Tuesday, May 1, 2007

No Salivary Glands

This is why I am a teacher. A librarian. To mold young, impressionable minds and encourage them to move on into the wide world with a firm foundation...oh, crap. That's not why. It's because I just learn more interesting stuff every day! We just had a guy from The Fish, Game and Other Interesting and Bizarre Creatures Commission (or some title like that) come to school to present a program for some of our students. And did you know? (I just know you didn't) Why raccoons wash their food? Hah! No! You are SO WRONG. It's not to clean it. It's because THEY HAVE NO SALIVARY GLANDS. They dip that food to get it wet so it will slide right down their little throats. Edited to add - apparently this is totally INCORRECT INFORMATION. I was contacted by someone who knew more than me about raccoons (and that could be just about anyone) and they do, indeed, have salivary glands. Someone needs to inform the Fish and Wildlife guy.

Now, I just find this so very interesting. I knew most of the other information he presented - in fact, don't you find yourself just REALLY wanting to raise your hand when you are with a group of kids and the presenter is asking a question and you know the answer? Oh. It's just me? Well, I find myself nodding smugly and in my mind, my head is bobbing and I'm thinking, Oh yeah, Oh yeah, I know the answer to that. I am SO SMART. Of course, this is in comparison to a bunch of second graders, but still. And my point is that I was doing the nodding, head bobbing, I'm so smart activity when he asked why raccoons dip their food in the water.

And I was totally wrong. But none of the kids knew either. And they didn't know that a skunk stamps his feet to let you know he is going to spray and I knew that. Nanny, nanny, boo boo. Of course, this is the very same class where I heard this comment as they were going out the door.

I used to have the blue Power Ranger. But now I just have his head.

This opens up a whole realm of possibilities. A whole gamut of questions. But I just let it go. They were heading out the door and I knew if I asked a question, it would involve a detailed story. So I let it go. But now I don't feel so smug and superior. If I didn't know that raccoons don't have salivary glands...what else have I been taking for granted all these years? It just boggles the mind.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Did you know that an aligator does not have any eyelids...(?)




caaawwwww.....

Anonymous said...

Ok, so maybe they do.

I stand corrected.

Lucy's Mom said...

Dear Mr. Anonymous:

Haven't you learned yet not to play "I know more than you do" with a librarian? She ALWAYS WINS.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Raccons do have salivary glands. Not quit sure how that urban(?) legend got started, but it's absolutely not true. See http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/98/5/326

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