The Canon by Natalie Angier

The Canon by Natalie Angier

Author:Natalie Angier [Angier, Natalie]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Evolutionary Biology

The Theory of Every Body

AS WE WERE about to enter his office at the University of California's Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in Berkeley, Professor David Wake glanced off to the side and stopped abruptly.

"Wait a minute," he said. "I have to show you something. You'll love this. You'll absolutely love it." He darted over to a nearby shelf and retrieved from it a white plastic bucket with a lid on it. The lid had several holes punched through it. Professor Wake took off the lid and allowed me to peek.

"What the...?" I sputtered in confusion as I stared into the bucket. At the bottom was some sort of extraordinary, lizard-shaped doll, but unlike anything I'd seen at a zoo gift shop, Toys "R" Us, or even the Blarney Stone cocktail lounge near Penn Station. Its five-inch-long body was light and shimmering, like semitransparent flan, and obviously molded from an advanced gel-solid polymer. Its head was tinted teal, its dainty legs and the tip of its nose bore a hint of Necco pink, and its back and fat tail were sprinkled with patches of copper and lilac. I couldn't stop gawking. Was it a replica of an ancient reptile, driven extinct by its insupportable distribution of pastels? Was it a kind of visual pun, created by an artistically gifted scientist as wry commentary on the entire field of herpetology? Was it for sale, or should I just steal it when Professor Wake wasn't looking? And, hey, how did he get the thing to blink and flick its tail just now without pushing any buttons?

"Isn't it the most beautiful creature you've ever seen?" Wake said. "It's a gecko. A colleague just brought it back from the Mideast."

"Wait a minute," I said, or maybe squeaked. "You mean this is a real, live gecko?"

"Live and in color," Wake confirmed. "It does have an unearthly and somewhat comical quality to it, doesn't it? Like something from Dr. Seuss. Or don't you think it would be a perfect model for the computer animators over there at, what's it called, Pixar Studios? They wouldn't have to change a thing." He snapped the lid back in place and returned the bucket to the shelf.

No, I thought to myself. The gecko is gorgeous. The gecko gets you from the get-go. But the gecko that I later learned was appropriately, colloquially, called the Wonder Lizard looks far too fake to make it in cartoons.


Copyright Disclaimer:
This site does not store any files on its server. We only index and link to content provided by other sites. Please contact the content providers to delete copyright contents if any and email us, we'll remove relevant links or contents immediately.