Saturday, March 21, 2009

Der Zoo

Yes, Lisa was right. Pinnipeds do bark. Pinniped means "winged foot" as in flippers. They are the fin footed mammals such as the seals and sea lions.

I think he was saying, "More, more, arf, arf." Then, it was on to the Peacocks. One was ruling the rooftop over another smaller male until he jumped down and graced us with a dance. He must have liked my green shirt.

By way of colors, I'm partial to black and white, at the zoo, at least. Here is a mare and foal. Is that right?

Isn't this an interesting photo. The baby was standing under me getting a drink of water. I never noticed that he had brown stripes. Look how furry he is.

Speaking of brown, there are the Giraffes. Doesn't the giraffe's shadow look like a shadow puppet made with one's fingers?Charles Darwin commented on giraffe evolution in the sixth edition (1872) of his seminal book, Origin of Species:
The giraffe, by its lofty stature, much elongated neck, fore-legs, head and tongue, has its whole frame beautifully adapted for browsing on the higher branches of trees. It can thus obtain food beyond the reach of the other Ungulata or hoofed animals inhabiting the same country; and this must be a great advantage to it during dearths.... So under nature with the nascent giraffe the individuals which were the highest browsers, and were able during dearth to reach even an inch or two above the others, will often have been preserved; for they will have roamed over the whole country in search of food.... Those individuals which had some one part or several parts of their bodies rather more elongated than usual, would generally have survived. These will have intercrossed and left offspring, either inheriting the same bodily peculiarities, or with a tendency to vary again in the same manner; whilst the individuals, less favoured in the same respects will have been the most liable to perish.... By this process long-continued, which exactly corresponds with what I have called unconscious selection by man, combined no doubt in a most important manner with the inherited effects of the increased use of parts, it seems to me almost certain that an ordinary hoofed quadruped might be converted into a giraffe. (Darwin 1872, pp. 177ff.)

To be continued...


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Hey Fiona!

Awww..looks like twin giraffes in the last photo.....(Hmmmm, do you think I have twins on-the-brain? hehe)

That top view photo of the zebra is very cool! And you know how much I like black and white critters, too :)

The peacock photos turned out great. They are just stunning!

I think I just may take you up on your offer for a zoo visit soon. I do miss all the beautiful and interesting animals.


Fantastyk Voyager said...

Lisa, thanks for the compliments, although my photos can't touch yours...I try.

Aren't the giraffes cute?