Thursday, February 20, 2014

Antechinus envy

Would you like to be an antechinus?  They are cute little creatures.

OK, you're not cool with being a mouselike Australian marsupial.  We now know there are 13 species, with two more descriptions on the way. Some of those species are threatened.

The discoverer of the newest species says, that Australia has 360 known mammal species and adds, "A further two dozen species have become extinct since European settlement but there are likely many other species waiting to be discovered - while the majority may be out in the bush, some could be within close reach.''

And while antechinus males don't live long, they go out in a blaze of - well, something. The males of most species go into a frenzy where they do nothing except mate and battle other males over mating.  And I mean, they do NOTHING else.  They don't sleep, they don't eat, they don't groom.  They essentially have sex and get into fights until a rival kills them or they simply drop dead, exhausted. 

There's a lesson in that.  I think.

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