Monday, June 6, 2011

Evil Animals


Time Magazine recently released a ranking of the "Top 10 Evil Animals," declaring that "cute animal clips have taken over the Internet. But not every creature deserves a video montage. TIME looks at animals that are troublesome to mankind." I have provided my own brief summaries of each below:

10. Asian Carp: Invasive. Destroy ecosystems. Leap into the air and batter fishermen.

9. Emerald Ash Borers: Invasive. Eat ash trees. USDA has declared war on them by releasing their natural enemy - the dreaded stingless wasp.

8. Pandas: "WTWWF!? ('What the World Wildlife Federation!?'), PANDA'S!?!?" you say? I won't even try to summarize this one. I do not wish the ire of charismatic megafaunites everywhere to be cast upon me. 

7. Tapeworms: Self-explanatory. And gross.

6. Dingos: Baby-eaters that lead to wrongful convictions of parents.

5. Locusts: Think Yul Brynner and "So let it be written! So let it be done!!"

4. Tsetse Flies: Causes "human sleeping sickness." Reports I saw on TV in the early 1990's had me convinced they would eventually make their way to south Alabama and turn me into a zombie. Thanks for letting me watch the national news at age 11 mom.

3. Rats: No surprise here. Anything this common that also leads to the "Black Death" cannot be good. 

2. Humans: Hey, we made the list! And near the top too. Time says it best: "Concentration camps. War crimes. Genocide. The Crusades. Al-Qaeda. The specter of nuclear armageddon. Torture and rape as tools of systemic violence. Avarice. Jealousy. Sub-prime mortgages. What more evidence do you need of Homo sapiens' innate propensity to inflict ill upon the world and themselves?"

1. Bedbugs: Still not sure I wouldn't have swapped #1 and #2, but oh well. I guess it makes sense when you consider that humans cannot produce 10,000 babies in three months and drink three times their body weight in blood during a single feeding.

- Blake Hudson

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May I suggest another evil animal? Zombifying Fungus. From Wired Magazine:

"These fungi control ant behavior with mind-altering chemicals, then kill them. They're part of a large family of fungi that create chemicals that mess with animal nervous systems."

"Once infected by spores, the worker ants, normally dedicated to serving the colony, leave the nest, find a small shrub and start climbing. The fungi directs all ants to the same kind of leaf: about 25 centimeters above the ground and at a precise angle to the sun (though the favored angle varies between fungi)."

"Before dying, ants anchor themselves to the leaf, clamping their jaws on the edge or a vein on the underside. The fungi then takes over, turning the ant's body into a spore-producing factory. It lives off the ant carcass, using it as a platform to launch spores, for up to a year."

Too creepy for words.

Posted by: aj | Jun 7, 2011 3:13:15 PM

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