Tag Archives: National Zoo – Washington DC

California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)

California Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus)_22

True story time.

The National Zoo is weird. It doesn’t so much have hours of business so much the animals have hours for which they work. Since the zoo is, in some ways, a National Park, it is functionally open really early to really late. It’s just that if you get there early, the buildings are closed, but the grounds are open. Basically, all the animals are still having their morning coffee and reading the comics, so you don’t get to see much.

However, the sea lions don’t really go “home” for the night, so they’re out (in as much as sea lions get an “out”). They’re also extremely bored. Now, I’m not crazy enough to throw anything into the pool for them (seriously, don’t do that). However, what I did do was set my hat down on the ground up near the glass and this little guy had all sorts of fun trying to bite it or bubble it away. In the process, I got a decent little portrait here, but feel free to click through and see the other “playing with my hat” photos.

Boulanger (Rhynchophis boulengeri)

Boulanger (Rhynchophis boulengeri)

To hunt at night, many snakes have evolved the ability to sense heat via infrared radiation. However, those that lack this capability have learned to tie lanterns to their heads to aid in nighttime hunting. Sadly, they have found that the string either chafe their mouths or prevent them from opening their jaws to their full capacity.

Thus, a small number of snakes have evolved protuberences on the front of their faces to which they may attach their lanterns without reducing their predatory efficacy.

Nightly New(t)s

Emperor Newt (Tylototriton shanjing)

Tonight on the Nightly New(t)s, this emperor newt explores an economic environment in which television networks make their money by selling shows about poor people to other poor people, making the first group of poor people ever richer the poorer they can get them to act.

Fortunately he concludes his analysis with the observation that, though such a system would make the network quite rich, it is too transparent and cruel of a ploy for anyone to really fall for.

Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

Green Anaconda (Eunectes murinus)_5

“Yo pretty snakiess ’round the worldss
Got a weird thingss to show yass
So tell all the lil snakeletss
Tell your brothersss, your sistersss and your mammasss too

‘Cause we’re about to go downss
And youss knows just whatss to do
Wave your tonguesss in the air like yousss don’t care
Glide by the peoplesss as they startsss to looksss and staresss

Do your squeezesss, do your squeezesss, do your squeezesss quick mammasss
Come snakeletsss tell me what’s the wordsss

Wordssssss upssssss.”