Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Ten Animal Phenomena To See Before I Die (Part 1)

Usually, when you see things like this, they're on travel websites or in airplane magazines and it's like, "These are all the stuff you should do in your life and if you want to do all this stuff HURRY UP THERE'S A LIMITED TIME OFFER ON TRIPS TO THE GALAPAGOS STARTING AT $999999.99!"
Of course, then there are blog posts written by people who are either a) sponsored by said travel agencies or b) really have nothing else to do with their time. I have no idea who that could be... do you?
The Amazing Animals Society is not a travel website. Nor is it an airplane magazine. I am not in the business of telling people what do with their lives (well, most of the time, anyways). So this is a list of ten animal phenomena to see before I die. See? I'm telling myself what to do with my life. Not you. But if you want to take the hint, that's fine with me. And in fact, if you visit that was a joke, by the way. I am not going to advertise anything.
Anyway. Back to the original point. Animal phenomena, i.e. cool stuff that animals do. I present you, ten animal phenomena to see before I die.
1. The Sardine Run
 There are a lot of reasons for this one. It's pretty darn cool. First of all, it's like SARDINES SARDINES SARDINES SARDINES. And you can get some pretty good pictures. Like the one above. And all the sardine are together, in this big, tightly packed mass. I've had some experience of that while scuba diving but those sardines? That's on a whole different level. But then comes the better part (if that's possible). All these predators follow these sardines as they migrate down the coast of Africa-- dolphins (squee!), sharks (double squee!), whales (megadruple squee!). Except that the thing is, this also presents a huge opportunity for fishermen, and the numbers on the sardine run are getting less and less every year. So, that's on the do-as-soon-as-possible-before-this-stops-happening to-do list.

2. Coral spawning
There are two types of coral reproduction. One is asexual, where the corals spring out branches that grow into totally different corals, and the other is sexual, where egg and sperm fertilize one another. That's what happens in this coral spawning. All at once, all the egg, and all the sperm, come out, and make baby corals. All at the same time, on the 2nd-6th day after November's full moon. You see the first picture up there? That's how it looks. From above. Yeah, those pink splotches are coral spawning. And the second picture is how it looks from the water. If you want an entire post devoted to this process because you want to know more, let me know in the comments!

3. The Wildebeest Migration
 What it sounds like. Where all the wildebeest migrate in one mega-herd across Africa. As well as the zebra. And lots of predators follow. So basically replace the sardine run with wildebeest and zebra. And the predators with lions, cheetahs, and leopards. So... pretty darned awesome.

4. The Monarch Migration
A lot of migrations, I know... last one. I hope. So this is a pretty famous migration that monarch butterflies make across the United States. However, the numbers of these beautiful butterflies are slowly declining, but not as fast as the sardine run. When they settle down, it's like a cloud come to rest; you're surrounded by orange butterflies, some dead in the undergrowth, but mostly just fluttering, fluttering, fluttering, till they all rise up in one big swarm. (I do not speak from personal experience-- see the title!)

5. Pfeffer's Flamboyant Cuttlefish
I am the Glasswing Butterfly, but I do not want to see this animal because of its cuteness. (It is toxic, you know.) I want to see this animal because of its miraculous color-changing displays. Like literally, colors flow through it, in wave after wave-- it's beautiful. (Again, no personal experience) It's actually a warning display because of said toxicity. It's as poisonous as the famous blue-ringed octopus. And that's our lesson for the day, folks: Cuteness can kill.
Also, Pfeffer? I want a last name like that!

The Glasswing Butterfly

To be continued... hopefully.

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Hello, commenter.
Nice to know you're showing interest in what we're doing. The Glasswing Butterfly and the Blobfish urge you to be nice while commenting and will hunt you down and find you if you aren't. You don't want to see a near-invisible butterfly and a gloppy slimy blob outside your front door. Trust me.