John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

Rocket Armadillo

Earlier today, I received an email with the subject "My Condolences." The last time I got an email with a subject like that, it was because my former employer Sen. Paul Wellstone had died, so I was understandably worried about what I'd find when I opened the message. But it was nothing bad: just a link to an article:

Rocket Frog is old news, meet Rocket Armadillo

There's a veritable animal apocalypse happening out at the world's launch sites. Last week we told you about an unfortunate frog that got blown skywards by a Minotaur V rocket. This time 'round it's an armadillo who — in the confusion of an Atlas V launch — ran directly into the blast wave.

Some years ago, I asked my friend Lori what my thing was. Without hesitation, she replied, "Armadillos are your thing!" It would seem many people agree, because my friends rather routinely make an effort to tell me about some armadillo-related thing they saw somewhere. Which is great! It makes me feel a little bit like a king receiving tribute from his subjects.

That said, I'm not 100% convinced that the creature visible in that video is an armadillo. Wallops Island is pretty far north, and to my knowledge there's never been a confirmed sighting of an armadillo anywhere in the state. But it's well established that armadillos are migrating northward, and if they have moved into Virginia, that's the part of the state you'd expect them to be. Wallops Island in particular would be a good place for an armadillo to settle; there's a large wildlife refuge there, and the sandy soil makes for easy digging. Still, it coulkd just as easily be an opposum, I think.

Nevertheless, I'm willing to consider it an armadillo. The species could use the publicity.

Tags: armadillos, current events, virginia

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