Tuesday, December 28, 2010

X, good for Scrabble, crossword puzzles, and xylophagous

ABC Wednesday
Note: I was going to write about xeriscaping, which is what Dick and I should do in our large yard in the desert part of Canada’s prairie, where cacti grow wild. We really should, but it would be very uncomfortable for our dog Lindy to have a yard like this:
    So I decided to go with this X word:  
    xy·loph·a·gous (zī-lŏfˈə-gəs)

    It is an adjective, meaning:
    1. Feeding on wood, as certain insects or insect larvae.
    2. Destructive to wood, as certain crustaceans or fungi.
      Wikipedia says many insects, or their larvae, and a large number of polyplacophorans (in great depths in the world’s oceans) are xylophagous. 

      HOWEVER, I chose the word xylophagous because one of my favorite animals is on this list. No, not bark beetles or even gribbles, but yes, I love instead the Giant Panda. 

      (Gribbles aren’t as cute, are only 1/16 inch long, and I haven't taken any photos of them. Wikipedia has a picture, if you want to look at gribbles, but I’m posting pandas.)
      Examples of wood-eating animals
      Bark beetles, horntails, termites, Giant Panda, panaque catfish, gribbles, shipworms
        SO here is my excuse to post PANDA PICTURES (roar of the crowd, deafening applause, and drum roll) on ABC Wednesday's X day! Yay!
        Here they are, ladies and gentlemen, the cutest xylophagous animals in Xistence (and threatened with Xtinction) ... GIANT ... PANDAS ... (more applause) from our visit to the San Diego Zoo several years ago.

        Above, Su Lin in a tree, which is where young pandas stay in order to be safe from predators while their mothers are out gathering and eating bamboo.

        Because the San Diego Zoo pandas have their bamboo pre-gathered by their staff, Su Lin's mother, Bai Yun, is sleeping (right).

        We don't eat much bamboo ourselves, so we went to a restaurant farther up in the zoo complex, and from our table we could see Su Lin was still in her tree (below).
        Photos by Kay Davies and Richard Schear

         Su Lin's daddy, Gao Gao, likes to show off for the tourists, but mostly (see below) he likes eating the wood and leaves of the bamboo tree.
        He's a xylophagus mammal, big time!

        Posted for the letter X in the ABC Wednesday meme.
        How have others around the world dealt with X? To find out, click


        Sylvia K said...

        Great post for the X Day!! I do love the pandas! Hope your week is off to a good start and that you're feeling much better! Wishing you and Dick a very Happy New Year, Kay!!


        Roger Owen Green said...

        Ah, yes, another SCRABBLE reference. Those long words are great - 50 point bonus - but, as I said, those small word opportunities will come up more frequently.

        Jo said...

        Excellent post, Kay for a difficult word. Thanks for the photos of the adorable panda's and their habits. Yes, I could imagine that Lindy would find a xeriscaped garden very uncomfortable. Have a great day. (((Hugs))) Jo

        Barbara said...

        Great post, really interesting too, and I love the pandas :O)

        Jay at The Depp Effect said...

        Oh yes! Everybody loves the Giant Panda, don't they? And I'd never thought of them being xylophagus, but I guess they are! Well spotted!

        photowannabe said...

        Perfect use of a difficult letter. I hadn't thought about pandas and bamboo. Good insight.

        Powell River Books said...

        I got an iPad for Christmas and got the Scrabble ap. The computer is hard to beat. It uses words I am not familiar with. But with Wayne at least I have a fighting chance. - Margy

        Mr Puddy said...

        Tuxie Bear, That's so cute ! ( all tuxies are cute including me...hee..hee..hee )

        But poor tree ! I couldn't believe that little tree branch can hold his weight : )

        RuneE said...

        That was a very inventive post, and the cutest "teddy-bear" I have seen for a long time :-)

        Carver said...

        What a great idea for the letter X. The panda is so adorable.

        EG Wow said...

        WOW! You really went out of your way to find such great X words.

        Anonymous said...

        The pandas are so adorable. They are so cute and cuddly.

        MyMaracas said...

        Hi - Cool post for X.

        I just found my way in from LilyHydrangia's - I'll be back to explore.


        Hildred and Charles said...

        Love the Pandas Kay, - they look so sweet and shy, especially the first hiding in the branches.

        Tumblewords: said...

        Love the pandas and scrabble, too! What fun! This might be my second comment. :)

        NanU said...

        Excellent. Yea for Pandas! Yea for the SD Zoo! (I was just there last year, for the first time in a decade. Love that place.)
        Bamboo not being terribly thick in nutrients, a bear does need a lot of it...

        Gattina said...

        The Xandas are so sweet ! I hope that everything will be done to keep the species !

        Vernz said...

        HI Kay, wow.. such a lovely creatures ... humans should take of them or they will perish from this world..

        thanks Kay for dropping by.

        VioletSky said...

        eeeewwww, Ilooked up the gribble (big mistake for such a tiny critter) and these Pandas are a way better choice!

        (maybe we will have the newly arrived Pandas at our zoo in Toronto when you drop by for a visit)

        Wanda said...

        Your Panda's are adorable. We ate at Panda Express last night!

        Paula Scott said...

        The deafening roar of the crowd continues along with the thunderous applause:
        Bravo! Brava! Brilliant post! Pandas are waaaaay too cute!

        Francisca said...

        Oh Kay, this is an Xciting and Xcellent X post! :-D

        Kay said...

        Those are really great panda shots. We saw pandas in Washington D.C. but they were rather shy and we didn't get very good shots.

        I sure hope you're feeling better now, Kay.