"Thousands of ducklings deemed unfit for human consumption following China's latest bird flu outbreak are being sold as live snake food. Poultry farmers have resorted to selling truckloads of the newly-hatched ducklings to snake farms for a few pence each after 14 deaths in China were blamed on the lethal H7N9 virus. One duck farmer said of the creatures' unpleasant fate: 'It's either this or we just gas them all'."
"A BRIT was bitten 'down under' by a killer snake while answering a call of nature in the Aussie bush. The reptile sunk its fangs into Jackson Scott's testicle as he squatted in the dark. But when he begged best mate Roddy Andrews to suck the venom out, his pal REFUSED." The phrase "wedding tackle" is also used.
"A SNAKE died of silicone poisoning — after biting a girl on the BOOB." There is video and everything. It's, uh, really something.
Sure, it's from Tuesday, but since nothing on the Internet is ever really old, we'll pass it along: Po, a "three-year-old reptile from Taipei in Taiwan has become hooked on nicotine, thanks to his owner Sho Lau's 20-a-day habit." He apparently gets really pissy when Sho Lau doesn't have any smokes to spare, which, you know, I can totally identify with.
"An article on Feb. 17 about a decline in field trips for students because of the New York City school bus drivers’ strike referred incorrectly to the 280-pound albino Burmese python at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. The python, a favorite of schoolchildren, is a 'she' (Fantasia), not a 'he.'" —The NYT is taking this accountability thing very seriously, when it comes to enormous albino zoo animals that are a favorite of children.
Photo by edenpictures.
"It would stretch out then coil, ready to strike, then stretch out and coil again. I said, 'Right, next time it stretches I'm going to go for it.' It started to stretch out and I just leapt on top of it with both hands behind its head, my knee on its back and the other chaps piled on behind me. It was a struggle for the first 30 seconds or so as it tried to move its head from side to side. It tried to scratch at us then Ash, the head guide, came round the front and grabbed it by the jaws as I lifted it up—wrapping its jaws [...]
You ever wonder what happened to that psycho kid you grew up next door to? He's apparently running pest control on Guam, where the U.S. Department of Agriculture is trying to reduce the population of brown tree snakes in Guam by dropping acetaminophen-filled dead mice into the forest from helicopters. "Since scientists discovered that the household pain reliever was deadly to the brown tree snakes, they've been trying to figure out how to get it to where many of the serpents live in the canopies of the island's forests, according to a report in Stars & Stripes. The Tylenol-loaded mice are attached to two pieces of cardboard joined [...]
“In these populations, males are relatively common, hence females were not restricted from access to males, and therefore isolation from males is not a driving factor for parthenogenic reproduction (virgin births) here.” —Warren Booth, assistant professor of molecular ecology at the University of Tulsa’s Department of Biological Sciences, discusses his recent study of virgin birth among boa constrictors and copperhead snakes in the wild. Previously, the phenomenon of virgin birth—as documented among chickens, lizards, nurse sharks and lots of other animals—was assumed to be a freak occurrence; an emergency biological response to gender segregation brought about by captivity. But the findings of Booth and his colleagues indicate that [...]
Are they better than one? Do they hiss in stereo? Can they bite simultaneously? So many questions! (Actually, that's all I've got.)
When I was maybe seven or eight years old, my parents took me to a zoo that had a snake-pit. It was a circular hole in the ground, ten feet deep or so, with a cement floor writhing with rattlesnakes. It was totally cool, I remember you could hear the rattles rattling. Looking down, leaning over the fence, I turned to my father and said, "What would you do if I jumped in there?"