Survival of the Fittest: Raptor Eats Cheerleader on Charles Darwin Day

There must be some National Association of Cheerleaders filing a complaint over this, but it is pretty funny. The important thing is that it demonstrates the concept of natural selection and the survival of the fittest on Charles Darwin Day.

As Darwin stressed, “In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”

I can begin to understand why the Raptors set league attendance records — though you have to subtract the number of digested cheerleaders from the final number.

It appears to be an acquired taste, though Clutch of the Houston Rockets not only eats cheerleaders but regurgitates them before the crowd.

27 thoughts on “Survival of the Fittest: Raptor Eats Cheerleader on Charles Darwin Day”

  1. Gyges/Elaine:

    interesting thoughts.

    But how do you get from a pig like animal to an Elephant?

    Supposedly we have been around for about 50,000 years but we are pretty much unchanged. Although we tend to adapt our environment to our needs versus adapting to survive. So there is no “environmental” pressure on man in that regard.

    The spotted owl has a couple of different “phases” which were at one point thought to be different species. So how do you get from a land living wolf like creature to a Blue Whale? I don’t believe you do, something other than evolution is at work. And no I am not saying God stuck out his finger and “zapped” something into existence. And I don’t think the “punctuated equilibrium” theory is correct either. What would be the catalyst for almost spontaneous differentiation?

  2. Elaine,

    I sort of fall into the Dawkin’s camp that Gould and Eldridge oversold (and the press overbought) what was essentially a tweak to evolutionary theory at the time. I doubt there are many who believe that evolution functions solely by punctuated equilibrium, most (even Dawkins) believe in a combination of it and the more traditional branch of gradualism. Right now it’s mainly been reduced to an argument over how large of roles adaptation and genetic drift each play in mechanisms involved.

  3. Gyges,

    I had never heard of Darwin’s tubercle before. The one on my right ear is more pronounced than the one on my left.

    ***************
    Speaking of mutations–how about the theory of Punctuated Equilibrium?

    Excerpt from an article at pbs.org:

    Charles Darwin understood that evolution was a slow and gradual process. By gradual, Darwin did not mean “perfectly smooth,” but rather, “stepwise,” with a species evolving and accumulating small variations over long periods of time until a new species was born. He did not assume that the pace of change was constant, however, and recognized that many species retained the same form for long periods.

    Still, if evolution is gradual, there should be a fossilized record of small, incremental changes on the way to a new species. But in many cases, scientists have been unable to find most of these intermediate forms. Darwin himself was shaken by their absence. His conclusion was that the fossil record was lacked these transitional stages, because it was so incomplete.

    That is certainly true in many cases, because the chances of each of those critical changing forms having been preserved as fossils are small. But in 1972, evolutionary scientists Stephen Jay Gould and Niles Eldredge proposed another explanation, which they called “punctuated equilibrium.” That is, species are generally stable, changing little for millions of years. This leisurely pace is “punctuated” by a rapid burst of change that results in a new species and that leaves few fossils behind.

    According to this idea, the changes leading to a new species don’t usually occur in the mainstream population of an organism, where changes wouldn’t endure because of so much interbreeding among like creatures. Rather, speciation is more likely at the edge of a population, where a small group can easily become separated geographically from the main body and undergo changes that can create a survival advantage and thus produce a new, non-interbreeding species.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/evolution/library/03/5/l_035_01.html

  4. Duh,

    Something really can’t be more or less evolved (unless you mean the species aren’t contemporaneous, in which case I guess the one that came first has fewer ancestors so has undergone less mutations from those original organisms everything on earth is [possibly] descended from, but I don’t think that’s what you mean), it doesn’t work that way. There’s no finale “end goal” of evolution. Mutations are constantly popping up some of them make for a better adaptation at that time, some of them make for a worse, some don’t give an advantage or disadvantage, and the vast majority have no effect what-so-ever. I think the average person has somewhere along the lines of six new (that is not present in either parent) mutations that express themselves, and countless others in the “filler” code. Of the mutations I know about, my personal favorite I posses is my Darwin’s tubercle, but the ability to shoot lasers out of my eye is pretty cool too.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darwin%27s_tubercle

  5. AY,

    That’s a different mascot. Raptors don’t seem to have the same regurgitation ability. In honor of Darwin Day, I think we should recognize that bear mascots are more evolved than raptor mascots.

  6. Duh,

    You are still a Tangential Clue. However, that was funny. Now I know what happened to her.

  7. I guess this is what happens when a mascot eats a cheerleader that doesn’t agree with him.

    [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iD-KExRW7v4&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

  8. Swarthmore mom,

    O painter with broad brush, how did you determine my sarcasm to be disrespectful to women? Hmmm?

  9. Nal you are correct about the comments crossing the line. Bdaman and duh do not seem to respect women.

  10. It’s an old Cheech and Chong joke if you are talking about the one I think you are. Are you?

  11. Now what happened to her?

    I here the routine took an extra toll on her and she’s all pooped out.

  12. Roland:

    “Cheerleaders, the other white meat.”

    ***********

    Thank you for a fine laugh this a.m.

  13. Cheerleaders, the other white meat. Must have diagreed with him though ’cause it looks like he had to rush off to the bathroom.

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