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  [Aroid-l] The Saola and the Araceae
From: ted.held at us.henkel.com on 2006.12.15 at 15:36:58(14943)
This is a distraction from our usual
fare, but I saw an interesting article on the little-known saola, an exotic
bovine. The current Science magazine (December 1 cover date) contains a
picture and written reference of an unidentified Araceae, which the rare
animal is believed to eat. The saola, also known as the Vu Quang ox, is
the last new large animal to have been discovered. It was unknown to science
before 1992. Although they say it is related to the cow, it looks more
like an antelope. The few remaining individuals live in Vietnam and Laos.
The article contains some interesting information on the animal and its
bleak prospects, but nothing about the aroid save the following:

"The forest ecologist finds safe
footing on the slick slope and grabs a handful of broad, dark-green Araceae
leaves. 'Saola like to eat these," [Do] Tuoc says. 'At least, we have
seen bite marks.'"

There is a photograph of Mr. Tuoc holding
some nondescript taro-like plants in each hand (fibrous roots, perhaps
30 cm petiole height).

The saola diet is unknown, save for
the hints that it might like tucking into a luscious aroid. Much of the
remainder of the article is a discussion, pro and con, of the idea of attempting
to clone the beast in an attempt to preserve it.

Anyone having a liking for extremely
rare animals can e-mail me separately and I will send them a pirated scan
of the article. I don't think anyone will mind this violation of copyright
as long as we don't sell copies.


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