For all their preparation, ants have had it rough lately. Nobody goes on picnics, or outside at all, so they’ve been forced to live on bugs and dead stuff like it’s the Stone Age or something. It was only a matter of time before a species figured out how to still get handouts from humans. In this case, it’s crazy ants, and they’re going directly after our electronics.
Tawny crazy ants, or Nylanderia fulva, are the latest South American import ant and may soon replace the fire ant — they’re immune to the acid in fire ant stings. But, let’s not celebrate yet. They also have a weird thing for swarming and destroying electronics, including power boxes, outlets and devices like televisions. In Texas, they’ve already driven down home prices by invading and destroying home electrical systems.
So, since we wouldn’t go outside and feed the ants, they’re forcing us back out by taking away our porn and Netflix. Nature always finds a way.
We were put in charge of the Earth by our creator some 300 years ago, when the universe was created. That means that we must bend the animals to our will. It’s just the natural order of things. Japan is working on that.
In what can’t possibly be a publicity stunt, Domino’s Pizza in Japan is training reindeer to deliver pizza during the winter. The company swears it is really working on this, citing an expected harsh winter caused by La Nina. Domino’s is having problems keeping the pizzas strapped to the backs of the reindeer.
If this ends up happening, the Japanese can stop worrying about a tip for the delivery guy.
Contrary to countless of stock photos, our salads are nothing to laugh at. Bagged salad is already sad because, seriously, lettuce is like the easiest thing to chop in the world. It’s thin, doesn’t run around or get blood everywhere and is excellent practice for emergency brain surgery. But, it’s also a Salmonella risk — which means you might as well have had chicken or fish instead.
Part of the problem is the bag. The lettuce is cut and put in moistened bags to preserve leafiness. But, that same moisture leeches nutrients out of the cut leaves, which becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. Basically, it’s a sealed terrarium for diarrhea.
So, if you’re going to veg out, do it with your wedge out — the whole damn thing. Or, at least eat your sad, pre-made salad in one go. Or eat an animal. We’re at war.
Deer hate us, which is why they throw themselves in front of our cars on dark nights. But it turns out they just hate us moving in general.
A herd of deer charged at a college cross country race in in Pennsylvania last weekend. Justin DeLuzio was solidly in the middle of the pack during the footrace, when a dozen or so deer crossed the group’s path. One deer ran into DeLuzio, knocking him head over heels. Bruised, but not broken, he got up and kept running.
Whether everyone agrees with the ethics of it or not, scientists have long turned their instruments on rats. They are close to human in basic physiology, their quick lifespans make it easier to study effects across multiple generations and, like grad students, they work for pizza.
But, what if all of our drugs and beakers aren’t getting answers out of rats fast enough? What if they’re learning to hold out on that sweet, sweet science data?
A lot of raw nerves today. Maybe we should focus on something totally unrelated. How about snail love?
Jeremy the snail has a shell that curves out to the left, rather than the right, like nearly all other snails. This meant that other parts of his anatomy were aligned the opposite way, making it impossible for him to mate with normal snails. But now, Jeremy has found Lefty, a snail that shares his condition. Thanks to a story done on Jeremy and his owner a little while back, another snail enthusiast gas come forward with Jeremy’s potential mate. Congrats to the happy couple!
Of course this means they could breed a race of freak snails that we’ll have to exterminate, but that’s a problem for tomorrow. Warm and fuzzy.
Squirrels are the worst thing in the world. (Yes, worse than cancer.) They cause car accidents, they cause power outages, they invade our homes, and yet there has never been a single squirrel charged or convicted of its crimes. Go ahead, look it up.
In Canada, a couple returned home from a five-week vacation (remember, this is Canada) to find that their house had been ransacked. Authorities conducted a thorough investigation, and determined that a squirrel got in and ate anything it could.
Of course, after the squirrel was caught and released without a single charge.
We knew about the usual threats to endangered animals: deforestation, industrial development and pollution, picnic baskets filled with gluten (we’ll miss Boo-boo and his allergies, too, Yogi). What we didn’t expect were foodies eating their way through the protected species list like a Brazilian steakhouse menu.
Apparently, people in Asia, Africa, and Latin America are eating everything from “rats to rhinoceros, […] docile, ant-eating pangolins as well as flesh-ripping big cats” — which reminds The Guys of our favorite book, If I Ran the Zoo … if The Zoo was a pen-to-table restaurant directly across the street from the Smithsonian National Zoological Park in trendy Adams Morgan, DC.
So, way to go, foodies. Because you couldn’t just eat a normal cow burger like the rest of us, we’re winning the War on Animals.
There’s a lot of bad news out there, and not just the made up news your uncle shares on Facebook. So today, halfway through the work week, take a break, take a breath, and take in some good news.
Researchers report that about 10,000 Peruvian frogs, known as “scrotum frogs” because of their baggy skin, have mysteriously died. We have thousands fewer enemies to worry about now, according to scientists examining Lake Titicaca.
We knew scientists were getting desperate for new sources of antibiotics now that all of the old ones are becoming less effective. (Serves us right for resting on Salk’s laurels.) But, we didn’t realize how desperate they’re getting until we learned that they’re milking Tasmanian devils.
It shouldn’t be too surprising, though, that it’s Australian researchers going full tit at Tasmanian devils. On the scale of scary Down-under animals, taking a devil down by the nipple seems relatively tame.
So why bother at all? According to those researchers, who — again — reached into the pouch of at least one Tasmanian devil to milk it, their milk contains six important peptides that appear to be able to kill hard-to-treat infections, including MRSA.
Of course, far tamer wallabies and opossums have 12 and eight peptides respectively in their milk, but where’s the fun in that? If the Aussies have their way, we bet the best way to milk Tasmanian devils is with your teeth, too.