From Kim Darnell, a link to this HuffPo piece,”These 19 Adorably Awkward Mixed Breed Dogs Will Make You Love Mutts Even More” by Amanda Scherker on 1/29/14. In the tradition of established mixed breeds like the labradoodle and cockapoo come more, mostly with portmanteau names to go along with the breed crossing.
Archive for the ‘Language and animals’ Category
From the Beautiful Farmyard card set, one showing the Runner strain of ducks, with this wonderful note:
Runners flock together and are often seen today at sheepdog demonstrations, much to the delight of the crowd.
Indian Runners (Anas platyrhynchos domesticus) are an unusual breed of domestic duck. They stand erect like penguins and, rather than waddling, they run.
In the Beautiful Farmyard set, a card for the lionhead rabbit:
(This one is gray; they come in many colors.)
Lionhead rabbit is one of the newer breeds of domestic rabbits in the United States … The Lionhead rabbit has a wool mane encircling the head, reminiscent of a male lion, hence the name.
… The Lionhead rabbit originated in Belgium. It is reported to have been produced by breeders trying to breed a long coated dwarf rabbit by crossing a miniature Swiss Fox and a Belgian dwarf. This resulted in a genetic mutation causing wool to appear around the head and on the flanks. This gene has come to be known as the “mane” gene. (Wikipedia link)
“A cross between a Swiss Fox and a Belgian dwarf”: beautiful.
In the Beautiful Farmyard postcard set, one for the Brahmousin:
Hybrids of many kinds are named by portmanteaus; the names mirror the things. So it is with the Brahmousin.
A story that combines libfixes, extraordinary animals, and science reporting. From Stan Carey yesterday, a pointer to this BBC News science story, “ ’Platypus-zilla’ fossil unearthed in Australia” by Rebecca Morelle:
Part of a giant platypus fossil has been unearthed in Queensland, Australia. Scientists have dubbed the beast “platypus-zilla” and believe it would have measured more than 1m long (3ft).
Writing in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, the researchers say the creature lived between five and 15 million years ago.
… Today, all that survives of this platypus is a single fossilised tooth, which was unearthed in the Riversleigh fossil beds in northwest Queensland.
Based on its size, the researchers have estimated that the new species (Obdurodon tharalkooschild) would have been at least twice as large as today’s platypus.
Bumps on its teeth and other fossil finds nearby suggest that the creature feasted on crustaceans, turtles, frogs and fish.
In my packet of Beautiful Farmyard images recently, one of a Campbell drake, a male Campbell duck. Another image, with the duck perched on one leg and with its head folded back:
According to Beautiful Farmyard,
Active ducks, Campbells prefer foraging to brooding.
Note the ambiguity of the verb brood here.
Some years ago, at a linguistics conference in a village along the Danube in Austria, a Hungarian colleague announced with great pleasure that he’d come across an eagle in the bushes along the way from our lodgings. This did in fact seem remarkable to the rest of us. Then I got it.
I asked him to describe the creature, and got, not an account of a huge wide-winged bird of prey, but one of a small furry mammal: the hedgehog (naturally found in bushes, underbrush, and hedgerows). In German, Igel (which sounds a lot like eagle in English, and indeed my colleague knew only the German name and not the somewhat fanciful English compound noun hedgehog). (more…)
Mangalitsa (US spelling), Mangalitza (UK spelling) or Mangalica (original Hungarian spelling) is a name for three breeds of pig bred especially in Hungary known also as a curly-hair hog. It belongs to European unimproved lard-type breeds (as well as Iberian Black and Alentejana pigs) that are descended directly from wild boar populations. The Mangalitsa pig is unusual as it grows a hairy ‘fleece’, akin to that of a sheep. The only other pig breed noted for having a long coat is the now extinct Lincolnshire Curly Coat of England. The Mangalitsa was formerly bred as a lard pig, and animals were large and round. Because of the drop in demand for lard, the breed’s popularity has declined and it is now regarded as a “rare breed”.
Encountered in my set of Beautiful Farmyard cards yesterday: the rumpless tufted araucana, a breed of chicken. Wonderful name, odd-looking bird:
(It comes in many colors.)
Heard on KQED just moments ago, an NPR piece on puffin restoration on the Maine coast. Puffins have a special place in my household, because they were my man Jacques’s totem animals (as penguins and woolly mammoths are mine) — from his many summers Down East, where the puffins roam.