Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sea Otter Redux

Did you know that sea otters are related to weasels, ferrets, and skunks? They're in the mustelid family, and are the largest mustelids on earth. They're also the only mustelids who lack anal scent glands (that's why ferrets smell so bad, and why skunks can shoot your eye out) -- which is really odd because the Latin root for mustelid means "poisonous vapor," or "really stinky little vermin," or something like that.

Did you know that the sea otter is the smallest marine mammal? Think about it. It's hard out there for marine mammals. Get big, or get eaten. 

Did you know that sea otters have the densest fur of any animal? WELL APPARENTLY I DIDN'T! For years -- no for friggin' decades -- I've been saying that chinchillas have the densest fur of any animal. Let's set things straight: chinchillas have the densest fur of any land animal, but sea otters' fur is far more dense. 

Did you know that when sea otters use rocks to crack open clams or oysters on their bellies, they actually can cause themselves permanent chest damage. Many sea otters die from self inflicted chest contusions. (Note: I have no idea if this is true, but my 11th grade Algebra 2 teacher, Vera Wompler, told us this fact in class one day. Her voice nearly cracked with emotion as she spoke, her heart aching for those poor otters who smash their chests to pulp. One day she kicked me out of the classroom, and wouldn't let me return until a meeting could be arranged between her and myself, my mother, and the headmaster of the school, which took nearly two weeks to schedule. I got a D- in her class. I digress.)

Here's what Randall has to say (note: don't watch this if you didn't like the Honey Badger video). 


Sea Otter is also a bike race, one that Team Exergy shall compete in tomorrow through Sunday. I've settled into my home stay. If you remember my homestay from last year (I had horsies everywhere), then you should find my current quarters equally fitting (only replace horsies with vampires). Life-sized, ominous-looking vampires, oozing with teenage angst. See for yourself:

Seriously though, Holly, if you read this, thanks for bunking up with your sister for a week so a bunch of bike racers can invade your house and sleep on your trundle bed. We really appreciate it.

It's going to be a good race. Stay tuned.

1 comment:

Ryan D said...

Next time you are in Seattle come by the Aquarium for a tour of real live sea otters. Maybe we can arrange for you to toss 'em some food.

Good luck the race and rep the NW well!