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Re: solpugid photos and figure

Well, ground-level field work can be tiring as well as rewarding. Exhaustion
and sleep come quickly, once the day's specimen collections have been
properly prepared,  catalogued, and documented. Damn the solpugids and the
suspicious Qashqai/Baktiari/Kurdish tribesmen, all of whom turned out to be
my friends and allies, anyway, one way or another. Hey, who could suspect a
crazy zoologist who handled snakes and solpugids and mice and bones and
early Jurassic dinosaur trackways with equal aplomb?

I found that sleeping in a tent was too confining, too stiffling, and too
inconvenient. Also, my high-pressure kerosene lantern once exploded and sent
my tent aflame, which event quickly cured me of sleeping inside. Dancing
around outside my burning tent in my bare feet and underpants, vipers and
solpugids aside, convinced me that a starry canopy made better sense.

You haven't lived until you've awakened under the stars as a camel caravan
passes as great moving hulks blocking the night sky right by your cot as the
"shotarban" (camel-driver) chants his sing-song urgings to his charges, or
by the then-Soviet border guards shining their searchlights in your face!
Indeed, no matter where I set camp, no matter how remote, during my eight
years in Iran and Pakistan, shepherds and their sheep and goats, camel
drivers and their laden caravans, Russian watchmen, and far-flung peasants
and tribesmen quickly discovered me and found ready excuses to pass through,
trample, or illuminate my camp site. It was uncanny.

I found the unearthly nocturnal howls of jackals roaming the Iranian
steppes, multi-Richer-scale earthquakes, and the fanaticism of the late
'Ayatolah Khomeini's revolutionary minions *much* more unsettling than any

Sleep well. Solpugids are *not* your enemies. Beware, however, fellow _Homo

-= Tuck =-

----- Original Message -----
From: "Ken Kinman" <kinman@hotmail.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, December 11, 2000 11:23 PM
Subject: solpugid photos and figure

>     Links for those requesting them (or just curious):
> http://wrbu.si.edu/www/stockwell/photos/solpugid2.jpg
> http://home.global.co.za/~quagga/solpugid.htm
> http://www.bais.com/~wsavary/solifuge.html
>     I can't imagine being able to sleep (even in a tent) with hordes of
> these things munching nearby, especially those 2-inch monsters.
> Get more from the Web.  FREE MSN Explorer download :