Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Mr. Evolution

Confession: Somehow I managed to spend four years in the Cleveland area without once going to the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo.

I went, just once, to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I saw several concerts by the Cleveland Orchestra. I walked through Little Italy all the time. I even shopped once or twice in Tower City. I never went to an Indians, Browns, or Cavs game, but hey, I don't like professional sports, and I got all the Lebron I needed from the local TV news.

But I didn't get to see the zoo until I was back for graduation in May. Did you know that the Cleveland Zoo has the largest collection of primates in North America? I didn't, either. Let me tell you, their monkeys are amazing, man.

We observed the Colobus monkeys having a little lunch break. Lunch that day was, quite literally, ants on a log--or, rather, bugs in sticks. The monkeys leveraged their sticks against the rocks to break them open, then picked out the bugs with their fingers. By and large, it was every monkey for himself/herself; but a few of them had an impromptu (dis)assembly line going. Pretty amazing.

Equally amazing was this one guy watching the Colobus monkeys along with us. My father overheard him ask,

"After seeing this, how can anyone possibly still believe in evolution?"

Ah, Ohio. Where humanlike behavior among non-human primates is evidence against evolution, where "importuning" was never illegal for straight folk, and where the Cuyahoga River isn't actually burning anymore, honest! Long may it reign--far, far away from me.

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