I found these poor little guys in my sister’s circuit breaker box. Two code problems: the cable entrance to the box is supposed to be sealed, specifically to keep out “vermin”; and the wires shouldn’t be stripped so far back as to expose the conductor more than necessary. This is why.
Every single time I do home maintenance or upgrades on stuff like electrics and plumbing, I have to start by fixing the careless mistakes left by the pro installers. Anybody who tells me I should pay the licensed experts to do things properly and safely is gonna get laughed at, particularly if they’re union.
So, I picked up a bundle of wood — and there he was:
Young copperhead, with keys for scale. I poked at him with a stick to move him away from the keys, and he struck at it, several times.
I probably should have beat him to death on the spot, but he’s not where he’s likely to be disturbed, normally, so I’ll see if we can just let him be.
Further reading reveals that humans rarely die from copperhead bites, and that younger, smaller snakes have smaller fangs and smaller poison glands. The poison is hemolytic (affects the local blood supply) rather than neurotoxic (affects the nerves, and is far more dangerous).
This is probably an osage copperhead, judging by the thin white line highlighting the diamond pattern.
I collected this magnificent Chelydra serpentina specimen strolling down the left hand lane of a busy four-lane road a block from my sister’s house.
She was being guarded from traffic by an older woman, and watched by a young Mom and her two little girls, all fascinated and fearful she would be run over, but quite reasonably more than a little scared to pick her up.
OK, OK, I’m a stupid male show-off and a soft touch. I pulled off the main road, went over and picked her up to rescue her. I knew she would thrash, and try to bite and claw, and thus was not surprised into letting go of her.
I’ll note that my grip is not ideal; it would have been safer to hold her further back. But she didn’t get me, and given her size, this was probably the most secure grip.
Mom and Dad were with me, and the woman said she knew of a near-by pond, so I had Dad follow her. We all trooped over to the edge of the pond (a “catch and release” stocked fishing pond in a neighborhood park). I had my fellow rescuer snap a couple of cell-phone pictures for the record, and set the turtle down at the edge of the pond. She sat there for a moment or two — wondering what the catch was, I expect — and then Zoom! right into the water.
You’ll notice I keep calling the turtle “her”. Look closely at the base of the tail in the picture above, and you’ll see a pinkish triangular structure sticking out. It was quite prominent in person, and I assumed it was an penis, erect from aggression.
Wrong. I’ve checked around, and most likely, that was an ovipositor. (I’m trying to get confirmation on this.) Ms. Snappy-snap was probably looking for a place to lay her eggs, or had recently laid them.
What’s happening is that birds see R/C craft as raptors. I used to fly gliders, which look suspicious to birds, since raptors also silently glide around in thermals. I’ve seen them get mobbed by sparrows.
The other cool thing here is the quality of the video. I love it that that level of tech is available off the shelf.
This is indeed a Euglandina rosea, though it appears to be slightly elongated, thus resembling an E. singleyana. It is a native species and poses no threat to vegetation. Because it eats harmful pest snails, it should be treated carefully and not be harmed. If you wish, you can place one in a jar and watch it feed on pest snails. It’s a pretty creepy thing to see.
As you have already noticed, RWS’s are audacious creatures, quick to ignore handling procedures and external stimuli. Few other species possess so bold a nature, allowing this snail to be a most excellent species to display for educational purposes.
I turned him loose next to the garden fountain and have not seen him since, but I presume he’s still there, guarding the flora against his fellow mollusks.
The baby’s name is “Riski”, an “Indonesian word meaning ‘prosperous’”. I absolutely love the completely accidental bilingual pun here: there is no prosperity without risk; indeed, no joy, no life, without risk.
“Raising baby elephants is truly a risky business.”
Of course, any male who saw Disney’s Fantasia in his adolescence has a bit of a centaur filly fetish.
It may be a sign of my geekiness, however, that even as a besotted teenager, I had a bit of literal “refrigerator logic”. To wit, “How do they eat?”
Today, with the Webz and all, I had the opportunity to work out some rough calculations.
To start with, A 1000 pound horse requires about 15,000 Calories a day, that’s big-C Calories. Horse digestive tracts are very inefficient, and require about 25 pounds a day of mixed fodder, that is, forage (hay) and concentrate (oats, molasses, corn, and the like). Obviously, there’s no way for a human mouth, with human teeth, to chew through 25 pounds a day of horse feed.
And let’s not talk about grazing with a flat face.
Of course, the far more efficient human digestive tract can eat much more concentrated foods, like meat. Maybe that helps. Accordingly, the following numbers are based on scaled-up human internals.
A pound of sugar is 1760 Calories. That means that a centaur eating pure sugar needs about 8-1/2 pounds of sugar every single goddamn day.
A pound of fried bacon is 2448 Calories; a carnivorous centaur would want about 6 pounds a day. (I choose bacon because a] it’s tasty and b] it’s a nice mix of protein and fat.)
Then there’s fiber. A human on a 2000 C/day diet needs about 25 g/day. Converting to pounds and scaling up to 15,000 C/day yields about 1/2 lb/day of pure, indigestible fiber. “I buy ‘er books and buy ‘er books and she just eats the cov… uhp, nope, just swallowed the whole damn thing. ”
Hah, hah, nobody eats books! So let’s look into apples…. Holy, uh, crap. There’s about 0.7 g of fiber in an apple. Converting to pounds, that’s in excess of 320 apples a day to keep the vet away.
But at least you now have an excellent excuse to wash down your meals with, yes:
…A bacon beer mug, which will help a little with the 8 or 10 gallons a day of water a lightly worked horse will need. Or, hey, splurge, and have a candied bacon ice cream float for dessert.
Of course, no body eats exclusively any one kind of food.
A Big Mac is about 540 Calories. Now, a Big Mac contributes to nutrition in several different ways, but going by calories alone, my hooved belooved would not be a cheap date: she’d need about 27 a day, at a cost of around a hundred bucks.
If she wants fries with that, she’d need about 13 Big Mac meals with medium fries and Coke. That’s a bit of a savings, only $80.
The dietary math is a little easier if your centaur chassis has a pony form-factor. Multiply everything by about 0.7, but remember, equines can only carry about a fifth of their weight. I’m too heavy for a 1000-lb horse; only a very lean young man, weighing at most 125 lbs, could ride his 700 lb pony girlfriend.
And speaking of ponies, note that Disney’s fillies are not only very small ponies, but lack the pot belly evident on real ponies. They have human digestive systems, not equine, and indeed, they later appear at a human-style banquet — although not with centaur-sized portions.
I was referred to Celesta, a photo-morphed image by “The Phantom Inker” of a lady centaur. Note how her human torso seems way too small for the horse body. She would be better proportioned as a pony. I may have to fool around with that.
Then there’s breathing. The breath-to-breath measurement is called tidal volume.
For humans, tidal volume is about 0.5 liters.
For horses? About 6.0 liters, twelve times what a human needs. That means nostrils, and a windpipe, about four times the diameter of a human’s. And those are resting values.
No. Hell, no. You can’t eat like a horse, or even breath like a horse, through a human mouth.
Heh. I’m pointed to this episode of The Wotch. The young lady is a centaur who hides her equine body with an invisibility spell; we, of course, are not affected.
rickety at name of blog dot com
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