Tuesday, February 28, 2017

ZooWeird 88

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Zospeum tholussum (transparent snail): The newly discovered Z. tholussum is a cave-dwelling species of air-breathing land snails and has a semi-transparent shell which is beautifully shaped like a dome. The species is extremely small, with a shell height of less than 2 mm. It was discovered at depths of 743 to 1,392 m (2,438 to 4,567 ft) in the Lukina jama–Trojama cave system in Croatia in 2010 during a caving expedition. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2015/04/10-weirdest-transparent-animals.html#ixzz4Zja70h63)

He lives in caves—likes water deep—
And is so very small.
He features a transparent shell,
Is able to enthrall

By his amazing life and looks
There is the darkest caves,
Where he’s caressed by Nature in
Her subtle, soothing waves.


Monday, February 27, 2017

ZooWeird 87

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.


Turtle frog.  An odd looking frog that has a body shape reminiscent of a turtle with no shell. M. gouldii is a Western Australian frog and the sole representative of the genus Myobatrachus. The species is a common sight in the area between Geraldton and Fitzgerald River in the Perth region of Western Australia. The turtle frog is usually found beneath logs and rocks in sandy soil, open woodlands, dense scrubs in sand hills, and places where the soil is made of leached grey sand. Interestingly, turtle frogs skip the tadpole stage. The embryos undergo the entire developmental process while still inside their eggs. Hatchlings are fully developed and look like miniature adults. Turtle frogs feed exclusively on termites and can eat up to 400 at a time.  (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/09/turtle-frog.html#ixzz4Zdn69wWQ)

A frog looks like a turtle? Well,
I don’t think that is all that swell.
But he is prob’ly satisfied—
That smile it has? Now, that’s the “tell.”

The frog hates having his legs fried—
He’d rather have them occupied
With pleasure and emergency,
For when they’re frying, he has died!

But he eats termites (graciously?)—
And tries to live so gracefully
So turtles will so clearly see
That he is not some mystery.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

ZooWeird 86

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.


Trilobite beetle. Platerodrilus is a genus of beetles of the family Lycidae. They commonly appear in the literature under the name Duliticola, which is an obsolete junior synonym. The females stay in the larval form and are about 40–80 mm in length. They have a flat dark body with large scales over the head, resembling trilobites—hence the informal names Trilobite beetleTrilobite larva, or “Sumatran Trilobite larva.” The males are much smaller, 8–9 mm, with a beetle-like appearance. Most are found in tropical rainforests, notably in India and Southeast Asia. (All animal info from Wikipedia!)

They’re prehistoric-looking, and
Their sex can be a little strange.
The males seem from another land
From that where all the females range.

But once they find each other, well,
When beetle beauty meets the beast,
Each ends up with a tale to tell—
But privacy is just the least

That we can do for them.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

ZooWeird 85

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Tongue-eating louse: a strange white parasitic isopod of the Cymothoidae family, commonly found off the coast of California. The parasite is best known for replacing the host’s tongue with itself. The parasite begins its life cycle by first entering the victim’s body through the gills. Females attach themselves to the tongue while males attach on the branchial arch (gill arches) beneath and behind the female. Once established, the parasite, using its front claws, immediately starts to feed on the blood of the tongue, which gradually atrophies. Slowly but steadily the parasite gets bigger and bigger. Eventually, it replaces the fish’s tongue by attaching itself to the muscles of the tongue stub. It appears that the parasite does not cause any other damage to the host fish. Actually, the host continues to use the parasitic “tongue” just like its old one, to grind food against the tiny teeth on the roof of the mouth. The tongue-eating louse is currently the only known parasite to replace a host’s organ in its entirety with itself. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/02/tongue-eating-louse.html#ixzz4ZS4DvFJs)

Of course a creature that will eat
Your tongue is just a louse.
It is no Donald Duck, you know—
No friendly Mickey Mouse.

But there in Cal-i-for-ni-a
Is where they eat those tongues—
And you can't screampathetic, yo
Because you have no lungs.

Friday, February 24, 2017

ZooWeird 84

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Thorny dragon.  A small, scary-looking species of lizard occurring exclusively in Australia—the sole species of the genus Moloch. One of the species’ most strange features is how it consumes water, with its skin acting as blotting paper, sucking the water from the ground and directing it upwards, until it reaches its mouth. Another unique feature is its fake head. When threatened, the thorny dragon burrows its real head, leaving the pretend, thorn-covered, head exposed. The species is found throughout the arid regions of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, south-western Queensland and western South Australia. It occurs in sand, spinifex grasslands and scrub and is a very common sight throughout the Shark Bay World Heritage Area. Their distribution coincides mostly with the regions of sandy loam soils than with a particular climate in Western Australia.Vegetation in their habitats is primarily composed of spinifex grasses (Triodea) and acacia scrub (mulga). Thorny dragons reach a maximum length of about 20 cm (~7.8 in), with females being slightly larger and paler than males. Its maximum lifespan in the wild is at least twenty years, and individuals reach sexual maturity at three years of age. This strange animal is an obligate myrmecophagous, meaning that it solely feeds on ants, typically species of the genera Iridomyrmex and Crematogaster. They have also been recorded to eat ants of the genera Ectatomma, Monomorium, Camponotus, Pheidole, and Polyrhachis. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/06/thorny-dragon.html#ixzz4ZMAXxxnw)

Down Under—that is where you’ll find
This prickly little lizard guy
Whose little complex dragon mind
Performs beneath a desert sky.

It loves, it seems, to feed on ants—
So uncles, I would guess, are safe.
He breathes no fire—he never rants
And seems at times a lonely waif.

He has a fake head he can use
When he is under deadly threat—
I wish I had one (oh, such news!)
That I could use when I’m beset

By problems, debt-collectors, foes,
By relatives and enemies,
For if I had one (heaven knows),
Then I could do just as I please!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

ZooWeird 83

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Taonius borealis. This bizzare cartoonish creature is Taonius borealis, one of the two recognized species in the Taonius genus. It is an oceanic glass squid that inhabits great deep-waters. It is known to occur in boreal and sub-Arctic regions of the North Pacific Ocean. They have been observed to lurk in depths greater than 2,000 m. Adults grows to be about 50 cm and have large eyes, pointed forward. However, they can direct them laterally as well.The maximum known length is 66 cm. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2015/04/taonius-borealis-cartoony-looking-squid.html#ixzz4ZGL7P3zX)

This squid resembles a “cartoon”—
At least, it’s told this, noon to noon.
(Better, somewhat, than a “goon.”)

But pause to think a little bit:
Because from where I stand or sit—
Perhaps a cartoon looks like it?

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

ZooWeird 82

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Syringammina fragilissima. Hard to imagine that the sponge-like thing actually comprises just one cell. It’s the world's largest unicellular organism, with a maximum diameter of at least 20 cm (~8 in). The species was first described by two specimens collected by the Triton ship in 1882, in the sea north of Scotland, under the guidance of oceanographer John Murray (1841–1914), who sent the collected specimens to his colleague Henry Brady for examination. The specimens were in bad shape and broken in many pieces. Still, Brady identified them as a new species, S. fragilissima, which roughly translates to “fragile sand pipe.” Murray and Brady had just discovered the first representative of the single-celled xenophyophores. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/09/Syringammina-fragilissima.html#ixzz4ZFB9BwTo)

A single cell. Mysterious.
It lives in oceans—very deep—
Concealing much from all of us.
(All study means a mental leap.)

He’s somehow grown so sizable—
The largest single cell around.
He cannot be too powerful—
So mystery is his home ground.

And mystery confers on each
A power that exceeds all size.
And so while Nature seeks to teach,
We listen closely, strain our eyes.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

ZooWeird 81

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Sloane’s viperfish. Despite its frightening appearance, the Sloane’s viperfish (or Sloane’s fangfish) is a harmless-to-humans dragon fish of the Chauliodus genus. It can be found all over the world in tropical and subtropical oceans, living in very deep depths. They are bathypelagic animals that live only for a few hours in captivity; as a result we don't know much about them. The fish is best known for having the Guinness record for largest teeth in comparison to its head-size, among all known species of fish. The teeth are so big that the Sloane’s viperfish has to open its jaws almost vertically before swallowing its prey. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/09/sloanes-viperfish.html#ixzz4ZFAVoYFi)

The viperfish lives far below—
In depths few humans ever know.
And, oh, does he go with the flow.

His teeth are mammoth for his head—
The better to make small things dead—
And we look on him with some dread.

But he will not harm human folks—
Unless offended by their jokes—
In which case he will eat those blokes.

Monday, February 20, 2017

ZooWeird 80

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Spotted jellyfish. The beautiful spotted jellyfish is a widely distributed species that occurs throughout the Indian Ocean, China Sea to Japan, and outward over the Pacific to the Fiji Islands. It is also known as the “lagoon jelly”because it occurs in bays, harbors, and lagoons. Some other common names it comes by are the golden medusa and the Papuan jellyfish. M. Papua is a relatively small jelly with a translucent, usually hemispherical, bell with a diameter ranging from 3 to 8 cm. The lagoon jelly has 8 frilled oral arms, rather than tentacles, that have a length that is more or less equal to the bell-radius. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/12/the-spotted-jellyfish.html#ixzz4YyqmWfgf)

“You are translucent!” sang the whale.
“And so he is,” sniffed Snotty Snail.
“And thereby, surely, hangs a tale.”

“No, just a tail,” the jellyfish
Then joked. “It is my fondest wish
That each of you becomes a dish!”

The sun was high; he moved toward light—
Preferring it to deep-sea night,
Where things are never—ever—bright.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

ZooWeird 79

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Spotted handfish. The Spotted Handfish is a rare and endangered fish of the Brachionichthyidae family. The species occurs exclusively in south-eastern Australia, in the lower Derwent River estuary, Frederick Henry Bay, D'Entrecasteaux Channel, and the northern Storm Bay region. This strange animal is best known for using its hand-like fins to “walk” on the sea bottom instead of ... swimming. The spotted handfish is a benthic (living on the sea bottom) fish, usually found “walking” or resting in coarse to fine silt and sand, at depths ranging from 5 to 10 meters (~16 to 32 ft). However, there have been recorded sightings at depths of up to 30 meters (~98 ft). The species feeds by sucking in prey items. In the wild, they have been reported to eat crustaceans, polychaete worms, and small shells. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/01/spotted-handfish-fish-that-walks.html#ixzz4Ysw7bAVe)

This guy is from Aus-tral-i-a—
And likes to walk on “hands”
Along the cluttered ocean floor—
It looks as if he stands!

He sucks in food (a hungry teen?),
But, please, avoid the yucks
That you will earn by saying here,
“The spotted handfish sucks!”

Saturday, February 18, 2017

ZooWeird 78

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Striped pajama squid. Although technically a cuttlefish and not a squid, it does look as if it’s wearing striped pajamas. The species occurs exclusively in the southern Indo-Pacific and can be found in eastern, southern and western Australia. Individuals usually hide on the sea floor, inside sand or mud, and amongst seagrass in waters of up to 20 meters (~60 feet) deep. It has a small and rounded body, with an average mantle length of 5 cm (~2.0 in), with the biggest ever recorded specimen being 7 cm (~2.5 in.) long. The body is covered by thin dark brown longitudinal stripes and has a creamish background while some individuals present with a mottled purple-brown color pattern. S. lineolata possess a pair of kidney-shaped fins on the mantle. The body has no shell. Leaving their pajama-like coloration aside, their body resembles a dumpling. This is why the species is also known as the Striped Dumpling Squid. These little critters spend most of the day buried in the sand or mud, with only their eyes protruding. This allows them to hide from predators and to catch unsuspecting prey as well. They become more active during the night, leaving the bottom —swimming in short hops—to go for hunting. During the mating period, the male grabs any passing female. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/07/striped-pyjama-squid.html#ixzz4Yn90RJh9)

These truly are some creatures strange—
They hide in sand to wait for prey;
They never really ever range,
Stay close to “home” from day to day.

Their looks, of course, distinguish them—
Mom Nature (what a risk she took!),
Said: “They can’t fly, and they can’t swim—
So how about a convict look!?”

Friday, February 17, 2017

ZooWeird 77

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Stinging rose moth caterpillar. The stinging rose moth is endemic to North American forests, occurring from New York to Florida, west to Missouri and Texas. Despite its widespread distribution, the species is considered to be rare due to the low numbers of reported sightings. Fully-grown caterpillars range from 3/4 to 7/8 inch long, with the basic color being yellow, orange, or red. Their body features pairs of long, horn-like, bristly spines and clumps of smaller spines. During this stage, the species is easily distinguished by the characteristic broad purplish stripe that runs down the midline of the back. Within the stripe are narrow whitish lines that are sometimes interrupted by constrictions in the stripe. Red, white, orange and purple lines may occur along the sides. Adults (moths) have a body featuring combinations of green, brown and yellow. The wingspan is 2.3 to 3.0 cm. Adults begin to appear early in the summer, and females lay their eggs in July.The eggs hatch usually nine days later and the larvae tends to hide on the undersides of leaves. They mature around mid-September and they winter as pupa inside a cocoon. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/12/stinging-rose-moth-caterpillar.html#ixzz4YhFyHaE0)

He grows into a lovely moth—
His colors like a frantic froth
Concocted by an artist wired
Who was by Art itself inspired.

As caterpillar—he’s a beaut,
As well. Yes, very, very cute.
Though I, of course, am really not
Declaring that an insect’s hot!

(Too weird.)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

ZooWeird 78

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Star spider. The star spider is a colorful species found across the southern part of the United States, from California to Florida, as well as in Central America, Jamaica, and Cuba. Also known as spiny backed orbweaver, the species is commonly found in trees or around trees in shrubs. The species has been extensively studied in citrus groves in Florida, where they are known as crab spiders. It is probably the best known and popular species from the genus Gasteracantha. Star spiders have a relatively short life. Their lifespan lasts only until reproduction, which usually takes place the spring that follows the winter when they hatched. Large webs are constructed only by adult females. Males simply hang from a single thread, usually close to the web of a female. The webs hang at a slight to distinct angle from perpendicular, where the female rests near the bottom, facing down, awaiting to catch her prey.  (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/02/star-spider.html#ixzz4YbR6oUlY)

These little fellows don’t live long—
It’s sex that does them in.
Perhaps because they reproduce
Sans marriage—that’s a sin!

The female is the one who weaves
That most adhesive web,
But male and female benefit—
Yep, every Jeb and Deb.

We wonder from our vantage point
About arachnid stars,
But spiders reproduce, and so,
Le'ts break out the cigars!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

ZooWeird 77

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Star-nosed mole. This small, weird-looking mole of the Talpidae family occurs in wet lowland areas of eastern Canada and the north-eastern United States. Records of the species extend along the Atlantic coast as far as extreme southeastern Georgia.Not much is known about their lifespan;  however, speculation is that they may live up to 4 years in the wild, with many specimens recorded to survive for up to two years in captivity. The species' most distinctive characteristic is the star-like structure that surrounds the snout. This “star” is made of 22 mobile, pink, fleshy tentacles, which are covered by minute touch receptors called “Eimer’s organs.” The star has a diameter of more or less 1 cm (0.4 in.) and contains about 25.000 Eimer’s organs. The star-nosed mole is virtually blind and is hypothesized that it uses the star like nose to detect electricity produced by prey when hunting. Some studies indicate that with the help of Eimer’s organs, these moles may also be able to detect seismic wave vibrations. These odd looking creatures are also known for their ability to smell underwater. They accomplish this by exhaling air bubbles onto objects and then inhaling the bubbles back again, thus carrying the scents to their nose! They are believed to be one of fastest eating mammals.  (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2010/11/star-nosed-mole.html#ixzz4YbQDpHHB)

He told the mole, “You’ll be a star!
Just sign with me—and you’ll go far!”

The mole was trusting—simple, too,
And told the agent: “I’m with you!”

And then he learned it was his nose
That was the feature. Then he froze

In horror and in disbelief—
And sought in pot some deep relief.

So now he’s called the “Star-Nosed Guy”—
And hears the cheers—although he’s high.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

ZooWeird 76

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Silky anteater. This cute, squirrel-sized critter is a silky anteater, the world’s smallest anteater, rarely seen in their natural habitat due to their small size and their arboreal and nocturnal lifestyle. Silky anteaters can be found in South America from southern Mexico to Brazil and Bolivia, including Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. The species has not been recorded in El Salvador and it's unclear if it is (or ever was) present there. C. didactylus has long claws on its front feet, used for climbing and tearing open ant-nests. The claws are present on the second and third toes, with the latter being much larger. The fourth is very small and claw-less; the other two are vestigial and not visible. The hind feet have four toes of equal length, each with long claws and a vestigial hallux that is not visible. The ribs are broad and flat, overlapping to form an internal armored casing that protects the chest. The silky anteater is strictly insectivorous and feeds exclusively on arboreal ants. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/11/silky-anteater.html#ixzz4YPmNnQG0)

He’s silky, insectivorous.
And very small, as well.
An insect diet—good for him—
For it’s not hard to tell

That if he went for bigger prey,
The laughter just would peal
From all those bigger, fiercer things,
For he would be their meal!

Monday, February 13, 2017

ZooWeird 75

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Short-horned lizard. The short-horned lizard is a small lizard species that lives in North America, in Saskatchewan and Alberta Canada, through Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and into Mexico through northeastern Sonora, Chihuahua, and Durango. As a first line of defense, they rely on their natural camouflage. If this fails, they inflate their bodies to double their original size, resembling a spiny balloon. They will also hiss and point their horns forward. As a last line of defense, they will squirt blood from ducts in the corners of their eyes. This not only confuses their potential predators giving them time to escape, but also repulses them, as the squirted blood contains a chemical that is noxious to dogs, wolves, and coyotes. Their aim is very accurate and can hit targets in a distance of up to a meter. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/11/short-horned-lizard-blood-squirting.html#ixzz4YJslS1dj)

They’re desert dwellers (no surprise)
But you should see their tricky eyes:

When they are threatened—have no doubt—
Then from their eyes their blood shoots out!

And that’s sufficient to deter
Whatever wants to injure her

Or him. So now I think I will
Determine how to gain this skill.

When list’ning to some creep, some crud,
I’d spray the dude with bright red blood—

Fresh from my newest weapon (eyes!)—
A way to scatter heinous guys!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

ZooWeird 74

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Shoebill: Today’s strange animal is the Shoebill (also known as Whalehead) with its name deriving from its massive shoe-shaped bill. They live in the tropical east Africa and are mainly found in swamps ranging from Sudan to Zambia. They are very large stork-like birds. Shoebills are solitary animals that hardly ever form groups. Even the breeding pairs are rarely seen together. These animals remain silent for the most part of their lives although they sometimes participate in “bill-clattering,” which they maily employ as a greeting sound near the nest. Shoebills are carnivorous animals, usually hunting in shallow, muddy waters with their favorite spots being waters that have little oxygen. In these waters fish have to surface more often and as a result hunting becomes much easier. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/09/shoebill.html#ixzz4YE1FL900)

He doesn’t much like hanging out—
But likes to fish (does he like trout?).

He is a very lonely guy
Who finds it troublesome to fly—

See, taking off’s the hardest part—
And sometimes he just has no heart

To make the effort—reach the sky.
He’ll take off later, by and by.

This bird is not a mystery—
When I see him, I think of me.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

ZooWeird 73

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Shark ray. The shark ray is a species closely related to guitarfishes and skates. It is widely distributed over the tropical coastal waters of the Indo-Pacific region in depths of up to 90 meters (300 feet). They are the sole member of the family Rhinidae. Their appearance is quite distinctive and they look like a combination of a shark, a ray, and a guitarfish. They are carnivorous, mainly consuming bottom-dwelling crustaceans like crabs and shrimps; however, on occasions they may also feed on mollusks and bony fishes. They use their smell to locate their prey and after they do, they restrain it with their broad, blunt head easing it afterwards inside their mouth with a series of short but strong thrusts. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/10/shark-ray.html#ixzz4Y87wOZHn)

He loves crustaceans, so I’ve read,
And plucks them from the ocean floor.
He catches creatures—makes 'em dead;
Then Shark Ray goes to search for more.

Since sharks don’t claim them, rays don’t know
If they are cousins—very odd.
Crustaceans, wary where you go,
For shark rays have an awesome bod

That frightens (as it's s'posed to do),
So take no chances--take no risk:
'Cuz if you do, your life is through
And you are now a lobster bisque.

Friday, February 10, 2017

ZooWeird 72

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Sea pig. Sea pigs are deep sea holothurian echinoderms of the Scotoplanes genus. They can be found in deep ocean bottoms in all major oceans, at depths of 1000 meters or greater. They are closely related to sea cucumbers (Holothuroidea). They are also known as sea cows because of the tube feet on their upper body side, which are reminiscent of cattle horns. Sea pigs haven’t been thoroughly studied and thus little is known about them. The average sea pig has a fat, oval body, with a length ranging from 5 to 10 cm (2 to 4 inches). The mouth is surrounded by ten feeding tentacles, and they have five to seven pairs of feet that are used exclusively for walking on the sea bottom. They have three pairs of papillae on the upper surface of the body. The two are long and whip-like, but the third pair is short and inconspicuous. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2011/10/sea-pigs.html#ixzz4Y2Kh8mk2)

How nice to have a name like “pig”—
It’s not a name I'd really dig,
But just expect it if you’re big.

He lives there on the ocean floor—
And eats unpleasant things (and more)—
But never needs a grocery store.

He also has the name of “cow”—
Which doesn’t seem too kind, somehow.
A pig. A cow. Well, take a bow,

For you have earned the grimmest name—
And you, of course, are not to blame.
It’s humans—and to name's their game!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

ZooWeird 71

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Scorpionfly. The common scorpionfly is a weird, scorpion-like insect found throughout the UKs. Males appear to have a stinger-like tail. No wonder why P. Communis (and other closely related species) are commonly known as “scorpion flies.” Adults have a black and yellow body, with a reddish head and tail. Adults are up to 3 cm (~1.1 in.) long with a wingspan of about 3.5 cm (~1.4 in.). The wings are mostly clear but have many dark spots or patches. The head is extended into a beak-like shape and the tiny jaws are situated at the end. Adults eat dead insects (although they sometimes consume live aphids), which are occasionally stolen from spider webs. They may also eat rotting rotting vegetable matter. Despite their large wings, flights are usually brief and short. They like to rest on the surface of leaves in dense shade. Breeding usually occurs at night. Mating is sometimes a dangerous game for males, who might easily get killed by the female. To avoid this, the male first presents a nuptial gift of a dead insect or a mass of saliva to placate her. Consider it something like a box of chocolates or a bunch of roses! (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/08/common-scorpionfly.html#ixzz4XwTZajet)

So sex is dangerous for them—
Well, not for her, but, yes, for him.

The female’s stinger—deadly, yo.
So he must watch, or off he’ll go

To where all careless males reside—
The world of death—inseXticide!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

ZooWeird 70

A doggerel series about odd or little-known animals.

Saiga antelope.  Saigas are nomadic animals, best known for their distinctive enlarged noses that hang down over the mouth. The species originally inhabited a vast area, covering the steppes and semi-desert regions of southeastern Europe and Central Asia from the Precaspian steppes to Mongolia and western China. The species also lived in North America during the Pleistocene period. At present, the one of the two surviving subspecies (S. t. tatarica) can be found in one location in Russia (steppes of the northwest Precaspian region) and three areas in Kazakhstan (the Ural, Ustiurt and Betpak-dala populations). The other (S. t. mongolica) can be found only in western Mongolia. The species became extinct in China by the 1960s, and in Ukraine during the 18th century. (All animal info from http://www.strangeanimals.info/2014/03/Saiga-antelope.html#ixzz4XvCuTLtl)

These antelope are Russian, and
It seems they have a chunky nose.
They dart about that Russian land
In search of some designer clothes

That would, somehow, diminish the
Effects of such a sturdy snout.
And then, at last, they would be free
From always being talked about—

The snotty comments (that’s a pun)
Comparisons they must abide.
Yes, then, it would be time for fun—
The kind you have when you have hide.