Pigeons, not robots, will take over your job

They can also get to work faster than you.

Pigeons: Scourge of statues and friend to weird loners in the park everywhere, may be better at doing your job than you. It’s science.

According to a recent study, pigeons perform just as well, if not better, in switching between tasks quickly. Their high-order cognitive processing is just as good as ours. Scientists say this could lead to jobs once thought to need the intelligence of a human to instead be performed by a pigeon. Simply put: the birds are better at multitasking than you are, and they’re coming for your job.

Such a shift would no doubt delight business owners everywhere. There’s no law that says you have to pay animals for their work. You don’t really have to provide them health care coverage, either. And bird seed costs less than keeping the lights, water and heat running in an office setting. Think of the savings.

Seagull sends shoppers running from grocery store

The seagulls’ blitz on the U.K. continues, in case you forgot that we aren’t the only ones being attacked. As you may recall, this onslaught is becoming a summer tradition.

Now it seems they aggressive gulls are taking the battle indoors. One such angry bird broke into a grocery store, or whatever they call them over there, in Truro, England. The seabird swooped down on customers, and was so aggressive that the store had to be evacuated. The dive bombing was brought to an end when the gull was captured and released outside.

And they say the American legal system is broken.

New bird species now extinct, luckily

Here’s some good news and bad news. The bad news is that science has discovered a new bird species on the Galapagos Islands. A DNA analysis found that two distinct species had been lumped into the same group, but the Galapagos vermilion flycatcher and the San Cristobal Island vermilion flycatcher are indeed two distinct species.

The good news is that the San Cristobal Island vermilion flycatcher is now extinct anyway. So in the War on Animals, that’s a net zero. We’ll take that.

Birds attack nuclear power plant in N.Y.

Folks, the War on Animals has been going on for a long time now, but it’s never been this serious. They’re going after our nuclear power plants.

Indian Point is a nuclear plant a little north of New York City. Something tripped a breaker at the site and took the reactors offline for several days in December. Now, we’ve learned that bird poop was the cause of that outage, specifically, poop from large birds. There was so much bird crap on the wire that it couldn’t handle electricity anymore.

While this didn’t come remotely close to triggering a meltdown, it’s clear that the animals are testing our systems. They are exploring for weaknesses.

Deer eat birds, nothing will ever make sense again

Every year when deer hunting season begins, there are always people who protest the sanctioned murder of the animals, completely forgetting that they throw themselves at our cars and try to starve us out by eating our crops. We’ve got another reason to continue killing.

It turns out, white tail deer eat birds. We thought these adorable beasts only ate vegetation, but according to nesting cams set up on federal land in North Dakota have caught deer in the act. What’s even more shocking is that this has apparently been known in the wildlife community for years, yet somehow it is only now coming to light.

We smell a coverup.

Birds get so drunk that they can’t fly

In the wilderness, you have problems you just don’t see anywhere else. When you live in the wilderness of Yukon, Canada, things get even weirder–like drunken-birds weird.

Birds are getting drunk on berries that have been fermented by frost. They get so drunk that they can’t fly correctly, and fly into people’s windows, houses and cars. The drunken onslaught is likely to continue until either the berries are gone, or the birds join AA.

In other news, you can totally get drunk off of frost-fermented berries.

In battle for habitat, it’s nudist vs. nature

Passage Key, Florida is a federally protected habitat for several species of rare birds, but now an invasive species is threatening them: nudists.

Boobies and peckers have flocked to the fairly remote key because the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can’t patrol it very often. And because of that as many as 200 nudists at a time make their nests on the beach, scaring off the local wildlife.

We’re assuming that the number of bird watchers has also increased.

Salute the warriors who made New Zealand ostrich-free

Science has just found that humanity is long overdue for a victory lap in New Zealand.

Some time in the 13th century, the Polynesians colonized what today is New Zealand, which was ruled by nine different species of large, flightless birds called “moas.” Some of species stood up to six feet tall. It took humans only 200 years to wipe out all nine species, and that’s without guns.

So strike up the band, raise a glass to those brave warriors who won us a nontuple victory.

These aren’t crocodile tears — they’re real

"Game over, man. Game over."
“Game over, man. Game over.”

Crocodiles and alligators use tools.

Let us repeat that in the appropriate tone: Crocodiles and alligators have joined the tool users club.

Researchers observed crocodiles and alligators (so here, too, not just Australia and Africa) placing sticks over their snouts as lures for birds. Once any birds perch, then the croc does the equivalent of flipping a quarter from your elbow to your hand, snapping up bird and stick whole.

So, the non-tool-using crocodiles are just pussies.
So, the non-tool-using crocodiles are just pussies.

As our own developmental history indicates, once a species learns to use tools, they step onto an exponentially accelerated fast track to iPods and nuclear weapons. And that it’s reptiles this time instead of ants or crows is, frankly, terrifying.

And the worst part? We already lost our species’ greatest hope in defeating them … to a stingray.


Via Patrick H.

The McBournie Minute: 3 of the biggest ways animals threaten our existence

With fall firmly in place in the Northern Hemisphere, it seems reasonable to think that the War on Animals is going to start winding down for the year. But that would assume that our animal foes are reasonable. Rather than slowing things down, they’re going into high gear, in one big push before they all go into hibernation for the winter.

I don’t need to remind you, dear reader, of the threat posed by every single animal that exists on this planet. The numerous species are working in concert to overthrow we humans as the rulers of Earth. One would think such a goal would be easily accomplished, since we are so outnumbered, but we are ever-vigilant, and animals are dumber than we give them credit for.

Do your part, and get caught up on the latest threats to civilization as we know it. Continue reading The McBournie Minute: 3 of the biggest ways animals threaten our existence