Tuesday, August 10, 2010

an ode to the cows of the sea

as we all know i like dugongs. a lot. so the first thing i did when i picked up a copy of Altruistic Armadillos, Zenlike Zebras:understanding the world's most intriguing animals by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson was to check if my darlings had made the cut. and they had!
just after lobsters and before meerkats, dugongs (they were listed under 'manatees and dugongs'. i know they are very similar- this book says that they really only differ in the shape of skull and tail- and i guess it doesn't really matter but i would have preferred if they were under 'dugongs and manatees' instead) got a whole page and a half. and what a page! i know i sound flippant again but there were just so many exciting snippets of information. there were also some very tragic snippets. did you know that dugongs (and manatees) have almost no predators apart from us? they are so big they can bop any other animal that tries anything shifty (except maybe killer whales and really big sharks), but if we come at them trying to eat them what can they do? it makes me very sad. dugongs are listed as vulnerable now, and manatees are one of the most endangered aquatic animals in the world. the florida manatees (which are still being eaten. crazy floridians) are protected by u.s law, but move so slowly they often have fatal encounters with outboard motors on boats. i want to get really rich, buy some sea and then make a dugong/manatee sanctuary.
i also learnt that...
this is a very interesting book.
a newborn kangaroo is the size of a small bean.
people do really horrible, awful awful things to coyotes.
i don't like people as much as i like animals.

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