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Friday, March 19, 2010

Lovable Pachyderms

Since I strive to keep these blog entries occasionally and mildly educational, today, class, we're going to learn about elephants, otherwise known as pachyderms. In fact, the term pachyderm applies to any very large mammal with thick skin, including the elephant, rhinoceros, and Katie's favorite, hippos! And since I find etymology (word origin) fascinating and explanatory, pachyderm comes from the Greek word pakhudermos meaning thick (pakhus) and skin (derma). It comes to English in the mid-19th century from the French word pachyderme. Not only is this origin completely logical, but it helps explain why had trouble spelling it at first, especially with that "chy" construction.

In other news regarding elephants, I loved seeing the five elephants housed at Portland's Oregon Zoo. Packy has long been the biggest elephant attraction at the zoo because he was the first elephant born in the Western Hemisphere in some 44 years when he arrived in 1962. Nevertheless, I loved watching two female elephants walk, play, and hang out with a young pachyderm in the outside yard. And as we watched, I captured this photo that is quickly growing to be one of my favorite animal photographs.

Maternal Bond

And just when we thought we had seen all of the elephants at the zoo, we passed one final pachyderm outside and I quickly snapped his profile harshly light by the afternoon sun.

Packy Profile

Eric Lovelin Photography


  1. That first one is definitely one of my favorites too :)

  2. an elephant is an animal I would definitely like to have a conversation with. N.