Walking Rocks?

Query: When I was in Death Valley earlier this year, I saw some enormous 750-pound rocks that appear to travel across the desert on their own. I remembered your article about rock tortoises, and wondered if that’s what these rocks could be?

Corn of Plenty (Part 4 of 4): A Field Guide by Dr. Midas Welby

Corns of the Air: Air-corns utilize their horns for jousting, playing tic-tac-toe, and spearing food in mid-flight. Air-corns often lurk undetected in trees, wood piles, and rain gutters. When bored, they use their horns to ring the doorbells of unsuspecting humans. When the door begins to open, the air-corn flies away.


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Going On Hiatus

December 6, 2014: I am loving college, but I have to admit, I’m overwhelmed.

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Pine Cone Feeders

A Present For Imaginaries: When winter comes, I get concerned about providing extra shelter from the elements for Imaginaries. Recently, I read about people who build wildlife brush shelters out of branches and plants in their yards, and thought this was a great idea.

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Hairyfish, also known as Mirapinna Esau, Lodsilungur, fur-bearing trout.

Range: Small, widely-scattered populations in ocean, lake, and river waters in Iceland, Ontario, Montana, Maine, and the Azores.

Physical Description: The most accurate description comes from a single hairyfish caught off the Azores in the eastern Atlantic in 1911. Covered in hair-like outgrowths, the fish had large fins near its throat that stuck up like wings, and the tail fin was divided into two overlapping parts. This particular hairyfish was dark brown and about 2.5 inches long, although a fish sighted in Iceland in 1855 was reddish in color, and a hairyfish sighted in Maine was reputed to be as large as a man’s foot.

Characteristics: A great deal of folklore has grown up around the hairyfish, but no reliable information on the habits or behavior of this Imaginary is known. As hairyfish have been reported in both fresh and salt water, it is possible that the presence of hair or fur on a fish is an adaptation, much like guyuscosity, rather than characteristic of a unique species of fish. All that we know about the habits of the hairyfish is that the one from the Azores ate plankton.

Co-endangered species: All other endangered water animals of our oceans and waterways.

Recent sightings: Hairyfish sightings are reported almost annually by fishermen, but most of these sightings have not been verified. To complicate identification, scientists now believe that the hairyfish captured in 1911 was not a unique species, but only a juvenile whalefish, not a unique species, and discontinued use of the genus Mirapinna. However, this change in taxonomic description does not explain the freshwater fur-bearing fish sighted in Ontario, Maine and Montana.

What to do: If you should see such a fish, do your best to photograph it. If you should happen to catch one while fishing, please return it to the water as quickly as possible.


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