I saw this in the Metro this morning but the Telegraph article is virtually the same:
Rooks have been spotted swooping on to the tracks at Exeter St David’s railway station in Devon and placing their wings over the smoke to collect the fumes underneath.
Hee. It’s no news that rooks, ravens and crows are the intellectual heavyweights of the bird world. Crows especially are innovative tool users. Smoking out parasites seems to be a pretty clever trick – if indeed that’s what this one is doing. Of course, it could just be a delinquent juvenile having a sneaky puff. If it starts to bring its mates along I’ll be really impressed.
Apparently so, because there are a number of bug posts on this blog.
Via Grow-A-Brain, a video of the amazing Megalopyge opercularis, a moth so fuzzy and furry I squealed a little at how cute it was. Of course, that fuzz is out to get you, as the “fur” is actually venom-carrying prickles that’ll have you scratchiing at best and in palpitations at worst should you try and touch it. Big fluffy spiders like Avicularia versicolor (11th down) also induce my “oh, FUZZY” reaction and irritate the skin similarly.
I am a huge fan of lepidoptera, especially moths. Here’s some good photos of the big New Zealand Puriri Moth, including one getting nabbed by a morepork. Ah, the food chain.
Went to Natural History Museum today. Disappointed like a seven year old when realised the new ANIMATRONIC DINOSAURS weren’t on show until the weekend. Was also annoyed by the dustiness and not-working lihgts in the gemstone collection. Consoled self with the zen of watching the leaf-cutter ants. Now you can too.
I used to be one of those annoying girly types who hated bugs. I still am phobic about ants en masse, but this can be tied to my dreadful teenage habit of leaving glasses of sweet drinks by the bed, and one day waking up to nearly swallow a mouthful of ant picnic. I also don't like wasps and hornets but that's cos I'm a bit allergic to them.
But other bugs are COOL. A weta once ran across my keyboard in the office I had at UoA; I like to think it was intellectually curious. One of my favourite places in London is the Syon Park Butterfly House (sadly under threat). I bore people silly with those bee-displays at the zoo, going WAGGLE DANCE! WAGGLE DANCE! and the tarantulas at London Zoo are of the awesome.
So, Pestival! I imagine no-one I know will fancy accompanying me, but BUGS. Also, Zac Goldsmith is the patron. It's not right that he's hot.