injustices we're committing. What does it say about us that simply being told about these problems is insufficient? We deserve our inevitable destruction.
jC_0353 MC (13 days ago)
We are all the product of incest by adam and eve
Michael Baker (13 days ago)
#fuHumankind.. the bane of nearly everything that is or once was.
Daniel Scott (13 days ago)
Seems like the problem wasnt laws not being fast enough, but laws not being enforced violently enough. If poachers caused most of the damage then no amount of laws could stop it, since by definition poaching is against the law. But if poachers were to be hunted to extinction, we would have less animals going extinct. Seems like a fair trade to me.
Charles Peckham (13 days ago)
I think we should clone bunches of them.
F00LSG0LD215 (13 days ago)
Have some Godamn Hope GEEZE Hank you're a downer with this one. WE CAN C-A-N SAVE THEM ALL!!!!
lozeldamaster (13 days ago)
This is one of many reasons why I absolutely despise the human race...
Darth Biomech (12 days ago)
Do you hate and despise your parents? Your friends (if you have any)? Yourself? Oh, no? I wonder why...
Akaryusan (13 days ago)
simple solution ban fishing gear and fishing boats and just fishing in general in the gulf strictly travel any sort of large boat that isnt a cruise ship or a yacht is seen everyone on it gets arrested as for yachts they get searched if any fishing gear of any sort is found life in prison.
Uncle Smacks (11 days ago)
I agree with both of these statements.
Darth Biomech (12 days ago)
Nah, poachers should be treated as terrorists, not mere criminals. This means "shoot on sight".
Mad Monkee (13 days ago)
The Florida Panther is now functionally extinct. The population showed signs of detremental inbreeding, and panthers from Texas were introduced, meaning that the panthers in Florida are now hybrids, not Florida Panthers. (Though maybe geneticists could breed them back, someday, somehow, like they're trying to do with the quagga and the aurochs.)
Bilal Mohammed (13 days ago)
CHALLENGE PULL ONE MISTAKE OUT OF THESE SCIENTIFIC MIRACLES IN QURAN The Creation of Life: In Quran, Allah Almighty says: “…We made every living thing from water. Will they not believe?” (21:30) In this ayah of Quran, Allah Almighty holds water as the basic element of the creation of every living thing. The same thing is proved by science where it tells that every living thing comprises of cells and these cells consist of 80% cytoplasm, which in simple terms is explained as water. Therefore, science proves the very same fact which Quran mentioned 1400 years ago which might have seemed odd for the people of that time as there was no science to prove it then, but today everyone accepts this fact. The Presence of Iron: For the people of today iron is a metal that is found on earth. However, it is the scientists who have come to find the original source of iron as per which iron is not a metal of this earth rather it came from space. Quran says about iron in the following way: “…… We sent down Iron, in which is (material for) mighty war, as well as many benefits for mankind.” (57:25) From this ayah it is clear that the metal iron was sent down by Allah Almighty, hence it is not something of this world that grew or formed in it. According to scientists, billions of years ago meteoroids hit earth and these meteoroids came with the metal iron which then dispersed and immersed in different parts of the earth. Hence, in this regard as well, the saying of Quran predates scientific factual discovery. The Protection Of Sky: In Quran, Allah Almighty says: “We made the sky a protective ceiling. And yet they are turning away from Our signs!” (21:32) In this ayah, Allah Almighty mentions sky as a protective ceiling for people and calls it as a sign. It might not have been clear to the people of those days however, people of today who have access to science can agree with the fact that the sky actually does serve as a protective shield for life on earth. Science tells that it is the presence of sky that protects the earth from the harmful radiation of the rays of earth and it is again the sky that serves as a protective blanket to keep the temperature of the earth moderate during nights. If it were not there then radiation would have caused havoc and the freezing temperatures at night would have extinguished life on earth. Therefore, the followers of science cannot refute the mention of this fact in Quran. Function of Mountains: In Quran, Allah Almighty says: “Did We not make the earth a resting place? And the mountains as stakes?” (78:6-7) From this ayah it can be inferred that mountains are like stakes, which go deep down in the earth. This claim of Quran has been also proven right by science according to which the mountains are not merely above the surface; rather they have roots deep down below as well. The best example of this can be the highest peak in the world Mount Everest. According to scientists, Mount Everest that is 9km above the surface has its roots almost 125km below the surface thus the metaphor of stake in Quran actually gets a scientific backing. Expansion of Universe: In Quran, Allah Almighty says: “And it is We who have built the Universe with (Our creative) power and keep expanding it.” (51:47) In this ayah, Allah Almighty refers to the expansion of the universe. According to this ayah, the universe has not been the same since its existence; it continues and will continue on changing. This fact was proven by science a hundred years ago when the astronomers found out that the universe is not stagnant, rather it is expanding with the passage of time, thus concurring with the claim of Quran. Conclusion: In a nutshell, there are many more verses of Quran that are put to test by science. By far science has concurred with Quran and has found every claim of it true. The testing goes on and the time is not far when all the claims of Quran regarding universe and life will be considered scientific facts.
Jeremy Higgins (13 days ago)
"Vaquita! What's the Scouter say about their breeding level?" "It's under 9,000! Like, waaaay under."
acegeek (13 days ago)
I'm convinced homosapiens are the reason all other hominids are gone. Seems like we are inherently destructive to other species for selfish and vain reasons.
Deven Swanson (13 days ago)
Freeze the dna and or sex cells
ResortDog (13 days ago)
Species are fluid as are habitats. It has never not been so. It's great they can now be documented better on their short span on the planet forward and maybe there will be something after us that can look at the pictures of them left from us, and of us too...
David Datura (13 days ago)
😔 Well that was depressing and very sad.
KeepCalmAndCARRIEOn (13 days ago)
Need Muscle Hank's input
Gargwin Vinesnake (13 days ago)
I don't think there is such a shortage of farmers and cattle in the world that they need consideration when an entire species is disappearing.
Thomas Ellison (13 days ago)
F*** dolphins.
Brandon Haffeman (13 days ago)
One name: Big Bird (potential species father of a new species in Galapagos Islands).
NotSo FatCat (13 days ago)
welp time to clone some porpi
Dorvid (13 days ago)
All mass-net fishing should be internationally banned. And the Vaquita, Amur leopard and Javan Rhino are a model for saving the North Atlantic Right Whale. There are still enough to recover if we zealously protect them now.
Shauday Smith (13 days ago)
local fishermen don't care about their effect on the environment and local governments don't care enough to enforce the laws to save the literally, CUTEST porpoise on the whole goddam planet.
ResortDog (13 days ago)
Kinda like the Bushmen of Africa trying to make it in the reserve in the middle.
No Bob (13 days ago)
4:11 Nailed it!
Keatrith Amakiir (13 days ago)
Our species sucks...
Ralphie Raccoon (13 days ago)
An important point was made, conservation is often a zero-sum game between animals and humans. Protecting animals can mean hurting often impoverished local human populations. It can leave them without a viable livelihood, or make it extremely difficult and less profitable. So any conservation efforts will need to compensate for these harms, finding them alternative work or if necessary just giving them a stipend or subsidy to live off. In some cases the best option may be to pay them to leave the area altogether.
Enigmatic Destroyer (13 days ago)
With humanity's current path, we'll join them soon enough.
jnzkngs (13 days ago)
I wonder what people would be saying about the cultures that think rare animals are good for holistic medicine if those cultures were white European?
Sam Kiley (13 days ago)
Why can't the classification of endangered, extremely endangered, etc. be shifted up? This would allow for the politicians to continue using the same words, while their then being more animals actually in the wild, allowing for the change to happen later in the species' fall.
Gingeta_Creachah (13 days ago)
All my life ive been told "you can't save them all." Very mater of factly they said it to me. Many many people. (My passion for helping and caring animals is kind of rediculous.) But if we do try, we will have a higher chance of doing it more often then not.. We brought ferrets back. I think we can bring a lot back. We just have to give some species more attention.
cool aid (13 days ago)
5:26 rrrand of the rlepport?
Javo (13 days ago)
I thought the Amur leopard had also bounced back in the Korea dmz as well?
The Idiot Reviewer (13 days ago)
do you notice that, none of the animal and plant in our diet ever goes extinct while animal and plant that isnt in our diet always goes extinct.. food for thought..
Kexin (14 days ago)
Through Synthesis, we can rebuild and preserve. Create memory-immortals within this data oasis. Will you become enlightened, Tenno? Will you hunt for me?
MidNight 11 (14 days ago)
I Know Humans. And I Know That They Won't Learn Anything Apart From 5% - 10%
ladyattis (14 days ago)
At best we can try to get genetic samples sufficient to make a profile of them so that in the future we could recreate an approximate descendant species. It's sad to say they'll be gone until we figure out how to stop being exploitative little nerds.
Jordon Hodges (14 days ago)
I have a question.....why do we need to save a species?
Jordon Hodges (12 days ago)
Darth Biomech just because something breaks doesnt make it worth reparing......if a disposible razor breaks its best to just get a new one. Im just saying conserving life in general is understandable. But just cause its alive doesnt make it deserving of said life
Darth Biomech (12 days ago)
Because if you broke something, you should try to fix it, because nobody will do that for you.
Twitching JackRabbit (14 days ago)
this makes me sad
Jeff Roberts (14 days ago)
Wait... A new hybrid leopard that we made with only a couple dozen in existence? So we basically made a new critically endangered species.
ThatSubieDude (14 days ago)
i hate irresponsible humans.
CanadianRM4 (14 days ago)
I remember I did a small Publisher article on these in 12th grade environmental studies class. My teacher loved it so much, she asked for a copy and pinned it on the classroom wall. That was about a decade ago. I wonder if it’s still there.
Bryce A (14 days ago)
Go Vegan
El Chaarawy (14 days ago)
30? Wtf
k1w1 (14 days ago)
The Vaquita sounds like the little Hector's dolphin we have in New Zealand. Sadly the Hector's is almost extinct, too, and for the same reason as the little Vaquita.
Zwinter Anderson (14 days ago)
Those Rhino poachers..... wouldn't it be a lot more lucrative to just cut of their horns and wait for it grow back, instead of killing the rhino?
Zillamon51 (14 days ago)
Matthew Conway (14 days ago)
truly a porpoise with a purpose... RIP
Andy Semmight (14 days ago)
Why japonensis in binomial nomenclature if Chinese species? What disease from cattle? Do the Rhinos get Rhino virus? Nah, not really. We are wiping out human diversity, by calling not protecting it diversity? Vaquita? Are people calling them that cause of color, or whale calves look, or little cow name, hope no one was eating them! Save their germ cells and DNA!
Dwight (14 days ago)
I don't see any nihilism in the comment section, let me help: All conservation is delaying the inevitable. While I don't think it's right to poach anything to extinction, let's see how any modern species is doing in half a billion years. If anything remains at all, it will have evolved beyond recognition. It's a bit sad, but at the same time inevitable. Eventually, there will be no evidence that anything existed at all. Unless there are unknown supernatural forces at work, everything will end and nothing really matters in the long term. Although matter can't really be destroyed, so perhaps everything is eternal after all.
DJ R (14 days ago)
Are regressive leftists endangered yet? Hope so!
Kubus77 (14 days ago)
Thats why we need organisations like Sea Sheppard!
ColeTrain316 (14 days ago)
I think that in the case of the Amur Leopard, people are too attached to their taxonomic labels. So long as leopards are in the area, the ecosystem has its apex predator and at least some of the genes of the original leopards can continue on.
ColeTrain316 (2 days ago)
Wha...I....how... I never once mentioned killing anything, I just have a problem with the system of taxonomy and the categorization of species for complicated reasons that I'm not going to get in to in a YouTube comment.
birbfanchannel tighto (2 days ago)
+Zeta Reticuli I dont think any animal should be randomly slaughtered, and I hardly think the other commenter was suggesting this either.
Zeta Reticuli (2 days ago)
I disagree on the purpose of principal. Just because it's a species of a larger group, doesn't mean we should just slaughter every single one because others will be able to take its place and be close to the same thing. That's just despicable, absolutely disgusting. That sounds like the justifications of a typical tyrannical businessman to allow the destruction of an ecosystem for personal profit. Abhorrent the thought of "it's okay because others will take its place."
birbfanchannel tighto (5 days ago)
Exactly. If they can breed so easily with others, these 'hybrids' are just fine. You dont fault wolves for having some dog dna- they're still wolves.
Miguel (14 days ago)
Perhaps if we all killed ourselves vaquitas wouldn’t be on the brink of extinction now.
warhawkjah (14 days ago)
Store their DNA for when de extinction becomes a thing.
Shane F (14 days ago)
I'm honestly saddened that Sci Show won't say that it's human demand that causes these problems. If you stop the demand, you stop the problems.
Ivan Beltran (14 days ago)
Humankind is a disease.
Roger Wilber (14 days ago)
Perhaps one of the issues is we allow science to break species into ever smaller and smaller defined boxes. What is the real difference between the Amur Leopard and the similar Chinese sub-species. In the grand scheme of things, do these differences actually matter or would they have died out or changed over time without humans. If you have to get down to look at an animal at the genetic level to point out a difference then maybe the issue is actually science. Should a human be put on the endangered species list because they ended up with a one in a million genetic difference from the standard population or do we accept that within a species there will be differences and not all of those differences need to be named and assigned to a discoverer? At some point it becomes about scientists stroking their egos rather than about the species they are studying.
Patrick Milewski (14 days ago)
How about we make humanity illegal.
TheDoomlord7 (14 days ago)
We can also probably clone them. Especially if the current project to clone woolly mammoth succeeds. Not saying that we shouldn't put rules in place to stop endangering species. Just saying we might be able to save some species.
Domen Vrankar (14 days ago)
Food for thought: Conservation is nice but it's hard to even make a dent in species getting extinct... Removing all the humans with IQ below 110 would amount in us using up less of the sustainable earth's bio mass and thus would improve our species as well as give more "lebensraum" to other species. So how would you achieve that in the next 100-200 years?
Erim Valphira (14 days ago)
As part Neanderthal, I´m quite sure it´s not that big of a deal for the Amur Leopard to become entirely of mixed race. Beats being extinct. Still, would be nice if at least the bigger part was in fact Amur. As I´m pretty sure no one can claim Neanderthals are still around.
cristian (14 days ago)
What do you propose ignorant pieces of crap to do when their wee wee does not get hard? Viagra?? NO!! tiger testicles is the way to go... maybe throw some some rhino horn in for the extra "mojo" and you can keep the rest exhibited on your coffee table in the living room so everyone that visits your house recognizes you as a REAL MAN! with high status.
Torkil Hansen (14 days ago)
yeah. the sligthly different chinese leopard is completely different from the amur leopard, but somehow, a white man, black man and an asian are all exactly the same and purely equal, except for some of them, because they are more equal.
I've heard Ladybird Spiders in the UK were close to extinction but some miracle happened where they moved it to a place called Dorset in England and now their population is back up :) it is indeed sad that despite banning some things in this world... people still break the law for their own greed :(
renge9909 (14 days ago)
Eh. It's a shame, but if this is what the world is heading towards, I guess it's as much as we deserve. I wonder when our time will come...
CompletelyNewguy (14 days ago)
What about cloning? That could be helpful.
mstalcup (14 days ago)
I think the mixed leopards should be introduced into the wild population because the ecosystem needs a niche filled in a comparable way to what the wild population would have done when it was thriving before poaching created the decline.
Owl B Me (14 days ago)
💚 *quality content* 💚
The Goodly Dragon (14 days ago)
We care so much about preserving the pure amor leopard, but we're told that if the European homo sapien gets hybridized out of existence it's just pure unadulterated evil to even lament that.
Raimo Kangasniemi (14 days ago)
Where there is a will, there is a way
Darth Obscurity (14 days ago)
Bit of a misconception here. Even if we released the captive Amur's and they bred with the wild population, the Amur's wouldn't go extinct, the new species would be Amur's _plus_ the new subspecies. Like how dinosaurs never actually went extinct.
Viswanath Aditham (14 days ago)
I wanna like this video, but would that mean I like the fact that they're going extinct? I'm confused
Banana (14 days ago)
Should there be conservation efforts in case a race of human ever becomes threatened?
TheGallus -/;:-:;/ (14 days ago)
This is just like Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

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