12 February 2009

Happy Darwin Day!

I could presumably lash something together that attempted to talk about some core principle in On the Origin of Species but, well, lots of much better qualified people are doing that. Pretty much all the political posts I make are informed by the ideas of population thinking and selection in any case, and nothing in that line is especially nibbling on my brain just now, here in the bleak midwinter. So I'm just going to go with an example of environmental change.

So here we have a large, tropical, mostly hairless animal, by virtue of its great size doing just fine in an environment alien to it. (You get the rhino because none of the elephant-eating-snow pictures turned out well; elephants move the trunk to the mouth fast.)
And yes, zoo, with heated enclosures and a guaranteed food supply and all. And Toronto is fairly far north. But I wouldn't take any bets on a herd of any kind of rhino, left to its own devices, not doing just fine in North America, given the opportunity, and neither should you. It's a pity it would take so long for them to become their own kind of rhino; it would otherwise be a fine experiment.

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