The Sincere Self-annihilation of the Lemming

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On three:  One, Two… awwwwww!

The lemming is one of nature’s most misunderstood creatures; this is primarily due to the fact that they often try to talk with a mouth full of food. It is also due to the fact that no sane zoologist wants to travel to remote and frigid sites to study a fat and pushy hamster. Studying polar bears is fine because science will always need additional information about its physiology in order to create more life-like computer images for cola commercials. The lemming, however, is shunned.

Did You Know…

If you arrange the letters in the word “LEMMING” in any order, it won’t help you in your futile quest to forge a friendship with another human being…

Related imageA lemming weighs about four ounces, about one quarter the weight of the average handball. This indicates that four lemmings could probably take a handball in a fair fight, although handballs tend to migrate no further north than Vancouver. Because of their size (3 to 6 inches in length), most scientists agree that the lemming, when flying on commercial aircraft, do not require their own seat. The hair of the lemming is long and soft. Its tail is short. Its color may range from brown to white and back again.

Lemmings eat grasses and sedges. It is not clear whether lemmings enjoy sedges, or, like the rest of us, don’t know the difference between grasses and sedges. They also eat leaves, shoots and bulbs. The lemming is important to the ecosystem because, without their ravenous feeding, the barren north might become overrun with grass and sedge. This may not alarm you, but to the folks that have to mow up there, this is a terrifying thought.

Did You Know…

If a million lemmings typed at a million typewriters long enough, one of them would eventually duplicate Shakespeare’s Hamlet…only with more parts for lemmings…

Lemmings are eaten by pretty much any carnivore that can open its mouth and swallow. This includes stoats, foxes, owls, skua and Santa Claus.

Image result for ole wormIt was originally thought that lemmings formed spontaneously during thunderstorms. This theory came from an era when science was based less on careful observation than it was on drunken rants. The spontaneous creation theory was disproved by Olaus Wormius, a natural scientist from the seventeenth century. Wormius also proved that, what was thought to be unicorn horns, were actually narwhal tusks. This was accomplished mostly by pointing and nudging. His dissections of lemmings showed that they had reproductive organs or that Ole Wormius simply enjoyed cutting up lemmings.

 

Did You Know…

There are lemmings in nearly every country in the world…but, in most places, they are simple called, “rats”…

Another myth about lemmings is that they commit suicide when their populations grow too large. This myth was strengthened by a Disney documentary, White Wilderness, which showed lemmings running en masse and tumbling into a body of water from a ledge. It is now known that producers could find no lemmings at the site; so, purchased some from Inuit children for two bits apiece. Then, technicians herded the animals to their deaths. This proved the alternate theory: If the population of lemmings gets too small, Disney film technicians will kill them.

Types of lemmings include:

Wood Lemmings(Myopus schisticolor): These tiny creatures range from Norway to Eastern Siberia. At around one ounce, it would take at least sixteen of them to defeat a racquetball. But, don’t let their small size fool you; not that I think that small size could fool anyone—unless it involved using one’s small size to crawl into a box of cookies and convince someone that there was a talking cookie in the box. The chances of pulling that off are pretty remote, however.

Bog Lemmings(Synaptomys borealis): There is nothing special about bog lemming; however, any animal with the word “bog” in its name is okay in my book. There are Southern and Northern Bog Lemmings. The Southern Bog Lemming differs from the Northern Bog Lemming primarily in that it doesn’t need Neil Young around, anyhow…

Related imageNorway Lemmings (Lemmus lemmus): These are the “suicidal lemmings”, much respected in Norway; in fact, Igmar Bergman examined thousands of these rodents in his search for an actor to play Death in his classic The Seventh Seal. Ultimately he decided upon Bengt Ekerot to play the part. Later, it was revealed that Mr. Ekerot was not a lemming; he was, in fact, a vole.

Some lemming species have populations that fluctuate wildly. The upshot of this, besides Santa Claus having to change his diet every four or so years, is the quality of the different generations of lemming. When the population is at its largest, the lemmings are in their baby-boomer phase. The next two generations are generation X and the “slacker lemmings”. At the nadir of the lemming population is the hard-living so-called “greatest generation”. This generation is very important because, without them, the other three generations would never have to listen to how much they suck.

Lemmings live for one to two years, after which, they stop moving around as much.