Sunday, January 2, 2011

My New Baby

I had some time to kill as 2010 drew to a close, so on Wednesday afternoon I went out and got myself a new baby.

My Significant Other went with me. I've learned from experience that it's better to select these sorts of things together rather than try to exchange them later for something that pleases us both.

If we were younger, I suppose we might have just stayed home and tried to make one from scratch. But who has that kind of time these days? Not me. And especially not when you factor in all the hours I'd have to spend reading up on how to go about it.

Of course going out and getting a baby can be terribly time-consuming, too. Fortunately, we now know of a place that sells them. Heh, I have to laugh when I think back to the way we used to grab an old stick and poke at the ground with it in the expectation that we might actually uncover one that way.

We *did* find one at the park once. It was laying on top of some rocks near the edge of the man-made lake. Maybe the men who had dug that lake accidentally left it behind, I don't know. No one was around, so we just took it. It was unbelievably easy for something so illegal. And the original owners haven't tracked us down yet - heehee!

(NOTE: Whenever we forget our manners and tell this story with a bit too much gusto to those who have been trying hard to get one for years and years without success, we get glared at. If you happen to be one of them, well - what can I say? Some people are lucky at cards, or with the horses. I'm lucky at finding precious little bundles of joy halfway between the public restrooms and the boat docks.)

Anyway, I'm now as proud as any new parent could ever hope to be.

And like any proud new parent, I'm anxious to share a thousand pictures.

Here are three:

Now, really - isn't she the cutest little trilobite you've ever seen?

Although she's only about 2" long from head to tail, I think she's far more charming than any of the 6' tall car salesmen I've met.

According to the tag that came with her, she was unearthed in faraway Morocco. I have no idea how she managed to get all the way to Ohio. I didn't think it polite to ask.

The tag also says she dates back to the Devonian period. That means she's been dead for at least 359 million years. You'd never know it from looking at her, would you? I hope I look half as good when I'm that old.

The very informative tag went on to tell me this:

Trilobites disappeared during the extensive mass extinction at the end of the Permian period 240 million years ago. They were one of the earliest multicellular animals with hard parts and date back to the early Cambrian period over 550 million years ago. They were exclusively marine animals with segmented appendages and are members of the class Arthropoda which also includes the insects and crabs. The word trilobite (pronounced TRY-lo-bite) refers to the three lobes or lengthwise divisions of the body.

Thousands of species of trilobites have been described. Rare specimens with preserved soft parts show that trilobites had antennae, head appendages, and numerous legs. Although some trilobites were blind, others had well-developed compound eyes. Most trilobites lived on the sea floor or burrowed in mud. Trilobites molted their calcified exoskeletons as they grew.

I don't think my baby has any soft parts, but it's on my list of things to check the next time I get several free hours in a row. (I'd hate to get halfway through an examination, be called away, and then have to start all over again when I finally managed to get back.)

I hope you'll forgive me for now succumbing to the urge to share one more photo of my new baby.

It shows how perfectly she gets along with her older, 3.5" brother!

Did YOU get a new baby in time for the new year?

Sorry, I don't care.

I don't want to hear a word about it.

I only have mind-space for mine.

At least until it needs to be burped or diapered, at which point it becomes the sole property and responsibility of my Significant Other.


  1. Congratulations.
    I didn't know atheists were allowed to adopt in Ohio.
    Did something like your little bug evolve into vertebrates or had that ship already sailed by the time of the Devo-nian period?

  2. As near as I can tell from looking out my window, the vertebrates can be traced back to a jawless fish that lived in the pre-Devonian Cambrian period. The trilobites belonged to a different branch of the Tree of Life and seem to have left no descendants. The horseshoe crab might well be their nearest surviving relative, but it's hard to tell. I can't get a single horseshoe crab to take my phone call.

  3. For what it's worth, the experts tell me that my little guy is considered part of the Phacopida branch of the trilobite family. You can see a nifty little chart that shows how this branch relates to the others by going here:

  4. Awww... a blessed event! It's totally adorable! What's it's name? And coincidentally, we've adopted twins, ourselves! (Ammonites - must be from Pennsylvania.)

  5. Oooh! THis is a SQUEE!-worthy post if I ever saw one. What a cutie! Look at that cute little curve in its back! Awwwww!!