Friday, April 23, 2010

Natural adaptation?

Yesterday evening, I was trying to get a decent macro photograph of one of the lovely blue periwinkle flowers by the side of my house. I was dissatisfied with the results, however. The ground level and angle was difficult for my tripod, so I tried hand-holding the camera.

Although none of the periwinkle pictures were noteworthy, I discovered an interesting thing on the computer screen that I had completely missed at the time of shooting. In the center of the periwinkle bloom was a little red ant.

What's interesting is that if you look closely, you'll see that the ant is facing away from the camera (shy thing). However, there are what look to be two dark eye spots on the abdomen.

I cannot help but wonder whether this might be a natural adaptation to fool a potential predator into thinking that the foraging ant is facing towards it, rather than blithely away.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Wild wild life

Want to save your endangered wildlife? Here's the cause for you: endangered species condoms.
Through a network of more than 5,000 volunteers, the Center for Biological Diversity is distributing 350,000 free Endangered Species Condoms in all 50 states to highlight how unsustainable human population growth is driving species extinct at a cataclysmic rate.
Be sure to check out "The Condom Packages" on this link. There are sample packages with various mottos:
  • Polar Bear: Wrap with Care... Save the polar bear

  • Snail Darter: Hump smarter... Save the snail darter

  • Spotted Owl: Wear a condom now... save the spotted owl

  • American Burying Beetle (for that special someone): Cover your tweedle... save the burying beetle

    Not to be outdone, here are my suggested entries:

    There is a niche to be filled here. The web page also has a U.S. map link, where you can click to see the location of volunteer distributors. West Virginia has only 1 to 10. Apparently a good man is hard to find.... or is that vice versa?