This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Word To Use Today: zoophilous.

Are you zoophilous?

You probably are in at least one sense, if not the other.

Zoophilous describes someone who has a tendency to be emotionally attached to animals.

And, let's face it, who can resist?

File:Cutest Koala.jpg
(photo by Erik Veland)

Zoophilous also describes plants that are pollinated by vertebrates - and there are a lot of animals with backbones, including birds, bats, mammals and reptiles, are known to pollinate flowers.

If you're imagining that these zoophilous animals will all be tiny delicate creatures, then think again, because they include monkeys, marsupials, deer, and bears.

Now, nectar may sound like an easy dinner but that's not necessarily so: the banana bat, for instance, needs a tongue just about as long as its body to reach the nectar of the wild banana flower. Fancy one of those?

The African Lily, Massonia depressa, on the other hand, bears its very sturdy flowers near the ground, and its nectar comes in the form of a fragrant jelly. 

Gerbils adore it. Actually, it sounded good to me, too, until I discovered that the jelly's fragrance is a bit like old socks.


...I think I'll stick with cooing over pictures of kittens, myself.

File:4 Abyssian kittens.jpg
(photo by Pia Ojanen)

Word To Use Today: zoophilous. This word comes from two Greek ones, zōion, meaning animal, and philos, loving.