Sunday, July 10, 2011

Invertebrate Anatomy

We used to have courses like that back in pre-med.  It involves studying snails, slugs, and other lower life forms - not the most fascinating topic in the world.

However, I encounter it with much more interest nowadays.  

One of my more worthwhile impulse buys was an order for ornamental aquarium shrimps.  Yup, that's right, you can buy pretty much anything you want on the net nowadays.

And these babies are quite...  industrious.  They've multiplied to hundreds in my ponds, fishbowls, and basins.  At 40 pesos per shrimp, they probably are the world's most expensive bagoong (fermented shrimp paste).

A side note:  Bagoong is a Filipino condiment with cousins in China, Thailand, Burma, and Indonesia.  It's a heady, pungent, briny, umami-filled (I should add "stinky") ingredient that is much beloved in this part of Asia.

Well, these shrimps are fastidious cleaners.  I dump my algae-encrusted plants in there, and viola, just like the Jacques, the cleaner shrimp in "Finding Nemo," by the next day, the plants are spotless and pristine.

They're fun critters - one of my best investments ever!

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