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The grub (Homo plumbeus or Homo sapiens plumbeus) is a morphologically distinct subspecies of human beings native to the northeastern United States, and the only known modern subspecies of the genome Homo. While the grub’s anatomy is virtually identical to humans, the most significant morphological differences are its behavioral tendencies, including mating rituals, dietary habits, and wardrobe.
Grubs typically live in low socioeconomic regions south of Lake Ontario and east of Lake Erie, with the highest population densities near the Allegheny River in Western New York and Western Pennsylvania. Although the grub has restricted range and lives in a condensed area, it is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, due to the species’ extremely high reproduction rate. The city of Olean, New York and its surrounding areas have become an epicenter of the grub population.
edit Taxonomy and definition
The category grub lacks a single, agreed upon definition. According to one definition, Homo sapiens is a single species comprising several subspecies that include the archaic and modern humans. Under this definition, the grub is referred to as Homo sapiens plumbeus, and is a subspecies of modern humans, or Homo sapiens sapiens. Other taxonomists prefer not to consider grubs as a subspecies of humans, but as a different species altogether. In this case the standard taxonomy Homo plumbeus is used.
The dividing lines that separate modern humans from grubs are unclear. The earliest known fossils of anatomically modern grubs were found in the late 1800’s
edit Current range and population
Historically, grubs occupied the majority of Western New York and Pennsylvania, although they are found almost exclusively in the poorest parts of these regions. Grubs currently inhabit much of this original range, though they have also begun to migrate westward to Northeastern Ohio, eastward toward Syracuse and Binghamton, and southward toward Johnstown. However, it becomes increasingly fragmented or absent when expanding toward these areas.
Despite this, grubs in these areas seem to have expanded their range over the last decade, with recent sightings in West Virginia, though these either likely do not represent stable breeding populations yet, or may have been mistaken for Rednecks. The overall population of grubs has been widely disputed, but rough 2014 estimates ranged from 50,000 to 85,000. These numbers have surprised many experts in the field, mostly due to estimates in the early 2000’s being anywhere from 8,000 to 15,000. This “grublet boom” suggests an extremely high reproduction rate, and is in line with many of the reproduction habits that have been examined in the past decade.
The highest grub population density is found in Olean, New York. This is likely due to the city not only being a geographical center of the grub’s range, but also featuring a rich habitat for grub behavior, predominantly the Allegheny River.
Throughout their range, habitats preferred by grubs have a few shared characteristics. They are often found near large enough bodies of water for both bathing and recreation, although a large portion of the grub’s bathing comes during rainfall. From spring to fall, grubs are usually found in or near busy streets and rivers, but do typically take shelter in low socioeconomic neighborhoods after nightfall. Although found in the largest numbers in areas near or in Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, and the Allegheny River, the grub can adapt to surviving in some numbers anywhere from 30 to 80 kilometers outside of their initial range, as long as they contain easily accessible fast foods and other items common to a grub’s diet. In most of Western New York and Pennsylvania, adult grubs are also generally found in and around certain bars and liquor stores. The grub will occasionally move to feed at gas station convenient stores such as Uni-Mart, 7-11, and Country Fair.
The local YMCA or recreational building serves as a prime habitat for grublets during rainfall and in winter months, serving predominantly as an overstory-type cover. Within these buildings are items and areas important to grub development, such as vending machines providing Cheetos, and a variety of open space where grublets are able to release stored energy from Pop Tarts, Mountain Dew, and other sugar sources consumed since recess. During non-rainy days in active grub months, grublets find two distinct, prime habitat types. In areas where human development is relatively low, such as stretches from Coudersport and west to Warren, and northward through Hinsdale, Cuba, and Belmont, grublets will release energy in riparian areas, fields of brush, wet and dry meadows, roadsides, sidehill parks, and burns. In areas with higher human development (outside the eastern coast of Lake Erie and the southern coast of Lake Ontario – most notably Erie, Dunkirk, Buffalo, Albion, and Rochester and their surrounding areas), as well as stretches in Bradford and north in Olean and Jamestown, grublets tend to convene at public parks
edit Dormant season
Adult grubs tend to be found much less regularly in the winter time, or its “dormant season”. Most biologists have redefined mammalian hibernation as “seasonal reduction in metabolism concurrent with scarce food and cold weather”. While the species is not yet considered a true or “deep” hibernator, recent discoveries in metabolic changes from January to March show that they are able to remain dormant for long periods due to a slightly lesser intake of sugar-rich drinks. Because research has revealed the grub to eat, urinate and defecate during these months, they are not yet considered efficient hibernators, either.
Most adult grubs enter their dens in December and January. Prior to that time, they stock up on a variety of 2-liters of soda, preferably Mountain Dew or Pepsi products, as well as beef jerky and other processed gas station items. Dormant season among grubs typically lasts until March or April, when its “active season” begins. During dormant season, their heart rate drops from 110 – 130 beats per minute to 70 – 90 beats per minute. Grubs generally begin undergoing dormant seasons soon after reproduction, or after education has been completed. In most cases, this is anywhere from ages 15 – 18. Modern research has found that grubs continue dormant season until death, although this claim has been debated.
edit Anatomy and physiology
Grubs, like all humans and most of the other apes, have opposable thumbs, several blood type systems, are sexually dimorphic, and lack external tails. The comparatively minor anatomical differences between grubs and humans are a result of dietary habits, reproduction rates, and lifestyle and career placement. As a result, grubs have a lower life expectancy than humans. Grubs differ mostly from humans in digesting sugar, balance, brain size, language ability, and spatial awareness. Grub brain size is approximately 97% the size of the human brain. More importantly, language and mathematical skills are traded off in favor of a general understanding of mechanics, as well as balance. Research has shown that among the 3% difference in intellect lost between a grub and human brain is a lack of understanding consequences, little-to-no understanding of their place in the world, a lack of empathy, and a lack of regard for non-human life. A grub’s understanding of how to “fix things”, however, is remarkable compared to the average human.
Most aspects of grub physiology are closely homologous to corresponding aspects of animal physiology. A majority of male grubs have more narrow shoulders than their human counterparts, but bare strong, veiny forearms due to its constant tinkering with tools and work on automobiles. Most grubs have wiry frames and a feeble bone structure due to a lifetime of malnutrition. Because of this, as well as its lack of self-worth and non-participation in sports or activities, adolescent grubs are regularly in casts. Historically, grubs have better balance than humans and are more effective than humans while working with one limb, although their lifestyle provides no need for two-limb use aside from tasks such as strangling the neighbor’s cat.
Biologists have been hard-pressed to fully study the adult female grub, due to it mandatorily being pregnant for no less than 11 months of the calendar year. But studies of non-pregnant adult females have shown a higher average body fat percentage in female grubs than adult female human beings. Nutritionists suggest that this is due to ingesting the same diet as their male partners, coupled with an extremely high inactivity rate (mainly due to pregnancy). Despite this, studies show that anywhere from 10-15% of female grubs will have a relatively low body fat percentage and will appear “attractive” to human males.
The grub, on average, has a longer wingspan than humans, but is more prone to jammed, crooked, arthritic or warped knuckles and fingers. It is estimated that the average height for an adult male grub is about 178 cm (6 cm more than the average human male), while the worldwide average height for adult females is about 153 cm (5 cm less than the average human female). Oddly, the average mass of adult male and female grubs is extremely similar (140-155 lbs for males and 125-150 lbs for females). The higher average body weight among female grubs when compared to female humans is likely due to constant pregnancy. Like many other conditions, body weight and type is influenced by both genetic susceptibility and environment and varies greatly among individual grubs, although female body mass among adult grubs varies more.
In the summer, male grubs will tan at a much more effective rate than its human counterpart. This is likely due to it remaining shirtless for anywhere from 85-95% of the hours from sunrise to sundown, as well as working long hours on pavement and roofs. Over one quarter of grubs suffer from sunken chest. Scurvy is a common hindrance to the grub due to its lack of Vitamin C intake. Approximately 5% of adult male grubs are morbidly obese, but in these cases, the obese male is usually considered the Alpha Grub within its peer group.
edit Dietary habits
Generally, grubs actively feed at any time, provided the food or drink has little to no nutritional value. Up to 40% of the grub’s diet consists of sugar- and caffeine-rich drinks, primarily Mountain Dew and Monster energy drinks, and another 40% consists of fast food, most notably Burger King. Jolt was also a popular drink choice of the grub. Lettuce is abhorrent to grubs, and all forms of leafy vegetation are indigestible. Similarly, the only known dairy product that the grub can digest is cheese, and it prefers to eat cheese with red meats. Grublets are shackled by the albatross of “grub pizza” in school – a very large, crusty-looking rectangle of pizza with charred corners and bubbles. The sauce is baked into the crust, which barely exists on the edges, to create a deep-maroon shaded border between pizza and plate. Mystery meat nachos are also a preferred food source of grublets at lunch time.
Grubs, especially in their adolescents, also engage in targeted hunting of rodents, such as woodchucks, rabbits, squirrels, and mice, as well as other animals like frogs. Although they do not use the meat from these kills as a food source, they are used as a “social tool” within their community.
edit Reproduction and mating rituals
The grub displays a variety of traits believed to have arisen through sexual selection, though this theory has become the object of some controversy since its creation. It is known that the male grub does several things in their display to females, including stunts on bikes, lighting things on fire, and displaying a wide variety of non-professional product tattoos.
edit Muddy Hat Theory
One researcher tested whether or not the amount of mud on a male grubs's Monster Energy hat signaled a male's genetic quality by studying a feral population on male grubs (ages 15-18) in War Vet's park in Olean, New York. She showed that the amount of mud coverage on the hat predicted a male's mating success, and this success could be manipulated by giving some of the male grubs clean Monster hats. Female grubs (ages 14-17) lost interest in males with clean hats and became more attracted to ones with mud-covered hats. The researcher also allowed female grubs, or grubettes, to mate with the male grubs that had a variable amount of mud on their hats. Infant grubs fathered by males with more ornamented hats weighed more than those fathered by males with clean hats, an attribute greatly associated with survival rate in grubs.
edit Daredevil Theory
Furthermore, male grubs and their sexual characteristic have been used in the discussion of the causes of sexual traits. Another researcher used male grubs' tendency to show off stunts on bikes as evidence for his "Handicap Principle". Considering that these stunts are obviously deleterious to a grub's health and survival, the researcher argued that only the most fit and well-balanced grubs could survive extremely risky and dangerous maneuvers without injury. Thus, the more dangerous a stunt being done by a grub without a cast or visible injury serves as an indicator for females that the grub is good at surviving for other reasons, and are, therefore, more preferable mates.
However, some disagreement has arisen in the past decade concerning whether or not grubettes select males with more muddied hats or daredevil stunts. In contrast to these findings, a five-year study of free-ranging grubs came to the conclusion that grubettes do not select males solely based on these attributes, and that there was little variance across male populations of the amount of mud on hats. Also, based on psychological data collected from this group of grubs, the ability to do more dangerous "tricks" on Dyno bikes did not correlate to male physical conditions. In fact, this study showed that grubs with casts were as able or more able to complete risky maneuvers than their non-casted counterparts. The Muddy Hat Theory researcher and her colleagues responded to this study by voicing concern that alternative explanations for these results had been overlooked, such as how old it appeared the mud stains may be.