Metatalktail Hour: Animal Facts June 24, 2023 6:47 AM   Subscribe

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is closing out Pride Month by texting queer ocean and sealife facts to anyone who signs up. (Join by texting MBAPRIDE to 844.786.2927. Please be prepared for puns and GIFs.) What's an animal fact you would like to share? Note that anecdotes about your pets or local wildlife count as facts for purposes of this chat!

Or just tell us what's up with you, what you're looking forward to, or what's on your mind.

It's been a rough news week, and today is a bad news anniversary, so double extra no politics in here please - plenty of other places on Metafilter at the moment for those discussions!
posted by the primroses were over to MetaFilter-Related at 6:47 AM (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

Lol. This is exactly the kind of silly I like.

Did you know that if your dog is going crazy humping and the lipstick won't go back in the tube sprinkling a little sugar on it will usually do the trick?
posted by East14thTaco at 8:03 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

my neighbors have chickens and they are so cute!! I love to talk to them through the fence when they are clucking and bucking around. they have a silkie and I love her so much she is the cutest little floofen and she is dumb...for a chicken.
posted by supermedusa at 8:50 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

(also I have two really cute cats. they like to watch the chickens like its their tv or something. chicken theatre.)
posted by supermedusa at 8:51 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

weasels ripped my flesh
posted by supermedusa at 9:17 AM on June 24 [6 favorites]

Did you know if you hold an ermine up to your ear, you can hear what it sounds like to be attacked by an ermine?

Also, never ever do this to a family of badgers.
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:11 AM on June 24

My favorite animal fact today is that this morning, wrapping up a family camping trip, we saw a bright green tree frog, sitting on the utility sink, pretty as you please.
posted by eirias at 10:36 AM on June 24 [5 favorites]

In keeping with the Monterey Bay Aquarium's theme, "Lesbian Seagulls," the latest episode of the podcast You're Wrong About, is "a story of queer nature and scientists in denial, featuring seagulls, penguins, rams, swans, dolphins, and—maybe the gayest animal of all—humans." Delightful and well worth a listen, even if you don't follow the show.
posted by Kat Allison at 12:42 PM on June 24 [10 favorites]

So far from the Monterey Bay Pride text service I have been sent facts about:
albatrossesAlbatrosses are icons of the air and sea, spending most of their lives far away from shore. When they return to land to nest, they reunite with the same partner every year. At the Ka'ena Point Laysan albatross colony on Oahu, a third of those pairs are made of two females - one pair has even been observed together for at least 17 years and have raised eight chicks together!
shrimpDid you know there are no exclusively female cleaner shrimp? All Pacific cleaner shrimp start their lives as males, and get more in touch with their feminine side as they mature - growing female reproductive organs, while still keeping their fully functional male organs! The fancy term for this is called “protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism”, but we like to call it “character growth”...
I am not generally excited about getting random text messages, but it's fun for a week.

Cyrus is not a fan of the mid-Atlantic humidity that has come into full force this weekend, but he does love sniffing all the various weeds popping up after the badly needed rain. Clearly he is a botanist at heart.
posted by the primroses were over at 2:32 PM on June 24 [2 favorites]

So I've been reading these books by a guy named Louis Bromfield and he uses this term in his fiction: Tech. Not the kind of tech you might think of today. In his books, being tech refers to a kind of person, specifically, it's the kind of person who has a deep and intuitive sense of the natural world. One with a natural sense with any animal. Techs are observant and it tune with nature and have an innate comfort and communion with all animals.

I've kind of been obsessed by this use of this word and Bromfield's invention of these Tech characters. They are often exotic, typically there's rumored Native heritage in their history, but it's rarely confirmed or documented. Sometimes there are suspicions of Romani heritage, though again through aspersion rather than documentation. And they're eroticized and beautiful, often described as naturally athletic and golden in color. Sun touched and more comfortable naked than clothed with no sense of style or propriety.

I get that this is all wrong, this fetishization of a noble savage, but I can't get past how he appropriated this word, a word that once referred to craft or skill, but has since settled to mean all we mean when we talk about technology, all that is unnatural. How did it have the opposite meaning only 100 years ago to a Pulitzer Prize winning author?
posted by Stanczyk at 4:51 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

What does this have to do with human behavior and laws, restrictions, etc?
posted by Ideefixe at 5:57 PM on June 24

Henneguya zschokkei is a small (ten cells or so) multicellular eukaryote, so definitely an animal.
It's a parasite that lives in salmon muscle tissue and, remarkably and uniquely among animals, has no mitochondria. No-one is sure how it generates energy but it's probably something to do with protein swapping from it's host.
It is believed it may have evolved from jellyfish cancers that became free floating.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 6:31 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]

jellyfish cancers that became free floating

That's not a terrifying phrase at all...
posted by Greg_Ace at 7:11 PM on June 24 [6 favorites]

"Animal" fact: If you buy a thousand bees from our local apiary, they will give you 1,001. The extra one... is a free bee.
posted by evilmomlady at 7:23 PM on June 24 [22 favorites]

The red panda is mostly silent but makes squeaky noises, they sound like twittering, but they also make a loud (for a red panda) noise called a ‘huff-quack’.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 7:55 PM on June 24 [5 favorites]

A huff quack!!!

That makes me so happy.
posted by Zumbador at 11:46 PM on June 24 [1 favorite]

I stumbled over this fact a while back as I was looking things up for another comment on the blue, and loved it:

The collective noun for a group of otters is: a "romp". :-D

...In the last Monday free thread, I was grumbling about how the guy I'd been flirting with was maybe gonna hang out this weekend, but then flaked on me. However, he surfaced again with a good alibi - he's been sick, and promises to reach out again when better. Okay, that's different.

But everything got rained out yesterday in New York anyway. So I spent the day getting a head start on some prep cooking for the week; the CSA and my Rancho Gordo stash, I only needed to get five things on my grocery run this weekend. I got a bunch of beets and some dill in the share box, and immediately cut the greens off and roasted all the beetroots; half went into a small batch of borscht (which conveniently used up some of the chicken stock that needed using), and the other half went into an an intriguing egg salad (equal amounts of chopped boiled egg and chopped roasted beet, VERY carefully folded together and laced with a dressing of mustard and balsamic vinegar). The beet greens I'll be saving for various pasta-with-veg sautes through the week, and may make a gumbo z'herbes next weekend to finish it off (and also use up the kale, turnip greens, and radish tops which will also be hanging around). We're also already in "tons of zucchini" season and I made a zucchini/lemon bread as well.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:04 AM on June 25 [1 favorite]

One of the joys of kitty Menace’s life is the weekly visit from the garbage truck. She is utterly fascinated by its machinations and races to the window to watch it when she hears it coming. I’ve never been fast enough to get a photograph cause it comes early.

So now you know that there is one cat on this plant that likes garbage trucks.
posted by theBigRedKittyPurrs at 5:13 AM on June 25 [6 favorites]

The red panda's threat display looks like nothing so much as a teddy bear saying "HI WANNA HUG?".
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:18 AM on June 25 [4 favorites]

Goats have accents.
posted by the primroses were over at 8:05 AM on June 25 [2 favorites]

Wombats have cube-shaped poop.
posted by ActionPopulated at 1:00 PM on June 25 [2 favorites]

When I was in college, my dog learned to pull the towel on my mini-fridge door and roll or bat a can of beer across the room to me. Only problem was the cans were all shaken up when I got them. I think he wanted that because the first few times I didn't wait to open them, he would happily lap up the overflowing beer. Also, he never learned to close the damn door on the fridge.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:23 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]

With respect to wombats. Here is one having a good scratch on a log.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:57 PM on June 25 [3 favorites]

My cat Maxwell shows his appreciation for refreshing his water in the kitchen by rubbing precisely twice on my legs while I'm standing at the sink, cleaning and refilling his bowl. He only does this if no one else is in the room.
posted by mollweide at 8:50 PM on June 25 [5 favorites]

Per one conductor on the Long Island Rail Road, circa 1907: Cats and dogs is animals, but turtles is insects. Insects ride free.
posted by the primroses were over at 5:00 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]

I'm not presenting any curious facts about animals, and I could probably post this to AskMeFi, but if it's permitted I'd like to know why my older cat has become so interested in the dog these past couple of years.
- cat is ~13 years old, fixed male
- he came as a stray and is generally a bit aloof but he likes to be on a lap and seems to enjoy attention on his terms
- dog's arrival as a puppy (Shepherd/Lab mix) mostly a net positive for the cat: her presence pretty much eliminated encroachment from other cats on his territory
- most of the past 8 years, up till 2020/21, cat has not paid much attention to dog
- since 2020/21 cat has been obsessed with dog: frets when dog goes away on walks, even follows us sometimes if he can. Cries when dog is packed into car to go out on a walk. Wants to be right up in the dog's space much of the time, will apply a cleaning to dog's head area and ears if given the chance. Mostly dog tolerates this but there are times she gets fed up with the attention.

Cat has gone from being a little independent guy, to being quite clingy and particularly attached to dog. Is this a late-stage bonding thing? Show of household dominance? bit of both?
posted by elkevelvet at 8:11 AM on June 26

Once you warch Isabella Rossellini joyfully act out the mating habits of the limpet, you will never ever forget them: "we are sequential hermaphrodites!!"

All of her Green Porno series is glorious, an absolute trove of construction-paper costumes and animal facts pertaining to sex and death.
posted by miles per flower at 9:36 AM on June 26 [6 favorites]

:-) I was minding the house in our community garden yesterday, and a couple with a puppy came in. They asked if it was okay to bring him in; I said it was okay if you kept an eye on him. They had just moved into the neighborhood and were checking out the various outdoors areas they could get to - dog parks, gardens, etc.

Bruno looks like he's gonna be a big boy, and he also looks like he's gonna be a total handful - the couple kept asking me questions about the garden, but had to keep interrupting themselves because Bruno kept trying to eat the fallen mulberries from our back corner or lick my legs or dig up a fencepost or bark at sparrows. He was basically being a total hyper bumbly puppy and it was adorable. (And hoo boy, are they gonna have a handful with him.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:48 AM on June 26 [1 favorite]


Did your household routines perhaps change significantly in 2020?
posted by pompomtom at 11:57 PM on June 26

the covid effect for humans and the animals they live with is (for real)

I'm just not sure about the behaviour of cat, to dog. I suppose I could chalk it up to aging, it's an idle question but I am curious due to the pronounced change (more or less indifference to acute awareness)
posted by elkevelvet at 7:15 AM on June 27

MetaFilter: crazy humping and the lipstick won't go back in the tube
posted by Splunge at 1:17 PM on June 28

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