Tuesday, December 22, 2009


Follow-ups 12/9/09 Reader Megan brought this to my attention: a mutant parakeet - the opposite of the bald parrot pictured in this post! And just for good measure, here are a few more oddities: birds in sweaters (scroll down), diapers, a flight harness, and fancy dress.

Hermits - 2 scenarios 12/8/09 An unidentified couple from Indiana have been selected from 250 individuals or families who offered to adopt 2 pugs - Harry and Sally - who had fed on the flesh of their owner after he died.

Happy Thanksgiving! 11/26/09 I mentioned in an e-mail to my previous next-door neighbor Steve that we were going to save ourselves the trouble and order a boxed turkey dinner from the local grocery store this year, and I just have to share his response: "I hear them kind of turkeys are the ones that died in the truck - the brown part of the skin is really broom marks." When I told him we were doing the same thing for Christmas, he responded, "Christmas boxed turkeys are the ones that the homeless shelters rejected on Thanksgiving for smelling worse than the people there to eat them." I hope that doesn't offend anyone. It left me giggling!

Docking cow tails 10/27/09 A jumping cow made the news in Blagdon, Somerset, U.K. In news somewhat related to this post, the RSPCA reports that a "caller was distressed about a 'tumour' hanging off the back of a sheep. When an inspector attended, he found the 'tumour' was, in fact, a tail."

Shackleton 10/28/09 Word of another treasure found in an Antarctic hut - this time the oldest supply of Kiwi butter found near a shelter of Robert F. Scott.

Dinosaur eggs 10/3/09 Every new dinosaur discovery is said to threaten the current knowledge of paleontology. Here's another discovery that promises to "shake the dinosaur family tree."

Pig butchering 9/1/09 Investigations by the U.S.D.A. are underway in Florida to root out unlicensed slaughterhouses.

Human hybrids 8/22/09 Like the artist of this procative sculpture, Australian artist Sam Jinks creates very realistic sculptures like the one pictured above. It reminds me - as it is surely meant to - of the Pietà.

Surviving rabies 8/18/09 An Arizona man was set upon by a rabid bobcat last week and managed to strangle it with his bare hands.

Leonardo's lion 8/17/09 An instrument - the harpsichord-viola - has been reconstructed from the sketches in Leonardo da Vinci's notebooks.

Ripley's Seeing is Believing 8/14/09 In this post, I link to a video of a pelican swallowing a pigeon. Here is a report of 2 herons whose eyes were bigger than their stomachs - with fatal results.

Pangolins 7/20/09 My sister brought to my attention the recent rescue of some pangolins destined for the Black Market, and I found a number of recent recoveries: 130 and another 31 in December and 98 in August in Malaysia, and 66 in December in Thailand.

Green eggs and ham 5/11/09 Wild pigs are a hazard at the international airport in Harare, Zimbabwe. Dressing as a wild boar while hunting proved fatal in Greece. And walkers in Germany were terrorized by wild boars. (Plenty of weird wild boar news to form a future post about "Hogzilla" and his kin.)

Chihuahuas in the weird news 5/2/09 California animal shelters report an overabundance of chihuahuas and have begun to ship them out of state.

Frozen baby mammoth 4/26/09 "Lyuba" has been preserved and insured in preparation for an international museum tour.

Bears in the news
4/24/09 India's last performing bear has been set free to live out its remaining days in a sanctuary in Bangalore. A zoo in Georgia houses a lion, a tiger, and a bear together in a single habitat.

Centenarians - and then some 3/26/09 The Georgia centenarian mentioned by President Obama in his election night speech has died at the age of 107. Meanwhile, a man in Maine has turned 108. And on the darker side, a Massachusetts centenarian has been killed, purportedly by her 98-year-old roomate, and a 100-year-old sex offender has been released from prison in New York.

Big bunny
2/24/09 Here's a story about a giant pet rabbit who has patterned its behavior after the family's cocker spaniel.

Killer chimpanzees 2/17/09 Monkeys trained in the martial arts revolted and turned on their trainer in China.

Marine creatures 2/15/09 An aquarium in Norfolk, U.K., has lowered the water levels in the turtle tank so the creatures can be given their seasonal and vitamin-rich treat of brussel sprouts without their resultant gassiness triggering overflow alarms. And since we're talking about turtles, here's one with 2 heads and 6 legs.

Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday 2/12/09 The body of the former president of Cyprus has been stolen from his tomb.

Hedgehogs 1/8/09 Here's an overweight albino hedgehog on a swimming regimen to lose the ounces...

Rats! 12/20/09 A capybara - the world's largest rodent - has been accidentally crushed to death in a Canadian zoo.

Birds and dogs 12/15/08 In December, in Apalachicola, Florida, a man saw a medium-sized poodle snatched up by what appeared to be a chicken hawk, and a Pomeranian was carried off by an owl and dropped 2mi away, breaking her tail. Also in December - speaking of big birds - a hawk or falcon gots its talon stuck in the escalator of a metro station in Washington, D.C. and a hawk spent the night in a Wellington, Florida, hardware store [note that the manager's name is Quigley!]. Last year, professional golfer Tripp Isenhour got a lot of bad press and a fine for deliberately killing a red-shouldered hawk with a golf ball because it was interrupting the video he was shooting on an Orlando, Florida, course.

Space chimp 12/5/08 Russia's Cosmonautics Agency is in talks with an institute in the breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia to send one of their 350 apes on a mission to Mars, looked after by a robot.

11/21/08 Scientists have revealed that the seismic "plumbing" beneath Yellowstone National Park runs an astonishing 410 miles deep!

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