Halloween… and Convergent Evolution
For Sagan’s first Halloween, Ryan and I wanted to pick something delightfully geeky. Star Trek was too obvious and “Tetris Piece” looked like it would be uncomfortable for Sagan to wear… or more importantly, uncomfortable for Mommy to put on Sagan. Every time I have to put something on over his head, I remind him about the birth canal but he seems to find little solace in precedence.
Ryan suggested “Gir” from Invader Zim. Sagan’s Aunt Carolyn is a big Gir fan and even has a handmade Gir hat! I have friends in Washington State who named their dog after Gir. Ryan’s suggestion seemed like it would be an instant score in a niche audience!
So how does one with limited time make a costume for a 16 week old baby? Well, to help answer that question I needed to look no further than Kitty’s Heart of Nature. Last year for her daughter’s first Halloween, Kitty made adorable owl costumes, using brown hoodies as the base.
I ordered a reversible green jacket (with hood!) from Precious Cargo. Take your handy glue gun, a supply of felt and two foam balls and voila– Gir costume.
And like the “real Gir”, Sagan could be completely in disguise or reveal his inner self.
Even though I copied Kitty’s hoodie technique, I was still feeling pretty creative and unique. That is, until I did a search on “Gir Hoodie”. It turns out, there are quite a few Gir Halloween costumes out there. As I scanned the photos in Google and Flickr, I realized I had taken part in a demonstration of convergent evolution.
Convergent evolution is when unrelated species independently acquire the same biological trait. A good example is wings. Mammals, birds and insects all “invented” the wing and guess what, they were reinventing something the reptiles had done way back in the day of the pterodactyls!
Really when you boil it down, convergent evolution is about problem solving. An organism is presented with a challenge in its environment and it comes up with a solution. Sometimes the solution is such a perfect fit to the problem, it is just asking to be discovered again…and again…and again.
Such is the case with the Gir Halloween Costume.
You have a green character whose head can peel back and reveal his robot self.
Uh… green hooded article of clothing. Duh!!!
Sagan’s costume does have one thing going for it. I didn’t find any other babies dressed up as Gir. “He’s the only Gir that’s about the right size,” Ryan pointed out. 🙂
11/1/2011 Update! – Sagan is NOT the only baby dressed up as Gir. Check out adorable little Paige and her vastly superior Gir costume! (Hat Tip, Scott!)
There are more pictures of Sagan in his Gir costume on Flickr and there are plenty of pictures of other Gir costumes all over the internet.