Enigmatic Rafting Monkeys

Until I checked your link I assumed the title of the book was Horton Sees a Soccer Ball Named Wilson.

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Hey, I resemble that remark!

Why, soitanly! Nyuk nyuk nyuk!


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Seems to be an effect of human creativity… Do you think this provides any positive evidence for animal rafting across oceans which do not have docks, buckets made of plastic etc?

It used to be that animals would raft across oceans on logs and other bits of vegetation that would slowly dissolve beneath them. But humans have added far more durable materials into the mix—steel, concrete, and plastic, which can endure longer treks. Ships can obviously take animals across the same distances, but their speed makes it harder for hitchhikers. Passively floating junk, however, gives them a chance to acclimate. And since they drift randomly, rather than docking at specific ports, they expose a much wider range of coastal habitats to invasive species.


The article about drifting visitors from the Japanese tsunami had a marvelous quote about detectability! :slight_smile:

Until 2012, there were no records of Japanese debris floating to North America, “and it wasn’t for lack of looking,” says James Carlton from Williams College, who worked with Chapman on his census of drifters. “Marine biologists have populated that coastline since the 1950s. I’ve personally walked those beaches for decades. If it happened, it was rare enough that it was beyond detection.”

This seems particularly relevant to the issue of human visitors to Tasmania or Australia!

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