A Blog Around The Clock

Cool Animal Meme

This was Anton’s idea, at the dinner the other night, but I will get it started here anyway.

An interesting animal I had

I never owned an unusual species of animal. As a little kid I had small turtle named Aeschillus. Later I had two horses, half-brothers, whose names meant the same in two different languages – Meraklija in Serbian and Kefli in Hebrew both mean “one who truly enjoys life and good things in life”. My wife was a better namer of horses – her last one, the one she brought into the marriage, she named Double Helix and his barn nickname was Watson. A cat and a dog also became “mine” through marriage. We had a Love Bird briefly, and some tetras, a couple of great dogs and, of course, the three cats that sometimes grace the pages of this blog: Biscuit, Marbles and Orange Julius. Probably the most interesting animal I had, but could not really claim full ownership of (it was probably owned by someone, but was considered to be communal) was a skewbald Cameroon Pigmy Goat that served as a stall-mate to Meraklija as he was a highly strung Thoroughbred who needed company to calm him down. There were several goats in the barn, each living where needed, no matter who owned the horse in question. One of the goats was not a pigmy, but a normal-sized white goat who had to be milked every dawn and dusk by whoever was feeding the horses that day. So, on Thurdsays – my feeding day – I got to milk the goat and keep the milk for my own consumption if I wanted to.

An interesting animal I ate

Everyone has tried a taste of their lab animal at least once, so yes, I had eaten marinated and fried breasts of Japanese quail once. Delicious! Also, whenever we gelded a colt, I’d take the ‘prize’ home, marinate for a day or two, then everyone from the barn would come over to one of our houses for some great fried horse whitebreads.

An interesting animal in the Museum

George – the ancient python at the Museum of Life Science in Raleigh was everyone’s favourite for many years. Seeing a stuffed dodo is always an emotional moment.

An interesting thing I did with or to an animal

Sure, I did some stuff to my lab animals, e.g, surgeries. That is not such a big deal. More interestingly, I once participated in the Christmas slaughter of three pigs at the farm where I kept my younger horse. It is hard work and makes you really appreciate your food afterwards.

An interesting animal in its natural habitat

Bumping into a snake is always exciting. Deer, possums, raccoons, rabbits, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks are common around here and not that exciting to see. I once saw an octopus that came too close to the coast, minutes before it was harpooned by the owner of a local seafood restaurant for dinner. Standing in the dark in Florida at the beach and watching a whooperwill on a perch from just a few feet away for almost half an hour was quite a thrill.

OK, let’s get this started. I am tagging:


Update: Responses are coming in fast!

Ted adds another great question: “a favorite literary animal” – mine is Charlotte (no, not Wilbur) from Charlotte’s Web. And most recently Hemi the Mule.

Here are Chris Clarke (and Tigtog who was tagged by Chris) and Brian Switek (aka Laelaps), the fastest out of the gate. Very cool stories – I’ll try to track it into the future, the tagged and the taggees, as much as I can. Oh, I did not know that Kate also rides horses and she also has a question for Spanish-speaking naturalists. And definitely check out the responses by Theriomorph and Julia Heathcote.

Both Eric and his daughter answered in parallel. Oh, I knew Anne-Marie was going to show off some cool animals she encountered in the field!

Jeremy Bruno comes through. And then, there are cool entries by John Dennehy,
Zach Miller and Dita.

Chris Taylor has seen it all. Nanette is not an adventurous eater. Rana insightful as always. Sherwood Harrington is hillarious. Also check responses by Dr. Violet Socks, Timothy Shortell and Flash.

Neil of Microecos divided each question into vertebrate and invertebrate section which is very cool. Also read Helen, Bernice and Foilwoman.

PZ Myers is waxing poetic..and erotic…about fish!

Update 2: Steve put the announcement up on the latest Friday Ark, so now everyone is tagged!

Check out the latest additions:
Will Bairs
Ed Yong
Fresh Brainz
Self-designed Student
Jennifer Forman Orth
Dan Rhoads
Mary Ann
Meta and Meta
The Lizard Queen


  1. #1 tigtog
    September 28, 2007

    Thanks for coming up with the idea, Bora. Some fond memories got dusted off.

  2. #2 Anna
    September 28, 2007

    Thanks for the tag, Bora. Not really sure how to follow up your impressive answers but I will give it a try!

  3. #3 Dita
    September 28, 2007

    Nice meme — very cool!

  4. #4 Ed Yong
    October 5, 2007

    Fun meme. These are my answers..

  5. #5 Susannah
    October 8, 2007

    My answers. “The Animeme.” Cool meme! Thanks for starting it!

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