"And we call this specimen 'Skip'," said Uda motioning towards the enclosure behind her. Next to the window on the other side stood a naked man with a bushy beard and a spear glaring back at the assembled group of school children who were receiving a tour of the historical zoo from Uda. "He is a Homo Sapiens, which is two full species from us. He's also from the historical breeding group, which is contiguous in human ancestry, so he has not been reconstructed from our DNA like the Neanderthals we just saw in the last display."
Uda smiled broadly and crossed her arms around her abdomen to signal that she would receive questions. A girl in the front with yellow eyes and pale green photosensitive skin took a step forward. Uda bowed her head slightly and closed her eyes briefly.
"Why's he so angry?" asked the girl.
"That's an excellent question," said Uda. "Homo Sapiens, or wise man, is an adgenusic animal. Unlike us, it needs to form close family groups. This strategy is employed by many other mammal species as well, but it has proved especially crucial to the early success of Homo Sapiens. This species is unusually frail, slow-moving, and weak compared to other animals. Working as a group was essential, and those groups were formed through both kinship and partnership bonds. Males and females tended to pair off to create offspring they were tightly bonded with, but they also had ties to the greater group, and these ties often conflicted with their partnerships as individuals jockeyed for status and partners that could confer more superior genes to their offspring. Skip here, has just lost his partner to the alpha male over there," she pointed to a large man lounging on a flat rock at the top of the habitat, surrounded by several beta males and most of the females, "we call him 'Dagwood'," she chuckled, "and since then, Skip has been in bad spirits."
Uda smiled again and crossed her arms. The girl stepped backward into the file of children. Skip lunged forward and pressed his body against the window. He stared wild-eyed at the children. Some of them started to giggle. Uda lost her smile and turned around to look at him. He pounded at the window with his fist.
"Can he get out?" asked one of the children.
"Oh no," said Uda. "The glass is unbreakable, and even if he were to escape, say at feeding time, like all our animals, he has a sensor implanted in his body. If he leaves the enclosure without authorization he will immediately fall unconscious."
"No, I meant, can't you let him out? That seems to be what he wants." Uda looked at the child, a rather plain looking one with red and blue striped skin and dark eyes. Something about him looked familiar and she wondered haltingly if he was related to her.
"Of course not," Uda dismissed. "We have to protect this breeding population. It's part of a wider experiment in comparative natural evolution that's taking place at several other zoos as well. We can't just pluck out an unsuccessful specimen. What would we do with it, use it as a pet?"
Uda and some of the older children laughed.
Skip pounded on the window again.
"Let me out!" he screamed, spattering saliva against the glass. "Please!"
"And as you can clearly hear," said Uda, "they are capable of speech. In fact, our language is derived from their last dominant language before we diverged ourselves from natural evolution. We owe a lot to our ancestors. Let's move along to see Homo Artifex, our most recent ancestor. And then it will be time for the midday meal!"
The children walked along obediently.
"Please!" cried Skip.