Monday, October 15, 2007

M - The Mountain Howler

[click to enlarge]

The Mountain Howler is native to Canada's Yukon Territory. It looks rather like an enormous yellow slug with two legs and a cavernous mouth.

The Mountain Howler is typically 2-3 feet in length. It consumes moss and lichen as it climbs sheer mountain cliffs. The Howler is distantly related to gastropods; however, unlike snails, its segmented shell grows internally -- providing it with a pseudo-skeleton. The rigid "legs" act much like pitons, assisting the animal during its climb.

The creature has no eyes to see with. However, it does have an excellent sense of hearing. When it comes time to mate, Howlers announce their presence to one another with an echoing breathy call, which sounds quite similar to a howling wind.

Like slugs, Mountain Howlers are hermaphroditic but need to come in contact with another of their species to accomplish fertilization. Also similar to slugs, concluding mating often requires apophallation.

1 comment:

dang said...

I used to live in Michigan, and we sometimes took family vacations in the upper peninsula. Once or twice my mother purchased canned Mountain Howler, imported from up north, where I guess the stuff was popular.

The meat was pale yellow and looked oyster-like and tasted horrible. I'd sooner eat wolverine stew. Apophallation explains why the chunks of meat were sometimes twined together. I never knew about that.

This is making me nauseous.