Nov 22, 2012

Tired of turkey?

Why not try some of these? It's Urechis unicinctus, a marine spoon worm also known as the fat innkeeper worm, or, if that doesn't sound delicious enough, the penis fish. And you don't even have to cook it! In China you might find them in a stir-fry, but in Korea, it's eaten raw. A little salt and sesame oil and you're good to go, a nice light meal after all that heavy holiday fare.

These guys have an interesting cuisine of their own. They secrete their own slime net to catch particles of food. And they're hospitable, hence the "innkeeper" name: they share the tunnels they dig with small fish and other marine animals, which also eat their leftovers.

All in all, a perfect symbolic animal for this holiday, right?

Happy Thanksgiving!
-Wombat (No Relation)

Nov 20, 2012

Ugly Cuisine and Conservation

Poster for the Tokyo Bug-eating Festival. Wish I was there (but just to watch).

Also relevant to our interests is this article at the BBC: Are these animals too ugly to be saved?

Nov 12, 2012

Your Monday.... ugdorable?

OK, even I am not sure about this one... That is a baby tentacled snake, resting on the hand of one of my sometime colleagues at the National Zoo.  Tentacled snakes are aquatic (see some pictures of them in the water here) and spend their time hanging on by their tails to a branch and lolling about underwater looking uncannily like a dead branch. This clever method of disguise makes it easy for them to catch unsuspecting prey that swims by. Convenient for them, but less convenient for the keeper who is wondering how she would know if that dead-looking snake was actually dead.

-Wombat (No Relation)