Tuesday 11 August 2015

Chuggy Pig

Chuggy pig may not be a name familiar to you for 'tis these of which I speak [although granted not this huge prehistoric fossil but it was the only piccie I had that was appropriate]

The 'umble woodlouse. Let's face it anything lumbered with "louse" is never going to get off to a great start is it. I much prefer some of the other names I've come across and yes there are many! How about Bibble-Bug, Coffin Cutter and St Anthony's Buttons for starters. Anything that can roll itself into a ball [thinking of armadillos and hedgehogs here] gets my vote.

It's one of those creatures which is very familiar and doesn't catch your eye so I'm on a mission to rectify that. For starters they're useful to us wasteful humans as they eat our detritus and turn it back into black gold. They are apparently crustaceans and related to the likes of crabs but unlike their marine relatives they prefer to remain on terra firma. Furthermore there are 5 species in the UK [common striped, pill, rough, pigmy and shiny] but it's only the pill one that rolls up- the others have other means of escape ie runner, roller, clinger and creeper.

These days we tend to ignore them but once upon a time you might have hung a black silk bag containing live ones around your little darling's neck to ease teething pains or you yourself may have crunched your way through dried ones to ease stomach pains- the likely explanation is that they contain a lot of calcium so it may have eased neutralised the acids. Personally I think I'll stick with Rennies!


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