Thursday, January 29, 2009

ARKive

I've been a bit remiss on the blogging front recently - both posting on my own blog, and also visiting the blogs of others. More the Infrequent Gardener than the Inelegant Gardener. Work has been getting in the way of the important things in life. I hope to catch up on peoples' blogs over the next few weeks, so expect my normal service of banal comments on your blogs to resume shortly!

I'm not even going to post about gardening now, but about a website I discovered a while ago, and rediscovered yesterday evening, when I should have been working. Needless to say, once I rediscovered it, I didn't get much work done. The website is called ARKive and describes itself as ..." a unique collection of thousands of videos, images and fact-files illustrating the world's species."

It is an amazing collection of images and information on a whole host of animals and plants, which is continually being updated. It covers most animals you'll have heard of, and many, many you won't have heard of.

Some favourites chez Mouffetard include:
- Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo (otherwise known as the Ornate Tree Kangaroo, which suggests the creature is decorated with curlicues and perhaps patterned with paisley). The tree kangaroo may have evolved to take advantage of an empty ecological niche, but it doesn't look particularly at home in its new niche.

- The Pangolin - how cool are they?

- Allen's Slippery Frog - you can just imagine the conversation between the people who discovered that as they decided what to call it. Dave: "what shall we call it?"; Allen; "Argh, I've dropped the darn thing".

- Flightless Scaly Tailed Squirrel. why they had to specify its flightlessness in its name, I don't know. I know that there are some 'flying' squirrels, but flightless is pretty much the default setting for a squirrel. Perhaps it's related to the Flightless Hippo and the Flightless Aardvark.

- Maputaland Cannibal Snail - I could do with a few of those to put the fear of god into the many snails in my garden.

- Satanic leaf-Tailed Gecko - amazing looking creature with a wonderful name. Its species name is phantasticus, which it most certainly is.

Edit: I've added Verreaux's Sifaka - which bears an uncanny resemblence to Barry Cryer

Another edit: I wasn't going to add another one, but I challenge you to guess what a Tasselled Wobbegong is before you look. Half animal, half bath mat.

I could go on listing them forever - every time I look I discover lots more wonderful organisms.
Please do have a look at this wonderful website, and if you come across something fun or fascinating, let me know!

7 comments:

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Dear Mouffe, don't worry about no blogging for a while, it happens to the best of us. And please don't put links to cool sites on your blog, I'm pressed for time as it is. ;-)

chaiselongue said...

Thanks for the link to this delightful site - although it will mean that I get much less work done too! I've never seen a pangolin before - half-animal, half pine cone.

Hope you'll be able to tell us about your garden again soon, too.

Anna said...

I will have to have a peek at ARKive later - it sounds most intriguing. I am sure that the Flightless Scaly Tailed Squirrel has relatives that visit my garden at all too regular intervals.

Gail said...

Fascinating...I will pop over there to see more. There is an exciting amount of information on the internet...I've fallen into a rabbit hole once or twice! gail

VP said...

Nice to have you back HM - don't worry about real life taking over, from time to time, we'll still be here.

I remember when this was launched at Wildscreen in Bristol a few years back. It's a great site - what the internet should have more of.

Have a great weekend :)

Nutty Gnome said...

Your comments made me laugh out loud to the point where last-born had to come and nosey at what I was reading! Brilliant, thank you!

Arabella Sock said...

Ha ha! Barry Cryer! I will never be able to watch him again without seeing - oh no I can't remember the name of it and I only looked a second ago. Aargh!