Always ethereal, always eclectic, I write as the mood strikes, when there intrigue reveals itself. Usually that means something controversial or adventure of some sort.

I've tried really hard to be unprovocative, but have as yet been unsuccessful.

Thursday, 27 April 2006

Maghreb Agreb

This bad boy was found just outside my classroom yesterday, and has become the main draw for many students to come and see. He's about 7 cm long, and it turns out he is one of the most deadly types of scorpion in existence- Androctonus mauritanicus. They deliver a powerful neurotoxin that can cause paralysis and heart attack by blocking the Na+ and K+ channels between nerve cells, and are especially dangerous for children and those with heart troubles. Good thing it was found right in front of our kindergarten.

Strange thing is, it's the first I've seen in all of Morocco, and I thought these were more common in the deserts than in this well-watered area. But others have said they've seen them in the countryside around here before. It's what I had wanted our school mascot to be- the Maghreb Agreb- Moroccan Scorpions. But I was outvoted for the Mustangs. Now it makes more sence though- we evidently actually have them on school grounds! Do I see any Mustangs here? I don't think so!

Now I have to decide what to do with him. I don't have a terrarium to keep him in, and I don't think I want to, considering how deadly he is. I don't want to release him near the school, and I don't want others to get stung by him. But then, he was here first. Ah, biological ethical dilemmas...

Another fun biology moment was these babies, just born under a rock near a parking lot at the school.

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