Monday, October 8, 2007

Why, that must be a lizard scorpion!

OK, there is just no excuse for stupidity such as this.
A family in Northern Ireland found a scorpion climbing one of their living room walls. The beast had come home with them on a bouquet of flowers that they bought at the supermarket chain Tesco.
Now that's not what's stupid. That's careless on the part of the supermarket and their supplier, and it's scary for the family who say they were petrified at the sight of it.
Here's what's stupid:
In the article in the Belfast Telegraph, the reporter referred to the scorpion as a reptile. Twice.
Silly me. And here I was thinking that scorpions were arachnids. You learn something new every day, don't you?
But what I learned is not that scorpions are reptiles. What I learned this morning is that the reporter who wrote the article and the copy editor who I assume checked her work are both dumbkopfs.
So here's a lesson in natural biology for those of you at the Belfast Telegraph: Reptiles are vertebrates; they have backbones. Arthopods, such as arachnids (and insects), don't have backbones; they have a hard outer shell called an exoskeleton.
I knew this much as a boy.
Perhaps the Telegraph could consider employing a ten-year-old with a grasp of basic science to check their articles when they have anything to do with earthly creatures. Because it seems the adults are clueless.

1 comment:

kristen said...

I've heard it said that reporters aren't the brightest bunch and that's why they are reporters.

Scorpions as reptiles....that's a new one.