Archive for the ‘VULTURES & ZOMBIES’ Category

Parasite Turns Shrimp Into Voracious Cannibals

20/03/2015

Parasites

Parasites can play an important role in driving cannibalism, according to a new research which looked at cannibalism among freshwater shrimp in Northern Ireland.

Researchers from the University of Leeds, Queen’s University Belfast and Stellenbosch University in South Africa found a tiny parasite, Pleistophora mulleri, not only significantly increased cannibalism among the indigenous shrimp Gammarus duebeni celticus but made infected shrimp more voracious, taking much less time to consume their victims.
Dr Alison Dunn, Reader in Evolutionary Biology in the University of Leeds’ Faculty of Biological Sciences, who led the study, said: “Cannibalism is actually fairly common in nature. Our work is the first study to ask if cannibalism is affected by being parasitised.”
The research, published in Royal Society Open Science today, reports that although consumption of juveniles by adults is a normal feature of the shrimp’s feeding patterns, shrimp infected with the parasite ate twice as much of their own kind as uninfected animals.
The zombie like shrimp attacked the juveniles more often and consumed them more quickly than did uninfected shrimp. 
Mandy Bunke, a PhD student at the University of Leeds who was the key researcher on the study, said: “Although the parasite is tiny—similar in size to a human red blood cell—there are millions of them in the host muscle and they all rely on the host for food. This increased demand for food by the parasites may drive the host to be more cannibalistic.”
Dr Dunn added: “The parasite is quite debilitating. It takes over huge areas of the muscle, so instead of a nice transparent shrimp you get quite a chalky appearance because of muscles packed with the parasite.  Interestingly, our group has also found previously that infected shrimp may be able to catch and eat less prey of other animal species. Perhaps cannibalism of smaller shrimp is the only way these sick animals can survive.”
The latest study also found that uninfected adult shrimp were less likely to cannibalize infected juvenile shrimp than uninfected juveniles.
Dr Dunn said: “The parasite is passed to its new host either when it dies and is eaten by another shrimp, or when one shrimp cannibalises another.  But we observed that uninfected shrimp avoid parasitised food and that is good for the shrimp as it means that they can obtain food through cannibalism but still avoid parasitic infection.  Infected shrimp don’t avoid infected juveniles. They consume infected and uninfected juveniles. This may be is because they are more hungry or because they are already infected so there is no incentive to avoid eating infected juveniles.”
Dr Dunn said: “Our research does not suggest any link between parasites and human cannibalism. There is evidence that parasites can affect human behaviour. A study led by Dr Glenn McConkey, also of the University of Leeds Faculty of Biological Sciences, has shown that the parasite Toxoplasma gondii directly affects the chemistry of the human brain. However, cannibalism for the shrimp, unlike in humans, is a significant source of food even in uninfected animals. It seems unlikely that a parasite would be under evolutionary pressure to influence cannibalism in humans.”
However, the study is important to understanding the extent of parasites’ influence on biological systems. The Gammarus duebeni celticus, the subject of the study, is being replaced in Irish waterways by the invasive species Gammarus pulex, which is native to Great Britain. The Open Science study suggests that the parasite Pleistophora mulleri may be playing a role in weakening Gammarus duebeni’s resistance.

Dead Man Walking

10/06/2013

Mental disease convinced sufferer he was one of the living dead

return of living dead posterA man suffering from a rare condition that caused him to think he was dead has spoken about the experience of being a “zombie“.

The man, identified only as Graham, told New Scientist magazine about his fight against Cotard’s syndrome, or walking corpse syndrome, which causes people to believe they are dead, do not exist or have lost parts of their body.

Graham said he believed his brain had died after he tried to kill himself with an electrical appliance in the bath.

“I just felt like my brain didn’t exist any more. I kept on telling the doctors that the tablets weren’t going to do me any good because I didn’t have a brain. I’d fried it in the bath,” he said.

I just got annoyed. I didn’t know how I could speak or do anything with no brain, but as far as I was concerned, I hadn’t got one.”

He said he lost his sense of smell and taste and believed he did not need to eat because of his condition. He added that he spent time in the graveyard because this was “the closest I could get to death“.

Savage Henry People with Cotard’s syndrome sometimes die of starvation because they think they do not need to eat; others have tried to destroy themselves with acid. The mental illness tends to occur in people suffering from depression.

It was first identified in 1980 by French doctor Jules Cotard. He presented a patient named Mademoiselle X who said that several of her body parts did not exist. She believed she had been eternally damned so she could not die naturally and eventually starved herself to death.

Vegetative states

Graham’s brother and carers looked after him, ensuring he ate and cared for himself, but he continued to feel dead and lacked interest in life: “I never had anything to say. I didn’t even really have any thoughts. Everything was meaningless.

“I had no other option other than to accept the fact that I had no way to actually die. It was a nightmare.”

He was treated by neurologists Adam Zeman and Steven Laureys. His brain scan showed that metabolic activity in large parts of the frontal and parietal brain regions were as low as those seen in patients in vegetative states. Laureys said: “I’ve been analysing Pet scans for 15 years and I’ve never seen anyone who was on his feet, who was interacting with people, with such an abnormal scan result.

“Graham’s brain function resembles that of someone during anaesthesia or sleep. Seeing this pattern in someone who is awake is unique to my knowledge.” The doctors found some of the areas affected were those vital to consciousness and the ability to think, create a sense of self and recollect the past.

Zeman added: “It seems plausible that the reduced metabolism was giving him this altered experience of the world, and affecting his ability to reason about it.”

zombieGraham has almost returned to normal and is able to live independently. “I feel a lot better now and go out and do things around the house. I don’t feel that braindead any more. Things just feel a bit bizarre sometimes.”

Another Day Another VULTURE Story!

24/05/2013

Griffon Vulture Attacking WolfThe body of a 52-year-old woman who fell to her death in the Pyrenees was devoured by Griffon vultures before emergency services were able to retrieve it.

Furious locals are demanding that authorities take action against the endangered carrion-eaters after they left only the woman’s bones, clothes and shoes for burial.

Farmers want to be given the right to shoot the protected birds, which have reportedly also begun attacking live animals since a European edict that dead livestock must not be left in the fields.

The campaign is gathering pace after the latest incident, in which a woman slipped and fell down a 1,000ft slope on the Pic de Pista after taking a short cut while walking with two friends, they believed the woman died in the fall, but added that there was little left of her by the time a search party found her body.

Vulture Logo‘When we first went out in the helicopter looking for the body, we saw numerous vultures without realising what they were doing,’ he said.

‘There were only bones, clothes and shoes left on the ground, They took 40 to 50 minutes to eat the body.’

For centuries, the Pyrenean farmers lived in symbiotic harmony with the griffon vulture. Wheeling over their flocks and fields, the birds were seen as neither a threat nor even a nuisance, but as a vital part of the ecosystem.

When farmers had to dispose of a dead animal, they would simply take it to one of hundreds of carcass dumps scattered across the moutains where the scavengers gathered to do their work. But now, after an EC ruling that dead animals must be burned due to the danger of BSE transmission, the vultures’ food supply has been critically lowered and they have been forced to spread further afield.

This has critically lowered the food availability of the scavenging birds.

Griffon Vulture Attacking A FoxLike other vultures, the Griffon is a scavenger, feeding mostly on carcasses of dead animals which it finds by soaring over open areas, often moving in flocks. The maximum lifespan recorded for a specimen kept in captivity is 41.4 years.

Fear of vultures has been growing in recent years as they have spread from their mountain eyries.

French news weekly Le Nouvel Observateur, in 2007 reported of ‘Mutant Vultures‘, with one woman saying that a group of the birds, whose wingspans can exceed seven feet, gathered menacingly near to where her children were sitting.

One farmer, Alain Larralde, said he saw a group of vultures attack and start eating an adult cow. There have been reports of live animals carried off.

‘You can’t imagine what it is like to see an animal eaten alive.

tropic thunder Jeff Portnoy I'm gonna bite his hideTropic Thunder (2008)

Jeff Portnoy: “I’m gonna bite his hide. I need… I need to wear his stomach skin like a unitard.”

Frozen Vulture Falls From The Sky

06/05/2013

Frozen Vulture

A frozen turkey vulture fell out of the South Dakota skies on Tuesday – after its wings become iced over as it was flying through a severe blizzard.

The unfortunate bird landed with a thud on the porch of Sioux Falls pastor Adam Weber, sat straight upright and then made to hide under a table on the decking. ‘My wife was making breakfast, and she suddenly yelled, “Adam! A large bird just fell out of the sky!

Officials with the service told Weber that they couldn’t offer any real assistance and that he should monitor the bird.

‘I felt bad for the guy, I really did, ‘I hope he’s alright.’

The Animal Control Officer said numerous people have been complaining about the presence of the birds, as her office received more than 20 reports between Monday and Thursday alone. ‘Everybody in the world is calling them in,’ she said. ‘People are creeped out.’

A Sioux Falls Animal Control officer told the Argus Leader that when wild birds are covered with ice, they are unable to roost in trees and will stay on the ground until they thaw out and storms pass.

Incredibly, this wasn’t the first frosty bird to land on Weber’s house. A second turkey vulture fell from the sky onto his roof, but hasn’t moved and appears to be dead.

The area has suffered extreme weather over the past week – with heavy snow fall causing disruption to the whole state. Turkey vultures regularly migrate from Canada and the north of the USA to South America – sometimes hundreds of thousands of them fly at the same time – in one of natures great sights.

Vultures to Restore a Human Ritual of Death

03/12/2012

Mumbai Vultures Feeding

MUMBAI, India — Fifteen years after vultures disappeared from Mumbai’s skies, the Parsi community here intends to build two aviaries at one of its most sacred sites so that the giant scavengers can once again devour human corpses.

Construction is scheduled to begin as soon as April, If all goes as planned, vultures may again consume the Parsi dead by January 2014.

“Without the vultures, more and more Parsis are choosing to be cremated,” Mr. Mehta said. “I have to bring back the vultures so the system is working again, especially during the monsoon.”

The plan is the result of six years of negotiations between Parsi leaders and the Indian government to revive a centuries-old practice that seeks to protect the ancient elements — Air, Earth, Fire and Water — from being polluted by either burial or cremation. And along the way, both sides hope the effort will contribute to the revival of two species of vulture that are nearing extinction.

Most vulture aviaries have to spend huge sums to buy meat, but for us that’s free because the vultures will be feeding on human bodies — on us

Vulture tower of silence

Fewer than 70,000 Parsis remain, most of them concentrated in Mumbai, formerly known as Bombay, where they collectively own prime real estate that was purchased centuries ago. Among the most valuable of these holdings are 54 acres of trees and winding pathways on Malabar Hill, one of Mumbai’s most exclusive neighborhoods. Tucked into these acres are three Towers of Silence where Parsis have for centuries disposed of their dead.

The stone towers are open-air auditoriums containing three concentric rings of marble slabs — an outer ring for dead men, middle ring for deceased women and inner ring for dead children. For centuries, bodies left on the slabs were consumed within hours by neighborhood vultures, with the bones left in a central catchment to leach into the soil.

India once had as many as 400 million vultures, a vast population that thrived because the nation has one of the largest livestock populations in the world but forbids cattle slaughter. When cows died, they were immediately set upon by flocks of vultures that left behind skin for leather merchants and bones for bone collectors. As recently as the 1980s, even the smallest villages often had thousands of vulture residents.

Vulture Quotations

15/06/2012

John Gay (30 June 1685 – 4 December 1732)

“Lions, wolves, and vultures don’t live together in herds, droves or flocks. Of all animals of prey, man is the only sociable one. Every one of us preys upon his neighbor, and yet we herd together.”

Amy Lawrence Lowell (February 9, 1874 – May 12, 1925)

“Hate is ravening vulture beaks descending on a place of skulls.”

W. Somerset Maugham (25 January 1874 – 16 December 1965)

“In the country the darkness of night is friendly and familiar, but in a city, with its blaze of lights, it is unnatural, hostile and menacing. It is like a monstrous vulture that hovers, biding its time.”

Vulture: Cancer Survivors

11/05/2012

TWO vultures who made a full recovery from cancer could be circling above participants in a charity run next month.

But there is no danger of these birds of prey picking off the stragglers in the inaugural Billericay Race for Life, in aid of Cancer Research UK. Instead organisers hope the participation of cancer survivors Gonzo and Mr Lurky, who are based at the Imperial Bird of Prey Academy in Barleylands, will help boost the fundraising efforts of the thousands of women running the course at the same venue.

Academy owner Nigel King said: “Because they’ve both had cancer, and both recovered, we thought it was quite apt and quite fitting for them to take part.

“It’s not just humans that get cancer and, because it’s such a novel thing to have two vultures in the race, we thought we would be able to raise quite a lot of money for the charity.

“It’s just something a bit different.”

Gonzo, a six-year-old hooded vulture, had cancer of the preen gland – the gland at the base of the tail that secretes oil for preening – two years ago.

An operation to remove the tumour left him without a tail and the bottom two vertebrae of his spine.

Mr Lurky, a 17-year-old turkey vulture, had a rare form of skin cancer on his face leaving him with only part of a nostril.

Weighing about 4lbs each, the vultures will take part in the race, either on the arm of a handler, walking with the other runners or flying overhead – it could take them less than three minutes to fly the 5km course.

Vulture Sky Burials Abandoned As Bodies Pile Up

16/09/2011

The corpses are piled three-deep at Jiegu’s Tibetan Buddhist monastery, perched on the mountain above the earthquake-ravaged town. “More than a thousand bodies were brought here,” said Ge Laidanzeng, a 20-year-old Tibetan lama at the monastery. By the side of the monastery, a bright yellow hall open to the air on one side and painted with pink lotuses, was filled with corpses.

Normally used for mass rituals, this hall was the only place large enough to hold so many dead. “Three hundred have been claimed by relatives, the others we will take care of,” said the young monk. As he spoke, a family clambered over the pile of bodies, each shrouded in cotton or tarpaulin, eventually claiming their dead mother and loading her body into a minivan.

Traditionally, the dead would be given sky burials, their bodies dismembered and then scattered on the top of the mountain for the vultures to eat. “We cannot do this for them,” said Ge. “There are too many for the vultures to eat.” Instead, the dead will be cremated on Saturday after a prayer service by the head of the Aka monastery, a Living Buddha.

The number of bodies at the Jiegu monastery contradicts the official death toll from Wednesday’s quakes, the largest of which measured 7.1 magnitude, according to the China Earthquake bureau.

On Friday, the official death toll climbed to 760, with a further 243 people missing and 1,174 severely injured. “I believe at least 10,000 were killed,” said Ge. “There are four other monasteries collecting the dead and they are the same as us,” he said. “Then there are all the people still buried. The government is playing down the figures.”

In residential parts of Jiegu, some survivors were being pulled out of the rubble on Friday, three days after the quake struck. But they were hugely outnumbered by corpses. “We got here today and immediately started digging,” said Zhayierjilang, a monk from Gansi. “So far, all we have found are bodies though.” Behind him, Chinese soldiers held up a deer’s head and a belt of bullets they had unearthed in the rubble.

Vultures: On The Sniff

01/07/2011

A revolutionary German plan to use vultures to find missing corpses appears to have crash-landed after trainers behind the project admitted that the feathered sleuths showed little interest in helping police with their inquiries and the birds preferred to walk rather than fly, they spent a lot of time fighting each other, and could not tell the difference between human and animal remains.

It was hoped that the vultures would help police track the thousands of persons reported missing each year. Commissioner Rainer Hermann said “The vultures could be much more efficient than tracker dogs, the birds can spot a mouse in a forest from 3,300ft.”

Hermann used the bird park’s fully grown turkey vulture, Sherlock, and imported two seven-week-old vulture chicks called Miss Marple and Columbo from a zoo in the Austrian province of Carinthia.

A cloth used to swathe corpses was donated by a funeral parlour and used to train the birds. The idea was to eventually equip the vultures with sophisticated tracking devices so that police could instantly spot their whereabouts from patrol cars.

Mr Freundlieb said that Sherlock was fully able to locate the funeral parlour’s pungent cloth which had been placed at a spot marked with a yellow plastic cup. The only problem, Mr Freundlieb admitted, was that nowadays the vulture preferred to walk rather than fly to his quarry.

German Alonso, another of the bird park’s vulture trainers, conceded that Sherlock not only had difficulty in distinguishing between human corpses and dead animals, but was also too frightened to leave the surroundings of the bird park. “The bird is naturally anxious and he would either hide in the woods or bolt,”.

The two young Carinthian vultures were an ever bigger disappointment. There had been high hopes that Columbo and Miss Marple would learn the tricks of corpse-tracking from Sherlock. But after a year, such initial optimism has proven misplaced. “The two young ones can’t do anything besides fight with each other,”

Vultures Vs Humans…

17/05/2011

“If I Was A Vulture I Would Be Dead”

While doing my normal rounds i happened to lock socket on the terrible news of a pill popping culture of a drug fueled vulture and how feeding on contaminated flesh is pushing their species towards extinction.

vultures in india and Nepal are being kicked to the ends of extinction by feeding off the carcasses of dead cattle that have been treated with diclofenac, a anti-inflammatory medicine manufactured for human use, i myself have been taking this vulture killer to rid my skeleton of lower spinal pain so it’s lucky for me the only thing i have in common with these over sized scavengers is i like eating MEAT.

A ban on the veterinary use of Diclofenac appears to be preventing vultures from being poisoned

Many vultures have been killed by eating livestock carcasses that were contaminated with the drug. The crash in vulture populations was so severe that the three endemic species are now threatened with extinction. The governments of India and Nepal banned the use of diclofenac for livestock in 2006.

But by this time the oriental white-backed vulture population had crashed by 99.9% and populations of the long-billed vulture and slender-billed vulture had fallen by about 97%.

The researchers set out to assess the effectiveness of the ban by measuring the concentration of the drug in livestock carcasses. They took samples from the livers of 5,000 cattle carcasses.

In animal carcasses that were contaminated, the concentration of the drug was significantly lower. But, according to the RSPB, which helped fund the research, diclofenac manufactured for human use is still being used in India to treat cattle.

“Diclofenac use must be virtually eliminated if vulture populations are to recover. The drug, an anti-inflammatory, is used to reduce pain and swelling in injured and diseased cattle. For religious reasons, it is not the practice in India to kill dying cattle to relieve their suffering. So owners give the painkiller to cattle and buffaloes when they are very close to death. Only then is there enough diclofenac left in the tissues of the dead animal to kill vultures

Inner Sustenance: Zombies Laid Bare

01/04/2011

It is a well-known fact that a large majority of the world’s population enjoys eating the meat of another species but why and what is it that makes zombies lust for the inner delights of what used to be their own kind? what takes over the general functions of the so-called walking dead and sets their sights solely on hunting human BRAINS? Well there is a festering amount of misinformation floating around concerning the matter in hand but hopefully after this slight insight i put forth all your questions will be answered.

Humans are turned into zombies by a Virus/Parasite or coming into contact with a batch of toxic waste, your classic zombie will only eat a part of the human brain this helps spread the infection by making the person who it is feeding upon also become a zombie, this means you can rule out zombies eating brains for hunger purposes and shows they do this to help multiply their own kind, but let’s get things straight not all zombies eat brains for the same reasons

To prove this i have located a video of Tar Man from the 1985 classic Return Of The Living Dead In this zombies eat brains because it hurts to be dead and they can feel their bodies rotting, you can view this statement in the second video, the first video highlights the blatant disregard zombies hold for living things, as you can see he only has one thing on the remains of his mind!

“They can feel their bodies rotting”

“The Zombie Life Cycle”

Humans eat Birds, Birds eat Zombies, Zombies eat Humans

You could add humans eat humans to this cycle but that my friend is called cannibalism and i will leave that for another time.

birds eating zombies? well vultures eat CARRION and carrion is “dead and rotting flesh” which makes up around 80% of your standard zombie, so that can be thrown down as a legitimate fact and proves my zombie life cycle to be accurate. Now for an overdose of raw musical brain intake, i leave you with The Misfits: Braineaters

Zombie Ants

09/03/2011

Scientists have discovered the existence of 4 separate species of what is coined “zombie fungus” in rainforests in Brazil.

This so-called zombie or brain-manipulating fungus alters the behaviour of the ant host taking over its body and releasing chemicals that overhauls the brain of the ant and controls them in such a way that it forces them to leave their colonies and relocate somewhere that is better suited for the fungus to survive.

The final stage of this parasitic death sentence is particularly grim, the fungus will guide the infected ant to a leaf and lock their mandibles in a death grip around the central vein, immobilising themselves and locking the fungus in position. Once the host has died, the fungus sprouts out from inside of the ants head and produces a pod of spores, which are then dropped on to the forest floor in the dead of night.

Although this sounds like the twisted plot from a straight to DVD b-style horror movie, “a fungus slowly turns host creatures into zombies before killing them off. The Parasites are a reality and they are destroying colonies of ants in the Amazonian rainforest at a staggering rate.

FULL ARTICLE

Vulture Culture

09/01/2011

‘Zionist Spy Vulture’ to be freed

Common sense has prevailed in Saudi Arabia. Officials say a vulture caught there last week is on balance not an Israeli spy after all. The vulture’s capture was widely reported in middle eastern media claiming GPS equipment found on the animal and a ring marker labelled ‘Tel Aviv University’ were signs of a zionist plot.

A vulture is freed in the Israeli southern Neguev Desert (Pic:Getty)

 The claims prompted exasperated Israeli officials to break their vow of omerta on all things related to the Israeli intelligence service. The Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem told Sky News the claims were the product of the feverish imagination of people who should get out more, in not so many words.

Link to article

Titan Arum

29/10/2010

The titan arum or Amorphophallus titanum is a flowering plant with the largest unbranched inflorescence in the world. It thrives at the edges of rainforests near open grasslands. Due to its odor, which is reminiscent of the smell of a decomposing mammal,the titan arum is also known as a carrion flower,(carrion = Dead and decaying flesh) the Corpse flower or Corpse plant

Zombie Nation………

02/07/2010

After a prolonged absence from Mr Rasklart he has popped up with a picture post displaying many faces from Sunderland’s established members, ( refer to post below) It was not untill i locked socket on the last j-peg i noticed something quite strange, an unfamiliar character, a strange face, a pigeon amongst the peacocks.

It’s now 2.30am or more commonly known as “Bastard o’ clock, and im sitting here putting my insomniac ways to work as i know ive seen this person before.

God damn ive got it and by the look of the picture byers has it aswell. It would be impossible to pull a face like that unless you knew the truth.

Without doubt This is a serious case of full-blown shock horror, Dont panic though it’s only the one and only local disco dancing extraordinaire.

“Darren e Jackson

Can it be after all this time my brain was not actually playing tricks on me and the dead do in fact walk the street?

Sir Glen Danzig knew what was happening and it’s only now i realise he was trying to warn us of their unnatural movements. London Dungeon makes perfect sence ” they called us walking corpses unholy living dead”

Are you safe? i think not my friend your only a clutch away from his festering palm.

£20 Bag Of Vulture Brains….

09/06/2010
Not sure if you have been following the news but this one has to be posted up.

South africa’s vultures are being pushed into extinction by gamblers who belive smoking their dried brain or wearing a newly decapitated vulture head can grant one the ability to see into the future.

While British fans study the form book and the back pages, some South Africans believe the “muti” magic will help them predict football match results. And they are hoping the World Cup will be a great opportunity for a big win.

Conservationists fear the birds, which are already facing global extinction, will be further threatened by the superstition.

 “The harvesting of the bird’s heads by followers of muti magic is an additional threat these birds can’t endure.”

 Within half a century, the Cape vulture could become extinct in some parts of South Africa because of this “so-called ‘traditional’ use” of the bird.

“In the worst case, the Cape vulture could be suffering population collapse within 12 years,”

There are 841 species of birds recorded in South Africa but 39 of these are considered threatened with global extinction. Conservationists say most vultures killed for muti magic are poisoned with aldicarb, which is also lethal to humans.

Link To Article