Monday, August 3, 2009

Vestigial...what a great word

My Dinky College did have one thing going for it: a unique, comprehensive CORE program that aimed to foster critical thinking and create a well-rounded worldview. Each of the four years (or three years, in my case) was taken up by a series of CORE classes that every single student was required to take. I really did enjoy the CORE classes and credit the program with opening my mind to new areas of the world and interesting concepts that I would not have otherwise encountered during my incredibly taxing creative writing/journalism/French studies (sarcasm, I assure you).

One of the most interesting pieces of information I remember from my science-based CORE class was that, thanks to evolutionary offal, whales have hipbones. This struck me as terribly odd, since whales apparently have no reason to stand on their hind legs and walk out of the ocean and down the street to the 7-Eleven for a Big Gulp. However, this probably doesn't shock you, because I'm sure you already knew this fact, since I recognize the vast intelligence of my readers (you are at least partially literate, after all). I, however, was blissfully unaware of that fact about whales. These hipbones, like our own seemingly useless appendices, are called "vestigial," just hanging around and taking up space in our body cavities. Lazy vestigial organs...go get a job!

However, today I ran across a very interesting article chronicling the possible actual purpose that some vestigial organs serve. It's from NationalGeographic.com and is entitled "Vestigial Organs Not So Useless After All, Studies Find."

Perhaps I should have hung on to my wisdom teeth...

3 comments:

Kyle said...

I can only hope that the reason you were thinking about whale's is because I was doing a great parody of Brian Setzer Orchestra's "Jump, Jive an'Wail" on our way to work this morning :)

Katherine said...

I think I was asleep during your rendition...I have no recollection;-)

blind irish pirate said...

Really, they do? Oh, man, that's what I get for attending a prestigious MIDWEST vet tech school. I should have gone to USC.