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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Microstory 898: Gerrafy and Nanomouse

Research log, July 31. A lot of people know that only one species of giraffa exists in modern day, but what I’m the only one who knows is that that is not true. There is another, extremely rare, but very much alive species that I have named the gerrafy. The few I’ve encountered were seven meters tall, but they were all female, and—based on giraffe sexual dimorphism—I believe they can reach upwards of eight and a half meters. I discovered the first specimen living in the depths of none other than the Amazon rainforest. If ever you were going to find an animal no one knew existed, it would be there, so I was not surprised. What I was surprised to find was a second hitherto unheard of species of mouse that I believe to now hold the record for the smallest in the world. The African pygmy mouse comes in at a length of only a few centimeters, but the shipayan nanomouse is barely one centimeter long, and I do not currently possess a scale sensitive enough to measure its weight. Even more interesting, these two phenomenal species seem to enjoy a symbiotic relationship between them. The gerrafy protects the nanomouse from predators, while the mouse rids the gerrafy’s fur of parasites, and other pests, which seem to be particularly fond of the oils its skin excretes. I’ve by now found a couple dozen specimens of gerrafy, and I’ve yet to find one that does not keep a nanomouse with her at all times. I’ve also never seen one of the mice away from its gerrafy companion. One would think there would be a population discrepancy between them, but I have not seen evidence of that yet. I will continue to study these beautiful creatures. I’ve taken one pair of them to the abandoned Museum Salinas, which was the only location I could find large enough to accommodate the beast. They have broken free of their cage, and are racing down the hallways. I believe they have made their way into my colleague’s truck. I will update tomorrow.

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