Wednesday 29 December 2010

Still Haven't Found What I'm Dooking For

If you're not familiar with the Scots word "dooking", it's the rough equivalent of the word "bobbing" as used in bobbing for apples.

I'm using it here in reference to a cormorant we watched today dooking for its lunch and coming up with a sizeable flatfish. Like the heron I referred to in a previous post this cormorant was unable to get the fish down its gullet. After a prolonged performance in front of our binoculars it gave up and tossed the fish aside with a contemptuous flick of its head, before preening and swimming off nonchalantly to sun itself on a nearby rock.

The shape of flatfish could be seen as an evolutionary advantage if it were the case that seabirds such as herons and cormorants wouldn't bother with them because of their "unswallowable" form factor. But it's hard to see getting killed but not being eaten because your predator can't be bothered to find a way to eat you that doesn't disturb its immaculate poise, as much of an advantage.

Another theory (and another flatfish) for the bin.

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