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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 72.djvu/313

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309
RESEMBLANCES AMONG ANIMALS

represent amazingly "a family of tiny birds with long necks and swelling breasts and dropping tails, verily like an autumn brood of bob-whites" (W. H. Gibson), Fig. 9. Had they been twenty times their present size they might have run the risk of being described as mimics!

Among other resemblances of this nature one recalls the spectacles which appear on the neck of the cobra. Then there are the insect,

 

PSM V72 D313 Hindmost segments of the larval tipula.png

Fig. 8. "Octopus" shown in hindmost abdominal Segments of the larval Tipula.

monkey and human figures in orchids and in various other plants, pictured in flowers, parts of flowers and in fruit. The last sometimes give striking and grotesque forms, as in the case of our common garden snap-dragon, Antirrhinum. Here, Fig. 10, the seed pods look like diminutive human heads which are arranged on the stalk in a way which suggests the poles-of-skulls, or "medicine" ornaments of certain savages. Peculiarly perfect is this resemblance, for there are pictured not merely the cranium and face, but the dried and weathered portions of scalp, eyelids, lips, as well also as temporal sutures. The color of these seed pods, furthermore, is strikingly like that of mummied heads. Meaningless resemblances occur also in various bones, as in the case of the goat skull or the "ear-bone" noted above. Thus, as Hugh Miller long ago discovered, there is a curious human figure in the cranium of a Devonian fish, and the rabbit, even when "dead and turned to dust" is not free from its arch-enemy, for its sphenoid (Fig. 6) pictures the head of a fox so cunningly indeed that this bone has long been used as a scarf ornament for the English hunter.

Instances of this kind need hardly be multiplied. They extend on every side in the inorganic as well as the organic—from the simple cloud figures conjured by Aristophanes or the various forms of weathered rocks (like the "camel of Brignogan"), to the most curious and complicated.