Friday, March 15, 2019

Spring Break

Mine started last night at 8:00 PM (after my Fiction Workshop) and the kid's started today at 10:00 (after his anthropology lab). We drove up to fetch him home around noon today, with the obligatory stop at the fancy grocery before we left town.

(Fort Smith, where we live, has only two grocery stores, Wal-Mart and Harps, and Harp's is only slightly better than the Wall. So if we want something fancy, like chocolate that isn't Nestle's, we have to wait for a trip up the mountain.)

Now Spring Break is officially begun. What will we do with it? I'ma write a ton. The kid will draw a ton. Also we must do a Squirrel Lab, which is something attached to the anthropology lab.

The kid is considering doing an anthropology minor. At lunch, we all received a lecture on tarsiers, and what is important about their eyes. As all y'all know, I was briefly an anthropology major in college, so I enjoyed this lecture immensely.

Image result for tarsiers
Tarsier at night

We'll probably also go to the dog park at least a few times. Also I am reading many many book. More on that later.


nicoleandmaggie said...

Wait! But what *is* important about their eyes?!?

delagar said...

OMG, about 15 things.

But the most important thing is that, unlike other nocturnal animals, tarseirs do not have the tapetum lucidum, which is a layer of tissue at the back of the eyes that reflects light back to the optic nerve, thus increasing the ability to use available light.

This is why cats can see in the dark and we can't, and also who their eyes shine like that in firelight or whatever.

Tarseirs somehow lost the tapetum lucidum, and yet remained nocturnal (probably because they are insectivores). So their eyes got bigger and bigger, in order to take in more light.

That's why they have such huge eyes. Also, that's why their eyes can't rotate easily in their sockets --- they're too big -- so if a tarseir wants to look at something, it has to turn its whole head, like an owl.

Also, this is a mutation limited to tarseirs -- no other primate above or below it in the line of descent has this mutation -- so tarseirs are in their own category. They have their own branch on the primate tree!

I'm probably leaving about 16 things out. Also, all the mistakes are mine. I'm sure the Kid got everything right.

nicoleandmaggie said...