Monday, February 13, 2006

manimals, part two

this is part two of my foray into not-quite-political posts - see here for manimals, part one

i told you that i went to the mountains last weekend - i accidently came home sans camera - but my fellow campers have since returned it.

returning to our manimal theme - i'm sure that you've heard of the platypus. The platypus was once presumed to be a man-animal hybrid. This from wikipedia:
When the platypus was first discovered by Europeans in the late 1700s, a pelt was sent back to Britain and presented for examination by Joseph Banks to the scientific community. The British scientists were at first convinced that the seemingly odd collection of physical attributes must be a hoax, produced by some Asian taxidermist. It was thought that somebody had sewn a duck's beak onto the body of a beaver-like animal.
The platypus is considered one of the world's more bizarre creatures, and was at first thought to be a joke, a creature sown together by some bored new Australians. I have also heard it described as being made up of the bits God had left over at the end of creating the universe...
I didn't actually see a platypus in the mountains (they are notoriously shy) - but i did come across one of its cousins - the echidna.

Sitting around the campfire at night, I wondered aloud whether the porcupine was related to the echidna - and my co-campers all presumed that they were - but i figured that it was more likely that nature/evolution had simply conspired, independently, to come up with a similar solution because, hey - it worked. I figured that if you were a tasty, slow, ground-based, non-tree-climbing individual, your only chance was to be really prickly.
"When they were first discovered it was strongly believed that the echidna was related to the hedgehog and the porcupine. But these two have little in common with each other, and even less with the echidna. All three do possess a prickly coat of spines, but that's about where the resemblance ends...." (link)
btw - when you are fishing, you have lots of time to do nothing - its kinds weird given that blogging is so ADD-friendly - so of course i was mentally composing a post describing my experience. i knew that i had the following pic in my camera, so my post was gonna read 'i didn't harm any fish - but i did find Jesus'

Jesus is a cousin of a manimal which can walk on water - take that, Dover.

(btw - none of us had ever heard of echidna in/on water)

(clicking on the pix will again take you to more elaborate versions)

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