Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Hitting Squirrels

I think squirrels get away better when you try to hit them. They are used to linear predators chasing them, and their leaps are effective getting away from that. A car trying not to hit them is something they’re not designed for. They freeze at the ambiguous threat and could leap anywhere.

So far so good. I have been driving using this theory for 8 years. No squirrels hit. Of course, the day this doesn't work I'm going to feel like crap.

6 comments:

Reginleif said...

This brought back an unpleasant memory from last summer, when I ran over a squirrel — completely unintentionally, because it had darted under my tires. It was in a very urban area, and I had no way of stopping without inflicting harm on myself or other drivers.

I must have done significant nervous-system damage to the critter without having killed it, because after I struck it, it flopped around spasmodically in the road. I like animals, but I'm not excessively sentimental about them, and I really have no love for rodents. That didn't stop me from feeling terrible for a while, though I had no choice in what had happened. I wish I'd killed the poor thing, rather than let it perform some involuntary danse macabre in the middle of the road. I hope one of the next few drivers put it out of its misery.

nash said...

Well, it's been a while since you left your comment Reginleif so I hope you've gotten over the guilt by now. But just to let you know, even if you decapitate a rodent with a guillotine (instant death), the body will flop around for a while. They also ejaculate into their bladder. I believe it's called a retrograde ejaculation. Weird, huh?

Anonymous said...

You're not trying hard enough. It takes at least a 3/8 turn of the wheel to get one of those things.

Possums? Just drive straight. They'll run into you. Ditto for deer.

TomR said...

Ditto armadillos. They run to your car then go straight up into your bumper.

Lonetown said...

I think its a mating game where the male squirrels show their prowess.

If you want to test this hypothesis, next time you hit one check for nuts!

Jerub-Baal said...

Yes, all very well an good, but if what you say is true AVI, then the Darwinist would say that you should try to miss the squirrel, so that only those sqirrels that are good at dealing with ambiguous threats will survive, thus strengthening the species...

... or something like that...