The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'penguins'
As the north polar ice cap shrinks, some scientists are thinking that the last chance of saving polar bears may be by relocating them to Antarctica. Others are wary of this:
"Antarctic penguins and seals aren't adapted to surface predators," explained Steven Amstrup, the chief U.S. Geological Survey polar-bear researcher. "The bears would have a field day for a while, because they could walk right up to them and eat them. For a short period of time, it would be great, but in the end the whole system would probably collapse."See also here.
First there was the extraordinary biodiversity of the Korean no-man's land and the abundance of radioactive wildlife near Chernobyl, and now it emerges that penguins are flourishing in minefields in the Falkland Islands. The mines, laid by Argentine forces during the Falklands War, have rendered pristine beaches and grasslands off-limits to tourists and sheep. (These sanctions are backed up with hefty fines for any tourists afflicted by the warning-signs-are-for-sissies gene.) The penguins, fortunately, are too light to set off the mines, and have the beaches to themselves:
Argentina, which puts the number of remaining mines closer to 15,000, is offering to help clear more fields to adhere to an international treaty on land mines.
Falkland Islanders, however, are not pressing on the issue, and most believe it is better not to fiddle with the fields.
"There is a risk that only 95 percent would be removed," said Falkland Islands Gov. Howard Pearce. "You would bring a sense of complacency to the community and increase rather than reduce the chance of injury."
Besides, he noted, "The environmentalists like them."I wonder how long until someone on the militant fringes of the environmental movement decides to start sowing their own wildlife-friendly landmines in endangered areas of ecological importance.
(via bOING bOING)
The Bremerhaven Zoo in Germany has abandoned plans to break up homosexual penguin couples, to encourage the penguins to breed, after gay rights groups picked up their case, in an example of interspecies solidarity:
Gay groups had protested against "the organised and forced harassment through female seductresses" in an open letter to Bremerhaven Mayor Joerg Schulz and called on him to stop the program.
Zoo keepers discovered that the homosexual couples had gathered rocks that they coveted like eggs and fooled their keepers for years into thinking they were boy-and-girl duos.
The zookeepers realised that the penguins were somewhat on the lavender side after some "exotic Scandinavian birds" (phwoar!) specially flown in for their benefit failed to rouse their libidos.
Stranger than fiction: Norway bestows military honour on penguin. The penguin, named Nils Olav, resides in the Edinburgh Zoo and is the first penguin to hold rank in the Norwegian Army, and now holds the rank of honourable regimental sergeant major. (via Meg)
It's official: penguins don't fall over backwards when aircraft fly overhead. Or at least not when helicopters do; though the test for fixed-wing aircraft has yet to be carried out.