Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Oh, the things you find on the Internet...

When people talk about old Mother Nature, they’re almost referring to beauty, as in sunsets or her destructive power, as in earthquakes. It would seem however that Mother Nature also fancies herself something of a comedian. To illustrate my point, here are some excerpts from a science article I recently came across…

"Caterpillars shoot their faeces more than a metre from their homes to protect themselves from predators, an American ecologist has discovered."

"Older and larger caterpillars can launch 24 g pellets nearly 40 times their body length, at speeds of 1.3 metres per second; the longest distance recorded by Weiss was 153 cm."

"The study of ecology and evolutionary biology has been largely focused on the feeding strategies of animals; Weiss said it may be time for scientists to also look at waste disposal as a potentially promising new field which she dubbed 'evolutionary faecology'."

I’m just glad that primates didn’t take up this peculiar evolutionary adaptation or toilet training children would be an entirely different experience…involving Hazmat suits and water hoses. As for the promising new field of 'evolutionary faecology', there’s a title you’d be proud to have on a business card.

1 comment:

neva said...

whoa.... glad to know this about caterpillars...i think!

knowing they can actually "launch" their own pellets will make me think twice before bending down to admire 'em in all their furry cuteness! ("cuteness" my ass, there's nothing cute about a shit-shootin' bug!)

sorry i haven't been by for the past few days, i've had a terrible time with this flu (tho', not a shit-shootin' time, so that's something). and thank you for "stopping by" my blog and leaving such a lovely comment. your kindness--along with your wit and humor--is greatly appreciated! : D