Like bubbles through the current, so are the days of our lives...

Orange Band Tufted Puffin (Bo)We learned the most juicy tidbit today, dear readers. Evidently there has been quite the shenanigans going on at the Seattle Aquarium, and quite for some time. Read all the titillating details below.

The seabird exhibit includes a number of species, including the Tufted Puffin and the Rhinoceras Auklet. Birds at the Seattle Aquarium are not named, but identified only by the bands on their legs. Tufted Puffins are so called because of the tufts of feathers behind their heads; Rhinoceras Auklets received their nom de guerre from the bill plate near the base of the beak that looks like a small horn.

For a long time there were three pairs of Tufted Puffins, with one Tufted Puffin the odd one out, having no mate. Because of his desperate evolutionary drive, Orange-Band Tufted Puffin (hereafter referred to as Bo) turned traitor on his species, and got it on with Orange-Band Orange Band Rhinoceras Auklet (Mary Beth)Rhinoceras Auklet! (Rhinoceras Auklet shall be called Mary Beth). Not only this, but because their two species are closely related, they actually produced chicks, and viable ones at that. It is unknown if their offspring can interbreed. But fear not, dear readers. The two remain separate species, as they do not interbreed in the wild. (Or at least, that is usually the case, so we understand, so far to date.)

Everyone was happy with this interspecies arrangement, although certain more prudish birds had some ruffled feathers. But then Blue-Band Tufted Puffin (Linda Lee) had a sorrowful turn of affairs- her mate died, and she was left a widow. While all were sad for her, her grief was greatly short-lived. For Bo realized the new state of affairs, and expressed, given the choice, that he prefers his own species. Leaving his jilted lover Mary Beth to mourn by herself, he went to join Linda Lee, and Mary Beth watched her former companion cavort in full view of all.

But then, the most tragic event occurred. While Bo and Mary Beth had previously had offspring, suddenly, most strangely, Bo and Linda Lee could not produce any viable offspring, at all. They tried for two years. Although he took his own sweet time, eventually Bo realized the state of affairs, and again following his evolutionary dictates, returned to Mary Beth, leaving Linda Lee now the lone hen, doubly in mourning, and Bo and Mary Beth in their questionable propriety. (But you know what they say. Once you go Rhinoceras Auklet, you can't go back.)

This remains the state of affairs to this day, but such was not the end of tragedy for poor Linda Lee. She was observed to have trouble getting out of the water, and it was discovered that she had cataracts, and was legally blind. TBlue Band Tufted Puffin (Linda Lee)o provide more comfort for her, she was removed from the exhibit and put where there was more space for her to walk around without bumping into things. She can now be observed slumming with the shorebirds in their exhibit.

And while Bo's fickle nature seems to have had no repercussions for him (but isn't that just like a man?), there seems to be some glimmer of hope for Linda Lee. A local doctor (vet) with experience in these matters may be able to cure her cataracts, allowing her to return to her Linda Leeexhibit with the rest of her species and family (Alcidae), able to observe the doings of Bo and Mary Beth.

And perhaps hatch her plans of revenge.

Like bubbles through the current, so are the days of our lives...


quaintance said…
Hilarious! I'm going to read this to my HS students at the break in state testing, and save it to share with my college students next week.
@bdul muHib said…
Wow! High praise, thank you!

The one part I'm not sure of- I was going to say, "Isn't that just like a cock?" But I figured too many readers without the knowledge of biology would misread the statement, and my blog might get tagged as "Adults Only".

Popular Posts