biology zoology blog benno meyer rochow flat animals

DEAD FLAT

Two-dimensional animals that won’t move

In New Zealand we are supposed to have about 100 x 106 possums (Trichosaurus vulpecula). But if one asks some of the foreign visitors to New Zealand, if they had seen any possums in the wild, they will answer “Only some on the roads, run over by cars”. Such comments reminded me of my stays in Australia, where the only spiny anteater (Tachyglossus aculeatus) outside a zoo, which I had ever encountered, was a flat, dried up carcass on a road leading to Melbourne. And when one day in northern Finland on the carpark in front of her kindergarten my little daughter pointed to a dry and flat, pancake-like thing (which had once been a toad), I thought by myself, I ought to write a book about animals flattened by cars and lorries. Yet, as I learned when embarking on the project, such an identification guide to animals killed on roads, streets, and highways already existed. —>—>