Worcestershire Record No. 16 April 2004 p. 3

New Scientists' Symposium, 1st April 2004 - extract from summary


Scientists working in remote areas of Worcestershire have located and identified a new sub-species of mammal. The unusual form of human was previously considered to be merely an abberation, but it is now agreed that Homo sapiens ssp. inquisitor should be distinguished form the basic species.

Little is yet known about H.s. ssp. inquisitor. It is very shy and retiring - and because it hunts in remote sites is rarely seen. Individuals do have a specific home territory but rarely return there, except to eat - and occasionally mate. They prefer to hunt in a variety of habitats, often at some distance from the den. Almost imperceptible differences within the brain are believed to have a variable lens which may magnify their vision by up to ten times.

At first ssp. inquisitor was thought to be solitary, but researchers were astonished to find that individuals can communicate over very long distances. Then, following ancient trails, they move as if drawn by some so far unexplained sense to meet at what appears to be a random point, before heading off to hunt. The range of prey appears to be vast - one researcher cynically described it as "Anything living - or dead!".

Homo sapiens ssp. inquisitor is believed to be harmless but if you do see one (see photograph for comparison) approach with caution - from behind. Any sudden movement within its normal range of vision may stimulate a lunging attack with a variety of weapons including nets and pooters. Even if you are captured it is unlikely that you will be harmed. Specimens too large to fit into killing jars and tubes are usually discarded or released after careful examination.

Scientists' greatest concern is that they may have discovered ssp. inquisitor at a time when it may be heading for extinction - few of the specimens seen have been less than sixty years old. Sensing an impending crisis, Worcestershire Wildlife Trust has already submitted an application for Lottery funding for a conservation project. Donations from others would be most welcome.

The editor takes no responsibility for this flight of fancy!

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