Look, evolution, we’ve talked about this. You can’t just slap some makeup on an ostrich and then pretend like it’s a totally different bird. Call it a “seriema" if you want to, but come on; we know.
"How should I decorate this nyala? I’m thinking maybe spiral horns."
"Sure, evolution, spiral horns are pretty cool."
"And orange legs."
"Bold choice, but all right…"
"And maybe some facial markings. And fringy hair!"
"Hey, don’t get too carried away, okay? It’s just an antelope."
"Ooh, how about some stripes? Stripes are majestic."
"Hmm. It kind of just looks like a bird pooped all over it."
"No. It looks majestic.”
"Whatever you say."
Evolution tried to start a sports league once, but it turned out competitive leaf-eating just wasn’t all that interesting to watch. Nice jerseys on the saddleback caterpillars, though.
Source: Flickr / Mary Keim
Oh, dear—it looks like evolution got into the nail polish again. Sorry about that, variegated grasshopper.
"Oh, what a cute little mouse!"
"It’s not a mouse! It’s a marsupial called an antechinus."
"Sorry, evolution, my mistake. Still cute, though."
"Isn’t he? And he’s excited, because he’s almost eleven months old, and that means he finally gets to start mating."
"Aw, that’s nice."
"He’s going to run around getting it on with as many females as he can for the next two or three weeks."
"And he’ll have sex with each of them for up to 14 hours at a stretch."
"And he’ll get so exhausted from all the frantic mating that his fur starts falling off, and he contracts gangrene."
"What? Jesus. Then does he take a break, at least?"
"Nah, not really. He basically keeps doing it until he gets so sick and stressed out that he dies. ‘Suicidal reproduction,’ I’m calling it.”
"Are you serious? He’s going to mate himself to death?”
"Yeah, but he doesn’t know it yet. Happy coming-of-age, antechinus!"
"You’re sick, you know that?"
Hey, friends. I have a few announcements!
I am working on a WTF, Evolution? book! I’ve been working on it for a while now, in fact. It’ll be out in fall 2014 and will include some familiar weird faces, many strange new beasts, and a whole lot of extra goodies. Want to know where the pigbutt worm lives, whether the sage grouse is endangered, or what additional elongated appendages the tapir has? I will tell you. Possibly more than you wanted to know.
Never fear—blog service will continue uninterrupted in the meantime. And I will keep you all updated as things progress. I’m pretty excited about this, and I hope you will be too—and needless to say, none it would have happened if I didn’t have an audience, so thank you all immensely for that.
Announcement 2 (related to Announcement 1)
I’m looking for scientists to help me fact-check the book! It’s because I love you all, and I want the things I tell you to be true (except for the things that I have obviously completely made up).
If you’re a biologist/zoologist/taxonomist/weirdanimalologist and WTF, Evolution? fan, I would love to run some pages by you and have you double-check my species identifications, descriptions, and basic facts. I’ve done my research—a lot of it—but I’m not a specialist. I’ve been so grateful to have the support and following of people in the scientific community so far, and with your help I can make sure that this book is as accurate and informative as it is (hopefully) entertaining.
I’m looking for scientists who specialize in: fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals, insects, spiders, marine invertebrates, parasites, plants, evolutionary theory, or probably just about anything else that falls under the umbrella of “life.” If you’re interested, drop me a line at email@example.com, tell me what you study, and I’ll see if there might be some pages for you. If we do end up working together, I’ll acknowledge you in the book and send you a signed copy in thanks when it comes out. Which is, again, this fall.
Evolution sent the tortoise beetle from the future. And the future is shiny as hell.