Saturday, March 21, 2020


Parturient Montes, Nascetur Ridiculus Mus

Rhys Blakely, "I saw a mouse. Where? There, 22,000ft up a volcano," The Times (March 21, 2020):
On the peak of a volcano miles above sea-level, in a freezing, oxygen-starved environment so hostile as to be compared to Mars, there lives a tiny mouse.

Scientists have captured a specimen of the highest-dwelling mammal in the world, the yellow-rumped leaf-eared mouse, found at the summit of Llullaillaco, a volcano in the Andes that rises more than 6,700m (22,000ft) above sea level. The average temperature is minus 15C and there is only half as much oxygen in each gasp of air as at sea level.

A team of biologists made the trip to the peak last month after mountaineers reported seeing rodents on Llullaillaco. They spent weeks on the mountain and eventually succeeded in trapping a mouse.
Hat tip: Eric Thomson, who commented, "The Times used to be known as The Thunderer. Their correspondent is here offered a none-too-recherché Horatian tag on a plate and there's not even a glancing allusion to it."

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