“If you can’t beat them, eat them!”
When I lived in Japan, I knew I had mice in my apartment. They had found my chocolate and had torn holes into the cover and eaten some: you could see their toothmarks. I also saw some quite regularly when I happened to enter the kitchen at night and switched on the light. But it weren’t the mice that made me seek a different flat, it was when I had rats in my bedroom! These clever, but not exactly charming rodents, must have resided behind the cupboard in the wall and on four occasions traps I had placed around my bedroom caught one of them. There are people who love rats and keep them as pets and in many parts of Asia credit is given to the rats’ intelligence, their adaptability and hardiness and even temples (e.g., the Karni Mata) dedicated to rats exist in India, because Hindus believe that a rat had helped to carry Lord Ganesh around the world. And there are many people who’d claim that there was nothing more delicious than rat meat on your plate, rat fried or roasted, or rat as a stew or casserole. —>—>
On a beach in Goa I once observed tiny sand crabs forming perfectly spherical balls out of sand and depositing them around the entrance of their burrows. Observing Nature is not only fun, it inspires and it is said that the Chinese invented paper by copying what wasps did and that flying machines were invented, because humans observed birds and insects. But where did the first wheel-makers get their inspiration from? What could have “got the ball rolling”? Are there any animals or plants that roll or tumble? —>—>
Unusual nests and places: you’d never think of this one!
Nests to shelter eggs, the young of a species and its parent(s) are constructions that are being employed by a wide range of very different animals. Nests may be made entirely from material that is produced by the nest maker alone as, for example, in spiders that spin a cocoon to house their eggs or as in anabantoid labyrinth fishes like the Siamese fighting fish and the South American catfishes of the genus Hoplosternum, which construct nests of air bubbles that these fish spit into a pile that then floats on the surface of the water.