The Motor Car (genus Automobilus) is a terrestrial animal, as
yet not thoroughly researched, whose proliferation on the surface of
the globe is relatively recent. This accounts for the fact that
Linnaeus, Lamarck, Cuvier and Darwin himself make no apparent mention
of it in their writings. It also explains the controversy which has
arisen as to its proper place in a systematic classiﬁcation. Most
authors describe it, albeit somewhat hesitantly, as a superior
Crustacean, sub-class Eurcaridae, order Diocapoda (two pairs of
appendages used for locomotion).
This arthropod’s unusual body, made up of three longitudinal sections,
is trilobitomorphous. The cephalothorax, at the forward
extremity, contains those parts essential to life.
The pereion or «cabin», in the centre, comprises a large marsupial
pouch, whose function is of the strangest: in the adult subject, it
houses superior mammals of the species Homo sapiens, with which the
Motor Car lives in total symbiosis when moving from one point to
another. At the rear extremity, the pleon (or «boot») holds food
The body as a whole, except for the central part of the abdomen, is
encased in a very rigid chitinous tegument: the protective exoskeleton
known to structural zoologists as the «coachwork». This assumes varying
forms and colours according to subspecies and to seasons.
The Motor Car is air-breathing and feeds on hydrocarbons, whence the
name of «carburation» given to the function which, in a pericardial
sinus, combines air and nutriment to provide the energy required to
sustain the animal’s life.
Any exertion on the part of the animal results in the production of
combustion residues which are excreted through a coelomic conduit with
the highly descriptive name of «exhaust pipe». When danger threatens,
the animal will, through this same canal, excrete deleterious and
sometimes noisome substances to repel the adversary.
The nervous system comprises. a network of fibres and relays, through
which electric currents ﬂow. These form a conduction plexus, which can
be sympathetic or antipathic according to the quality of its operation.
In contemporary species, locomotion is achieved by means of the
anterior pair of appendages. There are however reports of fossil
species in which the posterior appendages were the source of locomotion.
The Motor Car’s strong point is its capacity for travel. Certain
subjects can achieve speeds greatly in excess of that of a Cheetah
running full tilt. Top recorded performances are those of the wild
branch of the genus. These great roaring monsters are however tending
towards extinction, constantly pursued as they are by their two
hereditary foes, Gendarmus gerondonissus (a blue-hued biped which
expresses its feelings in high-pitched trills) and Ecologistus vulgaris
(a grass-green biped in a state of quasi-constant agitation). The first
detect them with radar, then corral them, while the second overturn
them and destroy them with ﬁre.
This is why practically the only surviving members of the genus are the
domestic species, behaviourally calm and obedient.
Even these, however, invincibly impelled by the ancestral urge as soon
as summer days are here, set out on mass migrations to the South,
whence they only return in autumn. Lengthy and painstaking research has
in vain attempted to analyse this inexplicable phenomenon, which drives
the Motor Cars’s seasonal mass movements in a direction diametrically
opposed to that of all other known migrations in the animal kingdom.
This however is not the only persistent mystery enshrouding these
extraordinary beings. Their sex life, for instance, has not yet been
satisfactorily elucidated. After much hesitant theorizing, it is now
generally assumed that they are hermaphroditic, like the gastropod
Helix pomatia (edible snail of Burgundy). This however remains
unconﬁrmed. The animal’s extreme shyness has up to the present
protected its intimate behaviour from the prying eyes of biologists. Of
course, here and there in country areas, one Motor Car has occasionally
been seen to attempt to mount another - sometimes with considerable
obstinacy - but no tangible results have ever been observed.
Those most familar with - and best able to control – the reproduction
of Automobilus domesticus are the specialized breeders. Some of them,
by use of their creative intuition and application of Mendelian laws,
have succeeded in developing complete dynasties of true champions.
One of these breeders of genius, Citroën, was able to improve the
entire tribe by means _of provoked, controlled mutations. It is thus
not without interest that the genealogy of his exemplary production -
the subject of the following pages - should be described with reference
to the chief landmarks along its evolutionary pathway.
These past successes, highlights in the history of genetics, justify
the most ambitious hopes for the future achievements of one of the most
famous Motor Car breeders of all time.
Regnis Neglow, MSc, PhD.
Professor at the Institute of Structural Neozoology,
Fellow of the Society of Mechanical Ethology.