One more thing, some of you may find this site quite offensive, and you have a right to your own opinion. But please respect my right to have an opinion too. I'm not saying there is no GOD, I believe it was HIM who got the ball rolling. But I believe after that, evolution took over. There is so much more evidence of evolution than there is of creation. Even that going on right under our noses. Other than that, enjoy yourself and visit our many links.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Family of the Week: The "Roof Shrews"
Armatechinos has the most extensive armor in this family. The armor is very thick and nearly impenetrable. Another close relative, Subvillius, has almost the same effect in it's armor, but it is not as extensive. The armor has almost a 'trapdoor' effect, and has joints that allows it to close tight into it's self, forming an almost complete ball-like fortress against predators. The armor material is made from the same material that makes up our fingernails. In Subvillius, the armor also has bulb-like spikes that offer it added protection from predators.
One variety, Fistulostium, does not have full body armor. Instead it is camouflaged very well. This species lives in the American south, making it's home in the bristles of the largest cacti in the world. Their fur is even a greenish-brown, making them almost impossible to see. Most of their body is covered in dense wool, but they have also developed sharp spines on their back and tail that are just as sharp as the spines on a cactus, and this also offers them added security should they be singled out by a predator. A single 25-foot tall cactus could house a whole community of 200 or more of these little animals. Though they are solitary animals, and make their own burrows in the sides of the cactus, and have little to do with their neighbors outside the breeding season, except for maybe an occasional territorial sqwabble. But the cactus provides these animals with a home, food and water. They feed on insects and even lap up nectar from the flowers these cacti produce, thus pollenating it. These are the smallest members of this family, smaller than most modern shrews, and are capable of getting around by leaping from one cactus thorn to another, much like how lemurs leap from one tree branch to another.
Few predators prowl the Metazoic nights. But among the many predators the species in this family have are mongooses and small deinognathids. Occasionally predatory bats, birds and snakes will also take them if they can find them and capture them. But these animals are not easy prey, as they can quickly disappear in their armor, and even into their burrows.