Category archive for Small creatures (RSS)

A brief history of zoological shame

Posted: May 7th 2012 19:07. Last modified: May 7th 2012 19:11

Featuring a Spanish view of the Saxons.

Is it the fault of the Greeks that the Germans are the way they supposedly are?

Posted: December 7th 2011 00:38. Last modified: December 7th 2011 17:00

I sense potential for reparations claims citing Aesop.

What’s the best way to wash down raw rodent?

Posted: August 5th 2010 21:16. Last modified: August 5th 2010 21:21

Rat, squirrel or capybara, kittens have one favourite sauce.

Filets de Lapin as at Barcelona

Posted: July 9th 2010 20:00. Last modified: July 9th 2010 20:01

From Georgiana Hill, The gourmet's guide to rabbit cooking, by an old epicure (1859): Take the fillets from a fine young Ostend rabbit (by the fillet is meant the thick part of the thigh, separated from the bone) cut the meat into slices, round ways, of about three-quarters of an inch thick; let them soak […]

Font de Mora, right about small screens causing myopia in children?

Posted: December 15th 2009 22:59. Last modified: December 15th 2009 23:05

Nearsightedness is increasing, and there aren't many other reasonable explanations.

An unusual case of risus sardonicus

Posted: November 9th 2009 22:35. Last modified: November 10th 2009 11:34

Is Mr Barbecue Bunny's sardonic grin pre- or post-mortem?

Europe as a lost Rooseveltian propaganda colony

Posted: October 10th 2009 11:40. Last modified: October 27th 2009 22:12

It does have its advantages. Ants are not one of them.

Spidy Wasch

Posted: June 29th 2009 11:45. Last modified: June 30th 2009 18:48

A bit of free association, or rambling, as it is more widely known.

Hedgehogs @ €600

Posted: December 10th 2008 12:23. Last modified: December 12th 2008 23:54

When they were detained by the Médoc gendarmes, Georges and Frédéric had the grave misfortune to have in their possession a sack containing ten succulent little bundles of spines. Turning its face from all that the British cherish in France, the criminal court in Bordeaux put animal protection above lavish family meals and fined these […]

Fecundity of rabbits in Spain

Posted: August 22nd 2008 16:17. Last modified: August 22nd 2008 16:19

With the vaguest of references to i-shepan-im here's Kirby's wonderful and scientific museum in 1820: The fecundity of the rabbit is truly astonishing ; it breeds seven times in the year, and generally produces eight young at a time ; from which it is calculated, that one pair may increase in the course of four […]


Posted: July 4th 2008 12:34. Last modified: July 4th 2008 09:52

The May monsoon endowed plants with a Made-In-China verisimilitude: Knee-scratching thistles are now several metres high, and Karik and Valya could have told you all about the monstrous dragonflies: In the spot where just a moment or two ago there had lain a tiny dragonfly, there now moved a thick, long, log-like, jointed body with […]


Posted: July 2nd 2008 21:28. Last modified: July 3rd 2008 09:55

Huge numbers yesterday on this walk, on some very quiet meadows at between 400 and 600m. First Gonepteryx rhamni, our Brimstone: Next is I think a Clouded Yellow, Colias croceus: Then Papilio machaon, macaón in Spanish, Common swallowtail and a host of other names in English. We saw a couple of dozen: A swallowtail story […]

Competition videos from the Portuguese Racing Sardine Club

Posted: June 11th 2008 13:32.

The British Sardine Racing association (popups) is "dedicated to breeding a better Sardine, revolutionising training methods, and the breeding of both pedigree fish, and Hybrids, such as the Sardine/Shark crossbreed." The Living Age (1919): "... eagerly bending over a long, narrow tank on the floor. They were racing sardines, taking them out of a tin […]

Effect of rainfall on wood ants and Ukrainians

Posted: May 23rd 2008 10:00. Last modified: May 23rd 2008 10:03

Wood ants descending rapidly en masse from a Quercus ilex on Montseny at the onset of a sharp shower: Having spent several decades standing under trees waiting for the rain to stop, it is my firm belief that small ants do not flee from the rain as do big ones, although their level of activity […]

In praise of toads

Posted: May 14th 2008 13:28. Last modified: May 14th 2008 21:05

George Sandford has left a fascinating comment on this post, which deals with an amusing 19th century literary-historical hoax--purported correspondence between Ferdinand the Catholic and an esoteric global selection of fellow-monarchs. George is family of the alleged editor, Brother Antonio the Goth, and thus of the Christian clan kidnapped by the Moors when they invaded […]


Posted: May 10th 2008 21:18.

Samir over at View from Fez says that around 100 kids die annually from scorpion bites in Morocco. They're quite common in Spain too. Here's one in the gardens of Can Ferrero in Barcelona's Zona Franca district that scared the hell out of me:

Flying stag beetle

Posted: May 5th 2008 11:25. Last modified: April 16th 2011 16:29

Lucanus cervus (Ciervo volante) on the hills above San Juan de Plan in the Pyrenees of Huesca (the second bit of the video is what you're after): Proyecto Ciervo Volante writes: Flight abilities seem, in principle, well developed. Fight speed reaches 6 km/h (D'Ami, 1981) but dispersal abilities are unknown. There are XIX century tales […]

Monkey anis

Posted: January 16th 2008 11:02. Last modified: January 21st 2008 13:42

Mona: (I once met a Tangier man who claimed to own a Barbary ape called Lisa, but let's not go there, or here either.) Copywriters have moved on since Darwin was alleged to have said, "It's the best, science says so and I'm not lying": I use the sweet version of Anis del Mono in […]

Old lady animal fight

Posted: January 5th 2008 12:40.

Two elderly ladies have just met for the first time and are sounding each other out: A: My dog is so intelligent it stands by the door and woofs whenever it wants to go out and have a poo. B: My cat is so intelligent it comes in at five o’clock in the morning and […]

Pine processionary caterpillars leaving nest several months early

Posted: December 17th 2007 14:42.

I suspect their algorithm is rather crude, and the seasons are rather vague along the Barcelona coast, but these are meant to emerge in spring (typically late January here), not late November. "The pine processionary caterpillar is a pest whose northward spread in France is being fostered by climate change. INRA researchers in Orleans are […]


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