Posts tagged with "animal" - Faerye Net 2011-08-26T14:38:42+00:00 Felicity Shoulders Cuckoo bumblebees 2011-08-26T14:38:42+00:00 2011-08-26T14:39:37+00:00 <p>Awesome zoology discovery* of the day: <strong>the cuckoo bumblebee</strong>!</p> <p><img src="" align="left" hspace="10 px"><blockquote>They are a specialized lineage which has lost social behavior, and lost the ability to collect pollen, and are instead cleptoparasitic in the colonies of other bumblebees. Before finding and invading a host colony, a Psithyrus female (there is no caste system in these species) will feed directly from flowers. Once she has infiltrated a host colony, the Psithyrus female will kill or subdue the queen of that colony and forcibly (using pheromones and/or physical attacks) &#8220;enslave&#8221; the workers of that colony to feed her and her developing young.<br /> <em>-<a href="" target="links">Wikipedia</a></em></blockquote></p> <p>Okay, it&#8217;s also sort of sad, because bumblebees are adorable. (Just say it to yourself and try not to smile: &#8216;bumble&#8217;.) But it&#8217;s also weird and wonderful and unexpected. I love this stuff.</p> <p>*For the limited sense of &#8216;discovery&#8217; that means &#8216;I didn&#8217;t know this until I read it on the internet, but the scientific community has known it for more or less ever.&#8217;</p> Olms 2007-09-05T17:55:42+00:00 2008-06-03T12:41:35+00:00 <p>Normally I&#8217;d say that I can&#8217;t believe I didn&#8217;t know about <a href="" target="links">these critters</a>, but the plain fact is that you could spend your life finding these things out and not know them all. After all, there are doubtless things just as strange about which no human knows.</p> <p>How often we as humans think that life is &#8216;meaningless&#8217; or that the world is &#8216;doomed&#8217;. If beauty is meaning, if the breadth and insistent diversity of life is sufficient Mystery, then such pessimism is not only silly, but so is our entire view on life. How can we think to give up on a world that is too large for us to have?</p> An Oddness of Animals 2007-05-01T15:10:03+00:00 2008-06-08T12:03:04+00:00 <p>I&#8217;ve always loved those strange names for animal groups with which English teems, and they were brought back to my mind by my sister, who was coming up against them in a crossword puzzle. I&#8217;ve read lists of them before, but I found a particularly nice one today <a href="">at the San Diego zoo website</a> (warning to sister sledge: contains answers to crossword clues.)</p> <p>Here are a few of my new favorites:<br /> A siege of herons<br /> A leap of leopards<br /> A scold of jays<br /> A smack of jellyfish<br /> A scurry of squirrels<br /> An intrusion of cockroaches</p> <p>Great crash of rhinoceroses, people, don&#8217;t you just <em>love</em> English?</p>