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Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Gerenuk: the Giraffe-Necked Gazelle With A Stone Skull

           The gerenuk is a long-necked gazelle, also known as the Waller's gazelle, that lives in eastern Africa:




           I've been perusing lists of wild mammals who are not native to North America for the NPR Sunday Puzzle and discovered this beautiful beast with wonderful coloring




and a sweet face:





          The word gerenuk is from the Somalian word garanug meaning a long-necked or giraffe-necked gazelle. The genus and species name Litocranius walleri
is from lithos, Greek for stone (so, of course, I was even more curious) and kranion, Greek for the upper part of the skull. The "stone skull" is a reference to the skull which is almost solid bone at the base of the horns.

       The Waller's gazelle is named for the Reverend H. Waller (1833-1901), a friend of the infamous Dr. Livingstone (I presume).




           Reverend Waller spent much time in this part of Africa with the gerenuks:



          The gerenuk feast on leaves, fruits, and plants, especially those higher up in the desert brush. They like to browse together in groups but have little need for a water cooler to gather about as gerenuks almost never drink water, getting most of their water from the food they eat.

          In ancient African tribal tales, the gerenuk has been crowned "Queen of Humbleness" due to their looking out for one another. . .and never needing an "Attaboy or attagirl." ;-)



Seen any gerenuks (or other interesting mammals) lately?

Steph










54 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Maybe, but thanks for the link, anyway.

      Is "gerenuk" an NPR puzzle hint? I think they're weird looking, in a cute sort of way. Or vice-versa. And they anagram to "geek urn", which is worth an ode, don't you think?

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    2. Weirdly cute or cutely weird, yes, those both work.

      No hint intended but for an ODE TO GERENUKS, I think we'll turn to Lego.

      We are getting snow again today--definitely not a gerenuk-friendly day.

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  2. Sphinxes, griffins, chimeras... and now gerenuks! Steph, are you sure you didn't just dream up this fabulous gazelle-giraffe hybrid? (gazaffe???) Is it related to the "Waller-by or Waller-oo? I hop not. The photos of the gerenuks on their hind legs are priceless.

    LegoPencilNeckGreek(NoOffenseIntendedToTheSweetRegalGerenuk!)

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    1. Ok, I didn't find the song or Freddie Bassie all that classy but I can see how you got there.

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    2. It was my first intro to the pencil-necked g(r)eek!

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  3. A species all its own! I know, I was definitely inspired by the triple-mammal puzzle. . .

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  4. Replies
    1. Looks like a bubonic plague descending from Canada.

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    2. Uh oh, Chikungunya infecting an American celebrity. . .

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  5. Replies
    1. Yes, that B and B was in my old 'hood. I would add Maria Empanada's to South Broadway. . .and of course, Kunming Park. They packed a lot of good stuff into 36 hours (no sleep?).

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  6. Replies
    1. Many years ago, my doctor told me, "the only safe thing you can do is exhale".

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    2. Repurposing gone wrong. And all the toxins! My brother-in-law is big into the mosquito net thing for $10 thing in part of his work at the U.N.

      Maybe they could get bigger weave, untreated nets for folks to fish with less impact.

      And did you notice the DUGONG (DENGUE) comment at Blaine's? No vaccine yet but it is projected to be available in 2016. Again, getting people to take it will be a big issue.

      Developing vaccines seems like satisfying work.

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    3. I was wondering whether the vaccine comment referred to Dengue. Decided not to butt in, for once.

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  7. Replies
    1. (It's definitely not safe leaving me snowed in with the Internet.)

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    2. Or me, without a pool (swim meet this wknd) or enough coffee. How much snow so far?

      A little housekeeping here at PEOTS ;-).

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    3. About 5". Looks like that's it. Just got back in from raking the roof and clearing the front stoop and walk. Waiting for the guy to plow the driveway. (Yeah, I could do it myself, but we want him to come when it snows on weekdays, and I've got to get to work and my wife's got patients coming.)

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  8. We've heard you are prepping for an "historical storm" tomorrow, before it has happened of course.

    I am hoping this Dengue Fever outlasts the virus.

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    Replies
    1. Enjoying the calm between the storms today. 5 mile hike in sunny, 40-degree, snow-covered woods.

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    2. Glad you had a nice day sandwiched between storms. Beautiful here today and high 60's F predicted for tomorrow.

      Hmmmm, is pjberry for real over at Blaine's?

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    3. I'm resisting posting, in reply to him: "Welcome. Go away."

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    4. Too hard to jump in over at Blaine's, Paul, but pleased you knew that was an anemometer with Maizie. She loves being in the middle of everything. Truly.

      And, couldn't pat j be female?

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    5. Sure, patj could be female. Or a berry. Or a bunny (remember that book?). But that rant screams male to me.

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    6. "Pat the Bunny:" what a classic. Yeah, you're probably right about the male rant. Enough of those all ready.

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    7. Nothing gets past Paul. I thought it was a cryptogamous osculatory gizmometer.

      You may not need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows. But apparently you need an anemometer... or at least Maizie does.

      Mitt Romney's car-rooftop dog, Ruff Ornament, had one of these K9 anemometers on her head also. She did not need a weatherman to know the wind was blowing either; it blew in a straight line right at her. Ruff Ornament happened to be listening to this song on her y-ipod at the time.

      LegoTheLambdaMyFriendIsBlowin'InTheWind

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    8. A cog, eh, Lego? The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind. . .

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    9. Rereading carefully (as I'm beginning to learn I must do), I note that Maizie loves being in the middle of everything. I think that's good. If she loved being at the center of everything, I'd be forced to conclude she's so vane she probably thinks this blog is about her.

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    10. So good. Yes, you pegged Maizie to a T, Paul.

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    11. And, reading carefully, the weather vain/vane was not lost on moi.

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  9. We hit 73 degrees today ;-). Hope you nor'easters are battening down the hatches.

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    Replies
    1. Looks like we're ending up with about 4 inches, after all the snowpocalypse predictions. Not a blizzard. Not quite a total bust. More like a bustard.

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    2. Glad you didn't get as much snow as some predicted, jan. And watch out for those bustards.

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    3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U2wDfbmGhQ&index=23&list=PLFzgGepsLw4pbJO-K3kvPB51KIEPpBK4r

      Don't watch beyond the first minute (unless you want to).

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    4. How did you remember bustard was in that episode?!

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    5. So, would you call a weatherman who predicted The Storm Of The Century for us a "Methead", or a "Meateorologist"?

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    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    7. Why is Blogger/Google doing this to us?

      Paste. It must be paste.

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  10. Could you say a few words about that anemometer, BTW? The picture's almost as fuzzy as Maizie, but it doesn't look like any anemometer I've seen. Those circular disks at the ends of the arms don't seem asymmetrical enough to cause it to turn, but it doesn't look like a hot wire design either, nor a pitot/static, laser, ultrasound, or any other type.

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    1. They actually work quite well. We use them more like wind turbines than actually calculating wind speed. We made a whole wind farm with discs, paper clips, tape, straws, toothpicks, and plastic cup covers. I'll post a few more photos above.

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    2. I can see how that would work if you're blowing on one side of the turbine. But if that device is standing free in a breeze, what's gonna make it go clockwise as opposed to counterclockwise, or vice versa?

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    3. What does the direction of rotation have to do with the speed of rotation, other than a simple plus or minus sign?

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    4. Consider a cup anemometer with just 2 cups on a single arm, pivot in the middle, on a mast, in the middle of a field. Let's say the cups are oriented concave side facing clockwise, when viewed from above. Doesn't matter which way the wind is blowing, the cup whose concave side is facing the wind will feel more force than the one whose convex side is facing the wind, because of the greater aerodynamic drag of that shape, so the anemometer will rotate counterclockwise. But, if you replace the cups with flat disks, like on the device Maizie is modeling, the force on both ends of the arm is the same, so what causes it to rotate?

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    5. The plastic lids do have a little lip on them; maybe that's enough. We've done the experiment with the plastic cup bottoms too but they don't spin as fast. We move the wind source around and they all spin. With kindergartners, it's all about movement. With wind farms too, I suppose.

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  11. New post on migmatites and ptygmatic folding is up.

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