Northern Territory News, usually famous for a daily diet of crocodile stories and close to Weekly World News for credibility, has unleashed a new horror on the world: the five-legged cane toad. Cane toads are already a serious pest in Australia: released into the wild in the 1930s to protect sugar cane against a beetle, they’ve …
To the Intelligent Design crowd...
Toad ya so!
Nah, not yet....
Simple mutation is no problem to ID'ers. When it 'evolves' into a cat or a giraffe or a giraffocat (basically, a creature which it isn't), then there'll be a problem to explain.
It's about the difference between changing data and new data.
Evolution in action
Explosion of new toad layouts, just like the Cambrian Explosion.
This kind of thing happens every time a species or group of species suddenly loses most of the predators that used to cull the weaklings - loads of mutations make it through the sieve, and after a while some of them may become common as the 'fitter' variants in the new environment.
For example, extra arms might mean you can hang onto a mate better - or throw off the competition while still holding on.
The hand of Jobs?
Is this some kind of viral ad campaign for the iPhone 5, touting superior multitouch capabilities perhaps?
because they’re poisonous, killing any predator that’s stupid enough to eat them.
Actually, not quite… some of the local crows and magpies have figured out that if you flip a cane toad on its back and attack the belly, a relatively safe meal can be had.
Is that the exploding toads?
I seem to remember something about eating liver and bursting.
Planted? Sounds familiar.
Honestly, how much of the "everything here is trying to murder you" reputation of the Australia is caused by original wildlife, and how much of it is caused by imported vermin?
Also, "New South Walks"? Typo, or nickname?
Re: Planted? Sounds familiar.
Typo - or slip of the brain. Now fixed - and thanks to everyone for the catch.
How much caused by the imported vermin
The imported vermin is by and large just a nuisance. Mice, rats, cats, foxes - even cane toads. While cane toads are poisonous to eat, they don't outright attack you.
The native wildlife is another matter entirely. For example redbacks and funnelweb spiders will attack you without provocation, just because they don't like the colour of the shirt you're wearing. Both will send you to hospital pretty fucking smartly, although there have been no deaths for a few decades because people here act on a bite right away.
Yellow-belly black snakes and brown snakes aren't quite so aggressive, but they'll definitely let you know if you've stepped on them, by sending you to the hospital with some choice neurotoxin in your veins. That their hunting method generally involves them looking like fallen branches until something steps on them doesn't help matters.
Cassowaries will simply gut you like a hogtied pig with the spurs on their feet if they don't like the look of you. There's usually no surviving a cassowary attack, because they're pretty efficient at removing all your innards.
Crocodiles: In Australia, these fucking 40-foot monsters are the last surviving remnants of the Jurassic. Want to see what dinosaurs looked like IRL? Take a trip to the Northern Territory.
Box jellyfish, blue-ringed octopi, cone snails, stonefish, stingrays, white pointers. Yeah, the sea ain't safe either. The first four of those will kill you in SECONDS, stingrays enjoy giving you open heart surgery a la Steve Irwin, and white pointers - well, Jaws is a pretty good indicator of what happens there.
Don't forget the drop-bears. Those bastards will kill you as soon as look at you. They might look cute and cuddly in the tourist mugshots, but those cute koalas you see in the petting zoos and national parks are the specially trained tame ones. Koalas in the wild are damn vicious beasts that will attack even a roo without hesitation. They've made bloody, mangled messes of more than a few unwary tourists out hiking the outback, who made the mistake of thinking that cute = friendly.
So yeah, most of our native wildlife is pretty nasty. It's probably what inspired Harry Harrison to write his "Deathworld" series. Just be careful what you step on, look up at the trees before you walk under them and always check the toilet seat before you sit down. ;)
So it has got the extra leg
When will it sprout the extra head, and develop into a new species which has to be named
Clearly a response to the global economic downturn - French restaurants will now be able to get an additional serving from each one! That should catch the critics on the hop...
Okay, okay, I'll get mine...
Its a Pentoad....
Most of the whipper-snappers on this site won't understand that pun!
Mine is the one with a pair of EL34s in the pocket.
..which would explain why it has amplified so much in the last 60 years.
If so it shouldn't be an 'EL' but a 'KT ' for Kane Toad
yes, already got coat in hand, I'll hop off.
I for one....
....welcome our cane toad devouring overlords and whatever we introduce to then get rid of them.
Sure thius isn't just product placement for
Where's the IT angle?
Oh wait a minute. The fifth leg meight be required for tweeting its mate to migrate southwards and westwards!
And promote the latest Ipad in the bargain! What a timely epiphany !
Now I get it!
Many-toed toads in literature
The article goes out of its way for puns, which is great, but I don't get the "Orwellian twist." I could understand William S. Burroughs, but how would a pent-a-toad fit into "Animal Farm?"
Four legs good, five legs better
... are you sure, or was there a small child present who wasn't already up on the facts of life?
All glory to the hypnotoad
All glory to the hypnotoad
You're doing it wro - ALL GLORY TO THE HYPNOTOAD
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