An Ocean Apart by Robin Pilcher

By Robin Pilcher

For 6 dreadful months, David Corstorphine has attempted to return to phrases together with his younger wife's demise, whereas taking good care of his 3 motherless young children. attempt as he may possibly, David is not able to come to paintings, and his in basic terms kind of solace comes from operating within the backyard of his parents' property within the Scottish countryside.

Dispatched without warning to ny, David's relations hopes that the impromptu business journey can help him come again on his toes. however the trip proves either disastrous and heartening. David unearths himself settling in conveniently one of the strangers of a beach big apple city, and takes a role as a gardener. however it is the folks he meets, the ache he confronts, and the enjoyment he's in a position to once more adventure that end up to be magically transformative-- and as David learns to just accept his huge, immense loss, he's in a position to open his center to like once more.

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The Crown of Thorns crawls over the reef on thousands of tiny podia – tube-feet, through which it also breathes, that extend and flex like hydraulic parts as they fill and empty with fluid from sacs inside the animal’s arms. Gliding along about as fast as the minute hand on a clock (a little faster if it puts on a turn of speed), it moves more like a millipede than (as one might suppose) a severed human hand pulling itself by the fingers over the seabed. Once it gets into position around its favourite food of freshly growing coral, the Crown of Thorns wraps its arms around its object of desire in a grip of death, extrudes one of its two stomachs through its mouth and spews digestive juices over the polyps, turning them into a gooey mess which it sucks back inside itself.

Nearly-trees, sporting ferns fronds rather then needles or leaves, arranged in odd, symmetrical umbrella-shapes. There are also stumpy things that look like green traffic bollards in various stages of emerging from the ground. And there are shrub-sized clubmosses, their stems close-packed with green scales, looking like bendy policeman’s truncheons. You see some strange insects on the ground 12 T H E B O O K O F B A R E LY I M A G I N E D B E I N G S and the plant stems, but there are none buzzing in the air – flying insects will not evolve for another sixty millions years.

And they can do this repeatedly, regardless of how many times the part is amputated, and without a scar (sometimes, two will grow where one was before). They can even regrow parts of internal organs, including eyes and parts of the brain. Axolotls have the good fortune to be the easiest salamanders to breed, maintain and study in lab conditions. These properties, and others, make them ideal for the study of vertebrate limb development but, more than that, they have played a valuable role in the development of regenerative biology.

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