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#48195 - 11/20/01 06:46 PM Rockabye Babyroussa
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
This animal deserves a thread of its own, a thread to call home, a thread where it receives TLC for the way it must rock itself to sleep.

Besides, it's a great word to play on "baby" in Scrabble if you had a, o, u, r, and three s's (fat chance).

Anyway, I read in Webster's about this boar, and, at the end of the description realized that perhaps the babyroussas could have been the inspiration for hammocks.

With no further ado, meet (if you haven't already met) the babyrou':

[babyblue]BABYROUS'SA, n. In zoology, the Indian hog, a native of Celebes, and of Buero, but not found on the continent of Asia or of Africa. This quadruped belongs to the genus,Sus, in the class Mammalia, and order Bellua. From the outside of the upper jaw, spring two teeth twelve inches long, bending like horns, and almost touching the forehead. Along the back are some weak bristles, and on the rest of the body only a sort of wool. These animals live in herds, feed on herbage, are sometimes tamed, and their flesh is well tasted. When pursued hard, they rush into the sea, swim or dive and pass from isle to isle. In the forest, they rest their heads by hooking their upper tusks on a bough.[/babyblue]

http://65.66.134.201/cgi-bin/webster/webster.exe?search_for_d:/inetpub/wwwroot/cgi-bin/webster/web1828=babyroussa


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#48196 - 11/21/01 04:45 AM Re: Rockabye Babyroussa
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Celebes is now called Sulawesi (a name whose pronunication we can all feel more confident of getting right, I suspect). Babyroussa is a variant spelling of babirusa, which comes from the Indonesian/Malay babirusa, which in turn comes from babi (pig) and rusa (deer).

For a picture of this remarkable looking animal see http://www.royle.abel.co.uk/slwap/animals/babirusa.htm , which claims that the babirusa's insides resemble those of another mammal dear to the heart of one of our members.

Bingley
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Bingley

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#48197 - 11/21/01 05:45 AM Re: Rockabye Babyroussa
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Thanks for the link, Bingley...

And all things do come back, full circle, to the most elegant hippopotamus, don't they? There's no escaping the hippo, no matter how hard we may try to avoid walking in its determined, mud-splattered tracks.

In the beginning was the hippo, the true alphatist; in the end, there will be the hippo, the ultrahippopotemegatist.

Now, see the babyroussa's tusks on the rockabye bough...when that bough breaks, the baby' will fall...

Best regards,
DubDub, cradle and all...


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#48198 - 11/22/01 11:34 PM Re: Rockabye Babyroussa
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Here's a good link to see what the skull of the babirussa looks like:

http://www.skullsunlimited.com/Suidae.htm

It's the third photograph down and it's clear that those upper tusks would be more than adequate to hook onto a bough for secure napping. In fact, I imagine sometimes those upper tusks are hard to disentangle from knotty boughs.

More exciting news to appear here in the next few days. Stay tuned for the warthog (picture above the baby).

WordWart


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#48199 - 11/23/01 04:09 PM Re: Rockabye Babyroussa
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
Dear WW: this old grinch refuses to believe yarn about your pet using tusks to hold up head during nap. It seems in class of fable such as those of side hill fimf, etc. But closer to home, I have seen something not very many people have. Skunks have to get tail out of way to spray victim effectively. I saw one in my yard, unable to spray me because the wind was from me to it. It stood up on its front paws, with abdomen facing me, tail hanging down on side away from me, craning its neck around front legs to keep me in view, and front paws shifting position to get best aim. But it was at enough of a disadvantage that it had to hold its fire, and I could get a good look at it because it was close to porch light. The way it danced on its front paws to get best aim was really comical.
You may be sure I waited until it dropped its hindquarters and scurried away into the darkness before I went up the walk to enter the house.


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#48200 - 11/23/01 07:08 PM Re: Rockabye Babyroussa
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
wwh, my indepth research in the skunk works on the babirussa's rocking has been skunked, not by you, but by inadequate study of the species as collected by Google.

After reading many an entry, the closest I can get to whether this baby rocks or not is native legend.

However, here are some of the more interesting (to me and I hope to others who enjoy perusing about the 'russas):

"These long teeth are fairly brittle and are easily broken off. The senses of smell and hearing are well developed. The main vocalization is a low grunt or moan, and, when excited, they clatter their teeth."

http://www.ultimateungulate.com/babirusa.html

Being a musician, most auditory phenomena are of some interest to me and possibly to Musick and Geoff

"Even more intimidating is the babirussa, the wild pig of Malayia. It has upturned canines in the upper jaw that are actual extraoral teeth that grow up through the roof of the snout. The teeth sweep back to the forehead, sometimes attaining a length of seventeen inches. These remarkable teeth in the male are probably sexual ornaments; in the female, they are mere nubs."

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:5oSKxi62sv8:www.uic.edu/classes/orla/orla312/CANINES.htm+babirussa&hl=en

"The "babi rusa", a deer-like pig (Babyrousa, babirussa), and the "anoa," a forest- dwelling dwarf buffalo, are among the interesting indigenous animals of Sulawesi."

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:bO2zaHAXF6s:www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/indonesia/pro-wildlife.htm+babirussa&hl=en

The above comment about babyroussas' being deerlike is strictly based on their legs and toes. If you take a look at these pigs, on the surface they look little like deer; fortunately they have the insides of the most honorable hippo as Bingley most cogently pointed out.

"Babirousa. Also babirusa or babirussa. (Babyrousa babyrussa is the scientific name). Malay, from baabii (hog) and ruusa (deer). A hairless porcine creature. The male's teeth stick out beyond the lip. Likes to hide. He is a member of Incus' circle of black mechanics, and the teeth sticking out remind us of Incus."

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:mHRCTUrnLVo:www.urth.net/whorl/archives/v0008/0676.shtml+babirussa&hl=en

Black mechanics???

Das ist dat. Said the deer to the babirusa/babyroussa/babirousa, spell it as you will, "Our feet are the same." That's German for good-bye.

WiederWieder


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#48201 - 11/24/01 07:38 PM Black mechanics
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Bittersweet. The poisonous plant in Eurasia (Solanum dulcamara). A
weed with purple flowers and red berries. It has a bittersweet taste.
This is a member of the black mechanics, and apparently female.


Now, in reference to the above post, how in Sam's Hill can a babirussa be a member of the Incus' black mechanics? This pig is now part deer, part hippo, part pig, and bittersweet.

Bittersweet regards,
Left-in-the-dustWind



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#48202 - 11/25/01 08:45 AM Re: Rockabye Babyroussa
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
In reply to:

Babirousa. Also babirusa or babirussa. (Babyrousa babyrussa is the scientific name). Malay, from baabii (hog) and ruusa (deer). A hairless porcine creature. The male's teeth stick out beyond the lip. Likes to hide. He is a member of Incus' circle of black mechanics, and the teeth sticking out remind us of Incus."

http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:mHRCTUrnLVo:www.urth.net/whorl/archives/v0008/0676.shtml+babirussa&hl=en

Black mechanics???


Your link, ww, seems to come from a discussion group about the novels of Gene Wolf. I must confess I am not familiar with the oeuvre in question, but it would appear that some characters take pseudonyms from various animal species. The entry for babirusa combines information about the origin of the name and the character's position and affiliations in the fantasy world created by Mr. Wolf.

Bingley

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#48203 - 11/25/01 12:52 PM Re: black mechanics
tsuwm Offline
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Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10525
Loc: this too shall pass
to be a little more specific, Gene Wolfe's sf series, Book of the Long Sun tells of a world called Whorl, which is actually a vast cylindrical space ship, falling into disrepair. Babirousa is a very minor character, a smith's apprentice, who makes a brief appearance in vol. III (of IV). black mechanics is the hobby of the prothonotory Incus (he has buck teeth) -- at this point in their regression a computer technician/programmer is treated as someone who knows black magic.

this is richly detailed stuff. Wolfe uses archaic words (rather than making up some new words) to add authenticity and flavor (he's USn) to his stories.

it's kind of sad that Gene Wolfe works mainly in the sf genre; he is really quite an important writer who has successfully combined modernism with sf. he is a font of interesting words, but I think that another of his series, Book of the New Sun is one of the best things I've read -- I like it more than Lord of the Rings.

p.s. - Bittersweet is another minor character, one of Incus' circle of black mechanics!

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#48204 - 11/25/01 04:17 PM Re: black mechanics
Wordwind Offline
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Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 6296
Loc: Piedmont Region of Virginia, U...
Many thanks, guys, for pulling me out of the Black Mammoth hole here. Bittersweet is an extraordinary vine seen here in central Virginia. It is not only visually pleasing when growing, but, if you cut a bit, the berries will dry up and stay on the vine throughout the winter.

I wonder whether our own bittersweet is related to the kind this Gene Wolfe had in mind...? And I'll bet Gene Wolfe probably knows that the babirussa's insides are similar to that of a hippopotamus!

Beast regards,
WW


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