Wednesday, April 20, 2005Sometimes, when the news is filled with stories of miraculous salt stains on highway underpasses and "God's Rottweiler" being elected the new Pope - all you can do is find the momentary beastly humour in life.
- Chicago area man charged in tire iron attack on goose:
BUFFALO GROVE, Ill. (CBS 2) A north suburban man faces up to six months in jail and fines after being charged with beating a goose. Buffalo Grove police say 32-year-old David Lim was seen chasing the goose in a parking lot, then swinging at it with a tire iron or snow scraper. He then apparently stomped on the goose’s eggs nearby.[CBS2.com]
Police say Lim denied the charges until he was told a bank security camera caught him on tape. He then confessed, saying he had recently been chased by a goose.
- Caught on Tape: Elephants on Rampage in Seoul stampede through restaurant [CBS2.com and NBC5.com]
- Killer tree ants snare prey in gruesome traps:
Amazonian ants rig up gruesome traps to snare prey before stinging them to death and carving them up to eat, a new study reveals.[New Scientist.com]
Allomerus decemarticulatus is a tiny tree-dwelling ant which lives in the forests of the northern Amazon. Researchers examining the relationship between different ant species and their host plants noticed that this particular ant lived on only one plant - Hirtella physophora - and that they built galleries hanging under its stems.
Many ant species build these galleries as hideouts to act as sanctuaries between their nests and foraging areas. But the team, led by Jérôme Orivel at the University of Toulouse, France, spotted that A. decemarticulatus were using these galleries as traps for prey.
The traps are woven together using hairs stripped from the ants’ host plant and reinforced with fungus, producing a platform with pitted holes. “The ants are always hiding just under the holes, waiting with their mandibles open. When an insect arrives they immediately grab the legs and antennae,” says Orivel. This pulling immobilises the victim, stretching it out as though being tortured on a mediaeval rack.
Worker ants then clamber over their helpless prey, biting and stinging until the victim is paralysed or dead. The carcass is then chopped into small pieces while still on the rack or, more likely, carried back to the leaf pouch where the ants nest to be devoured. The surprise-attack traps are “like something out of Edgar Allan Poe”, says Mike Kaspari, an ant expert at the University of Oklahoma, US.
In November 2004, a piece of popcorn shaped like the Virgin Mary was auctioned on eBay. A Canadian woman also said she saw the Blessed Mother and baby Jesus on a Lay's Smokey Bacon Chip.