Should scientists try to be poets?


Isopod Phylogeny by Walter Garstang

Sing a song of six legs, a new phyletic stage!
Four and twenty Isopods cradeled in a cage:
When the cage was opened, out they ran to play –
Wasn’t it a jolly thing to have a jolly day!

Mother rocked the cradle between her stogopods:
The youngsters ran about her seven pereiopods:
When they found she’d one more pair than they themselves,
They called a hasty conference on oostegal shelves.

MacBride was in the garden settling pedigrees,
Then came a baby woodlouse and climbed upon his knees,
And said: ‘Sir, if our six legs have such an ancient air,
Shall we be less ancestral when we’ve grown our mother’s pair?’