animal meme

October 8, 2007

in Me

Crap. I knew this would get to me eventually.

An interesting animal I had.
This is easy. I’ve had a lot of interesting animals. But probably the coolest were the two flying squirrels I rescued from a pet store which had them in a 5-gallon aquarium. They lived a life of relative luxury in a spare bedroom, which they had the run of (I had very tolerant parents), hiding nuts everywhere and sleeping in the curtain hems.

An interesting animal I ate.
The countless mornings in which I have been the first to walk on forested trails inspired me to coin this phrase: "Spiders. Breakfast of Champions." I’m sure I’ve unintentionally consumed plenty of web and hapless dessicated spider dinner remains, too.

Mein_the_museumAn interesting animal in the Museum.
This photo of me was taken in the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural in Havana. I am being grabbed by a giant representation of a Cuban Solenodon, or Almiqui (Solenodon cubanus). This endemic mammal is actually the size of a rat. They are very rare and were thought to be extinct until one was found in 2003. Solenodons (there is also a Haitian species) are nocturnal,  insectivorous/carnivorous, have venomous saliva, and are said to smell like goats. Read more about this very cool animal at the EDGE (Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered) web site.

An interesting thing I did with or to an animal.
I do things every day to birds that now seem ordinary to me but are probably interesting to others. I measure them, weigh them, check them for fat, parasites, molt, and breeding condition, have at times swabbed their hoo-hahs to sample cells for avian influenza. All in a day’s work.

An interesting animal in its natural habitat.
I don’t think I can whittle this down to one. All organisms have interesting life histories if you take the time to understand their ecology in the natural context. I see or read or view examples of animals all the time that make me think, "How cool is that!"  Here is the most recent. How cool is that?


Phantom Midge October 10, 2007 at 8:38 pm

On your interesting animal part: it always amazes me just how perfectly insects blend in to their surroundings! Very cool, indeed.

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