Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Cool Animals (April Fools!)

I was "surfing the 'net" and found some cool animals that I never heard of before. I think I would like to get one of the mock walruses. Super cute!
Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus
Kingdom: Animalia
Location found: Washington State
image You will find the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus high in the trees of Washington State's Olympic National Forest. They spend their early lives in the water of Puget Sound, but as they mature they move upwards, adopting an arboreal existence. They use their eight arms to swing from branch to branch, as well as to grab small prey such as insects and frogs. During their mating season they return to the water, but soon after resume their life in the forest.

The tree octopus population is under great pressure from the encroachments of the modern world: logging, roads, pollution, and overhunting by trappers eager to sell the octopuses as ornamental decorations for hats. As a result, the species is close to extinction. The Save the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus organization has long been attempting to raise awareness of this animal and its plight. They urge concerned citizens to write to their congressional representative about this problem.

Tasmanian Mock Walrus
Kingdom: Animalia
Location found: Tasmania and Florida
image The Tasmanian Mock Walrus (TMW) is a whiskered, four-inch long creature that purrs like a cat, has the temperament of a hamster, and resembles a walrus. (It has also been noted that it resembles a naked mole rat.) It never needs to be walked or bathed, can be trained to use a litter box, and eats cockroaches. A single TMW can rid a house of roaches. However, it will also eat cheese and Vegemite. For this reason it is highly sought after as a pet.

The TMW is indigenous to the lake region of Tasmania. But during the early 1980s a number of these creatures were smuggled into Florida where they quickly became a popular form of pest-control. A secret breeding program multiplied their numbers. However, it was and remains illegal to import the TMW, a ban that pest-control companies have vigorously lobbied for, fearing that the TMW might undermine the cockroach-extermination business. Government officials have also expressed concern about the possible impact upon the delicate Florida ecosystem should TMWs be imported in massive quantities.

Kingdom: Animalia
Location found: North America
image Antennalope are a stunning example of cross-species symbiosis. These North-American antelopes have evolved to have metal antennas on top of their heads, instead of the traditional antlers. They roam throughout the American plains, constantly on the move, migrating to where radio signals are weakest. Because their antennas relay radio signals, engineers have been able to use this natural resource to create transcontinental radio networks. The antennalope were featured in a 2003 ad campaign for Nextel long-range walkie-talkies.


  1. Tree octopi are the best. We have a fresh water tree octopus... you should hear their mournful calls on a still summer eve. While they have escaped the loathsome hat decoration trade (they are smaller and less colorful than the saltwater version), they are often taken as hood ornaments for pickup trucks. Apparently, they look nice with a NASCAR license plate holder and a gun rack. It's a sad, sad state of affairs and we should all bow our heads in prayer.

  2. We went out last night and someone mentioned April fools and a light bulb went off. I read these yesterday and was like is she for real? I forgot what day it was.

  3. Yeah! April Fools! I liked the Antennalope the best. Antennalope... it still makes me laugh.


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