Excerpted from a series of email exchanges, with a Helpful Illustration and a Poem. Why? Because wombats.
carapace_green: Article found today on PubMed while I was looking for a particular article on D. discoideum: FAITH M. WALKER, ANDREA C. TAYLOR, PAUL SUNNUCKS (2007) Does soil type drive social organization in southern hairy-nosed wombats?
Molecular Ecology 16 (1) , 199â€“208 doi:10.1111/j.1365-294X.2006.03131.x
I highly recommend printing it out and keeping a copy in your handbag/glove compartment/external brood pouch. Just in case.
thisisnotanlj: If it ISN’T soil type, then what DOES drive their social organization? I read the abstract, and I think this is the setup for a novel: “If sociality is driven by constraint rather than advantage, patterns of spatial and temporal distribution of animals within and among groups may show indications of avoidance or even antagonism, and ‘making the best of a bad job’ via positive kin associations to offset the disadvantages of high-density living.”
Like Watership Down with wombats.
ms_anthropy: It also sounds like every family reunion I’ve ever been to.
I think that I shall never combat
A poem lovely as a wombat
With arms raised like a Walla-Walla
To some marsupial Valhalla
With baby mouth ardently pressed
Against his Mom’s in-pocket breast.
Poems are made by fools and dingbats,
But only God can make a wombat.
— H. V. Ingham, used by permission
sdnJune 4, 2008 at 6:23 pm
i can only wonder what discoideum is. the way one talks while in a disco? an element formed from the concentrated remains of white polyester suits? hm.
SaraJune 5, 2008 at 10:03 am
Oddly, d. discoideum does have a sort of disco quality; check it out.
JoannaJune 5, 2008 at 11:41 pm
That wombat’s nose doesn’t really seem hairier than the rest of him/her, so why call attention to it in the species name? Are there wombats without hairy noses? And, come to think of it, are the wombats southern or are their noses southern? Or is it just the hair that’s southern?
It’s possible I should have gone to bed a long time ago.
SaraJune 6, 2008 at 12:34 pm
These are excellent questions, which I cannot fully answer. However, I do know that there is also a northern hairy-nosed wombat.