SB Project: Sketches 29 and 30
Of all the gross and creepy images I’ve gone through to find references for this project, this was the most difficult for me. Don’t get me wrong; I love snakes and I am fully aware that predators need to eat. I’ve always wished that Sylvester would catch Tweety and that Wile E. Coyote would finally get to eat the Road Runner, after all. But one of the most charming beasties I’ve ever met was a little white mouse named Hanni. Nick and I got her when we lived in Japan, and she was just so full of personality. One of her favorite foods was curry and rice, and – don’t tell my Grandma – but we used to let her come up on the table and have dinner with us sometimes. 😉 She was utterly lovable and friendly; all of our friends would go over to her cage and say hello when they visited, and she loved to come out and play with new people. She eventually died of old age at around 3. It was one of the hardest goodbyes I’ve ever faced.
So given that A) most feeder mice are albinos like Hanni, and B) I’m claustrophobic, images of snakes squeezing the life out of things makes me a little uncomfortable. Nevertheless, I find it fascinating and thought it needed to be included in “Adhere to me”.
Cymothoa exigua. This is one of those things that you just assume is Photoshopped because it’s way too weird to be real, and then you look it up and are suitably horrified. This crustacean is a type of louse, and enters its host through the gills. Upon attaching itself to the base of the tongue, it drinks the fish’s blood until the tongue dies. At this point the louse shifts its body so that it’s still attached to the base of the tongue muscles, but now the fish can use the louse as a tongue. From this point on, depending on the species, the louse either eats mucous produced by the host, or continues to feed on the host’s blood.
I should note that this is one of the few sketches I’ve done for this project where I worked mostly from one photo ref. Usually I take bits and pieces of up to ten different images, but this cross section was just too freaky and perfect to resist. Thanks for the photo, Wikipedia!