Archive for the ‘Crocodile’ Category

A dangerous reptile sustained injuries after being squashed by a portly circus accountant on a roadtrip in northern Russia on Tuesday.

The two-meter-long crocodile was peacefully snoozing on the floor when the tour bus hit a bump in the road, triggering an unfortunate chain of events that caused a 120-kilogram female passenger to be thrown into the crocodile and said crocodile to vomit for several hours afterward, RIA Novosti reported.

Both reportedly sustained shock and minor injuries. But the crocodile, named Fedya, apparently fared worse than the accountant. He vomited for three hours after the accidental full body slam, though a medical examination found he was clear of any internal injuries, Komsomolskaya Pravda reported.

Fedya had to skip a performance that had been scheduled for later in the evening, however.

The accountant, whose name was withheld, was issued a formal reprimand for neglecting to wear a seat belt.

1. Buford, Wyoming
1 -  Buford
Formerly sporting a bustling population of two, Buford now only has a single resident.

2. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
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The Patch is a basically immobile, gigantic mass of trash out in the middle of the Pacific. Most estimates put its size—composed entirely of plastic bottles, chemical sludge, and basically any other kind of debris you can imagine—larger than the state of Texas. You’d probably rather go to Texas.

3. Alnwick Poison Garden, England
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The Alnwick Poison Garden is pretty much what you’d think it is: a garden full of plants that can kill you (among many other things). Some of the plants are so dangerous that they have to be kept behind bars. It’s not exactly your typical stroll through a botanical garden.

4. Ramree Island, Burma
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Ramree Island may be in the beautiful Burma, but nothing about this place is beautiful. It’s actually just a giant swamp full of thousands of saltwater crocodiles—which are the deadliest in the world—plus mosquitos loaded with malaria, oh, and venomous scorpions. Also, there was a six-week long battle here during WWII, in which only twenty Japanese soliders survived… out of 1000. And most were killed by the wildlife.

5. The Zone of Alienation, Ukraine
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Although you probably wouldn’t want to vacation in Pripyat either, the Zone of Alienation is the 19-mile decommissioned perimeter surrounding the grounds of the Chernobyl incident. It’s administered by a branch of government specifically so that no-one is allowed into it, but there are a few hundred residents who refused to move. What’s wrong with those people? You probably don’t want to know

6. Ilha de Queimada Grande, Brazil
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Sorry to tell you this, but Ilha de Queimada Grande isn’t a fantastical island getaway. It’s actually an island full of thousands of snakes. Its name literally means, “Snake Island.” It has the highest concentration of snakes in the world, with 1-5 golden lanceheads per square meter—oh, and they’re very poisonous: when designs were drawn up to build a plantation on the island, all the scouts were killed.

7. St. Helena
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If you somehow end up in the same place where Napoleon was imprisoned and spent his final days, things are probably going wrong. Oh yeah, and there’s no functioning airport, either. The only way you can get on or off the island is via container ships from South Africa. Which only come every few months.

8. Izu Island, Japan
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The Izus are a group of volcanic islands located off the southern coast of Japan’s Honshu island. They’re technically part of Tokyo, except because they’re extremely volcanic, the air constantly smells of sulfur and residents have been evacuated twice—in 1953 and 2000—because of “dangerously high levels of gas.” Although allowed back in 2005, inhabitants are now required to carry gas masks on their person at all times.

9. Mud Volcanoes of Azerbaijan
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Sure, mud volcanoes aren’t nearly as dangerous as their cousins of the magmatic variety, but when they do actually erupt, it’s not exactly a pretty sight. In 2001, a new island grew out of the Caspian Sea, due to an increase in volcanic activity—right nearby where hundreds of these bad boys are. Generally, they go off every twenty years, and when they do, they shoot flames “hundreds of meters into the sky” and deposit tons of mud into the immediate area.

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/AVvBxP

Duck_chicken_penisRooster

Researchers have now unraveled the genetics behind why most male birds don’t have penises, just published in Current Biology.
[Ana Herrera et al, Developmental Basis of Phallus Reduction During Bird Evolution]

There are almost 10,000 species of birds and only around 3 percent of them have a penis. These include ducks, geese and swans, and large flightless birds like ostriches and emus. In fact, some ducks have helical penises that are longer than their entire bodies. But eagles, flamingos, penguins and albatrosses have completely lost their penises. So have wrens, gulls, cranes, owls, pigeons, hummingbirds and woodpeckers. Chickens still have penises, but barely—they’re tiny nubs that are no good for penetrating anything.

In all of these species, males still fertilise a female’s eggs by sending sperm into her body, but without any penetration. Instead, males and females just mush their genital openings together and he transfers sperm into her in a maneuver called the cloacal kiss.

To get to the root of this puzzle, researchers compared the embryos of chickens and ducks. Both types of birds start to develop a penis. But in chickens, the genital tubercle shrinks before the little guys hatch. And it’s because of a gene called Bmp4.

“There are lots of examples of animal groups that evolved penises, but I can think of only a bare handful that subsequently lost them,” says Diane Kelly from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. “Ornithologists have tied themselves in knots trying to explain why an organ that gives males an obvious selective advantage in so many different animal species disappeared in most birds. But it’s hard to address a question on why something happens when you don’t know much about how it happens.”

That’s where Martin Cohn came in. He wanted to know the how. His team at the University of Florida studies how limbs and genitals develop across the animal kingdom, from the loss of legs in pythons to genital deformities in humans. “In a lab that thinks about genital development, one takes notice when a species that reproduces by internal fertilization lacks a penis,” says graduate student Ana Herrera.

By comparing the embryos of a Pekin duck and a domestic chicken, Herrera and other team members showed that their genitals start developing in the same way. A couple of small swellings fuse together into a stub called the genital tubercle, which gradually gets bigger over the first week or so. (The same process produces a mammal’s penis.)

In ducks, the genital tubercle keeps on growing into a long coiled penis, but in the chicken, it stops around day 9, while it’s still small. Why? Cohn expected to find that chickens are missing some critical molecule. Instead, his team found that all the right penis-growing genes are switched on in the chicken’s tubercle, and its cells are certainly capable of growing.

It never develops a full-blown penis because, at a certain point, its cells start committing mass suicide. This type of ‘programmed cell death’ occurs throughout the living world and helps to carve away unwanted body parts—for example, our hands have fingers because the cells between them die when we’re embryos. For the chicken, it means no penis. “It was surprising to learn that outgrowth fails not due to absence of a critical growth factor, but due to presence of a cell death factor,” says Cohn.

His team confirmed this pattern in other species, including an alligator (crocodilians are the closest living relatives of birds). In the greylag goose, emu and alligator, the tubercle continues growing into a penis, with very little cell death. In the quail, a member of the same order as chickens, the tubercle’s cells also experience a wave of death before the organ can get big.

This wave is driven by a protein called Bmp4, which is produced along the entire length of the chicken’s tubercle, but over much less of the duck’s. When Cohn’s team soaked up this protein, the tubercle’s cells stopped dying and carried on growing. So, it’s entirely possible for a chicken to grow a penis; it’s just that Bmp4 stops this from happening. Conversely, adding extra Bmp protein to a duck tubercle could stop it from growing into its full spiralling glory, forever fixing it as a chicken-esque stub.

Bmp proteins help to control the shape and size of many body parts. They’re behind the loss of wings in soldier ants and teeth of birds. Meanwhile, bats blocked these proteins to expand the membranes between their fingers and evolve wings.

They also affect the genitals of many animals. In ducks and geese, they create the urethra, a groove in the penis that sperm travels down (“If you think about it, that’s like having your urethra melt your penis,” says Kelly.) In mice, getting rid of the proteins that keep Bmp in check leads to tiny penises. Conversely, getting rid of the Bmp proteins leads to a grossly enlarged (and almost tumour-like) penis.

Penises have been lost several times in the evolution of birds. Cohn’s team have only compared two groups—the penis-less galliforms (chickens, quails and pheasants) and the penis-equipped anseriforms (swans, ducks and geese). What about the oldest group of birds—the ratites, like ostriches or emus? All of them have penises except for the kiwis, which lost theirs. And what about the largest bird group, the neoaves, which includes the vast majority of bird species? All of them are penis-less.

Maybe, all of these groups lost their penis in different ways. To find out, Herrera is now looking at how genitals develop in the neoaves. Other teams will no doubt follow suit. “The study will now allow us to more deeply explore other instances of penis loss and reduction in birds, to see whether there is more than one way to lose a penis,” says Patricia Brennan from the University of Massachussetts in Amherst.

And in at least one case, what was lost might have been regained. The cracids—an group of obscure South American galliforms—have penises unlike their chicken relatives. It might have been easy for them to re-evolve these body parts, since the galliforms still have all the genetic machinery for making a penis.

We now know how chickens lost their penises, but we don’t know why a male animal that needs to put sperm inside a female would lose the organ that makes this possible. Cohn’s study hints at one possibility—it could just be a side effect of other bodily changes. Bmp4 and other related proteins are involved in the evolution of many bird body parts, including the transition from scales to feathers, the loss of teeth, and variations in beak size. Perhaps one of these transformations changed the way Bmp4 is used in the genitals and led to shrinking penises.

There are many other possible explanations. Maybe a penis-less bird finds it easier to fly, runs a smaller risk of passing on sexually-transmitted infections, or is better at avoiding predators because he mates more quickly. Females might even be responsible. Male ducks often force themselves upon their females but birds without an obvious phallus can’t do that. They need the female’s cooperation in order to mate. So perhaps females started preferring males with smaller penises, so that they could exert more choice over whom fathered their chicks. Combinations of these explanations may be right, and different answers may apply to different groups.

Thanks to Dr. Lutter for bringing this to the It’s Interesting community.

http://www.oddly-even.com/2013/06/06/how-chickens-lost-their-penises-and-ducks-kept-theirs_/

http://news.yahoo.com/why-did-chicken-lose-penis-165408163.html

naked-man-braves-crocodile-infested-waters-for-bet_582_389
The croc-infested Daly River was up to 9m deep when this man was tackling the flow on a log.

A fisherman risked his life for what he considered a good cause – a bet. He won two cases of bourbon for jumping on to a log racing down a flooded, crocodile-infested river in the nude, riding the makeshift raft for about three minutes before clambering back into a boat.

“I’d enjoyed a few beers and it seemed a good idea at the time,” he said. “We weren’t catching any fish – because the river was flowing too fast – so I thought, ‘Why not?’ “But when I woke up the next morning, it didn’t seem so clever.”

Witness Billy Innes said his friend thought nothing of the dangers of drowning or being eaten by a crocodile. “It was hilarious,” he said.

The daredevil, who asked not to be named, was camping at the Daly River on Sunday when he accepted the bet.

“Huge trees were hammering down the river,” Mr Innes said. “It was quite a sight. Someone dared him to get on to one of the logs and row across the river. We went out in a boat and he jumped overboard on to a tree. He managed to stay on for quite a while before getting back into the boat. He got two cases of Jack Daniels for it – and thought that made it all worthwhile.”

The Daly is one of the Territory big “croc rivers”.

Keith Parry, 20, was killed while swimming across the Daly River in April 2009. He was crossing the river because he wanted more beer.

http://www.ntnews.com.au/article/2013/04/04/319219_ntnews.html

 

A drunk man who climbed into a crocodile enclosure in Australia and attempted to ride a 5m (16ft) long crocodile has survived his encounter.

The crocodile, called Fatso, bit the 36-year-old man’s leg, tearing chunks of flesh from him as he straddled the reptile.

He received surgery to serious wounds to his leg and is recovering in hospital, police say.

He had been chucked out of a pub in the town of Broome for being too drunk.

The man, Michael Newman, climbed over a fence and tried to sit on the 800kg (1,800lb) saltwater crocodile.

“Fatso has taken offence to this and has spun around and bit this man on the right leg,” Sgt Roger Haynes of Broome police told journalists.

“The crocodile has let him go and he’s been able to scale the fence again and leave the wildlife park.”

Malcolm Douglas, the park’s owner, said that the crocodile was capable of crushing a man to death with a single bite.

“The man who climbed the fence was fortunate because Fatso was a bit more sluggish than normal, due to the cooler nights we have been experiencing in Broome,” said Mr Douglas.

“If it had been warmer and Fatso was more alert, we would have been dealing with a fatality.”

“No person in their right mind would try to sit on a 5m crocodile, Saltwater crocodiles, once they get hold of you, are not renowned for letting you go.”

The man staggered back to the pub bleeding heavily.

Pub manager Mark Phillips said staff told him that the man reappeared at about 11pm with bits of bark hanging off him and flesh gouged out of his limbs.

“They said he had chunks out of his legs and things like that,” Mr Phillips told The West Australian news website.

An average of two people are killed each year in Australia by aggressive saltwater crocodiles, which can grow up to 7m (23 ft) long and weigh more than a tonne.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10611973

 

 

Mao Sugiyama, a self-described “asexual” from Tokyo, cooked up, seasoned and served his own genitalia to five diners at a swanky banquet in Japan last month, Calorie Lab reported.

In most cases, “asexual” is a word used to describe a person who is non-sexual. Sugiyama, however, embraces it as a way to show that he does not affiliate with either gender.

Sugiyama sparked a firestorm of interest on April 8 with one tweet:

“[Please retweet] I am offering my male genitals (full penis, testes, scrotum) as a meal for 100,000 yen …Will prepare and cook as the buyer requests, at his chosen location.”

Just days after Sugiyama’s 22nd birthday, the artist underwent elective genital-removal surgery, divvied up the severed penis shaft, testicles, and scrotal skin between five people, and garnished it with button mushrooms and Italian parsley.

On April 13, five of six diners who signed up for the $250-a-plate feast, sat down to dinner. The sixth person was a no-show.

The next day, an organizer posted a blog — subsequently deleted — containing pictures of the event. Images showed dozens of people who attended the event just to catch a glimpse of the rare treat.

The extra diners were served crocodile-based dishes while Sugiyama cooked up the exclusive meal.

The story went viral in Japan. Some showed even more interest, while others complained. But Calorie Lab called Japanese authorities, who deemed the banquet legal because there is no law against cannibalism in the country.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/asexual-mao-sugiyama-cooks-serves-own-genitals_n_1543307.html#s=1018957

Thanks Ellen, for bringing this to the attention of the It’s Interesting community.

Monster Crocodile

Posted: September 7, 2011 in Crocodile

 

Wildlife authorities in the Philippines have captured a 21-foot-long, 2,370-pound saltwater crocodile, thought to be the largest creature of its kind now in captivity.

The croc was captured in Agusan del Sur marsh on the southern Philippine island of Mindinao.  Hunters had been trying to capture it for 21 days, using meat as bait and an 8 mm cable to snare it.

Edwin Cox Elorde, mayor of the remote town of  Bunawan near where the croc was caught, said the reptile will become the star of a nature park there.

They believe that an even bigger crocodile is still at large in the same area.

The previous largest crocodile in captivity is an 18-footer in Australia, according to Guinness World Records.

 

http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/nation/regions/09/06/11/bigger-monster-croc-still-large-agusan