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28 May 2009 @ 09:13 am
In honor of the spring's first (dead) possum  
Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?

A: To prove to the armadillo that it could be done.
guppiecatguppiecat on May 28th, 2009 02:09 pm (UTC)
Well, you have one animal whose fear response is to flip onto it's back self-paralyze. You have another whose fear response is to wait until the right moment and then leap to bumper-height.

Neither is well adapted to the modern world, I'm afraid.
siliconshaman on May 28th, 2009 03:49 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough...evidence would seem to indicate that evolution is setting in...both species are developing the 'run like hell' response according to studies.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on May 28th, 2009 05:24 pm (UTC)
Fascinating! Cites? I'd love to read an article on that.
siliconshaman on May 28th, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
oy...depends on whether I bookmarked it..I'll try and find the references.
Miche: archermicheinnz on May 29th, 2009 08:33 am (UTC)
See also the hedgehog.
siliconshaman on May 29th, 2009 11:25 am (UTC)
That one would prove a little harder to find, since it's my sister doing the research and I don't think she's published yet.

Jim Hetleyjhetley on May 28th, 2009 08:39 pm (UTC)
Hasn't worked worth a damn for porcupines or skunks . . .

(Don't get armadillos this far north, and I would have said the same for possums until I saw a corpse last year.)
siliconshaman on May 28th, 2009 09:45 pm (UTC)
That would figure, cars weren't really all that prevalent in the wild until the 40's and as late as the fifties in the USA. We've had a bit of head start on you there, by about 20 years... and of course the density is much higher relativily..since Britian is smaller and thus more tightly packed.

As such, the local equivalents, hedgehogs, are further down that path and have evolved beyond the tuck & play-dead strategy, into more 'run like heck!' as a response.

These days, there are just as many of them about, but you see far fewer flattened corpses.
starcat_jewelstarcat_jewel on May 28th, 2009 02:37 pm (UTC)
Heh. On my trip to and from KC I must have seen 30 or 40 dead dillos on the side of the road. Also one dead deer, with (I suspect) the car that killed it pulled off on the shoulder at the next exit.
Fat Fred the Otter and Skippy: iotterfatfred on May 28th, 2009 03:50 pm (UTC)

I'm betting the armadillo still can't pull it off...
siliconshaman on May 28th, 2009 03:51 pm (UTC)
I wonder how hard it would be to gene-engineer a species of 'dillo that sequestered heavy metals in it's keratin, thus strengthening it. [well, it works with spider silk and it's the same stuff chemically].

Imagine, armour-plated armadillos. Real Texas speed bumps.
mujetdebois on May 29th, 2009 02:47 am (UTC)