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The Animal Science Blog is the place for conversation and discussion about scientific and technological topics related to pets, livestock, and other animals. See how cutting-edge advances help - or hinder - species around the world.

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Animal Articles - May 15, 2009

Posted May 15, 2009 12:01 AM by SavvyExacta

This week's articles are about extinct or rare animals.

Competition for food might have led to evolution of new dinosaur species.

Megafishes are big but few and far between thanks to overfishing.

Don't try to smuggle birds in your pants.

Polar bears are becoming cannibals.

The funny-looking maleo gets a private beach in Indonesia.

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Guru
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#1

Re: Animal Articles - May 15, 2009

05/15/2009 8:57 AM

Very interesting articles. It is a shame to see polar bears turning on each other, even if it isn't uncommon for other predatory species to do the same. I can't believe how someone tried to smuggle birds! Poor things... I enjoyed the articles very much this week, very interesting!

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Guru

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Animal Articles - May 15, 2009

05/17/2009 3:16 AM

Bird smuggling has been going on for a long time. Customs Officers at Heathrow and other UK airports routinely find suitcases packed with birds, most of them dead. Doesn't seem to happen as much now (tighter airport security), but as with other illicit cargo the dealers aren't overly concerned with 'collateral'. The eventual owner doesn't care either (scarcity adds to the attraction). It's not unlike dealing in eggs, though crueler to the individual bird.

I'm not sure this comes under 'rare', but the Goonch is pretty freaky. Study seems to indicate it's developed a liking for human flesh. Having acquired this taste from corpses in rivers, the fish are thought to be taking their food a little fresher.

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Guru
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#4
In reply to #2

Re: Animal Articles - May 15, 2009

05/18/2009 2:18 PM

I hope I never encounter one of those! The taste for humans is interesting - so there are man-eating tigers on land and man-eating catfish in the water. Although with that fish, perhaps the sight of it is enough to stun/kill its prey?

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Guru
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#3

Re: Animal Articles - May 15, 2009

05/18/2009 1:14 PM

Secret of Komodo dragon's bite unlocked by scientists

THE huge carnivorous Komodo dragon isn't just the largest living lizard, it also packs the biggest poisonous punch of any creature.

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credit: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,27574,25503172-421,00.html

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Guru
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#5
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Re: Animal Articles - May 15, 2009

05/18/2009 2:21 PM

This part of the story especially concerned me:

"Deer are common prey. While humans seldom fall victim to Komodo dragons, earlier this year a dragon stalked a poacher for several days and then, with a companion, waited for the man, caught, killed and ate him."

Yet another animal I would prefer to view from afar!

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