Saturday, December 31, 2016

ZooWeird 31

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The blue glaucus occurs in temperate and tropical waters throughout the world's oceans. Areas where the slug can be found include the East and South Coast of South Africa, European waters, the east coast of Australia and Mozambique. The species floats upside down on the ocean's surface. (Animal info from

He’s such lovely little thing—
So far unlike a “slug,”
A word that seems more fitting for
A boxer—or a thug.

He floats when he is upside down—
Or so I read today—
A way to keep an eye on us
We love to pray, then prey.

He also is (I also read)
So very, very small,
And when you grab this little dude,
He rolls into a ball.

And does he know that we exist—
Have selfies made with him?
If so, I bet he’d take a dive
Back in the sea and swim.

(Far, far away from us.)

Friday, December 30, 2016

ZooWeird 30

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

While many butterflies are popular for their bright colors and unique patterns, the glasswing butterfly (Greta oto) is best known for its almost completely transparent wings. The spanish name for the species is “spejitos,” which translates to “little mirrors.” (All animal info from

The glasswing butterfly, my dear,
Is very honest, very clear.
They’re so transparent, far and near,

That no one doubts their motives or
Believes they’re evil at the core—
Or such, at least, is common lore

About these creatures. So they can’t
Seduce or swindle or enchant—
Their wicked ways are very scant.

And so they flap throughout their lives—
Their soars, their landings, and their dives.
They cannot cheat with others’ wives!

You see, the lives that they have built
Could never be a crazy quilt.
It’s clear they’ve never felt much guilt.

(For they can’t get away with anything!)

Thursday, December 29, 2016

ZooWeird 29

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The giraffe weevil is a weevil species endemic to the forests of Madagascar. It was discovered in 2008; hence, little is known about it. As you have probably guessed, it’s named this way due to having an extended neck, much as giraffes do.  (All animal info from    

“Am I a weevil or giraffe?”
She asked her dear barista friend,
Who from a deep and clear carafe
Could pour rich coffee (without end).

"That question is a bit beyond—
A little bit beyond my reach,”
He answered. “But of you I’m fond—
And so I’ll say … you’re some of each!”

This did not seem to mollify
Her friend—but so in life it goes:
You answer questions—oh, you try!—
Then realize that no one knows

The answers to conundrums deep.
So this poor creature—weevil or
Giraffe?—still felt she was a creep
And still felt creepy—to the core.

Until she sipped that latte down—
And felt its warmth through every part.
She felt no more she was a clown—
Felt latte-lovely in her heart!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

ZooWeird 28

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The giant guitarfish is a species of guitarfish, belonging to the family Rhynchobatidae, which can be found in the Red Sea and the tropical western Indian Ocean. They live in varying depths of 2-50 meters, usually in areas with sandy sea floor. These areas are mainly located near reef flats or coastal reefs; however, the Giant Guitarfish is also known to venture into the brackish waters of estuaries.The Giant Guitarfish is quite large, reaching a maximum length of 3.1 meters (10.1 feet) and a maximum weight of up to 227 kg (500 pounds). They have big black eyes on their pectoral bases with a black cross-like shape between them. Their snout is pointed while their mouth is really small featuring small pavement teeth, which means that the teeth are flattened and arranged side by side like the tiles in a pavement, making them virtually harmless to humans. (All animal info from

He found it somewhat awkward to
Be shaped like a guitar.
“I am not very musical,”
He mused there in the bar.

But then he heard commotion from
The band behind his back.
It seems their lead guitarist had
An ulcerous attack.

He had to head for home—right then.
So who would play guitar?
The leader wasn’t worried much—
He didn’t look too far.

"Hey, dude!" he cried across the room.
“Come here and help us out.”
Our friend was very worried what
This whole thing was about.

“Just sit right there,” the leader said.
“I think you’ll catch on quick.”
Our friend sat there; the band began;
And suddenly—so sick!—

He felt his body joining in—
The fans were going wild.
And on he rocked throughout the night—
The women were beguiled!

The music was a torrent then—
Like from a broken dam.
He found he was a natural—
Oh, he could really jam!

He had a new career at last—
And things were not the same.
Some Grammys and some platinum—
And then ...The Hall of Fame!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

ZooWeird 27

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The giant isopod is a crustacean that can be found in abundancy in the deep, cold waters of the Atlantic. They can be found from the gloomy sublittoral zone at a depth of 170 meters (560 feet) to the pitch darkness of the bathypelagic zone at 2,140 meters (7,020 feet), with the majority of them living in depths between 365 and 730 meters (1,198 and 2,400 feet). Giant Isopods are considered to be living fossils, as they have stayed virtually unscathed for the past 130 million years. [Information from:]

“I am in love,” she told her dad,
Who, hearing, thought it kind of odd.
And even more the shock he had
To hear: “A giant isopod!”

“But, dear,” said Dad, a shaken man,
“They live far down—so very deep.
You’ll never get a summer tan—
An isopod!”
“He’s not a creep,”

She told her dad. He’s gentle, wise,
And he is very, very kind.
I know this is a great surprise—
You must take love where’er you find

It.” So her dad just sighed—so sad.
As sad as any dad could be.
And then that very so-sad dad
Just threw his daughter in the sea.

Monday, December 26, 2016

ZooWeird 26

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Gerenuk, Waller's gazelle, giraffe-necked antelope, is a long-necked species of antelope and the sole member of the genus Litocranius. The species occurs in dry thorn shrub land and desert in the Horn of Africa (or Somali Peninsula) and the African Great Lakes region. The name gerenuk comes from the Somalian word Garanuug which not-surprisingly translates to "giraffe-necked". Read more:

“So, how come other antelopes
Don’t have a neck like mine?” he sobbed.
His dad replied, “Well, all those dopes
Are just deformed—by Nature robbed!”

“Besides,” his girlfriend later said,
“I think if you will closely check,
You’ll see (if you’ll just use your head),
That you and I can really neck!”

Sunday, December 25, 2016

ZooWeird 25

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The frill-necked lizard ,which belongs to the agamid family, can be mainly found in northern Australia and southern New Guinea. Its name derives from the large frill surrounding its neck. The frill necked lizard stays folded for most of the time; however, whenever this strange animal is in danger it opens up its mouth and the frill folds out. By doing this the lizard seems bigger and scarier to its potential predators. If this fail , the lizard has one more defense mechanism to employ , its speed. The frilled dragon is exceptionally fast and can even "sprint" on its two hind legs. Actually the way it runs is very funny and is the reason this lizard is also called "bicycle lizard.” Read more:

"I think your costume really kills—
I like the look; I dig the frills.”

So said the lizard’s best of friends,
But this is how a friendship ends:

A friend who’s trying to be kind
Says something—fails to use his mind.

And the receiver takes offense,
A snit ensues—no real suspense.

But later, maybe, all will cool.
The lizard knows he’s been a fool.

He texts his friend—apology.
They meet for beers—and amity.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

ZooWeird 24

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Fried-egg jellyfish. The common name says it all. This weird-looking jellyfish literally looks like a fried egg! Scientifically known as Cotylorhiza tuberculata, it is one of the two jellyfish species that resemble a fried egg. The other one is Phacellophora camtschatica. Not surprisingly, it also goes by the same name. They may look tasty, but you probably don't want to have one for breakfast! However, you can have a lot of fun with C. tuberculata. This jellyfish has a mild sting that causes very little—if any—pain to humans. Read more:

A tentacle is like a leg—
But jellyfish that’s like an egg?
Oh, I will your kind pardon beg

If you decline this “egg” to fry.
He’s got enough in life to sigh
And wail about. (A sorry guy.)

So when you hear a fried egg moan
In such a mournful, wailing tone,
Just leave the little dude alone.

It’s just a jellyfish, you see,
Whose life’s as dreary as can be …
So let him float—an egg that’s free!

Friday, December 23, 2016

ZooWeird 23

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The flying dragon occurs in southern India and Southeast Asia. This includes the Philippine Islands and Borneo. The species prefers rain forests and tropical areas that can provide adequate number of trees that the lizard can use for jumping and gliding. Read more:

“Wow! I can fly!” he told his mom,
Who—trying, trying—stayed so calm.

“Well, sort of fly,” his mom replied.
“But really all you do is glide.”

“Well, that’s more fun than standing pat!”
Her son announced in nothing flat.

He glided from the tallest tree
And landed, well, right next to me.

“You should be scared!” the dragon roared.
While I was acting kind of bored.

“I’ll write about you in my blog!
But, yo, you aren’t exactly Smaug!”

And so he slinked, depressed, away.
You must be careful what you say.

(To little dragons.)

(They’re sensitive.)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

ZooWeird 22

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The featherless chicken is a unique breed of chicken, created by a team of researchers, led by Avigdor Cahaner, at the genetics faculty of the Rehovot Agronomy Institute near Tel Aviv, Israel. Read more:

Chicken 1: “Dude! Where have our feathers up and gone?
I’m feeling cold—a coatless fawn!”

Chicken 2: “Some scientists have messed with us—
Convenience is their goal, I trust.”

Chicken 3: “Oh, yeah, convenience just for them!
The kind of thing we must condemn!”

Chicken 4: “I’m just embarrassed—that’s a fact.
So naked—soon, we’ll be attacked!”

Rooster 1: “I have to say”—his comb he flicks—
“I’m loving all these naked chicks!”

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

ZooWeird 21

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Erenna richardi: Siphonophores (or Siphonophora) belong to the phylum Cnidaria, a group of animals that includes corals, hydroids, and jellyfish. As of today, there are more than 150 described species of Siphonophores. Read more:

Some called this little dude a dork
Because of that odd tuning fork

That seems projected from his head—
It must be hard to get in bed!

The best thing, though—from June to June:
This dude is never out of tune.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

ZooWeird 20

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Emperor Tamarin [TAM-uh-run]. Apparently, this strange looking primate is named after the German emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941), due to their “remarkable” resemblance. At first the name was used only as a joke, but over the course of time it became the species’ “official” name. The species lives in the southwest Amazon Basin, east Peru, north Bolivia and the west Brazilian states of Acre and Amazonas. These weird animals inhabit tropical rain forests and either live deep within the forests or in open tree-covered areas. Read more:

The tamarin, which boasts a ’stache,
Enjoys a kind of jungle bash
Occasionally. He raises cash,

And then invites his jungle friends
To party on until night ends.
And, later, all will make amends

For damage and outrages done—
Yes, guilt arrives with morning sun.
But still—such wild, such jungle fun!

Monday, December 19, 2016

ZooWeird 19

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Eleutherodactylus cosnipatae, the world's smallest frog. It occurs exclusively in the Cosñipata Valley, on the north-eastern slopes of the Cadena de Paucartambo, a frontal range of the Andean Cordillera Oriental in the Cusco Department of Peru. There is very little research on the species and thus we know very little about it. Read more:

“The smallest in the world!” he cried.
“Perhaps that means I’ll not be fried!”

Fat chance. For gourmands like a bit
Of frog fresh fried, they do admit.

And so those frogs (as they would see)
Became a fad—a rarity.

The only problem? No relief
For bits of frog between your teeth.*

*Yes, it’s not a perfect rhyme. Tough. I like it.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

ZooWeird 18

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Echidnas are animals belonging to the family Tachyglossidae, and along with the platypus, they are the only surviving members of the monotreme order,  the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth to live young. As of today, there are four surviving Echidna species, that can be found in New Guinea and Australia. Read more:

The echidna features lots of spines—
She loves, of course, the finest wines.

She hasn’t got the longest leg—
But will, if needed, lay an egg—

A useful skill at Easter-time,
Though only in the creature’s prime—

That’s when, you know, she’s having sex
With current hubby (or an ex-?).

And such is life, echidna-style.
(I like mine better—by a mile!)

Saturday, December 17, 2016

ZooWeird 17

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Oriental Hornet (Vespa orientalis): Typically, wasps and hornets are most active during the early morning when they do the majority of their daily activities. However, this is not the case with the oriental hornet that is most active during the middle of the day. This social insect nests underground and the workers correlate their digging activity with the intensity of sunlight. It turns out there is actually a good reason why these insects love intense sunlight. Read more:

These hornets love the light of sun—
Intense? That’s even better! You
Can look for years—and not see one—
They’re underground—with work to do.

They’re lovely things—no question! Still,
You must be careful, for (somewhat)
They’re stinging things that like to kill—
Get near? They’ll zap you, face to butt!

Friday, December 16, 2016

ZooWeird 16

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Dendogramma. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen announced the discovery of two new strange, deep sea and mushroom-shaped animals. The two species were identified from a collection of specimens that were collected back in 1986. The authors assigned the newly described Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides under the animal kingdom, however they couldn’t classify them into an existing phylum. A new family, Dendrogrammatidae, was established for the species. Read more:

How must it feel to be so weird
That no one knows just what you are!
You’re very small—so you’re not feared.
The guy who found you? Now a star!

They think you’re like a mushroom, so
Their biases are all in place.
But if you’re one, I’d like to know
Before I shove you in my face!

(With a burger.)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

ZooWeird 15

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The crown of thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) is a large starfish with its name deriving from the venomous thorn-like spines that cover its body. It can be found in tropical coral reefs of the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean, and the Pacific Ocean. It is one of the largest starfishes in existence, only coming second to the sunflower starfish. Read more:

The starfish thought it wasn’t fair—
For thorns adorned him everywhere!

The other starfish, young and clear,
Made fun of him from year to year.

But he saved Kim, the Starfish Queen,
When some foul creature, very mean,

Attacked her in a vicious way.
Our starfish stuck him, paused to say:

“You’d better leave Queen Kim alone!
Or I will stick you till you moan!”

The naughty thing just swam afar
And Queen and starfish now, well, are

A pair. He’s stuck on her—his Kim—
And she is very stuck on him!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

ZooWeird 14

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The Colossal squid is the largest known extant squid and the sole member of the genus Mesonychoteuthis.
Surely, it's one the most frightening predators found in the deep sea. Very little is known about the species, since only a handful of specimens have ever been captured, analyzed and studied.
On February 22, 2007, a New Zealand fishing boat captured the largest ever recorded specimen, somewhere in Antarctica. It had an approximate length of 10 meters and weighted 495 kg!

He didn’t feel colossal—he
Was still but just a kid.
But those who fished were frightened when
They caught this youthful squid.

He heard them cry, “A monster!” And:
“He must be really bad!”
But youthful squid just muttered, “Well,
You oughta see my dad!”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

ZooWeird, 13

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

The Coconut crab is a terrestrial hermit crab and the sole representative of the Birgus genus. It holds the record for world's largest land-living arthropod. It can be found on many islands across the Indian Ocean as well as parts of the Pacific Ocean. Read more:

He didn’t like his name at all—
“A coconut? That’s kind of dumb!”
He muttered only just last fall
While on a beach, just sipping rum.

And so he found the naming guys—
And told them he would like a change.
The naming guys felt some surprise—
A change is tricky to arrange.

But they could see he was annoyed—
And so they changed his name a dab:
They hoped he would now feel more buoyed
With his new name—the Kumquat Krab.

Monday, December 12, 2016

ZooWeird 12

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Chinese giant salamander is the largest living amphibian and consecutively the largest salamander of the world. Read more:

Goliath was afraid of naught—
Of fear he never had been taught.

“A salamander! That’s insane!”
He bellowed in torrential rain.

But when he saw that giant one,
He wished that he had not begun

His rants that he possessed no fears,
For with the rain now mixed his tears.

(Of fear.)