21 May 2009

Animalia

The biologist in me seems to be peeking out today, begging to be acknowledged as an integral part of who I am (and not just a TV/movie/book fan). Probably also due to thesis guilt piling up...

Anyhow, I just wanted to share a couple of cool/cute/funky animal stories! Or actually send you to them. :p

The other day I was introduced to a new (for me) and interesting blog The Smitten Image via a tale of raccoon rescue. A lovely little tale in two parts (part one, part two) with some damn cute photos (such as the one shown here borrowed from The Smitten Image). If you're an animal lover I highly recommend you check it out, and if not... go do it anyway! :p


And to link things back to movies (and sci-fi in particular), you know all those scary aliens/monsters we see on-screen? Well they're not half as freaky as some of the real life animals we've got right here on Planet Earth! The sea is such a mysterious place (that I absolutely adore, good thing I'm a marine biologist!) and it's got some damn curious inhabitants! Case in point, go check out the Science Channel (didn't even know that existed!) and it's photo-list of the Top 10 Weirdest Sea Creatures (we had a few of these in the Aquarium I volunteered for as a guide in Liège, and I can confirm I used to get some great reactions from the public when telling them stories about these critters!). My favourite is no.4 the Leafy Seadragon and no.3 the Longhorn Cowfish. I saw no.4 while diving in Australia, so excited! And kids used to love the Cowfish in the Aquarium (pictured right, fuzzy, sorry!)... and were surprised at its enforced isolation from others... damn thing tends to poison its tank-mates when scared!

Hmmm... writing this post has helped me realise how much time can get "lost" while blogging! I was just going to jot down a few lines to send you along to those stories/photos... and got caught up looking for a pic from the Liège Aquarium to illustrate it (reminds me I have to take better pictures next time I'm there now that I have a decent camera). I also found a series of short videos a friend took with her camera one day when she was visiting me while I was doing a tour at the Aquarium. I'll have to "stitch" together the ones about the sharks, they're rather funny! I'll post them here as soon as I have time to work on those. But here's a view of that Cowfish (my voice in the background is actually talking about pufferfish and porcupine fish in the next aquarium):


And now I'm going to do what I was planning on doing over an hour ago: to bed!!!

11 comments:

  1. awwww...heheheh that video is so cool...what a cute fish :)
    I read the racoon story too and is it awesome :)
    I hope u are having a good sleep :)

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  2. great post! I'm definitely a science channel/discovery channel nerd. I have some really horrible pictures from the aquariums and zoos I've been to. The pictures (and video) are cool. I'm about to check out the raccoon story!
    I've only seen them when I've been out camping and I was none too happy about it because they chewed a hole in the containers that had our fresh water supply and tangled up the lines that held our fish basket and minnow catcher! (Plus, they're much bigger than most people realize...)

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  3. yeah, I slept like a log, thx!

    I actually can't remember if I've seen a raccoon in the wild! My last camping trips "out west" were in '91 in the 4 corners area (gorgeous!) and in '96 in the Canadian Rockies. I definitely remember "hearing" raccoons in Colorado... one campground we stayed at was just teeming with wildlife: at night raccoons came and stole our leftover bread and baked potatoes that my parents hadn't put away safely enough, and it the morning my sisters came rushing back from the latrines 'cause there was a big bear leering at them over a fence! And my dad instead of rushing towards them, first rushed back to the tent to get the camera! lol! Campground owner later told us it was a regular customer in the campground (even had a name which I can't remember now) and then asked us if we wanted to see his pet rattlesnake! So raccoons didn't bother me much in comparison! :p

    I hear you Nicky, taking pictures in Aquaria is soooo difficult! You need a good camera that can work without a flash since a/ the flash hurts the fish and b/ the damn thing just reflects off the glass anyway and ruins the shot! But since the lighting is always so dark and the damn fish keep swimming... they're almost always blurry photos!!! I've managed to perfect my technique over the years (this pic was from the friend who also did the vieo), it's just that I realised I didn't have any photos from the aquarium I volunteered in for 8 years! lol! have to go back! :p

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  4. Nice to hear your voice! I'm addicted to the National Geographic website!

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  5. ouch! I usually cringe whenever I hear my voice recorded... does that happen to any of you? I just sounds so different from in my head... :p

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  6. Cris thanks so much for the linkage to my raccoon story. I appreciate the mention. :)

    That video is tres cool too. I admit that right now I'm not listening to the sounds as others are asleep right now (of course the clacking on the keyboard might wake them instead) but will be back.

    Thanks again. PS.. the baby racoons are still doing well. :) I'll post an update soonish.

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  7. well it was such a delightful tale, how could I not put the word out and link to it! ;o) I look forward to reading more 'coon adventures!

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  8. LOL! I love that little guy... he is so cute. I wanted to tell the kids to shhh so I could hear you talk! Thanks.

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  9. hehehehe!
    That is indeed the biggest problem of doing guided tours with kids: the noise level!!!
    Always alternating between "shhh" and "quiet please" and raising my voice to speak over them (on the rare occasion where I've done 2 in a row I've ended up rather hoarse!). Then there's the fact that in most aquaria sound resonates throughout the halls so there's an "echo" factor as well, argh!
    Thing is you can't have them 100% quiet 'cause they need to able to ask and answer questions...

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  10. it doesn't look like a cow and it doesn't look like a fish... haha

    I love watching sea programs on tv - there is just so much weird stuff that you could never even dream up. They did a 6 part documentary on the BBC once - it was great!

    I hate my voice on recordings too - I'm so sure I don't sound like that!

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  11. The BBC sure does seem to put out an aweful lot of interesting documentaries on the oceans! Pity I only hear about them rarely and have trouble getting hold of them...

    And yeah, you'd be surprised at the number of fish that don't look like fish! lol!

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Hey there! Yes you! The quiet one in the back... I'd love it if you hung out for a bit and shared your thoughts!

I might stop by your place with an answer, but I'm more likely to reply right here so click on "email follow up comments" if you'd like to see what I and others have to say and come continue the conversation! ;o)