West Australian Seahorse

seahorse_flat

Ah! Seahorse! The monkey of the sea! Well, they have a prehensile tail which can grab stuff and so does a monkey.

Ah! Seahorse! The chameleon of the sea! Well, they can change their skin color and so can a chameleon.

Ah! Seahorse! The kangaroo of the sea! Well, they are only found in Australia and so are kangaroos.

Ah! Seahorse! The stegosaurus of the sea! Well, they bony plates all over their bodies instead of fish scales and so did stegosaurusi.

Ah! Seahorse! The African bush elephant of the sea! Well, they are a relatively large species of seahorse and African bush elephants are the largest land animals.

Ah! Seahorse! The best dad of the sea! Because they are the one that get pregnant and give birth to the babies (or “fry” as they are called).

Good ol’ Seahorse, you are very cool in many ways and I wish I was small enough to put a tiny saddle on you and gallop through the seas.

 

 

Data Deficient

Gamble’s Quail

GQuail

One year, for Christmas Eve dinner, my mother served quail instead of the regular turkey or standing rib roast. I refused to eat it. I was probably your age or younger, Sam, and didn’t know about vegetarianism, but I looked at that tiny little bird body on my plate and thought, “No Way.”

The Gambel’s Quail live in the deserts of Arizona. They like scrub forests, because they live on the ground and are kind of crappy fliers. The scrub forests give them a ground cover that they can run their tiny little butts through the grasses and scrubs to avoid predators. Like the Gerenuk, the Gambel’s Quail will remain motionless when they sense a predator. Their feathers camoflage them against the vegetation. . .so they. . .just. . .stand. . .totally. . .still. . .

I’ve seen several descriptions of quails that use the term “chunky” or “round” body. Ok. I understand these are descriptive terms, but I’m still sensitive to the negative connotations associated with them.  Perhaps a more polite way of referring to the quail’s shape would be “Rubenesque.” Nothing beats being compared to a Master Painter’s work. Unless the Master Painter is Goya or Bosch (which might get confusing and/or gross). Anyway, Gambel’s Quail, named after William Gambel (1823 – 1849), an American naturalist, who “discovered” this type of quail while traveling along the Santa Fe trail.

Hieronymus_Bosch Garden of Earthly Delights tryptich
Teeny detail of weird birds from Hieronymus Bosch’s painting, The Garden of Earthly Delights