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(March 18—23, 2009)

Alessandro Ugazio

Diversity of Flavours

Michel Thoby

Mus Musculus is Domesticated

Baziège, France

March 21, 2009, 10:30 am local time

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© 2009 Michel Thoby, All Rights Reserved.

After being an unloved intruder in our house for thousands of years and following a mutation that happened in the last part of the 20th Century, the common House Mouse (Mus Musculus) suddenly became one of man's best friends! To tame the animal some human scientists made a completely new version (Mus Digital) that differs significantly from the original animal. The man-made ersatz version has no legs, no sex, no mouth...

The initial creation, Mus Digital, was completely blind but Man has given Mus Digital visual ability (under its abdomen just where it had kind of a ball in its guts in the earlier days). Originally Mus Digital had a long embarrassing tail and Man finally relieved the animal by suppressing its tail altogether. It also had some insect-like features (e.g. exoskeleton, one or two wings...) and Man let it keep these features forever.

Man has tamed the new house mouse (Mus Digital) so efficiently that it won't do anything at all if Man doesn't have it in his, the Master's, beloved hand. It really likes the caress of the Master's fingers on the back of its neck and the clicks or slaps on its wings; Mus Digital may then scroll, drag, drop, and do various other very funny acrobatics.

The Mus Digital family is an example of diversity. The sort of mouse having two wings is sometimes called a Windows mouse, probably because the owner often throws it through the windows to check if it can fly like insects do. The sort of mouse that has a single wing is called a Apple mouse, probably because it's fed with fruits. Notice that while it's mouthless it can still have a bluetooth. The latest descendants of the Mus Digital have small buttons that have grown on both the lower sides of the abdomen. Is it possible that evolution is thus beginning to develop legs to get the Mus Digital completely autonomous?

I have hunted many Mus Digital in the last two decades and you can see at the nadir of the panorama how to catch them. I now have a collection of mice that illustrates their stunning diversity.
EOS 5D + Tokina 10-17 @ 10 mm @ f/22

Handmade camera support

(3+1N) shots; 2 sec. @ 100 ISO

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