The pangolin is one of the very few animals that I deeply, yet have (almost) never seen. They are, basically, a walking security metaphor. They are predators, but not apex predators, so they must also engage in defense. They are covered in scales that protect them when they curl into a ball. The edges of the scales, though, are razor sharp and basically fight back against the attacker. They’re not the most impressive, but they are extremely well adapted to their environment.
Or, well, they were. Like security, their biggest enemy is people. There are eight species of pangolin, and they are endangered. They survived for over fifty million years. They’ve had to change their diet. They’ve had to evolve different types of scales. They’ve had to evolve to live in different climates and different habitats.
They did not, however, evolve to not be yummy.
This is the best view I’ve ever had of a living one. If I travel to Asia or Africa, I can probably get a better one. In but one human lifetime, even that will likely not be possible.
This is the southern hairy-nosed wombat. At some point in history, the following conversation must have occurred:
“Crikey! I just found a new critter!”
“Looks like a wombat to me.”
“Well sure, but look how hairy it is!”
“Eh, I’ve seen hairier.”
“Yeah, but check out that hairy nose!”
“I saw a wombat with a hairy nose just the other day.”
“Oh yeah!? Where!?”
“I dunno. Up north somewhere, I think.”
The secretary bird is named because it has dark feathers sticking out from the back of its head and looks like the pens that secretaries put back there as seen here:
Ash Carter – Secretary of Defense
John Kerry – Secretary of State
Jacob Lew – Secretary of the Treasury
The similarity is truly stunning.
Sometimes, even in the zoos, you have to take what you can get. This jay was visible for about ten seconds. I’m quite lucky that the focus worked out, much less the exposure.
Burn your tongue once on overly-hot pizza and you learn put put up barriers to it ever happening again.
This fairy-bluebird is proud to have both better characterization and colour palette than “Batman v Superman” and suggests that staring at this photo for 2.5 hours might be a better use of your time.
As he lays there, the newly assigned God of Early But Not Too Early Spring, Really Just The Bit Where It Gets Warm, Then Cold Again Right Away For About A Week thinks that this whole climate change thing has gone a bit too far.
And then he got him to a rock aloft,
Where having spied her tower, long stared he on’t,
And prayed the narrow toiling Hellespont
To part in twain, that he might come and go
When I was younger, the bonobo was a type of chimpanzee that was special because they liked sex (a lot). Today, though, they are apparently their own species. One thing that makes them special (besides all the sex that people can’t stop talking about), is their use of tools. I had read about bonobos using branches and twigs to get ants out of their nests, but this is the first time I had seen it.
The zoo has a fake ant mount and provides twigs. I am not sure if they are actually getting ants out of them or if they are dipping the twigs in honey (which seems more likely). Either way, it’s one thing to read about animals using tools. It’s quite another thing to actually see it.
It’s Super Tuesday and I’ve been asleep for hours, having posted all of these well in advance.
How’d I do?
It’s Super Tuesday night and both the concession and victory speeches have begun.
It’s Super Tuesday evening and some are probing the results.
It’s Super Tuesday and some are neck and neck (and neck and neck and neck and neck).
It’s Super Tuesday and some are anxiously awaiting results.