My last post was supposed to be about the “Official” State items that most states, including New Mexico, have a list of. Then it became a post about the Official NM State Question, “red or green?” and grew into a story about chili only. I didn’t realize I has so much to tell about red and green chili. Now I will cover other “Officials” of the State of New Mexico, starting with the animals.
The NM State Bird – this is a no-brainer and most people can guess it is the Roadrunner. Did you know that the Roadrunner is one of the few animals that can take down a rattlesnake?
The NM State Reptile – You would think it would be a rattler, but considering they can be taken down by the state bird, thus shattering their reputation, maybe not. It is the Whiptail Lizard, which is also Roadrunner food, but with no reputation to tarnish.
The NM State Mammal – the Black Bear. When food is scarce these bears have been known
to come down into town to forage – giving ABQ the nickname AlBearquerque a few years back. Steven Colbert beware.
The NM State Insect – Tarantula Hawk Wasp – This is one scary wasp. Its sting is on the top 10 list for bites that hurt, but it is very non aggressive if you are NOT a tarantula. Good for us – bad for the tarantula. This wasp will sting the giant spider paralyzing it, drag it underground to its den and will keep the spider alive for its young to feed on when they hatch. Eeewww! Pretty critter, though.
The NM State Fish – NM Cutthroat trout – A beautiful fish that attracts fisherman from all over the world to come to NM ant fish in our top notch rivers and streams. The state stocks them everywhere, so if you don’t find one, there is something wrong in the Land of Enchantment.
The NM State Dinosaur – Coelophysis – More of these dinosaur’s remains have been found in NM than anywhere else, and most of them were located at Ghost Ranch, in the northern part of the state. It was a small, meat eating dinosaur with hollow bones like a bird, and I think it evolved into a Roadrunner. Just my opinion. But if you ever see a Roadrunner stalk its prey, you’ve got to wonder.
New Mexico has even more “Officials, so in my next post I will cover the more inanimate items. Stay tuned in.
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Expert on Destination Albuquerque and Central New Mexico!