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joke & tarpits
I managed to send DN's original posting rather than my reply to the
list about Carroll's joke. It's pretty simple, really. It's a reference
to Stumpke's book on the snouters and their supposed relation to the elephant
shrews accroding to Novacek in 1984 (in the Living Fossils book). If
it's a true reference, then the joke is Novacek's actually.
the snouters, for those who don;t know, is a fictional zoology of a
group called the Rhinogradentia which all have realllly big noses and
evolved into a bunch of oddball forms. The original is from 1967 and
is in German, but there are more recent translated versions. It's fun
and I can also recommend the old Walter Traprock books spoofing the old
expedition reports such as the HMS Beagle and, more directly, the later
popular books that were publishe at the end of the 19th and early 20th
centuries. My favorite is Through The Alimentary Canal with Gun and Camera.
There was an interesting piece I saw in a newspaper article about some
La Brea material left in cans in the basement of the LACM which leaked
tar and developed a new tar pits of rodent and insect parts in the basement
which the staff enjoyed keeping track of.
That's it from the lighter side,