Thursday, June 30, 2005

You Won't Believe The Size Of These Dust Bunnies!

While cleaning my old apartment, I discovered an extremely large and previously unknown subspecies of dust bunny that had long escaped the attention of biologists.

The identity of the new species, which I have named the Semi-Domesticated Giant Dust Bunny (Cuniculus Dusticus), was verified by two independent research teams examining my old living room in South Tampa, a complex ecosystem long neglected by scientists.

After initial study researchers estimate that fewer than three thousand individuals of the Cuniculus Dusticus species exist, all in my former apartment. A formal census of the Semi-Domesticated Giant Dust Bunny's population is expected to land the species on the World Conservation Union's "critically endangered" list, with expectations of Enormous Amounts of Funding to follow.

Except for their incredibly large size (ranging from 4 to 6 inches in diameter), the Giant Dust Bunny strongly resembles its much smaller cousins. Their thick coats of lint, dust and pencil shavings are an adaptation to the apartment's sporadically air-conditioned habitat, where temperatures can range anywhere from 85 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity, researchers say. While adaptable to a wide range of elevations, the species tends to live at heights no greater than 1 inch off the floor, behind most of my furniture.

Greta Dingleberry, a Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) biologist based in Tampa, Florida, led a team that aided in the discovery of the Giant Dust Bunny. The team found the species behind the sofa, behind the refrigerator, behind each bookcase, in the closet, under rugs, in the pantry, under the stove, behind cabinets, under chairs, and also in various nooks and crannies.

"A number of things distinguish it as a distinctly unique subspecies," she said. "But the primary one above all is the incredibly large size. In addition, the Giant Dust Bunny tends to prefer nooks rather than crannies, which are the favored habitat of its much smaller cousin, the Standard Domesticated Shorthaired Dust Bunny."

"Cuniculus Dusticus is definitely new to science", said Britta Hansing, a biological researcher at the University of South Florida in Tampa and an expert in the often contentious field of dust bunny classification, "It is actually quite amazing to discover such a large species in an urban area." Hansing estimates that the species previously managed to elude recognition by the outside world due to its low numbers, dull coloring, shyness and odd location.

Given that the status of the Giant Dust Bunny is likely to be even more critically endangered after I finish cleaning this weekend, the researchers have not captured an individual for detailed behavioral analysis, instead planning on an elaborate relocation effort to parts unknown.

However, scientists remain hopeful that additional previously unknown species might turn up in my old kitchen. This theory drives their continuing research, and emphasizes the fact that humanity still has so much left to learn, even in the twenty-first century.

30 Comments:

Blogger Alisa said...

Thank you! That was laugh-out-loud funny.

3:26 PM  
Blogger KarbonKountyMoos said...

I have no idea of what the heck is going on - I have not been able to comment with haloscan since yesterday. Waaaah. . .

Beautiful bunny by the way. I'm raising dust buffalo myself. Or are they bison?

7:39 PM  
Blogger -c said...

A brilliant article backed up by giggle-forcing research. Don't worry yet about extinction though! Cleaning my apartment for a move, I have come across the Japanese strain of the same species!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

Okay, it's funny, but now it's TIME for you to post again.
I mean come on!

1:19 AM  
Blogger L said...

thanks for the compliments-- and many apologies for not posting. It's been a horrible week :(

5:23 PM  
Anonymous rhodent said...

Wow! Do you think there is any relation to the species in Allybrats room or your father's office? What aboutmy bedroom, or, Heaven forbid, The Christmas Closet!

Please keep me up to date on any new research and let Britta know that she is the only researcher I would allow to inspect our premises. I trust her and know that she will not report us to any undercover government agency looking for new biological weapons!

9:10 PM  
Anonymous SilverMoon(GEL) said...

Creaitive post. Laughed hard at the illustrative photo! Hope you're enjoying your new digs.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Britta "Hansing" said...

I think I should tell you now that I HAVE been inspecting your residence since 1987. I'm actually a 46 year-old government spy and was planted at the bus stop back in '87 to begin a sham friendship with L in order to gain access to your home. I thought all was clear until I was put on high alert when my hidden microphones started hearing family members discussing "Scud". Luckily, Scud referred to a very un-missle-like object in the house.

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Carol (Smiles and Laughter) said...

Uh, oh. I think they may have found their way to Texas. My recent move turned up what looked like these same beings under my sofa and refrigerator as well!

Cute post!

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Vile File said...

Creative choice of photo.


I'm still laughing...

9:12 PM  
Anonymous Larry Jones said...

Are you allowed to keep them as pets, or must they remain in the wild?

9:12 PM  
Anonymous mark said...

Excellent word play and dialogue! Enjoyed this piece tremendously! You might consider harvesting them and selling them next to the sea monkeys on the back of comic books.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous weary hag said...

Truth be told, they fit the description and appearance of my ex-husband (but I'm not bitter).
Excellent job enhancing this already creative post with an absolutely perfect image!

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Hey, Larry, the pair in her photo illustration looked pretty wild. Made me get on all fours and bark like a dog! Thanks, L.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous Brenda Love said...

Please, please send me a dust bunny! I have a microscope!

9:15 PM  
Anonymous herge smith said...

Very funny, if that picture is indicative of the dust bunnies I may find then i guess I'd better give the cleaning a miss.

9:15 PM  
Anonymous rainypete said...

I think there is a potential money making angle here. We should pit your dust bunnies and my dust puppies against each other in a pay per view fight. We could split the proceeds 70% to the winner and 30% to the loser.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous rhodent said...

OK! It has been 7 days since you posted.
You are deliquent!

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Lippy said...

The Florida Dust Bunnies have a much nicer coat than their New Zealand cousins. But I won't suggest swapping them for cross-breeding purposes. That would be unhygienic. And unscientific.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous rurality said...

You'd better post again soon, I believe that your poor mother is afraid that a giant dust bunny has devoured you.

9:17 PM  
Anonymous rainypete said...

Sounds like mum's getting agitated. Have her come over and take on teh dust bunnies for a while!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous jamie dawn said...

You had two places marked comments, so I'm putting in another.

TIME TO POST AGAIN!!!!

You are a funny one for sure!

9:17 PM  
Anonymous weary hag said...

L ... just stopping by to say hope all is well with you. Looking forward to your next gem. WH

9:18 PM  
Anonymous Jim Bliss said...

I hope all's well and Dennis isn't being too much of an arse.

9:18 PM  
Blogger L said...

okay, enough with the emails! I'm posting again, I promise! I'm a delinquent, I know.

It's just been a very bad week....

Rhodent: you may have a small population of the species somewhere, that is true

Green Eyed Lady/Silver Moon: thank you -- I was inspired.

Britta: I should tell you that this species may also migrate to my new abode at some point.

Carol: hmmm... maybe they're more prevalent than I thought!

Ms. Vile: yes, it seemed like a natural combination

Larry: the jury is still out on whether or not this species can truly be domesticated. So far, however, they do not seem to bite.

Mark: thank you And that is an excellent idea

Weary Hag: thank you m'dear

Ron: you're welcome. glad I could add spice to your day

Brenda: unfortunately the population at my old place has been "swept away". That does not mean, however, that they will not migrate to my new place

herge: yes, they are rather scary -- and cleaning is SUCH a bother.

rainypete: I had no idea that they came in a "dust puppy" variety also. I learn new things every day.

Lippy: I shudder to think of the results of cross breeding these things. They're problematic enough as it is

rurality: I know. and everyone keeps emailing me to make sure I'm not dead....

Jamie: thank you-- and now there's a new post. I will try very hard not to be so delinquent again

Jim: thanks my good man
I'm alive, and Dennis has mainly given us a miss...

9:18 PM  
Anonymous glomgold said...

I love a good nature story. L, you are truly a champion of science and I salute you.

9:19 PM  
Blogger L said...

glomgold: thank you, young man :)

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Hey, Larry, the pair in her photo illustration looked pretty wild. Made me get on all fours and bark like a dog! Thanks, L.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Hey, Larry, the pair in her photo illustration looked pretty wild. Made me get on all fours and bark like a dog! Thanks, L.

9:19 PM  
Anonymous Ron said...

Hey, Larry, the pair in her photo illustration looked pretty wild. Made me get on all fours and bark like a dog! Thanks, L.

9:19 PM  

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