Yellow Blog, Up High in Banana Tree

I love the beautiful world at night.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Animal obsessions.

I've always enjoyed the animal world, but my almost-three-year-old Beanie ADORES animals, especially weird ones. Since I'm always seeking out animal library books for him (and looking for stuff on the web), I've learned about so many interesting critters. Here's what I am now grateful for knowing.

Owl monkeys rock. These nocturnal primates are some of the most charming, beautiful animals on Earth, and before my son drew them to my attention, I had no idea they existed. Now I'm slightly obsessed with them. Behold:

Tarsiers also make my Beanie giggle. They're not officially monkeys; they're more primitive primates. I think they look elfin, like Brian Froud creations with huge eyes and ridiculous long tufted tails:

They're smaller than you might think. Here you can see a fellow holding three of them:

So those are the favored big-eyed primates, these days. On to fish....

Consider the cookie cutter shark, who won't win a beauty contest, but gets major panache points for biting perfectly circular chunks out of anything that moves (whales, other sharks, even submarines!):

In the bottom two pictures here, you can see the nice round bites these guys took out of a goblin shark (another completely bizarre animal). It looks like some Betty Crocker fiend with a circular cookie cutter went insane:

And here, cookie cutter sharks had a go at underwater cables that are difficult to cut with a sharp knife, puzzling the hell out of the cable maintenance guy:

(Beanie and others in our household pretend our index fingers are cookie cutter sharks. We pretend to take big chomps out of random objects and each other. Finger cookie cutter sharks are also useful for tickling.)

Finally, there's opthalmosaurus, an extinct marine reptile. Like the little primate friends mentioned above, these guys had GIANT EYES:

He's not a dinosaur, contrary to what I'd thought before my small-boy-induced crash course in dinosaurs. Did you know that the marine reptiles (think plesiosaurs) and flying reptiles (think pterodactyls) who were contemporaries of dinosaurs are not considered true dinosaurs? They're considered reptiles, like turtles, crocodilians, snakes, and lizards.

Birds, on the other hand, are dinosaurs. Go figure.


  • At 11:47 AM, Blogger Rob said…

    I've love the way Beanie is so quick to anthropomophize animals. One time, he asked me why all the 'people' in his favorite books were animals.

    Because I always try to give him the best answer possible, I told him "Children, historically, like to read stories about animals that act like humans. So, people who write new children's books tend to write stories about animals that act like people. Because kids like that."

    He said, "I like it too," and we kept reading.

    I still don't know what's up with the kid and the GIANT FREAKIN' EYES, tho.

  • At 2:23 PM, Blogger Khavren said…

    You should try and find some pictures of the things that got washed up after the tsuanmi, lots of odd fish with really really big eyes

  • At 9:50 PM, Blogger Vilda Chaya said…

    I just gotta say, I think we have plenty of resources of beautiful live animals to share with him that are not washing up as the result of a major horrible catastrophic tragedy that we are totally not prepared to discuss with him.

  • At 1:19 PM, Blogger Kate said…

    Turns out those pictures of creatures washed up after the tsunami are a hoax, anyway. Well, the pictures are real, but they're old and they've been circulating since before the tsunami.


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