Quick, build more wal-marts.

Posted in Rodents on February 6th, 2010 by The Corvid Advocate

Why no, I wasn't talking about you.  Why do you ask?

It looks like we have a new contender for Ms. Ecosystem, Fourth Millennium. According to some guy, prairie dogs have a complex spoken language. Their little chirping barks are actually a language they use to convey information about threats. Not only do they have different barks for different types of threat– coyote, badger, etc– but they can also convey descriptions– “tall, skinny coyote” or “fat real estate developer with ugly tie.” He also thinks they might convey where the danger is located.

If this is true, this might be the most complex nonhuman animal language. And we’re just finding this out. The little bastards have been talking all this time and we had no idea. They probably thought up some bark just for you, a snarky little trill that perfectly encapsulates how your Under Armor shirts concentrate a week’s worth of body odor into one day. At least I hope they did, since if you can’t see the stink lines rising off you I don’t know how else to convey the point.

But I digress. The point is that a bunch of ground squirrels have a complex language that we were utterly unaware of until now. I don’t like surprises of this nature. Ranchers have been hunting the species into endangerment for years, and obviously they have the right idea. I’d much rather have a more hamburgers around than a bunch of hole-dwelling demagogues.

But at the same time, I don’t want to live near a rancher. Nothing drives down property values like the smell of cows. I think the sensible alternative is to pave over every bit of prairie, and pour concrete down every prarie dog town until it’s a nice solid pad. Then build a huge retail store on top of it. It’s the only way to be sure.

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You’re next, fatty.

Posted in Birds on February 4th, 2010 by The Corvid Advocate

This is a spectacled owl. They run about a foot and a half tall, with tailfeathers, and weight maybe a bit over a pound. One of his kind has recently been killing and eating wild sloths. So what? Sloths are practically a form of vegetable. Why do we care?

Because a sloth is about twice as tall and four times the weight of one an owl, but this bird still considers it food. That’s a very bold predator. I’d be worried.

Now you might say that a sloth is almost helpless out of its tree, and moves so slowly that we named them after it. Well, that’s fine for my svelte godlike physique, but what about slower targets? What about when these things start noticing the fattening of America?

If they have an easy time hunting the three-toed sloth, imagine how simple it will be for them to stalk a common North American lardass. Sure, the man-cow is bigger than a sloth, but it also lacks the sloth’s claws and climbing ability. All the owl needs is a crowbar to pry the beast off its couch, and it’s got dinner for a whole flock, or parliament, of owls. And I think we all know where they can get any tools they need.

So, to the hambeasts of our nation: you need to protect yourselves. I don’t trust you with firearms– you might get hungry and start hunting your neighbors. I’d recommend some self-defense classes, but going to the gym is already a problem for you, isn’t it? And it’s not like Wii Fit has an owl-dodging game.

So tubbies, take a lesson from the sloth. Their main line of defense is camouflage– they don’t move much, and they blend in with their surroundings. The former certainly isn’t a problem for you, justkeep your remote within reach. As for camouflage, well, make sure the stains on your clothes blend in with the stains on your couch. Finally, spread a fine dusting of cheet-os over the whole area to help you blend in.

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The bottlenosed freaks learned a new trick

Posted in dolphins, Marine Mammals on February 2nd, 2010 by The Corvid Advocate

I haven’t updated lately, I know. The signs of impending doom have piled so high that I tried to make a fort to protect myself. Unfortunately, the cushions on my couch don’t detach, so that plan didn’t get far. I ended up making a wall of liquor bottles instead.

While draining new building materials, I found this:

Isn’t that nice? The species of bestiophile gang rapists have figured out the next best thing to fishing with dynamite. And this isn’t some animal-instinct thing, either. This is learned behavior. This murderous pod invented it and others will probably learn it. Eat your omega-3 oil while you can.

And what’s worse is that I didn’t find this at Science or Nature or one of those safely expensive journals that no one can afford. This was splashed over the twee face of cuteoverload. Isn’t it sweet? A rival species has found a new way to exhaust a key food supply before we can. Really, Meg– stick with the puppies and kittens. We don’t have to worry about them. Don’t go encouraging serious threats to our apex predatorship.

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A Traitor in Our Clade, and other developments.

Posted in Corvids, Squid on August 10th, 2009 by The Corvid Advocate

Why the hell are you on your computer when you should be building your hominid-only saferoom? We’re so busy with it that we have no time to write.

Okay, If you really need more reasons:

  • Roving gangs of squid are attacking the West Coast. What’s worse, the California budget crisis leaves no extra money for coastal defense.
  • Tokyo is probably doomed. Crows are already dive-bombing the populace, The Post’s term, not mine). They’re also targeting the cities data networks, splitting open fibre-optic cables. They seem to have a good media presence, since the article attributes this to a search for ‘nest lining’ rather than the downfall of humanity. They’ve been credited with blackouts and at least one bullet train shutdown.
  • Finally, something that hits close to home. Some guy stole my vending machine joke and turned it against my species. It’s bad enough that I don’t have a book deal yet, this guy is stealing my brilliant ideas and taking them on the lecture circuit. What’s worse, he’s advocating the intentional training of wild crows. Litter collection, right. Let’s see if you think it’s so cute when they’re making off with missile launch codes.

There. Now stop reading and start corvidproofing your home.