I was so excited to find this critter swimming in the air behind glass. Partly I was excited because it's just weird, and partly because at the time I had one in my online store (see below). Note the teenie eyes up near the nose. This eel was about 18 inches long, I think.
This is the plastic gulper eel I had in the store. I've said it in past tense because, unfortunately, we don't have this guy around anymore. Like so many wonderful realistic toy animals, the manufacturer discontinued it. What can they have been thinking?
I love this building at 2 Rue Buffon near the southeast corner of the Jardin des Plantes. I've taken many pictures of the outside, including its very cool dinosaur sculpture and the critters attached to the outside of the building, but the doors have always been locked when I've been there. The inside of this building is the kind of thing I dream about. I can't imagine anyplace better. I should have been a paleontologist.
The early scientists are memorialized along with the animals. The name on the plaque in this photo is A. d'Orbigny. Alcide Dessalines d'Orbigney (1802-1857) traveled in South America and studied it's natural history and geology. He drew the first comprehensive map of the continent and is considered the father of stratigraphical paleontology, having noticed the importance played by the different layers in which fossils are found.
Update: I haven't been posting regularly. I've been feeling worse for a few days, but today I'm feeling better. I'm still topsy-turvey from the parathyroid disease and the surgeries in 2012. I'm beginning to figure out why my recovery may be so slow. Calcium is absolutely vital to the way the body works. It's not just about building strong bones and healthy teeth. It acts as a secondary messaging system for the endocrine system as well as a transmitter for the nervous system. Over the years my whole body had to adjust to higher calcium, then suddenly they threw it a curve-ball, removing the tumors that kept my calcium too high and causing it to go much lower. This looks perfect on paper, but everything has to adjust. Nobody explained the degree to which this could happen. I knew that the nervous system was affected, but I didn't realize until yesterday that calcium is also a transmitter for hormones, including thyroid and others. My thyroid TSH was at a pretty normal level before the first surgery and now it's quite high. I guess it takes a while to come back to normal. Meanwhile, life can be very uncomfortable. I was improving through January, and then February became very stressful and I got severe flu (or something). When I type too much I get inflammations, which is why I haven't been commenting, either. I'm doing better today, and trying to do everything right. Eating gobs of protein and taking lots of calcium helps, along with sleep and rest. I'm still figuring it out myself and with several Facebook groups, as my doctors have all been very uninformed on relevant points.
It's a nice old back plate and a cozy setting, but the real reason this may be a rare photo is because it's illegal. The moment after I took it, I was scolded and asked to put my camera away. We had just come in from the drizzly cold by the back door tourist entrance and entered the second building on the property where William Shakespeare was born. I guess somebody was worried that I could sell this picture for a lot of money. Or maybe they just wanted me to spend my pounds in the souvenir shop, which I did anyway. What do you think?