I was in northern Finland a few years back and scattered all over an urban sidewalk and into the woods were dead lemmings. Perhaps it was a population crash, and such an event giving rise to the ‘suicide’ story.

Let’s add a link to the column in question Do lemmings really commit mass suicide?, and everyone can follow along.

Also, apropos of the column rather than OP, Slug’s illustration for this column is one of his most disturbing. IMHO. :smiley:

I guess that’s a good thing.

It’s be easier to pick one of his “least disturbing” illustrations. That way you’d have less than 1000 to choose from.

What the heck IS a lemming, anyway?

That took a left turn into other animal suicides without answering what I was interested in: even if their goal isn’t suicide, do the lemmings have unstoppable mass migrations? How big and how unstoppable?

Did anyone else notice the glaring (for Cecil) grammar/spelling mistake in that column? To wit:

*"…less as **an a *willful act of imagination and more as a mechanistic response to conditions?"

First time I’ve ever seen one. My illusion of an infallible voice of reason is shattered… :confused:

Blame the editor. Cecil always has. :wink:

I simply don’t get it. Is the lemming (I guess it’s supposed to be a lemming, though it looks more like a fox to me) in the picture trying to commit suicide by butt-sniffing?

What’s supposed to be going on there? It looks like a fox hanging upside down staring at a women’s rear end while lemmings swim by or a river runs by underneath.

I guess the fox has found something a lot more interesting than lemmings.

I think it’s referring to this part:
Underneath that Scottish bridge investigators found a colony of mink, whose anal scent glands apparently drive dogs wild — the pups were just lunging after a good smell.*

It’s not a fox it’s a dog, and a rather anthropomorphic ‘mink’…

Ah, that makes some sense. Thanks! So, no lemmings in the picture.

Oh, so that’s it. The female personage with the big cheeks in the picture is wearing a mink.

The minx!

Do peacocks just standing there while a tiger pounces count as suicide? A tiger with a belly full of peacock won’t hunt peahens, thus the next generation survives.

I wouldn’t call it suicide but dogs have been known to place themselves in mortal danger to protect humans.

But she doesn’t look at all like Minerva.

(side note: A Google image search for “Minerva Mink” is not safe for work, even with Safe Search turned on. In fact, the first NSFW images show up even earlier with it turned on.)

If you live in a wooded neighborhood, you have probably seen a squirrel watching your approaching car, only to dash in front of the tires in what seems to suicide. We can guess at a spurned squirrel romance. As Cecil says, until some squirrel leaves a note, we can’t know for sure.

I still don’t get the illustration. What does a huge naked posterior have to do with lemmings?