Monday, November 14, 2005

Animal of the Week November 14, 2005 -- Pouchy fluffy wuffkins

Dis week's animal is a wittle fluffy wuffkins from Australia Petaurus breviceps (sugar glider) and it's just about the cutestest ickle fing in the whole wide world.

Like most mammals from Australia it's a marsupial, which means it raises it's babies in a pouch (marsupium) after they are born in a very undeveloped state. One of the commonest marsupials, there are seven subspecies found from Papua New Guinea, all the way down the east coast of the mainland, and in Tasmania (where they were probably introduced a hundred or so years ago). They dine on a diet of insects, birds, eggs, fruit, nectar, pollen, and sap; big fans of sweet foods, they gnaw into eucalyptus trees to release a stream of lovely sweet sap.

As well as liking sugar, sugar gliders, glide. A fold of skin, the patagium, extends between forelimb and hind limb. Luckily for sugar gliders they have a patagium (like Mis-Teeq's classic 2001 album was Lickin') on both sides. Another thing that male sugar gliders, like most marsupials, have two of is winkies—it's actually just one organ that is bifurcated, but it serves as two. I will say no more on this, there may be children reading.

The mentalist who designed this online quiz missed a trick not including sugar gliders as a cute animal, but why not find out what cute animal you are (they don't really go into species details or anything so it's not really that informative, and he/she thinks that frogs are cute, so not that accurate; but, as they used to say in French colonial Vietnam, a mindless diversion is as good as a wink to a three legged washstand).

My result

You Are A: Frog! [Keeper: Thanks!]
Independent yet still part of a large community, frogs are unique creatures known for their distinctive sound and ability to hop. As a frog, you spend your days sitting on lily pads or climbing trees, searching for delicious insects to eat. While there are some frogs that aren't exactly cute, you are certainly not one of those!

[Keeper: actually, most of it's quite accurate, except the insects thing]


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