Friday, 8 February 2013

7 Animals

I have not done the 7 Quick Takes genre in a while now, and do not intend to take it up again. However, I have a possible replacement. For a few months now I have posted a link on Facebook to an article on a different animal each day. I will gather those together and post them here on Fridays, if I remember.


Feb 2's animal was the sea potato, a kind of temperate-water sea urchin. They have a commensal relationship with certain bivalves.


Feb. 3's animal was the four-horned antelope. The small antelope's most unique feature is right there in the name: it is the only mammal to have four horns.


Feb. 4's animal was the shocking pink dragon millipede. Despite looking like a centipede, it is a millipede, and like many of its kin it secretes cyanide when nervous. Those are warning colours.


Feb. 5's animal was the resplendent quetzal. They are part of a family of birds called trogons, which sound to me like something out of the Monster Manual. (Also, they are gorgeous birds.)


Feb. 6's animal was the mud dauber. When I was a kid I quite enjoyed watching these guys fly through the air clutching balls of mud.


Feb. 7's animal was the salp. Salps look a lot like jellyfish, but they are actually chordates These animals are very strange, with a two-stage life cycle; in one stage, they are solitary and reproduce asexually, thus becoming aggregate and reproducing sexually. It's worth reading about salps.


Today's animal is the freshwater pearl mussel. They have negligible senescence, which means that they do not age or hardly age. For this reason some of these mussels will almost certainly live longer than I will.

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