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?

{ 1 comment }

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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