Sunday, December 12, 2010

"Pinnacle of Wizardry"

Move over Chameleon, here comes the Mimic Octopus!  Have you seen this?  If you think it's Furry Turkey mimic is dead on, just wait til you see its Sarah Palin!

If I think long and hard sometimes I know the unfathomable, infinite wonders of our natural world is what I should be studying.  The NY Times article on microbes in Mono Lake trained to enjoy arsenic, not phosphoros, (a whole new realm of life, potentially), the dolphins reacting to seeing themselves in the mirror, the boa constrictor giving virgin births, Germany's gay vultures (who's zookeepers have taken them from their nest and forced them to live with females), the masturbating walrus (it's a two flippered affair!), male seahorses giving birth, or how about hermaphrodite fish?  I'm most deeply fascinated with the freak sex show in our natural world.

Until it gets nasty.

My friend Svetlana tells me of the hideous, overexposed mammal who kills bears in her native Siberia, taking only the gall bladder and leaving the carcass to rot. They do it all over the world, in fact.  Have you ever read about a bear committing suicide?  Don't forget to save the paws while it's still alive!  Here is a must-read tale from the farms of China where they suck gall-bladder juice from live bears.

In Africa, this same mammal poaches the severely endangered Black Rhinos and saws their horns off at a rate of one a day, despite being protected by armed gunmen within protected reserves!   There are what, 30 black rhinos left in the wild?  Africans have considered ""farming" the rhino horn, since this insidious hunter (and some worry that gays will be the end of the human race, oh that would be a pity!) is insatiable in its appetite and will pay any price for this "aphrodisiac", but no - the Chinese refuse a farmed horn - they want the real deal, the most virile horn - to satisfy superstition in their greedy quest for a longer-lasting erection.  Eastern medicine, my ass!  Nothing is gonna turn your three inches into a love-machine, k?  Save a Rhino, hire a prostitute.

When I stop to ponder studying the unfathomable, infinite wonders of our natural world, it's easy to see why I overlook the incurably selfish human mammal, which is not entirely without merit, and focus instead on the mimic octopus and all the magical others who still, somehow, survive to live among us.

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