Sabre-toothed sausage

BBC news item has nice video of the “sabre-toothed sausage”, that is, the naked mole rat, a deeply weird creature and one of my favorite animals. (The list is something like, naked mole rats, cats, females of the human species, hypnotoad, hypnotoad, hypnotoad.)

I think there’re some very nice, evocative lines about them rats in the Selfish Gene, like:

[Locusts] swarm in their millions, a combined harvester thrashing a path tens of miles wide, sometimes travelling at hundreds of miles per day, engulfing 2,000 tons of crops per day, and leaving a wake of starvation and ruin. And now we come to the possible analogy with mole rats.

Well, a nice line if you take it out of context like I did, and if you have this many-horned sense of aesthetics I have: the sort that crows in delight at sunsets and at explosions, and gets the subtle boner of nonsexual excitement at anything that isn’t bland… like a tsunami of naked mole rats surging between New York skyscrapers. (And now you’ll spend the rest of the day thinking, (a) okay, what kind of a person thinks like that? and (b) should I have an emergency plan for such an eventuality? and (c) I wonder if there would be a way to suggest this to Michael Bay…)

Or maybe it’s just that I’ve hung around so long at the university I’ve gotten too used to looking up, adoringly, at people who look like that. Ke ke ke.

(That quote may be from the endnotes added in the later editions; I’ve only read the 30th anniversary edition (ISBN 0199291144), which is not just one of the best books I’ve read, but also an astonishingly beautiful object in itself.)

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