This wonderful photo is thanks to my blogging friend VP of Livorno, Italy. Check out his Daily Photo Stream and Livorno Daily Photo blogs. If you want some additional fun, see VP's A Bunch of Benches blog. You will be amazed :) That blog started out as a joke and was later discovered. I have no idea what the inside joke was about, but it now has a following of folks who like seeing a daily morph of the bench theme. Back to the photo above: I have not seen this gargantuan snake myself, but I can imagine how excited I'd be to find it while walking through the city. I also love the treatment of the buildings in the background. Thanks, VP!
The sea lions and salmon seem to get along pretty well on the bench outside the entrance to the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington, but don't expect the salmon to be smiling when the two species meet in local waters.
We still have giant pandas in the world, but only about 1,600 to 3,000 of them, which is not many, especially when they are so hard to breed in captivity and they are not breeding well in the wild. We no longer have the fascinating marsupial - a thylacine, Tasmanian wolf, or Tassie tiger. We can thank modern humans in our egocentric stupidity for eradicating this unique animal (considered to be a pest) in the 1930s. Unsubstantiated reports of their possible existence persisted until the 1960s, but the thylacine was offically listed as extinct in 1982; the rule is that extinction is declared 50 years after the last definitively-living animal has died.
Here's Lee studying the sign near the carousel. I thought the artwork and explanations were terrific, allowing this entertaining carousel to educate and enrich those who cared to take a look. I also thought the drawings were quite nice. I've left the bottom photo very large in case you want to click on it and see the text and the drawings. For other animals on the carousel, click on the "dodo carousel" keyword below.
Besides the little creatures all over the facade of the museum, there were three greeters standing at the ready. This proto-something-or-other, perhaps from the Eocene, Oligocene, or Miocene, was much friedlier than he appears. You can see the other two greeters here and here.
For several days I passed this carved jaguar mother and her cub each time I went in or out of our hotel's main door. I was fascinated by the realism obtained by the airtist with the fur's texture and coloring.