526.5 Live Scorpions
February 24, 2020 8:24 AM   Subscribe

 
526.7 Dead Animals or Parts of Animals
posted by logicpunk at 8:28 AM on February 24


Only queen honeybees may be shipped by air transportation.

As is befitting nobility.
posted by Fizz at 8:29 AM on February 24 [18 favorites]




I'm not sure how that half scorpion is still alive.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:38 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.

We've gotten ants through the mail for an ant farm, and preserved dead animals for dissection (frog, worm, cricket, crayfish &c). A friend of mine has received honeybees, and baby chicks. The baby chicks were something of a surprise to me.

For some reason this:

Dead animals or parts of animals include two groups of items:
Group A: Items that need to be refrigerated.
Group B: Items that must be dried.


reminded me of Borges and the taxonomy he drew from the imaginary book, The Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge, which many of you will, I am sure, have seen before. Something about the cadence of it.
animals are divided into:

1. those that belong to the Emperor,
2. embalmed ones,
3. those that are trained,
4. suckling pigs,
5. mermaids,
6. fabulous ones,
7. stray dogs,
8. those included in the present classification,
9. those that tremble as if they were mad,
10. innumerable ones,
11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
12. others,
13. those that have just broken a flower vase,
14. those that from a long way off look like flies.
Any of these may be shipped for $4.61 in Canadian money. Postage must be paid in exact change. They must be shipped only by water. Those that belong to the emperor may have up to 8 attendant animals.
posted by Orlop at 8:41 AM on February 24 [22 favorites]


Depends on which half.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 8:42 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.

As emotional support honeybees, presumably?
posted by Paul Slade at 8:45 AM on February 24 [4 favorites]


By the way, live humans are non-mailable. Section 525.2 addresses this, but doesn't explicitly mention humans - it just says that live, warm-blooded animals aren't mailable. Apparently people tried mailing kids in 1913 and 1914 (Parcel Post had a weight limit of 50 pounds at the time). Atlas Obscura has a short history of human mail.
posted by madcaptenor at 8:46 AM on February 24 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: Small, Harmless, Cold–Blooded Animals (526.6)
posted by The Bellman at 8:48 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


I briefly moonlit for FedEx a bit over 20 years ago, and personally handled a box of live crickets (had air holes in the side, through which I could see and hear them) and also some live lobsters being shipped from Maine (very securely wrapped). Having packages break open was a regular occurrence in the evening sort, and I kind of wanted to see a live lobster waving its rubberbanded claws around on the line. No such luck.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:56 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


It's curious that "526.7 Dead Animals or Parts of Animals" is a subhead under "526 Mailable Live Animals."
posted by sjswitzer at 8:59 AM on February 24


Is this some kind of King Solomon style test to see who truly cares for their 527 scorpions?
posted by wordless reply at 9:00 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.

To keep the queen alive. She needs worker bees to feed her and tend to her.

Also, to be a pedantic entomologist, it should be honey bee, not honeybee, as they are true bees. Insect names work that way.... it is actually a type of fly, two words (robber fly). If it is not actually a type of fly (butterfly) then one word.
posted by fimbulvetr at 9:08 AM on February 24 [21 favorites]


So, by inference from section 526.6, baby alligators an caimans under 20" are harmless; what about other crocodilians?
posted by Dr. Twist at 9:08 AM on February 24




By the way, live humans are non-mailable.

There goes my company's plan to reduce travel expenses.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 9:12 AM on February 24 [2 favorites]


An interesting and almost soothing thing to read. Thank you for posting this.
posted by readinghippo at 9:22 AM on February 24


I had a friend who mailed a snake to another, mutual friend who had moved out of state back in the 70s. It nearly made it but got loose in the mail carrier’s bag on the way to the recipients house, resulting in a visit by the postal inspectors to the first friend and his parents. (Everyone involved was a young teenager at the time.) I hope that isn’t why snakes are specifically excluded from the regulations.
posted by TedW at 9:52 AM on February 24 [3 favorites]


In his book Anatomy of the Honey Bee from 1956, Robert E. Snodgrass wrote

I guess it should be implied that Mr. Snodgrass is not in fact a true grass.
posted by explosion at 10:31 AM on February 24 [19 favorites]


Apparently people tried mailing kids in 1913 and 1914 (Parcel Post had a weight limit of 50 pounds at the time). Atlas Obscura has a short history of human mail.

I learned about this on the Smithsonian's Side Door podcast. Cheaper than the train to have the kids visit grandpa? Slap those stamps on their sleeve and send 'em over!
posted by linux at 10:41 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


Snakes and turtles are categorically excluded; I assume this is because of snakes' penchant for escape (as in the anecdote above) and because turtles are notorious vectors of salmonella.

Always, when seeing these lists I imagine there are specific events that led to the rules. It would be interesting to learn them.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:49 AM on February 24


some live lobsters being shipped from Maine

I believe there are specific airlines and air transport groups that fly most of the live seafood around the US. I had a professor in grad school who made his money starting one in the '70s in the area where he taught.
posted by The_Vegetables at 11:02 AM on February 24


TIL: a 20-inch long alligator is “harmless.”

:/
posted by rbellon at 11:08 AM on February 24


My uncle came back to the US from his WWII crypto post in Sydney in the unpressurized mail storage compartment of a mail plane, so mailing humans does happen occasionally.
posted by freecellwizard at 11:35 AM on February 24 [1 favorite]


I'm really curious about the poultry restrictions. They have to be mailed early enough in the week that they're certain not to arrive on a Sunday or a Saturday afternoon. But they also have to be mailed within a day of hatching, so if they hatch late in the week you can't just wait and send them next week.

Does this mean there are chicks that are born on the wrong day to be mailable at all?

If you're selling chicks by mail order, do you somehow try to influence things so they hatch at mailable days of the week? Or do you have to arrange to sell a fraction of your chicks in person, or what?
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:19 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


You can control the hatching of chicks by when you incubate them. This is how birds manage a clutch of eggs. First they lay the clutch over a period of many days and afterwards they incubate them so that they all hatch at about the same time.
posted by sjswitzer at 12:50 PM on February 24 [4 favorites]




You can control the hatching of chicks by when you incubate them.

Yep. I live in a rural area where people receive baby birds in the mail and it's always ADORABLE when baby chick season happens because the chicks live at the post office and make tiny peeping sounds until they get picked up by whoever their recipient is. Makes the postal workers a little batty but working in a rural post office is SO much better that a lot of urban post office jobs (see other thread) they put up with it.
posted by jessamyn at 3:13 PM on February 24 [7 favorites]


A fun prank you can pull is mail someone a "LIVE SCORPIONS" labelled box, with lots of crumpled packing material, and a single container with a loose lid, which is ... empty.
posted by The otter lady at 3:48 PM on February 24 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure how that half scorpion is still alive.

Obligatory Eric.
posted by hippybear at 6:14 PM on February 24 [1 favorite]


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