Hey, look what just showed up! One of the first actually printed copies of the WTF, Evolution book! The rest aren’t coming until October, but you can preorder one now from Amazon, Powell’s Books, Barnes and Noble, IndieBound, or possibly some other places I’m not cool enough to know about.
I’m really happy with how this came out. Many thanks to all of you for following, enjoying, and sharing—it wouldn’t have happened otherwise.
"Ew, evolution, what are you doing?"
"Making a fruiting body for the stinkhorn fungus. Isn’t it cool?"
"Hmm. I’m not sure that’s the way to go here."
"Why not? It helps the fungus spread its spores."
"It’s just that it looks a little… anatomical."
"What? Nobody’s going to think that."
“Everybody’s going to think that.”
"But I made it smell like hot death!”
"Yeah, that isn’t helping."
"You’re no fun at all."
Sometimes evolution makes beautiful animals that move with all the elegance of a finely-honed ballet. Other times… it makes ducks.
I love a barbecue and some fireworks as much as the next human, evolution, but don’t you think decorating the crayfish is a little bit excessive?
"Crap. I think the bat extruder’s broken again."
"How is that possible, evolution? We just fixed it last—oh. Oh, yeah, that’s not right."
"They’re pretty bad, huh?"
"They look like shriveled hairy potatoes"
"Hang on, maybe I can salvage this."
"Nuh-uh. No. No way."
"I mean, it is kind of cool how that one skin flap can stretch all the way over their faces.”
"Kind of horrifying, you mean."
"Maybe I can spin it as an adaptation."
"For what? Frightening small children?"
"How on Earth has no one fired you yet?"
Source: Jplevraud/Wikimedia Commons
"What’s going on there, evolution?"
"I’m trying to come up with some new insect shapes. I’m tired of them all just getting eaten all the time."
"Well, that’s kind of how you made the food chain, isn’t it?"
"I want this planthopper to look fierce. I want it to look formidable. I want any lousy would-be predator to stand back in quietly trembling awe and never even dream trying to swallow it.”
"So… you gave it a peanut for a head?"
"Hey, it’s a work in progress, okay?"
Source: Hectonichus/Wikimedia Commons
"Man, I am really nailing this adaptation thing lately."
"Oh yeah, evolution? How’s that?"
"Well, this fish lives in a cave, right? It’s totally dark. You can’t see anything anyway."
"So I just took away its eyes. Bam! Instant energy savings."
"Huh, I guess that makes sense. Won’t its head be kind of boring now, though?"
"What? No, not at all."
"I put its anus up there instead.”
"I put its anus up there…"
"On its head?"
"Yep. So it’s totally not boring.”
"Well, no, but…"
Photo: M.L. Niemiller, ZooKeys
Come on, evolution, you can’t be serious. Surely the sheepshead wrasse was just some kind of manufacturing error.
"Bless you, evolution."
"Thanks. Ugh, I wish I could get over this miserable cold."
"Yeah, it sounds bad. Maybe you should just take the day off, huh?"
"I don’t know if I can."
"What do you mean? Of course you can."
"I already took a lot of sick days last ice age. I don’t want to look lazy. Ahh-choooo!”
"Better to rest than do a shoddy job because you’re sick, though, right?"
"It’s okay, I can manage. Besides, I think the cold medicine is starting to kick in. See, I already made this bobtail squid.”
"It’s good, right?"
"I definitely think the medicine is helping."
Photo courtesy of NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program, 2013 Northeast U.S. Canyons Expedition.
Evolution made the male ruff bird after watching one too many British period dramas. Don’t ever say its taste isn’t refined.