Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sometimes Evolutionary Changes Seem Inevitable

“What but the wolf's tooth whittled so fine
The fleet limbs of the antelope?
What but fear winged the birds, and hunger
Jewelled with such eyes the great goshawk's head?”

~ Robinson Jeffers

Paleontologist Darren Naish has been a little bit obsessed by babirusas, a mammal that is not extinct but perhaps should be. The babirusa is a pig-like mammal that can be found in Sulawesi and parts of Indonesia. Its principal features are the two pairs of huge tusks that grow backward out of its mouth and over its head.

Pretty, isn't he?

On his blog, Tetrapod Zoology (Tet Zoo for short), Naish has written often about babirusas and particularly about his quest for an example of a babirusa whose tusk had grown so far back it had pierced its skull. This week he is extremely excited to announce that he has found one.

I don't want to spoil the surprise, so head on over to Tetrapod Zoology and take a look.

“Most species do their own evolving, making it up as they go along, which is the way Nature intended.”
~ Terry Pratchett

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