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Who, me? [userpic]

Strange songs in the night

December 3rd, 2004 (11:10 am)
amused

current mood: amused

First, some background.

First: Our kids have, over the past few months, started making up little songs--more like chants, really, the sort of thing every kid does. "We are jumping on the bed, we are jumping on the bed, we are jumping on the bed! That was the jumping song! Did you like it, Daddy?" (Correct Answer: Yes.)

Second: They know that I find naked mole rats interesting. (Summary: they're the only verterbrates that act like social insects, with a reproductive queen and so forth.)

Third: They usually don't go to sleep immediately upon lights-out. (Big surprise.)

So, last night, after we put the kids to bed, Cynthia and I heard a rather unusual song coming from the nursery, something like: "This creature is called naked mole rats, this creature is called naked mole rats, this creature is called naked mole rats, this creature is called naked mole rats..."

I don't think anybody ever mentioned how surreal parenthood would be. :-)

Comments

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 04:55 pm (UTC)

Emphasis added:
"The young are born blind and weigh about 2 g. The queen nurses them for the first month, then the other members of the colony feed them feces until they are old enough to eat solid food."

Umm, ick?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 05:25 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I wasn't going to mention the coprophagy. ;-) It's part and parcel of their hive nature, though, a way to preprocess food and store it to be shared with the colony.

Of course, our Little Experimenters do not know about this part, and I am not going to tell them. :-)

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 07:29 pm (UTC)

No tiny little jars of Gerber's, in a naked mole rat hole.

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 07:32 pm (UTC)

Yeah, duh - but feed 'em something Mamalian, like milk, or avian, like puke. Feces just ick.

"Mom, left overs again?"

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)
Foglio

Dogs happily eat feline ones.... And then there's honey. Let's just say we're all glad we're not naked mole rats. Or even clothed mole rats.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 07:47 pm (UTC)

Remember that herbivore feces are a lot less icky than ours. Besides, there's only one mother in the colony, which makes feeding them milk tricky.

In theory, of course, the other members of the colony could start lactating; but coprophagy is a simpler evolutionary path. On the path to mammalian eusocialism, there's got to be a point where the mother's milk isn't enough to feed the babies; as you approach that point, even if nobody's actually starving yet, you get evolutionary pressure to find another food source. Hey, here's this pile of, um, food lying around; give them some of that. Once that's established, there's pressure to make it work better.

Not my idea of fun, but neither is living in a hole in the ground and never getting to mate. (Of course, if you're going to take the anthropocentric view of their eating habits, then you can take an anthropocentric view to understand why so few of them mate: those things are ugly. ;-)

Posted by: goldsquare (goldsquare)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)

Remember that herbivore feces are a lot less icky than ours.

Yours, dude. I'm a vegetarian.... Yummy thought process, eh? :-)

And they may be ugly, but they are also BLIND....

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 08:03 pm (UTC)

Remember that herbivore feces are a lot less icky than ours.

Yours, dude. I'm a vegetarian....

You know, I thought I remembered that when I wrote the above, but then I decided I must have it wrong. ;-)

Hey, new marketing campaign: "Come be a vegetarian! Our poop smells better than yours!"

Posted by: C. Virtue (cvirtue)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 10:13 pm (UTC)
Foglio

That's the breastfeeding slogan, you bootle!

Posted by: Pat Siobhan (patsmor)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 06:49 pm (UTC)

Parenting is surreal, John, and I'm sorry if we didn't say that explicitly. Their jokes, songs, chants, and repetitive behavior, not to mention drawings, are rather astonishing. Witness Anna's thought to give her tooth money to spend on a present for her principal.

I think little kids are fascinating especially since we haven't trained them to think about & see reality the way adults do.

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 07:54 pm (UTC)

Parenting is surreal, John, and I'm sorry if we didn't say that explicitly.

Hey, I'm not complaining here. Surrealism is the sherbert-powered pogo stick of life.

Posted by: The Onion Girl (tshuma)
Posted at: December 3rd, 2004 10:41 pm (UTC)
emilycat

I'm feeling the need to meta-quote you on that last sentence. Would you mind?

Posted by: Who, me? (metageek)
Posted at: December 4th, 2004 12:59 am (UTC)
Quoting me

Go right ahead. :-)

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