they made friendship bracelets for the moss mice
May 22, 2020 7:24 AM   Subscribe

Herd-Like Movement Of Fuzzy Green 'Glacier Mice' Baffles Scientists "'They really do look like little mammals, little mice or chipmunks or rats or something running around on the glacier, although they run in obviously very slow motion,' says wildlife biologist Sophie Gilbert."
posted by moonmilk (18 comments total) 25 users marked this as a favorite
 
Is the marimo a moss mouse mermaid?
posted by moonmilk at 7:44 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


This new work adds to a very small body of research on these fuzz balls, even though glaciologists have long known about them and tend to be fond of them.

I'm fond of them too now, having never heard of them before. I don't know why, but I was utterly charmed by this article. Moss mice! They even have a cool name. Love.
posted by widdershins at 7:45 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


I am here for this adorable new cryptid.
posted by athenasbanquet at 7:48 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


Do you want tribbles? Because that's how you get tribbles.
posted by notoriety public at 7:55 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


This was really lovely, exactly what I needed to read today.
posted by Mauve at 7:59 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I'm very disappointed these are not actually mice.
posted by shoesietart at 8:20 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


"They really do look like little mammals, little mice..."
"researcher Tim Bartholomaus"

But of course.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 8:40 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


Indeed, tiny critters including simple worms and water bears can even live inside moss balls, according to one study from 2012.

This could be the larval stage of the dirigible behemothaur, before it ascends to pupate in the clouds of Saturn.
posted by mubba at 8:40 AM on May 22 [3 favorites]


We can tell they are real researchers because they didn't affix googly eyes to the moss mice.
And they kept any names they assigned them (eg Frederic, Eunice, Colin, Matilda) to themselves.

also: damn, but moss mice is pleasing to say. moss mice moss mice moss mice.
posted by scruss at 8:45 AM on May 22 [8 favorites]


Time-lapse satellite photography revealed something stunning - the glacier mice were forming what looked like Latin letters, though scientists could not be sure, at the rate of one letter every 3-4 months. Over the course of two years, researchers were able to observe the following sequence: N-E-V-E-R-G-O-N-N.

Only time will tell if there is any meaning to be drawn from these observations or if it is just a highly unlikely series of random events.

posted by grumpybear69 at 9:07 AM on May 22 [4 favorites]


They're TROLLS
posted by aniola at 9:35 AM on May 22 [1 favorite]


Or maybe the trolls are really a kind of mice
posted by aniola at 9:36 AM on May 22


Must moist moss mice move more?
posted by jamjam at 10:17 AM on May 22 [5 favorites]


So charming. I really enjoyed reading this! The idea of herds of moss mice, all migrating together in slow motion, delights me.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 12:08 PM on May 22


There are good things in this world.
posted by nakedmolerats at 1:45 PM on May 22 [1 favorite]


I once camped on the Maxton Plains in Michigan, and my buddy and I saw "lichen mice". I think a flat surface and strong winds might cause these sorts of mice. Maybe frost as well.
posted by acrasis at 3:01 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


...they didn't affix googly eyes to the moss mice.
And they kept any names they assigned them (eg Frederic, Eunice, Colin, Matilda) to themselves.


Maybe, but they're certainly deficient in whimsy!
posted by BlueHorse at 3:55 PM on May 22


The name “moss mice” has a bit of a funny etymology. It was coined by a meteorologist named Jón Eyþórsson in 1950. The Icelandic term, as mentioned in the article, is “jöklamýs”. He first found it in a part of Iceland that, at the time, had no mice (or rats) living in it (though now there are). So the inspiration for the name was that these were the only rodent-like things in that part of Iceland.
posted by Kattullus at 4:20 PM on May 22 [3 favorites]


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