Friday, 26 June 2009

Rein of the giant creatures: Coconut Crab edition

Coconut crabs sound so fun, don't they? All relaxing on the beach, sipping pina coladas, maybe jammin' a little "Margaritaville." They sound like the ULTIMATE SUMMER CRUSTACEAN!!!!! Total good times, beach buddy. Then you find out they are giant. And nobody's laughing anymore.

Check this guy out. I found him on, a website that apparently shares my fascination with lifeforms that are much larger than they should be. In the past this blog has envisioned hanging out with giant otters at say, the grocery store, or at a picnic, maybe. Not these crabs. They just wanna sit on your garbage can and scare the @#%^ out of you. Fortunately, like most giant things, they live nowhere near me. They are native to Guam and the Pacific Islands.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Echidna, mon amour

Ahh yes. Another reader nominated creature, this time from my friend Jaina. This week's update features a questionably cute (Is it? I just can't decide. I have to go with "yes". His funny, stumpy lil' arms and legs just make me want to visualize him having a tea party, or going sailing in a toy boat with a frog and a pygmy jerboa, or something that British animals do.), but 100% smart little dude known as the echidna. This photo (and this info)come from the NY Times, who chose to caption the image with the quote "Muse Opiang was working as a field research officer when he became seized by a passion for the long-beaked echidna," which for some reason strikes me as really funny. "Passion," maybe. Like, dude's all into painting the echidna's toenails for her or turning up sappy love songs that remind him of echidnas when he's in his car.

So why is this interesting? For one thing, echidnas have a larger capacity for reasoning and remembering than humans. "Among humans, the neocortex that allows us to reason and remember accounts for 30 percent of the brain; in echidnas, that figure is 50 percent," the article says. Also they lay eggs, which strikes me as kind of wacky for some reason. Check out the article here. It's worth it for the line about echidnas being made up of Babar and a boatload of other creatures. Babar! He made Arby's fun.

Pygmy jerboas: nature's ultimate Furby

A while back, my friend Jessica posted this on her facebook page and let me tell you people it is a WONDER. Thanks to my time-wasting obsession with weird and super cute animals, I am well familiar with jerboas. But this one--WHOA. When I was in preschool, I loved dinosaurs but I really had no sense of depth perception, or how to draw a line correctly, and so all the brontosauruses and such that I drew either had massive football shaped tails that dwarfed their bodies or wee little tiny diamond shaped heads that could in no way jive with the size of the rest of their appendages. This is kinda what the little dude in this video reminds me of. He's like, part tiny Easter chick, part some kind of wildly popular children's holiday toy that I can't think of the name of right now. I WANT ONE SO BAD.