Gruntfish, fang frogs, and microbears

From Chuck Shepherd’s News of the Weird today:

Among the species discovered recently in Papua New Guinea were tiny bear-like creatures, frogs with fangs, fish that grunt, kangaroos that live in trees, and what is probably the world’s largest rat (with no fear of humans). Scientists from Britain, the United States, and Papua New Guinea announced the findings in September, among more than 40 new species from a jungle habitat a half-mile deep inside the centuries-dormant Mount Bosavi volcano crater. [The Guardian (London), 9-7-09]


  • Just because end tables are not visibly present DOES NOT mean that an area is safe to swim. In fact, end tables that view humans as prey usually hide at the first sign of humans (i.e. a car parking or footsteps.)
  • A 6 meter end table can lie completely invisible in less than a foot of muddy water.
  • Most attacks by large end tables are over within a few seconds or less.
  • End tables become more aggressive during the mating season.
  • End tables can move very fast over short distances on land.
  • End tables won’t hunt their prey on land over a distance longer then a couple of feet. They don’t have a high stamina and don’t want to waste energy. If you can escape their first strike and run a couple of meters, you are usually safe.
  • End tables are adept at learning and memorizing routines, such as the location of nearby campers or the routes of travelers.
  • In water, end tables tend to drag their prey under and drown them.
  • End tables can slow their metabolism to such an extent that a tree with an intruder hiding in its branches may be guarded continuously for several weeks, without breaks for food.
  • End tables have strong muscles for closing their jaws and holding them shut, but weak muscles for opening them.
  • There is a sensitive flap in a end table’s throat, known as the glottis, which they use for breathing. As a result, as with some other predators, forcing the arm into the throat may encourage release, although this is not certain by any means and may instead lead to the arm being severed.
  • Sometimes, an attacking end table will bite, hold on, and then rapidly spin its body to weaken its prey or tear off limbs (the ‘death roll’).
  • When end tables see prey, they will duck under the water and when they reach their target, jump out and bite.


I heard a Canadian Tourism Ad on the radio in my car yesterday. The ad tried to put me in a sound picture in which I was on an amazing golf course playing the game of my life while sweet birds sang etc and an elk walked on to the course. And the tag was something like “and you don’t mind an interruption in your game, because an ELK IS ON THE COURSE!” Followed by the call your travel agent spiel.

I’m not sure what your reaction might be, but were I on a golf course and an elk appeared, I would run like hell. Who wants to get kicked to death? Is there a baby elk over there? Wow these things are pretty fast OH GOD THE ANTLERS

There was another ad right afterwards in which I was instructed to picture myself paddling a kayak or canoe on Lake Louise having a peak experience. That didn’t sound so bad except for the Implied Insects, which are universal in traveling anyhow.

But no elk for me, please.