Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sentient Being of the Week -- Veiled Chameleon

She lives in a pet store in a very controlled environment, and because she is so high maintenance I don't think it feasible to take her home.  But, oh, is she not beautiful and fascinating?   She's a veiled chameleon.
Her eyes move 360 independently, so you just have to think what this one's sensorium is -- I believe you can say that what we see is actually not fully dimensional and that our vision imposes the limitation of perspective on what we see, which, when you think of it, is only a way for us to build a manageable visual reference to a field is actually much more complex. So, if we could see out of one eye looking behind, and the other, forward, what would the picture look like to us?  It would be what this beauty sees, I guess.  How marvelous.  I just can't imagine how two separate views come together in the brain -- but watching long enough to see her capture dinner on the wing tells me that she is a hunter to be reckoned with.  Slowly she moves, swaying in a sort of stop action frame by frame progress, deliberately the wide mouth opens, and, in a blur too fast to see, she nabs the hapless fly.  I could watch all day.  And, think of this, if you were able to travel back far enough in time, you could meet our common ancestor.  We are remotely related.  We both have spines.  Some of us even eat bugs, too. 


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