Herm Fitz presents “A Buffet of Bones”

January 22, 1999

After the usual fine potluck dinner fare, the cleared buffet table was then completely covered by Herm Fitz with an astonishing array of bones (primarily skulls). The skulls were all carefully arranged according to species and size — the latter ranging from that of a walrus (on loan from Alaska Fish & Game) to that of a short-tail weasel (1" long). And “Alas! poor Yorick”, he too was present!

The display was part of the result of 46 years of collecting by Herm. His presentation was more than just an osteology lesson in identification and interpretation: was the creature a carnivore, herbivore or omnivore; predator or prey, etc.? It served also to effectively illustrate the remarkable adaptations that are a fundamental part of the evolutionary process.

Incidentally, as is typical, most of the wild animals’ teeth are free of decay, but poor Yorick had been fitted with false teeth! That’ll teach us to load up at the dessert table!

This impressive display of bleached skulls would seem to be a fitting sequel to the foreboding talk that Herm gave to us just a year ago, entitled “The Future of the Planet and Mankind”. Perhaps we should heed the message given to us by the prophet Ezekiel’s vision (37:4) “O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord”.

Bep Fontana

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