It’s 1100BC. The Bronze Age. In China the vulnerable Shang Dynasty is about be overthrown by the Zhou Dynasty. Astronomer Chou Li concludes that planet Earth rotates around an axis with a tilt of 23.5 degrees.
Fast forward 3118 years and the people of Manchester still express consternation at the change in temperature and daylight hours which signal the start of winter. “Oh my god, I can’t believe how dark it is” they cry at 5.15. What would Chou Li make of it all?
Fear not though dear reader as winter also brings the return of my weekly blog and of course some cross country dog of the day specials. This season will see reigning champion Dingo face tough competition from canines across Greater Manchester and North Wales for the DOTD league title and we’ll also travel to Leeds and Sheffield to decide the Northern and National DOTD cups.
Although we’re always hesitant to speculate as to the importance of pre season games there have been a couple of eye catching performances from potential contenders Mollie the sprollie and Macsen the Labrador du Cymreig. We look forward to seeing if they can carry this momentum forward when the season gets going.
There will of course also be weekly updates keeping you informed of the animals that I’ve seen while I’ve been running. Since the last update there’s been a few developments in my world: I ran a decent half marathon round my home town, I ran a decent marathon in Scotland, I ran a decent 5k in Burnley, I had a decent wedding.
I also saw some very decent animals.
So blog fans, for the first time this winter, these are the animals I’ve seen… IN THE MALDIVES:
Maldivian Mega Bat:
That’s right, this is not just any bat it’s a MEGAbat. Also known as the Indian flying fox this is the continent’s largest bat and one of the largest in the world, weighing up to 1.6 kg. The wings rise from the side of the dorsum and from the back of the second toe, and its thumb has a powerful claw which it uses to expose the nutritious innards of tropical fruit.
Infamously responsible for the tragic death of Australian naturalist and adventurer Steve Irwin Stingrays inhabit warm temperate and tropical waters. They are bottom dwellers and often lie partially buried in the shallows. Stingrays eat worms, mollusks, and other invertebrates, sometimes badly damaging valuable shellfish beds. They lash their tails when threatened and large stingrays can exert enough force to drive their tail spines into a wooden boat.
Yes you can see them on the canal but that doesn’t stop it being interesting. This one was even willing to have his photo taken with me!
Pseudobalistes fuscus to his mates. A busy fish, using his strong jaw to chip away at coral in order to create the perfect home for his family. Shortly after this picture was taken I was advised that trigger fish should not be approached due to their aggressive nature and tendency to inflict painful bites. This beauty didn’t mind posing for the camera though.
So maybe unicorn aren’t real but if you get yourself a snorkel you can see the next best thing. The unicorn fish are known for their rostral protuberance and are incredibly friendly by nature. Sadly, as with the dodo, this nativity threatens their very existence as they’re more than happy to jump straight into the nets of grateful fishermen.
Thanks for taking the time out to read, I look forward to sharing many adventures and species with you throughout the winter of sport.
Remember to like, retweet, share and tell your mates. Next week we’ll be looking at how animals drink…