SILLY QUESTIONS / Animals wheeled in two by two

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The Independent Culture
A perplexing variety of theories have arrived to explain why animals have not evolved with wheels.

The case against wheeled animals is advocated by Dr Alan Gilston who maintains: 'As there is no continuity between wheel and axle, there can be no blood supply to the wheel, whose rotation would shear any blood vessels.'

Ron Wells advises examination of the mollusca. 'Many of these possess in their digestive system a crystalline style. This is a freely rotating rod which, as it turns, stirs up the food and supplies it with digestive enzymes'. Leon Menezes refers us to flagella spinning freely in the bacterial cell wall in the human gut. 'Unfortunately', he says, 'these natural wheels could never be scaled up to man's dimensions.' Tim Godfrey explains: 'No animals have evolved with wheels yet because it would be pointless and indeed species-threatening to do so until they have also evolved with disc-brakes.' He adds: 'I believe they are holding out for thief-proof hub- caps.'

This explanation seems to have eluded Stuart Cockerill, who believes that wheeled animals became extinct 'in the Diluvian era when Noah thoughtlessly built his Ark on the top of a steep hill.' They could however, equally plausibly, have all crashed to their deaths after disembarking (or should that be disemarking?) at the top of Mount Ararat.

Richard Crowe believes that animals have sensibly shunned wheels in order to avoid car tax, MOTs, allegations of speeding and a host of other wheel-dependent legislation.

Next week we shall report on the shampoo/real poo problem. Meanwhile, we would like to know: Why do the manufacturers of baseball-style caps not sew the peaks on at the back to save their owners the trouble of turning them back-to-front? (L Haynes). Are short men balder than tall men, or is it just because I can see the tops of their heads more easily? (R Bannerman). And what music should be played at a gay wedding? (Len Clarke).

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