The arsonist birds of Australia

Australia is a terrifying place. Every animal native to the oversized island seems to have evolved to kill and eat human beings. And yet humans live there. Amid giant spiders, ripped kangaroos and bloodthirsty sharks, now there are birds that set fire.

According to a new report, some bird species have adopted a scorched-earth policy — not in fighting us — but to grab a bite to eat. Raptors (think falcons and hawks, not dinosaurs, yet) are spreading wildfires to flush out prey from their hiding spots, researchers argue. They take a stick from an existing brush fire and drop it someplace that isn’t on fire yet, and then wait for the critters to show themselves as their habitat burns down.

We think this can technically be considered an attack on mankind by the animals, because they burn people’s property. And it’s only a matter of time before they drop fires on houses to flush us out.

Winter in the South: Frozen alligators, iguanas

“Kill meeeee.”

In the War on Animals, a harsh winter could be our greatest ally. A cold snap in the Northeast was credited with killing sharks in Cape Cod. And the low temperatures are affecting animals in the Southeast, too.

Citizens in the North Carolina have been treated to views of alligators with their snouts poked above the ice in frozen swamps. According to experts, the gators can sense when the water is going to freeze over, and poke their noses above the surface and sort of hibernate until things thaw out. Until the swamps warm up, things just look creepy.

In Florida, iguanas are falling out of trees because of the cold. Temperatures dropped below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, which apparently makes iguanas think it’s a good time for a trust fall. The invasive reptiles aren’t built for such cold temperatures, and basically power down to the point where they can’t move, which causes them to fall out of trees. Floridians are finding these things just lying unconscious in their yards like the morning after an iguana frat party.

Unfortunately, the gators and iguanas are expected to survive.

Shepherds to meddlesome eagles: Pew pew!

Shepherds in Scotland are tired of eagles making off with their lambs. They’re so tired of it that they’ve decided to step up their game: with laser beams.

White-tailed eagles keep stealing lambs from flocks of sheep in Scotland, and the Scots have decided to try shooting laser beams at them to keep them away. The plan is to point lasers at hills to creep out eagles and keep them away from the countryside, where they go after livestock. The thinking is that eagles will think there’s a prog rock laser show going on (eagles hate those, of course) and avoid the area altogether.

If this plan doesn’t work, they’ll use a death ray.

Sharks no match for “bomb cyclone”

It’s winter here in the Northern Hemisphere, which means we don’t talk about sharks too much. Many of them have gone to warmer waters to eat those tasty Southern Hemispherians. But we’ve got good news out of Massachusetts: the sharks can’t handle the cold.

Remember the end of Jaws when Chief Brody blows up the the monster shark’s head by shooting the air tank in its mouth (spoiler alert)? The “bomb cyclone” is basically the air tank in this case. A frozen shark has washed up in Cape Cod, it’s the fourth such found over the past week or so. They have all been Thresher sharks, which are known as the wusses of the sea. Local researchers believe a pack of these sharks got caught in Cape Cod Bay and “couldn’t stand the wicked cold temprachas.”

So while you dig yourself out of the storm, think about the warm beaches and sharkless waters you’ll enjoy come summer time.

The sea lion uprising has begun

Vicious killers.

There’s panic in the streets of San Francisco, a city of normally-calm tech bros and Full House tourists. The chaos is coming from the water, and no swimmer is safe.

Sea lions are on the rampage, according to the National Parks Service. It’s gotten so bad that one popular swimming area had to be closed. Three swimmers have been attacked by sea lions in a single week. And no one can recall a single attack happening ever before.

It seems obvious that these monsters are rising up in a bid to overthrow humanity, as we knew they one day would.

Fish orgies can deafen dolphins

Dolphins, they’re smart, they can communicate verbally to each other, and they’re huge jerks. If mankind falls, you know they’re going to be right there to take our place. But dolphins may have finally met their match: fish orgies.

In Mexico’s Gulf of California, there lurks a fish that has mating orgies that get so raucous that researchers worry it could deafen dolphins. The Gulf corvina has a mating call that sounds like a “really loud machine gun,” and when hundreds of thousands of them get together to make new Gulf corvinas, it gets really, really loud. Think a Seattle Seahawks home game, including the crowd noise pumped in through the speakers. It’s so loud you can hear it out of the water.

So noisy neighbors is all it takes to bring down dolphin? Let’s get to work, warriors.

Drunk opossum leaves rehab

It is shocking to this blog how animals can clearly violate the law and yet escape prosecution every time. It’s especially surprising that this happens in crimes involving alcohol.

A Florida liquor store employee found a drunk female opossum next to a broken bottle of bourbon, and had the police bring it to a wildlife refuge for rehab. The opossum apparently knocked over and broke the bottle of whiskey, and probably drank every last drop, because the bottle was empty.

The creature was no doubt slurring her speech and no doubt displaying other signs of intoxication, so she was pumped full of fluids to sober her up. And after a couple weeks of sobriety and intense monitoring, she was released into the wild again.

And yet, there were no charges for breaking and entering, destruction of property, theft, underage drinking, etc. The opossum probably didn’t even have to pay for its rehab stint. That fell on the American taxpayer. Leave it to a liberal nanny state like Florida to coddle its wild animals.

Scientists bent on creating super spiders

Spiders, despite having one time created a superhero, are awful. They are creepy, they spin nasty webs, and they’re probably plotting against us. But what if scientists gave them the ability to spin super-strong webs?

A team of researchers in the Italy and the U.K. have figured out a way to make spiders poop out webs that are so strong they can support a person’s weight. How do they do it? By feeding the spiders a graphene solution. The plan is to use the enhanced spider silk to make stronger parachutes or cables.

But we all know that it’s only a matter of time before the creatures figure out what they need to eat to create this webbing, and then they’ll start catching us all.

Bear arms: Siberian bear steals guns

To own a gun means you have a lot of responsibility. Chief among those is keeping your weapon secured when you are not using it, so it won’t get stolen by a bear.

In Siberia, locals are likely on edge after it was reported that a bear broke into a man’s cabin and stole two guns. The man said he went to a nearby river to get water, and when he returned, he hid when he saw a brown bear was tearing apart his place. The bear eventually left with a bag that contained a hunting rifle and an assault rifle.

The only good news is that the bear is probably going to hibernate soon. It will be much easier to disarm then.

Coconut crab kills a bird, are we next?

Add to the list of ways humanity can end, “coconut crabs.” These massive crabs are confined to remote islands in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, but if they ever escape it’s the end of us. Don’t believe us? They can kill birds.

A biologist recently took a video of one of these dog-sized crab sneaking upon and killing a red-footed booby in the dead of night. The bird was sleeping in a tree, and the crab crawled up, broke the bird’s wing with one of its massive claws, then pounced upon the helpless creature. Before long, five other crabs came to take a piece of the carcass.

There’s no question that mankind is threatened by this crab’s existence. If it can kill a bird, it can kill a man. But the question remains, do they taste good?