Yesterday I had to fill out a survey at the request of NatureServe, and one of the questions was which animal phyla do you collect data on. There was this big long list. You can see such a list (with sketches!) here. Mostly it was a bunch of different types of worms, many of them solely marine creatures: flat worms, ribbon worms, round worms, horsehair worms, tongue worms, velvet worms, peanut worms, vent worms, pen1s worms, beard worms; several things that look just like rotifers; and tardigrades get their own phylum too. And something that has its mouth and anus inside of its tentacles, and another that has its mouth and anus outside of its tentacles.
What phyla does Maine track? Molluscs (mussels and snails), arthropods (insects, crustaceans), and chordates (tunicates and vertebrates).
So this morning I was contemplating this: If I was a marine worm, would I look out of my marine environment to the land and think, geesh, all those things living up there sure look a lot alike.
I posed this question at lunch, and Janet (our snow pile model) said, if you were a marine worm, you wouldn’t have any eyes.
OK OK, would I sense that “all y’all look just alike”.
She says that given that humans of different races have difficulty distinguishing features of other races, probably.
Clearly I am ready for a long weekend. Maybe I’ll have time to catch up on some blog reading, in knit blogs that actually talk about knitting! And maybe I’ll finish that sweater!
snow pile status
That’s Janet on the left, and our intern Dan on the right.
This pile is bigger than last year’s smaller pile, but since that smaller pile is nearly gone now, maybe this one will melt sometime long before the winter arrives.