One of my work projects involves monoterpene metabolism by goats. Don't ask, and anyway, that's not the point. The point is, I was using Wikipedia to get a handle on some terminology and I ran across this: "Terpenes are used by termites of the Nasutitermitinae family to attack enemy insects, through the use of a specialized mechanism called a fontanellar gun."
Completely distracted from the task at hand, I went to the source material, and it says: "Tenuirostritemes is a small genus of Neotropical termites with two species ranging northward into... southwestern Texas... The major specialization within the subfamily has involved... development of a small projection on the front of the head into a long, attenuated snout or nasus. The frontal gland... elaborates a defensive secretion which can be forcibly ejected through the frontal pore at the tip of the nasus... This fontaneller* gun represents the apex of sophistication among the varied chemical defense mechanisms of the termites."
So, it's true: In Texas, everyone has a gun.
And (at least in 1974) it was considered the apex of sophistication among... defense mechanisms. :-)
I have to get back to work now.
*For the vocabularily-challenged, "fontanellar" is an adjective meaning located on the top of the head. Yep, I looked it up.
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