Monday, 1 June 2009

Of Lizards, Ghosts And Darwin

Sometimes, when I'm a hungry ghost, I stumble around my living room in the dark at night because I'm too lazy to turn on the lights and fumble around for food - perhaps a cereal box, or potato chips or any other random grub I can get my hands on. And sometimes, in the process of my doing so, I inadvertently grab house lizards as well.

It usually just feels like a thick rubber band on my cereal box at first. But then the rubber band starts to 'spin' violently, as if someone had rolled it up and suddenly stretched it so that it unravels in its rubber-bandy kinda way.

Anyone who has tried to catch a house lizard will tell you it is actually darn hard to catch one under normal circumstances. But I have ironically managed to grab hold of lizards on more occasions than one by not even trying, which is just stupid and often very irritating. Sometimes, even though I don't make a sound, I react like a girl in my head and drop whatever else I was holding along with the lizard in surprise at the desperately flailing rubbery creature.

But anyway that was all just a digression. What I really wanted to say is that interestingly, house lizards don't seem to shed their tails anymore. They've always been known to drop their tails in the face of danger so as to throw potential predators off with the decoy tail while they make their hasty getaways. However, that never seems to happen anymore. Whenever I attempt to catch house lizards, or when I do grab them by accident, all they do is squirm and run, ditto tail-ditching.

Am I seeing evolution in the process? Are house lizards learning that the threat from which it used to evade by losing the tail is no longer there? Are birds and other predators that eat house lizards being replaced as threats by humans, who really don't bother with house lizards anymore? Is the energy deficiency from losing a tail outweighing the benefits gained from doing so?

Anyway, I can also see how a term like 'hungry ghost' can come about to describe people foraging in the dark for food. You're really just wandering rather aimlessly save for the ultimate goal, or even mere hope, of finding something to munch on, with a serious lack of visual capability.

I should really just go to sleep.

Audio Candy:
Anberlin - Glass To The Arson

No comments: