The Urban Pantheist (urbpan) wrote,
The Urban Pantheist

Some links

I could do something productive while I wait for Alexis to come home, but I think I'll share some links (and clear the tab-clutter away) instead.

Everyone likes multi-species interactions in zoos. That's why this photo of a zebra eating stuff out of a hippo's teeth made the BBC's website.

Speaking of animal photos, a camera trap in a small chunk of Southeast Asian forest caught a record 7 cat species. Kind of amazing biodiversity of predators, considering there are also other in the same forest, including dogs and civets.

Another photo essay from that part of the world shows a biodiversity of living animals in the local market, including dogs (but no civets).

Contrast that with this Portland farmers' market, which includes at least three species of mushroom.

Mushrooms are big business in Tibet, where they apparently make up 8.5% of the GDP. I haven't seen any comparisons, but this must be some kind of record. More interesting than that, is Tibet's second biggest mushroom crop is the insect parasite Ophiocordyceps sinensis (referred to as Cordyceps in most sources). The fungus infects adult moths, who pass the infection to their offspring. The insect lives a normal life (3 or 4 years, according to this article) until it's a full grown caterpillar, then the fungus consumes its body, and changes its behavior. Instead of avoiding dessication by burrowing deep into the soil, the caterpillar stays just under the top layer. When the infection is complete, the caterpillar dies, and the fungus sends an antenna-like mushroom to the surface to release more spores. Tibetan harvesters look for these tiny mushrooms and dig out the caterpillar-shaped fungal mycelium, which is used for medicinal purposes.

Tags: cats, links, mushrooms, parasites, pets as meat, portland, zebras, zoos

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