Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rheum amarissimus

• To regulate their body temperature, BIJOU PARACHUTE GECKOS routinely direct their freefall to the spacious leaves of the water-retaining COELOBONESE RHUBARB in hopes of a cool bath.

• In the absence of recent rainfall, the usually slick cuticle of the plant adopts a tacky, adhesive texture and clings to the lizards, many of which give up their tails while escaping.

• The minuscule tails are eventually flushed into the soil, where once-dormant parasitic worms (ASIAN PLANT FLUKES, or Schistosoma coelobonesis) erupt from the scales and burrow into the tender roots of the AUSTRONESIAN JUNGLE TRILLIUM (usually found in the vicinity).

• Infected trillium blossoms develop “bloodshot” petals with vibrant colors that attract MALAYSIAN WAXWINGS, which eat the flowers.

• The flowers’ astringent properties play havoc with the birds’ organs, culminating in enormous bladder stones.

• In the final stages, a pain-crazed waxwing is likely to hurtle itself, kamikaze-fashion, against the forest floor. Urinary minerals released from the bird’s decaying carcass will imbue the soil with the parasorbic acid needed to prime Coelobonese rhubarb seeds into germination.

Retrieved from The Natural History Museum Online Host-Parasite Database, July 2009.