Friday, May 29, 2009

Cynocephalus omnivorus (redux)

Armored colugo broods are fairly large, and a mother with few resources will prioritize feeding her more robust children. Neglected or underfed babies will experience stress-bred metabolic alterations, leading to increased aggressive behavior. If the mother then provides adequate attention to such infants, they will revert to normal — but in cases where she is unable or unwilling to do so, they will attain the full-blown gregarious traits and depart the family unit.

Visitors to Sulepawak are advised to avoid gregarious armored colugos at all costs. Though quite rare, they are easy to identify: Their fur is silver to snow white, their scutes burnt orange, their gums and tongues dark purple. They are no longer purely nocturnal, but sleep erratically. They spend little time on high branches, and usually climb only for the purpose of gliding downward and rolling along the ground: their preferred method of travel. They stay together in groups and behave with extreme hostility to anything alive that is not one of them. Their bites are usually very painful and for hygienic purposes alone should receive immediate medical treatment.

From: H. Viveam Constanelle, Known Wildlife of Sulepawak: A Field Guide, Mandaroeb & Sons, 1955: p. 206.