Found throughout the British Isles, and also widely spread across the globe, the white MO7S is both large and small - large in width and height, but small in depth. It is a near perfect example of evolution in action, having learned to cling to manmade surfaces such as Tarmac and concrete, like a plaice on an artificial seabed.
They can be found both in the countryside and, although less common, also in the heart of town.
Their chosen habitat seems to be very particular. They occupy a middle-of-the-road position, and especially favour sharp bends on narrow roads. Some experts believe the MO7S position themselves in such potentially dangerous places in order to soak up the energy from vehicle crashes, which are particularly prevalent in such places. Others think the MO7S are merely entertained by such spectacles, and wish to get a good view.
However, the MO7S, and their companion species the Chevron, have come to be trusted by motorists as indicators of sharp bends and other danger spots. This causes drivers to reduce speed, and so avoid crashing. This could be seen as a disadvantage to the MO7S, depriving them of the very thing they seek, but again they seem to be evolving. While young, the MO7S are easy to spot, but after a few years they learn to blend in with the colour of the road surface. This camouflage trick is especially effective after dark and in the rain.
A poor photograph of the end half of a MO7S. [Ed: Any better photo welcomed.]
(This article contributed by the Widds.)
Last updated 2004-08-10
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