WHO’S AN ANIMAL

Most people believe themselves far removed from their animal forebears, if they even believe they had animal forbears, but the human body gives lie to this. The next time a hissy fit is indulged in please look to your reptilian ancestors for they have implanted a part of their brain in you which controls such actions. Among other purposes attributed to this gray matter are the overseeing of things important, from heart, breathing and even reproductive functions. Then there are the spasmodic eruptions in the diaphragm known as hiccups occurring at inopportune times. These were bequeathed by amphibian ancestry as a shutoff valve (now the diaphragms of humans which occasionally run amok) regulating gill extraction of oxygen as amphibians were transitioning from water to land. We must not forget the creature humans love to hate – a small rodent, the first mammalian in mankind’s family tree who evolved into being you and me. Everyone has had the sensation of goose bumps from time to time, an anachronistic attempt of the body to raise the fur up in response to a threatening or frightening situation and this small mammal was threatened a lot. The fur of course is long gone but the response remains, reminding humans they once had a fur coat that was not stolen from another animal. More recent ancestors, the primates, have allowed humans to use their facial expressions and grimacing will get you into trouble with them should you confront one face to face. Back scratches? Ask your dog about it. So don’t look down on animals: you are a crazy quilt mixture of all of them and the next time someone says, as a pejorative, you’re an animal, please ask them which one!  

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