Thursday, February 22, 2007
Scientists: Opossums Not a Separate Species. Are Actually Just Raccoons With Downs Syndrome
American scientists have discovered that the animals we know as opossums, misclassified for years as their own species, are actually raccoons with a specific form of retardation.
“We all just assumed they were a separate species,” says biologist Richard Steiner. “Though it does make sense when you think about it…laying down and releasing your bowels when you’re attacked? C’mon! What is that?”
Many in the science community are red in the face over the whole situation. Especially embarrassed is Dr. Phillip Howell, writer of the book, Opossum Man, My Year Among The Marsupials of Southwestern New Jersey.
“I can safely say that I was wrong about a lot of things,” admits Dr Howell. “Apparently their acceptance of me was more based on their friendly, trusting nature rather than my intricate submissive signaling.”
Dr Howell had interpreted the opossums’ hand-flapping and toothy grins to be a sophisticated system of communication.
“I guess they were just having ‘silly time’,” conceded Dr Howell.