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soyrwoo, she/her, age 20, speaks seinfeld and naruto. not actually a hamster.

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Come to think of it…

Vertebrates have brains. Many invertebrates have brains, too. Brains are only found in kingdom Animalia, but not all of kingdom Animalia has brains.

So… out of curiosity… at what point did organisms develop brainy organs? Is there a taxonomical distinction between animals with brains and those without?

Evolution in a nutshell.

Speaking of college

Here’s a conversation I had with my counsellor during scheduling (for senior year of high school):

Counsellor: as of now, what do you think your college major will be?
Soy: I was thinking about Ecology or Biology; I like furry things! (i.e. Biology; I always include Ecology to imply that I don’t want to go into the medical field)
Counsellor: so you want to be a vet?

Because vets use a lot of ecology? I’m not sure what he pulled that from, but I briefly explained my ambitions to become a zoologist (I’ve stopped trying to explain what ethology is):

Soy: er, no; I was thinking about becoming a zoologist.

And he said nothing more about my potential career path.

No one ever has much to say about zoology. Sometimes folks will say, “that’s cool,” in a polite, yeah-of-course-I’m-interested tone.
But they always have something to say about biology, and it’s always related to the medical field.


…vs. Snow leopards

They’re gray and fluffy.  No other big cat is gray and fluffy.

I shouldn’t have to explain this, but not everyone seems to know the difference between snow leopards and yellow-colored cats.  Even if you have absolutely no cones in your eyes, you couldn’t possibly mix them up because snow leopards are so radically different from every other wild cat that I can’t imagine anyone mistaking them for, say, a jaguar.

Yet someone managed to do just that. 0_o

Cheetahs vs. Leopards vs. Jaguars


Small head, streamlined (greyhound-like) body, large chest, solid spots, brown or amber eyes.  Not considered a big cat, but a large small cat.  Note the compact, angular head and black “tears” from each eye to the mouth.


Stockier and larger, more feline build than the cheetah, with yellow or green eyes.  The head is fairly round in shape and the muzzle is relatively small.  Solid spots become tight rosettes on the back.


Even stockier than the leopard, with a wider muzzle and yellow eyes.  Spots are solid, organic shapes and become loose rosettes.  The only New World big cat (mountain lions, like cheetahs, are large small cats).

The most incredible domestication experiment ever!

Within fifteen generations, red foxes selectively bred on a Russian fur farm effectively became little cat-dogs. The foxes in this video are not wild animals; I’ve met tame, captive, wild foxes, and they behaved nothing like this. The wild foxes were far more skittish, dug up their entire habitat, and were generally disinterested in humans who did not have food despite careful training and socialization. Like almost any wild animal, a wild fox makes for a poor pet, but these animals are considered to be domesticated; they’re friendlier and less destructive, and even have unusual coat patterns.

So, no, the critters in this video don’t “belong in the wild,” as many Youtubanites seem to believe; they’re not just tame, but genuinely domesticated animals. Awesome, huh?


College.  Career.

Zoology/ethology/ecology, photography, or graphic novel-ing?

I could always become an ethologist or wildlife ecologist and do art on the side.  I lovelovelove animal biology, especially the ecological and behavioral aspects of Kingdom Animalia.  Plus, I might be able to engage in some photography during field studies.  However, I would leave less time to work on non-photographical art, especially if I would have to travel, camp, and/or be away from a home computer or studio for extended periods of time.

Photography would give me an excuse to do that whole “travel the world” thing and be among wild critters, but unless I market it well or write articles regarding the photographs, there is little profit in that field.  I need some amount of profit, since my dreams contain no kids or husbandy-folk, but a big dog, an axolotl, and a guinea pig.  You can’t keep a big dog, an axolotl, and a guinea pig in an itty-bitty apartment.

I would really, really make to write graphic novels, seeing as my greatest fear is to die without telling the stories I’ve made up, many of which are very visual or wouldn’t work in a text-only format.  That being said, the field is extremely competitive and from what I know, I would have little time to study, photograph, and/or poke real animals in far away lands due to the deadlines and amount of work required.

On top of that, I would feel a bit sad to not take biology courses in college.  I’ve always wanted to be a natural scientist of some sort, and going to an art-only college would drive me insane in that aspect.

Then again, it seems as though many art students look down upon the “self-taught artists who think they can make it in the industry without going to art school.”

And my mom keeps saying that I’m not doing enough extracurricular whatnot to get into a good college.  Whenever an opportunity passes, she tells me I should have taken it; she made something of a deal about how I didn’t shave my head for St. Baldrick’s and get into the newspaper last year.

Never mind that my photo was published in the same newspaper earlier, or that my photos are used by zoos, brochures, and wildlife parks, or that someone in the UK may be wearing a T-shirt that I designed this very moment.  I’m not in enough clubs, I haven’t taken enough art courses, and I didn’t participate in St. Baldrick’s or save AIDS babies in third world countries.  Plus, I don’t have a job other than watering the neighbors’ flowers and selling prints online, meaning that I pretty much don’t have a job.

At the moment, it stands that I have no idea what to do with my future.

Except that I will own a big dog, an axolotl, and a guinea pig.

Or at least a big dog.

I really want a dog.

If I can’t afford to go to college, I’ll just get a dog and try my best with art.  There’s a solid plan right there!

Raggle fraggle.