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'Varanus ligneus' on the loose in the west country

Printed From: Reptiles and Amphibians of the UK
Category: General
Forum Name: Off-Topic Forum
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Printed Date: 30 Sep 2020 at 6:36am
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Topic: 'Varanus ligneus' on the loose in the west country
Posted By: Liz Heard
Subject: 'Varanus ligneus' on the loose in the west country
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2019 at 12:13pm
While out walking last week i glanced sideways and spotted what looked like a large but emaciated monitor lizard basking in the next field...
No, i hadn't been eating any 'exotic' mushrooms!

I'd previously thought that the word for something natural that resembles a piece of art (say a weathered log with a passing resemblance to a animal sculpture), was 'simulacra'. But having just Googled, that doesn't seem to be the case after all. 'Bio-mimickry' would fit the bill well - if it didn't already have a different definition.
So i don't know what the term - if indeed any exists - is.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           


Posted By: chubsta
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2019 at 8:59pm
Simulacra, at least that's what they always call it in Fortean Times. I would say 'mimicry' would have too much of the 'intentional' about it.

Good spot though, has a touch of the Ray Harryhousen about it - half expect a skeleton to rise up behind the hedge!

Posted By: Liz Heard
Date Posted: 13 Apr 2019 at 10:15am
Ah, thanks for clearing that up. The Fortean Times might well be where i heard the term 'simulacra'. Yeah, you're right - 'mimicry' does sound too 'anthropogenic'.

A couple of previous observations from the distant past spring to mind.
There used to be a studded manhole cover on a footpath near my parents home. Small patches of the tarmac next to it had worn away to resemble the feet and head of a tortoise, leaving the cover to represent it's scuted shell.

Another time along a country lane, a tight 'nest' of thick, curly and dead ivy stems springing sideward from a wall made for a convincing trophy bust of a fleecy Cotswold ram's head (with horns!).

Be nice to see some other examples should you spot any...

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