(Roughly) Daily

“Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance”*…

 

Florida is, famously, a “Stand Your Ground” state.  That ground is getting steadily dicier…

First spotted on the peninsula in 2011, Giant African Land Snails (Achatina achatina, AKA “giant Ghana snail” and “giant tiger land snail”) have taken hold in The Sunshine State, and are causing massive agricultural and social problems. Hugely destructive to crops, the creatures themselves are dangerous, in that they are able to gnaw through stucco and plastics, will eat almost any organic material, and have shells hard enough to pop tires on the freeway (and become shrapnel when run over by lawnmowers).  Believed to have migrated from Caribbean islands, over a thousand are caught each week in Miami-Dade County; and their numbers are growing as more come out of hibernation.  Oh, and they also carry a form of rat lungworm which can cause meningitis in humans, although no human cases have been reported as yet.

[TotH to Slashdot; photo sourced here]

* Lewis Carroll, “The Mock Turtle’s Song” (AKA “Lobster Quadrille”) in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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As we watch our steps, we might send send creepy crawly birthday greetings to Sir Vincent Brian Wigglesworth FRS; he was born on this date in 1899.  Perhaps the most exquisitely-appropriately named entomologist of all time, Wigglesworth pioneered in the study of insect physiology; indeed, his Insect Physiology (1934) is often considered the foundation for this branch of entomology.  Wigglesworth’s demonstration of the complexity of individual insects and their dynamic relationships with their environments paved the way for using insects – instead of mice or other laboratory animals – for some fundamental investigation of animal physiology and function.

 source

 

Written by LW

April 17, 2013 at 1:01 am

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