File this under “superlatives you have never considered awarding before” — here’s the most adorable primer on extinction you’ve ever seen.
A British design firm made the “Species in Pieces” exhibition to showcase 30 “of the world’s most interesting but unfortunately endangered species.” Over a meditatively mournful piano track, the animals assemble and disassemble from a series of animated triangles. Click through, and you get facts about the threats facing each delightful creature, statistics about remaining populations, and videos of the real-life animals swimming or crawling or rolling adorably around.
On the hit list are cuties like the vaquita, a tiny dolphin that lives (for now) in the Gulf of Mexico. Newborns, as the site adorably informs us, are “the size of a loaf of bread,” and constantly look like they’re smiling.
Then there’s the three-banded Brazilian armadillo, just returned from a tour of duty as the 2014 FIFA World Cup mascot. It may be an endearing match for jaguars and athletes’ feet alike — not to mention our hearts — but it doesn’t stand a chance against habitat loss and climate change.
The list goes on, with teeny golden frogs and wee pygmy sloths and the squee-worthy forest owlet. Like a lot of awareness-raising art, it’s not clear what we should do or feel at the end of a project like this. So until I can think up something more productive, I’ll just settle for a combination of swooning and sobbing and watching slow loris video compilations. Please, join me.