Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Are we mad? We have Tribbles?
Yes, we are just a little bit crazy and yes, we do have tribbles. Tribbles make wonderful pets (when neutered), are very affectionate and also incredibly clean. I have a tribble myself, George Tribble, and I've never had to clear up after him.
Curious about this, I asked our Ship's Counsellor, ENS Erika Stroem, who is also a Xenobiologist. Erika explained, "They eat it as it is full of nutrition. It also helps in reproduction, which is why there are so many of them and why it is hard to get rid of them. They can follow this procedure over fifty times before they need other foods to replenish the nutrients."
When asked if they had tongues, Erika explained further.
"No, they have a little slit that sucks food (or poop) up—they are like little vacuums, and then another little slit on the other side that blows the poop out. But if the poop is not eaten quickly enough it will turn into another Tribble, this manifestation is known as narcissus metamorphoses."
Erika also has a tribble named Bill.
"We've had Bill for quite a few years, but we'd only had him for a couple of days when I saw him trying to eat his own poop. Thinking that it was totally disgusting, I quickly scooped it up and put it in the bin. That night, I then heard noises coming from the bin and I must admit, it scared the living daylights out of me, but when I finally got the courage to look, we had Ben Two! That's when I started to look into it a bit further visiting the tribble farm, which is near to where I was studying at the time."
Stingray (who was with us during the conversation) wondered if any waste produced by a tribble could be excreted via the sweat glands as sweat.
"No," explained Erika. "If you see what my two eat at times, there is no way on Earth it could be broken down into just sweat. Even Tarantulas, who liquidise their prey and then suck the life out of them, still excrete a liquid type of poop."
Erika certainly knows her xenobiology!