And now for something completely different.
But seriously, evolution is just a giant crapfest.
Evolution is a crap shoot, as well as a crapfest. Yes, flamingos. WTF?
A few years ago, in the course of my studies, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with autistic children, who were at various places along the autistic spectrum. I am convinced that autism is not a disorder or pathology, but an evolutionary gambit. Of course the parents of autistic children just want them “fixed.” I suppose dinosaur parents were dismayed when their children started sprouting feathers, too. That’s the thing about evolution: You don’t get to choose whether You want to participate or not, but You can choose to reproduce or not. For now at least.
Disapproving Dinosaur Parents: The best image I get to have all day. Thank you. <3
My pleasure, Sweetie. <3
Thank you for thinking that we autistic/aspergers “children” are an evolutionary gambit. That sounds so much better than anything else I’ve heard so far.
That sounds about right, sometimes I feel like a faulty superhero, I can hear in higher sound ranges and see at a slightly faster frequency, and as a result I get headaches and eye strain and stressed faster than other people as a result of overstimulation. Thaaaaaanks evolution.
Ah yes, light sensitivity. Also known as “I don’t CARE if you neurotypicals can barely tell that the light is flickering CAN’T YOU FIX THAT LIGHTBULB ALREADY SO I CAN FOCUS?” Yes, this actually happened to me once, in seventh grade. I had the misfortune of sitting just behind the malfunctioning track-light, so not only could I see the changes in the ambient light of the room, I had to deal with seeing that light flickering out of the corner of my eye, and blocking it from my vision also blocked the top of the whiteboard. For. A whole. WEEK.
The most annoying is those early florescent lights that flickered on and off at 60 hertz, everyone else just complained that they were dim and I was like “If only that was the real issue!”.
And platypuses. The weirdest thing about the platypus is the way they swim???
I would hazard to guess the OLNY thing about the platypus that makes sense is its swimming habits…
Platypuses — how the *fuck* do they work?
From this aussie’s perspective, all your mammals are just weird! What do you mean your mammals don’t lay eggs like a platypus or an echidna? How can your young live-born mammal survive without growing up in a pouch? It’s all a matter of what you’re used to of course. Ok I’ll come down off my high kangaroo and just be more tolerant of your…what do you call them again? Horses? hehehehe
Before I read the text I thought that the horse was chewing on the post…
Apparently, they brace their teeth against objects like posts before pulling back their lips, then sucking in air. It looks hilarious, even though it’s really terrible for them. …But seriously.
I hear tell that many humans brace their lips against a sort of a small bag of nasty dried weeds, set them on fire and suck in the smoke from the burning weeds. This also looks hilarious, even though it’s really terrible for them… I’ll bet it’s something similar to what the horses are doing. 😉
>even though it’s really terrible for them…
I suppose it depends on which kind of dried weeds they’re smoking. 😉
fun little fact; when english scientists first discovered the platypus in australia, they were dismayed that some troll-jerk glued a duckbill to a poor beaver and tried to pull it off…..can’t blame them.
The ‘wind sucking’ is actually called ‘cribbing’. It gets them high. Source: I’ve worked with horses for 14 years.
And gives them colic :-p
Was there something evolution-related out there in the collective unconscious of internet comic writers? XKCD today, too. Although this made me laugh rather than feel sad. Silly flamingoes.
We’re all evolving to have one giant clone-comic-mind!
Horse cribbing is a neurotic behavior developed in captivity. Not an evolutionary development.
The wombat had me. But to me, Mother Nature was most astounding in creating the sloth, which may die falling from a tree after mistaking one of its arm for a branch.
…. …. God damn it, sloths.
Okay, let’s break this down.
Horses are domesticated animals, so many of their seemingly self-harming behavior are the result of human intervention and selective breeding. If you want a big, strong, and fast animal, you might just get one but it just happens to suck air into it’s gut if you mess with it’s genes enough. Same goes for some dogs with weird disorders (French bulldogs have to be artificially inseminated because they can’t reproduce naturally, but they’re SOOOO CUTE!) another example is bracecephalic dogs.
Pandas… I did notice a lot of people seemed to jump on the bandwagon that they don’t deserve to exist after a thread on reddit that apparently exposed them as pointless animals that should have been extinct because of certain habits like, abandoning their young if they have twins, and only eating a single type of food, etc. But Pandas are specialists, their main food source is growing scarcer and it doesn’t provide much energy, hence the falling asleep wherever they happen to be. They don’t really have much of a threat from natural predators, so they aren’t in much danger if they are slightly narcoleptic. Falling asleep helps save energy, so that they can get up well rested in order to look for more of their favorite low-energy food. This is also why they abandon their young sometimes, the mother will realize that she cannot provide enough nutrients for herself and two babies, therefore she must choose only one. It’s quite sad, but it’s not like they deserve to be extinct. This delicate lifestyle is why the WWF uses a Panda as their symbol.
Wombats have cube-shape poop? Wow. That’s kind of awesome. It’s just the shape of their digestive tract, it could be better at extracting water and compacting the waste, I don’t really know for sure, but that’s just my hypothesis. But really I don’t see why this is a bad thing… Goats have rectangular pupils. So what’s the big deal? Wombats literally shit bricks at the thought of you misrepresenting them.
Giraffes drinking pee is the least of your worries, at least they’re checking for when the females are ready to mate. Male sea otters, ducks, chimpanzees, some scorpions and dolphins often resort to raping the females (lets not forget humans). Piss-chuggin statuesque African mammals are more gentlemanly that you make them out to be.
Platypuses swim with their eyes closed, but why do you think they have a beak? It’s surface is densely packed with nerve endings, its a highly sensitive weapon used to detect the slightest movement in the water, kind of like a hammerhead shark’s. They close their eyes because they don’t need them, just like bats are technically “blind” because they use their hearing and echo-location to see, except the platypussy still retains his eyes for use outside of the water.
Flamingos exist, yes, but they can exist in excruciatingly hot water. The reason they stick their head into the water is to enable the use of their incredibly unique beaks that are lined with rows of small bristles called lamellae that allow them to filter the water by forcing mud, silt, and impurities out using their muscular tongues. (Much like humpback whales) It is pigments in some of the crustaceans that give flamingos their distinctive pink color. They are also very social and their “group” mentality makes it very difficult for predators to attack them.
Nature is Magical! Especially when you know what’s really going on with these creatures.
There was just too much to fit into a concise comic! Nature truly is excruciatingly magical.
Platypuses are cooler than that – they’re actually using electrical impulses from their preys’ nerve impulses to navigate.
Pandas really got the smelly end of the bamboo stick. All their behaviours make sense when you realize that they coping with a ridiculously confined energy budget on account of being a carnivore that exclusively eats something that’s nearly inedible for a carnivore. They literally cannot afford the effort of making a bed. Pandas are basically an extinction in the process of happening.
If you think these are weird, imagine the reject stock.
Different evolutionary niche. I meant the reject stock from these nutcases.
Regarding giraffes- the nerve that goes from their brain to their larynx (total distance of maybe 3 inches?) goes all the way down their neck and loops around the aorta as it exits the heart, then goes all the way back up the neck. So a 3 inch gap is bridged by an 8-12 foot long nerve. Has to do with how the nerve originally evolved in fish, when their hearts were right next to the larynx.
One of my favorite things was watching a giraffe autopsy. Those freaks are all jacked up inside.
In my 48 years of life, this is the first time I’ve heard the phrase “giraffe autopsy”.
It was worth waiting 48 years for.
Giraffe autopsy. Was that a date for You two? As in, “Gosh, You sure are adorable, and You smell so nice. Would You like to go to a Giraffe autopsy with me, Tuesday night? I think there will be cake.” “I’d love to.”
OMG. A and K fanfic. I need to get a life.
“Giraffe autopsy” looks like a random word-pair from a CAPTCHA.
Necropsy… Sorry, just had to be that picky person today 😉
Well, you can’t quite blame evolution or nature for horses. We did everything in our power to breed ’em stupid and neurotic. =P
The cube-shaped poop, however, is truly magical.
Evolution: the change in the inherited characteristics of biological populations over successive generations. Selective breeding is still evolution, it’s just the watered-down, often hideously flawed version. 🙂 Humans are awful.
I went and assumed this was talking evolution by natural selection since the strip title is *Nature* Is Magical. If we’re including artificial selection, I nominate pugs for the biggest evolutionary losers. I love the little derp machines, but *damn*.
This blog ***WARNING: REALLY WEIRD LOOKING ANIMALS!*** You might not think weird looking animals need a trigger-like warning, but that’s cause you haven’t seen how weird and nightmare-inducing some animals are.
Okay, so I am finally going to say what I have been wanting to say ever since I started reading these comics..so here it is…
Hooray for awesome online comics!~
I really admire your art style! Every comic seems to make me smile, laugh, and all together it makes my day to occasionally check your website to see the new comics you have posted 😀
One day I will be as amazing as you and have my own website, along with my younger sister (who also loves your comics), though I’m not that great at making comics like yourself but I am determined to get better!^^
Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the amazing work!~
Regarding horses: Hey now! Warm-bloods are big sweethearts. I like them better than most people, and they are emotionally more balanced than many bipeds. The thoroughbreds and Arabians however….
The platypus reminds me of the first time a black labrador saw an armadillo. The dog looked up at me and the message came through loud and clear; “You’re kidding me with this thing, right?”
Evolution is the gene pool’s way of saying “Try everything! If it has grandkids, keep it!”
I can no longer see a platypus without hearing “doo-be-doo-be-doo-bah”…
So in a way wombats shit bricks.
And let’s not even get into sea creatures.
Seriously, those guys went a little crazy with their evolution points.
Wombats also have near 0% bodyfat and all that fluffy round awesomeness is nearly entirely muscle. They kill invaders to their burrows by crushing their skulls with their buttocks. The pouch of a female wombat faces backwards so no dirt get inside when they burrow. Wombats actually have a tail, but it’s just a short nub and useless in every way.
And one reason I’ve heard for the cubic poo is so they don’t roll away. The article didn’t go into why wombats should be worried of their poo running away, but there you go.
Since comments are closed on a lot of the older strips, I have to comment here: Thanks to being linked to yesterday’s comic, I decided to go archive binging. Damn you! DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL!!!!! I don’t NEED another well-written, well-drawn, funny, and occasionally touching comic in my life! Especially when nearly every strip I read, I have to resist the urge to click the FB link and write some brilliant, insightful comment like “This is so me!” or “Ha ha, that’s true!” or the like.
Also. You apparently kidnapped my cat “Rocket” and have named him “Peter”. The number of “Dammit, cat, what do you WANT? You want pettins? Ooof, no, you don’t want pettins. Your food is full. Your water is full. The litterbox is clean. The door to the upstairs is open. All other family members are present. What do you WANT? Why are you sitting in the middle of the floor singing the song of your people?” conversations I’ve had with him approaches infinity.
So once upon a time, a fish had a nerve that worked closely with its mouth and gills. We’ve kept this nerve. It connects our brain and our larynx. But because it used to go through a fish’s gills… it continues to wrap around our cardiopulmonary system.
Basically, this nerve travels down your neck, into your check cavity, wraps AROUND the aorta and then travels back up to your larynx.
Yay for evolution!
But wait, it gets better. This nerve is found in all higher vertebrates, including the giraffe. It detours around seven feet down the giraffe’s neck, wraps around the giraffe’s aorta in its chest cavity and then travels back up to the giraffe’s larynx for a round trip of about 14 feet.
The really amazing and consternating thing about evolution is the totally inexplicable (from a human-rational perspective) of what traits and behaviors actually turn out to be survival mechanisms (at least for long enough to shape a population). Sickle-cell anemia is one weird example . Apparently people survive malaria better if they have slightly deformed blood cells. It just sucks that if you get the helpful trait from BOTH parents, that you have a blood disease. Evolution is filled with these mixed-bag results of the selection process. When you get right down to it, the whole concept of “intelligent design” once you really LOOK at the world around us is… laughable. Really, it is just heart-stoppingly hilarious to imagine that the world is the way it is because “somebody” thought all these permutations were a GOOD idea. Unless god is a just a really really weird, cruel, whimsical, psychotic dude. Which i suppose is possible. But then i feel absolutely no impulse to sing hosannas in that case, either.
I find the world amazing, precious and valuable…precisely BECAUSE i believe that we all have to (get to) pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, and any successes we achieve are magical considering the odds against life even existing in the first place. Hey, I call it optimism – even if a slightly warped kind of optimism.
Nature really IS magical.
(by which i mean, slightly shady, full of cheats and misdirection, but also beautiful and well worth the price of admission)
That ‘Flamingos exist’ cracked me up XD
I love your comics!
I’m amazed there hasn’t been any debates over the plural for “Platypus” yet.
The great thing about platypi is that even though they can’t see underwater, they have a sixth sense that allows them to hunt for food! Within their bill, platypi have an electromagnetic sense that helps them find small animals and bugs when they root around in the mud in the bottom of a body of water. Using this sense they catch delicious critters for a tasty meal and they do it all with their eyes shut! The platypus is truly magnificent!
What about sloths? They sometimes mistake their own arms for branches to grab, so they try to climb them and fall to their death.
This reminds me of those Zoo gifs from IQ
Wait, I think I mean QI
Actually, there’s a reason a wombat’s poop is square. Wombats have terrable eyesight, and so depend on their sense of smell for navigation. They stack their poo outside of their burros to make them easier for themselves to find, and the square shape allows them to be stacked without rolling away.
Horses are volunteers. They’ve co-evolved with us. Otherwise, why do they do what we ask? I mean, 1000 lbs. of “I don’t wanna” looks a lot like “I ain’t gonna”. And hey- my Arabs seem to know how to think for a living. I’ve watched them assess the work at hand based on the warm-up or the stuff they’re wearing, and set their behavior accordingly. I’ve also watched one *contain* his flight-reflex in order not to drop a small and fragile rider. Cribbing/wind-sucking is damaging to property, but manageable– it’s a minor addiction, really, if it keeps the horse happy and stoned.
And yeah– I totally agree about Autism– and ADHD– being evolutionary gambits. Sometimes more successful than at other times…
Haha, the pandas sleeping anywhere seems so chinese. It’s the same with my mother and myself, even though I’m only half chinese.
Wombats also have an “upside down” pouch (the opening faces their bum rather than their chest) so that they don’t get dirt in their pouch and on the baby when they’re digging. (If this was already mentioned in another comment, I apologise for TL;DRing)
cube-shaped poop,squared smell!
The smug look on the urine drinking Giraffe got me. or perhaps it was the look of the female giraffe knowing that some poor schmuck was going to sample her wee as if he were at a wine tasting
look at that giraffe, so proud of itself.
Pandas <3 they are so like me! I am totally in love with their awesomeness and sleeping pattern. I wish to create a new web comics on similar concept. Thanks for the wonderful idea.
Pandas <3 they are so like me! I am totally in love with their awesomeness and sleeping pattern. I wish to create a new web comics on similar concept. Thanks for the wonderful idea…
It’s really not the flamingoes that surprises me, but the panda. Seriously, how did they ever get this far? They only have 1 child, they eat and use all the energy from the food to continue eating, they sleep wheverer without worrying about enemies.. SERIOUSLY DOE HOW?
I have to say, reading your comics make me smarter. Cube-shaped poo… Mind = BLOWN.
The thing that I find weird is that wombats are the closest living relatives of the koala, and koala joeys eat their mothers’ special poop (so that they get the bacteria they need to digest eucalyptus leaves). What are the chances that two related species are weird about poop in totally different ways?
Koalas and Wombats: Poop Cousins.
We horse people call it “Cribbing”, where essentially horses are biting into treated wood (from fences, stall doors, etc) and suck in the air. They basically get high off of it and it sounds like they’re coughing inwardly. Really weird.
Wombats actually pat their poop into shape using nearby twigs after defecating as part of a still poorly understood mating ritual.
This is the second most popular piece of bs Australians like to inflict on tourists, right after the one about drop bears.
P.S: You two are awesome and so is this comic.
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