Monday, February 4, 2008

For Your Viewing Pleasure

[Random Photo]
Galapagos tortoise

Nothing funny here; it's just an interesting-looking creature, courtesy of the folks at

Fortunately, they are not fast runners. (Can you imagine being chased by one?) Still, according to Aesop, one of these could outpace an overconfident hare.

Now, to me, "tortoise" is just another word for "turtle," as "hare" is another word for "rabbit." But if that were true, wouldn't Aesop simply have written about "The Turtle and the Rabbit?" Of course he would have--so they can't be the same.

Biology isn't my strong point. I think the difference has something to do with where the animals prefer to live: Turtles live in the water, but tortoises live on land like hares do, and rabbits live underground.

This clearly demonstrates that some shockingly large pieces are missing from our knowledge of the animal kingdom:

It seems a shame that, at this late point in human development, we have failed to domesticate or even photograph a single subspecies of water-rabbit. Likewise, where are all the underground turtles? (Unhatched eggs and Mario Bros. characters don't count.) U of U researchers: I think I smell a grant proposal! (Brandon Burt)

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