Friday, May 23, 2008

The Whole Spectrum

"I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura."
Today, we're going to run the entire gambit of animal behavior - from stunning and unbelievably advanced, all the way to murderous and blood-lusting.
Our first on-believable new story comes from Japan, where a lost parrot actually told a veterninarian his address and was safely re-united with his family:
Lost parrot tells veterinarian his address
TOKYO (AP) — When Yosuke the parrot flew out of his cage and got lost, he did exactly what he had been taught — recite his name and address to a stranger willing to help.
Police rescued the African grey parrot two weeks ago from a neighbor's roof in the city of Nagareyama, near Tokyo. After spending a night at the station, he was transferred to a nearby veterinary hospital while police searched for clues, local policeman Shinjiro Uemura said.
He kept mum with the cops, but began chatting after a few days with the vet.
"I'm Mr. Yosuke Nakamura," the bird told the veterinarian, according to Uemura. The parrot also provided his full home address, down to the street number, and even entertained the hospital staff by singing songs.
"We checked the address, and what do you know, a Nakamura family really lived there. So we told them we've found Yosuke," Uemura said.
The Nakamura family told police they had been teaching the bird its name and address for about two years.
But Yosuke apparently wasn't keen on opening up to police officials.
"I tried to be friendly and talked to him, but he completely ignored me," Uemura said.
The best is how the parrot didn't lose his cool and crack under the pressure of a police interview. We propose re-naming the parrot "Johnny Tight-Lips"...


And, in a complete mirror-image of the last story, a rogue group of British mice have run roffshod over a remote island and have been brutally massacring rare endangered sea-birds. The albatross chicks are being eaten alive by the brutal and hungry mice, who are three times the size of the normal house mice and are described by experts as the biggest in the world.

Not having faced any predators in the history of the island, the birds do not know how to defend themselves, and the mice are free to do as they please:

Those who have witnessed the phenomenon say the mice attack at night either alone or in groups, gnawing through the nests to get at the baby birds. Their parents, who have never experienced predators, are unable to defend them.

What is horrifying ornithologists is that the British house mouse has somehow evolved, growing to up to three times the size of ordinary domestic house mice, and instead of surviving on a diet of insects and seeds, has adapted itself to become a carnivore, eating albatross, petrel and shearwater chicks alive in their nests. They are now believed to be the largest mice in the world. Yesterday Birdlife International, a global alliance of conservation groups, recognised that the mice, who are without predators themselves, are out of control and threatening to make extinct several of the world's rarest bird species.

To quote one of the prominent wildlife experts, Dr. Geoff Hilton: "It's like a tabby attacking a hippopotamus."

Our proposal for resolving this terrifying conservational crisis?


Populate the island with highly-intelligent Japanese parrots armed with university-level vocabularies. The parrots could spend their days covering the islands with mousetraps, and then spend their evenings discussing Wittgenstein over games of parcheesi while drinking mint juleps.


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