This afternoon the Croxii were guests at a private function at London Zoo. We got a chance to toddle round the exhibits. Being us, we were especially keen to visit the reptiles and amphibians…
All Your Rainforest Are Belong To Us
And their near neighbour, the okapi.
For the benefit of Crox Minor I made up a Just-So Story called How The Okapi Got That Pattern Of White Stripes On Its Arse, but I shan’t bore you with the details except that it involved the after-effects of the consumption of spicy foods, notwithstanding inasmuch as which it might be no coincidence that the zookeepers pay very serious attention to the okapi’s lavatorial requirements:
In the interests of research Mrs Crox visited the toilets in question but assured me that no okapis were using them at the time.
But of course the highlight of any trip to the zoo is the chance to gawp at our close evolutionary relatives,
people from Ipswich the gorillas. Were I a gorilla [no, don't even go there: Ed] I think I’d be very fed up of lots of people gawping at me whether I liked it or not.
In which case, why oh why oh why is the notice RUINED with the canonical parade of apes-becoming-man, which has as much to do with Darwin as News International can be run by a pilchard? If such misleading signage can penetrate as far as the heart of London Zoo, the epicentre of the apotheotic zenith of the Zoological Society of London, and therefore the Empire, I clearly have my work cut out dispelling such ridiculous, misinformed notions as I am attempting to do in my ongoing book. Here’s the edited highlight – evolution has no plan. It has no memory. It has no foresight. As on Darwin’s tangled bank, it acts purely in the here and now. If there are trends in the results of the evolutionary process, these are the results of our picking up signals after the fact – signals which will, perhaps inevitably, if applied to ourselves, flatter our own self-elected position as the Summit of CreationTM (Conditions Apply: Not Applicable in Ipswich). Which is why, I guess, we have no compunction about gurning at the poor old gorillas.
Anyway, I’m chairing a meeting at the ZSL on Tuesday. Perhaps I Can Do Something About It.