Tims World O' Stuff

Because he's sick of having to email people & because they're sick of being emailed, Tim is starting a blog. This blog will contain anything that would have normally been forwarded onto people. So there should be a marked decline in emails going out, and an increase in posts here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Gull-trapping Killers show cultural learning

As anyone who's seen Finding Nemo knows, seagulls are right up there with pidgeons on the list of "birds that are nice in ones and twos, but not in squawking packs of a squillion". Luckily a pod(?) of killer whales are helping to whittle down the number of seagulls preying on Seaworld tourists...

A four year old Killer whale discovered that if he regurgitated some of his fish food and waited underneath it whilst it's floating around on the surface (as vomit is wont to do), that soon enough seagulls will come and have a bite... Snappity-Snap! One slightly less hungry killer whale, and one small step towards peacefull beaches. Within a month all his tank buddies were doing it, putting killer whales, dolphins and chimpanzes on the list of 'cultural learning' animals (one dolphin taught a bunch of others to wear sponges on their nose whilst foraging on the sea floor for snout protection, and chimps taught each other to use sticks to beat things. Unfortunately they are still to learn bread making skills*) .

In other seagull related news, University of Florida aviation researchers are copying the gull's wing shape for a new breed of unmanned spy drones, for use in urban warfare. I personally think that it's just an excuse to allow both sides to shoot down anything resembling seagulls (and hopefully pidgeons), as well as trying to make soldiering appeal to boys who'd much rather play with remote controlled planes than shoot people.


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