I’m Marty Stouffer. And this is…Wild America. Now do you remember? He had the full beard and moustache, wore flannel a lot. He was the Crocodile Hunter of his day. Only, back then, it was more educational and less sensational. Strangely, I could find very little information about him on the Internet.
Flipping through the channels the other day, we happened upon a nature show of some sort. No idea what channel, or what program. They were discussing what has become my favorite species of fish. Possibly one of my favorite animals. It’s called the archer fish. Put simply, this fish could hit a spittoon at thirty paces while running. I highly doubt that statement is entirely accurate. They are fish. No legs. Live in water. That puts the kibosh on running. These spry little fish have developed a unique, at least in my experience, method of hunting. They spit at their food. You may say, "That is not unique. There is a snake, known as the spitting cobra, which spits as well." Au contraire, mon ami. It spits. But I believe the cobra does so mainly as a defense, not to catch its prey.
The archer fish comes to the surface and spits at insects. The show featured them knocking flies off leaves close to the water’s surface. There is usually a group of them, a "school" if you will, hanging around. This makes it difficult for the spitter to become the eater of the spat upon prey. However, these fish are also, apparently, quite adept at geometry and physics. They can determine in fractions of a second where the prey will land. Thus allowing them to snatch up their prize. It was really quite impressive. And, no. It wasn’t the loogieness of the spit, rather the concussion of the water that caused the insects to fall to their inevitable death. Check out the link above. As I said, they are quite remarkable.
On the flip side, something I thought was quite remarkable has become, well, quite tasty. In their continuing quest for knowledge, scientists have more proof that dinosaurs and birds have some sort of common ancestor. They have compared some part of the DNA from a Tyrannosaurus Rex to modern day birds. Apparently, the closest match up comes from something unexpected. Chickens. Yes, you heard me right. The once venerable T. Rex, infamous lord of the dinosaurs, hunter of hunters is now slow roasting in seven herbs and spices. I guess karma has quite the sense of humor. "You had your day in the sun. Heck, you ate everything under the sun. How about… Yes. How about now everything under the sun tastes like you. I shall call you chicken. People shall use your new name, not to denote fearsomeness. But rather cowardice. Yes, I think I am quite pleased with this decision." Did you see that one coming? From T. Rex to chicken? I know I sure didn’t.
First, they take the beloved Pluto and say it’s no longer a planet. Now they’re telling me that the T. Rex evolved into a tasty dinner entree? What’s next? My whole world is crumbling beneath me! I do find the timing ironic, as I currently have said once venerable beast as my picture right now. All I can say is, "I have a big head and little arms."