"airborne murine drug-zombie"
Excellent, made my morning.
Wonder how many grammar Nazis will be trotting out the "It's mArine you thickos..."
The United States military is waging war in the Pacific on invading jungle snakes - by dropping dead mice stuffed with household headache remedies on them from helicopters. Zombie mouse paratrooper in the War On Snakes. Credit: Peter Savarie/USGS In you go, Fluffy Stars and Stripes reports on the airborne murine drug- …
No the mice doesn't have to be alive, hence why you can buy frozen chicks \ pinkies \ mice for warming up and feeding to your pet snake or reptile. In the UK theres legislation that prevents you from feeding live food to your pet snake \ reptile unless its a last resort and plenty of people keep them as pets!
I thought that this only pertained to feeding live vertebrates, but seeming not so at all. A quick Google there is no such law, though there are laws surrounding duty of care to animals, and there is also the issue that prey animals can cause significant injury to a pet in the process of being consumed. Even for those that don't consider feeding using live animals cruel, there is always the consideration that you don't want your pet to become injured by its dinner.
In captivity, snakes can be trained to take dead food quite easily; Snakes are easier to keep as a pet compared to Lizards because the lizard generally only takes live food.
I would bet in the wild snakes will eat anything they can get their jaws around so long as it doesn't smell to decomposed - for example, a lot of snakes love an egg if they can find one.
Snakes use their smell and heat sense more that they do their eyes. The eyes being unable to focus, they also find it difficult to identify prey unless it is moving.
In my experience, its hard to get snake to eat something unless it is warm and moving. Feeding my corn snakes at home required me to warm a frozen mouse corpse in warm water, the dangle it about in front of the snake's nose.
Dropping cold dead mice into the tree canopy is unlike to attract many snakes, if you ask me.
These aren't corn snakes, and different snakes have different habits, I suspect that wild snakes are more likely to eat whatever they can find that smells about right, the big problem with domestic (captive bred) snakes is that their instincts are dampened by regular and unchallenging feeds, I never feed my snakes the same amount on the same day of the week, sometimes I let them gorge and sometimes I let them fast, this maintains their "strike" and you have to brumate them properly, taking the temp down during winter and feeding them less often rather than a steady temp all year and constant feeding (this is doubly important if you want to breed from them, I had 60 babies one year). My snakes (especially the anerythristic corns for some reason) would hapily eat a defrosted mouse just chucked in the viv, any movement and they'd have your arm off, but also they are OK to handle, as long as I don't smell of dead mouse (no big pointy teeth in the traditional sense, but fine razor sharp "ratchets" that can draw blood), so I assume the smell (taste) of the mouse is more important for a corn.
I guess what I'm trying to say is not that this will work, but it's wrong to say it isn't going to, after all, the feeding habits of king snakes (which are close enough to a corn to interbreed) prefer lizards to mice and other snakes only eat birds, there's some very good reasons why it will work, I suspect that it will as wild snakes are not as fussy (fussy snakes starve to death in the wild), oddly enough if it works this will wipe out the snakes which eat carion, leaving the fussy ones, so it will be a bit of selective breeding and not a complete solution anyway.
Snakes use their forked tongues to taste the air chemically to identify what is around them.
Their eyes are indeed (almost) useless in this regard.
Yes they can also detect heat very well, but the rely on their tongues for every day life, even sexual courtship/reproduction. Google Jacobson's organ.
By smell sense I was oversimplifying, yes, they use their tongue and the jacobsens organ, but it amounts to essentially scent on the air which they are relying on. I was assuming that everybody knew that snakes "smell" with their tongues. :)
The key point is that heat, smell and movement are the key factors. None of which you'll really get with a cold dead mouse.
-- quote from Reg story--
According to Stars and Stripes, the first waves of dead killer mouse drug paratroopers went in to the jungles surrounding Sasebo Naval Base yesterday.
-- /quote --
Sasebo Naval base is in Japan, and it is from there that the story was filed, I assume. The jungles of Guam are rather a long way away, although pleasingly adjacent to Naval Base Guam.
The hint is in the first paragraph of the story linked to.
-- quote from linked story--
SASEBO NAVAL BASE, Japan — The dead mice were laced with a common pain reliever — about one quarter of a child’s dose of acetaminophen each — and dropped Wednesday from a helicopter into the jungle canopy around Naval Base Guam.
-- quote --
"each drug-laced corpse is attached to a special drag streamer which deploys on departing the aircraft,"
One dare not even attempt to calculate the cost per mouse. This must be a very profitable contract for some large US firm, hurting no doubt, from a recent loss of work in Iraq.
//Mine's the one with the KBR logo
Paracetamol is not the UK name for acetaminophen. Paracetamol is the internationally recognised and WHO-recommended name for the drug. It is known as acetaminophen in only the US, because of the practice of adopting their own names for generic medicines instead of the International Nonproprietary Name used by everyone else. This also serves to confuse themselves and everyone else in the process.
Because of the proximity of Canada to the US, this is also the practice here.
To howls of outrage by my British wife (who is a nurse), they regularly use the brand name Tylenol when referring to paracetamol (acetaminophen) in the medical profession which is an insanely mad thing to be doing. Tylenol is a brand name covering a range of different products all using paracetamol in their formulation so the name is not specific enough when talking medically about prescriptions for patients.
The overuse of brand names here is a testament to the power of drug companies and their marketing, especially for drugs that have gone generic for so many years,
The mass hysteria and confusion caused by American misnaming is not a recent problem. Probably the original example would be our (at least here in The South) referring to all varieties of carbonated sugar water as "coke" (recall that Coca-Cola was originally marketed as a medicine). It is a little known fact that this confusion was the true cause of the American Civil War. A visiting Yankee asked for a bit of Coke in his julep. When his host, the Most Honorable Major Colonel Bogardus the Third, politely inquired as to just what kind of coke he preferred, the situation escalated in a who's-on-first style exchange of words. Ultimate result: a death toll of billions.
Though, now that I think about it, I can't recall ever having been confused by the name 'acetaminophen'.
I'm no pharmacist, but in the US (Canada may be different; codeine is much easier to get there I believe; I think you can even get "real" cough syrup without an Rx) OTC Tylenol does NOT contain codeine. Dentists and other doctors will often prescribe acetaminophen with codeine, called (I think) by various names, but most commonly "Tylenol with Codeine".
Oddly, the purportedly more liver friendly "Vicuprofin" (with ibuprofen instead of acetaminophen) is nearly impossible to get a script for because the MD's seem to think junkies might abuse it, but won't abuse the vicodin for fear the acetaminophen would do in their livers.
No, I couldn't make this stuff up...
Toxic to cats and snakes. An admittedly hasty search leads me to believe that there are no native cats on the island (feral cats are there, and are another invasive species problem. Yes, I'd have a problem with using this technique to deal with feral cats too). I'm also not sure that this represents the complete toxicity list.
Wikipeadia lists one of the native Guam predators that could eat the brown tree snales as feral pigs. I guess the problem is that the pigs aren't getting up the trees. So we don't need airborne murines zombie drug-mules, all we really need to do is introduce some flying pigs....
Over the decades, nay centuries, man has transported flora and fauna to non-native habitats with deleterious effects.
Witness the unchecked invasion of North American waterways by Chinese Carp.
How do they know nothing untoward will happen this time? (Think Army Corp of Engineers, levees and Hurricane Katrina.)
So, they'll use radio becons to see what's going on, will they?
Picture the scene: snake eats dead mouse & dies shortly after.
Next morning, in circling helicopter...
Sarge: "Anything going on down there, Private?"
<peering at beacon signals overlaid on ground map> "Well, Sarge, nothing's moving. It's all in the same place as yesterday"
"Damn. Okay, let's move out to zone D and we'll see if Charlie's moving over there. Oh, I love the smell of mouse in the morning", etc. etc.
...spot the basic flaw in the plan!
] The words acetaminophen (used in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong, Iran, Colombia and other Latin American countries) and paracetamol (used elsewhere) both come from chemical names for the compound: para-acetylaminophenol and para-acetylaminophenol. In some contexts, it is simply abbreviated as APAP, for N-acetyl-para-aminophenol.
"Tylenol to be fair is paracetamol and codeine and not just paracetamol. Commonly called co-codamol"
Wrong plain Tylenol has no codeine in it. Tylenol 3, Tylenol 4. Tylenol 5 have codeine.
They've been doing this for quite a while now. For example, here is a research report, from 2002, on controlling brown tree snakes with acetaminophen, to check that it has no untoward effects on other species in Guam (http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/es015873n).
Evidently the scheme has worked rather well, at least in the more built-up areas; and this is just a new phase of the control program, to try to target snakes out in the forests.
Acetaminophen is well-known to be liver toxic in large doses. It is rumored that some animal control folks would, in an emergency (e.g., a rabid raccoon in a neighbourhood), try to posion it using bait laced with children's Tylenol (a sickly sweet version of acetaminophen), instead of waiting for the long approval process to get permission to use 'regular' poisons.
...actually, two stupid questions: Where do you place order for several tons of dead mice? OK, mice are common feed for pets, but still...
And second stupid question, how do you "lace" the mice with paracetamol?
Did they actually drown the live mice in paracetamol solution? Did they fed it with paracetamol, until they died of liver failure? Did they stabbed each one to death with syringe? And if they did it post mortem, how?
If you think about technical details, it doesn´t bring very comforting images into brain...
As for the willingness of snakes to ingest dead mice, I am quite optimistic. Let´s not forget that the mice will be actually hanging from the tree branches. So they will be smelling good AND moving, actually swinging in the breeze. Lack of thermal image should not be a big problem. After all, it is quite warm on Guam, so the background will be drowning body heat anyway.
I think more about the streamers these mice will be attached to . Will there be many dead snakes with streamers hanging from their mouths?
Plenty of places actually raising rodents for sale as food. When I was at school they were supplied euthanised and plastic wrapped for freshness, and kept in the freezer. Just like value burgers from Iceland or farmfoods, albeit with a higher meat content.
As for dosing said pre-euthanised rodents, I would envision a highly paid technician armed with a large syringe full of Calpol (Brand named childrens paracetamol suspension) and no squeamishness as to which of the two orifices (s)he roughly inserts it.
And if that thought doesn't make your eyes water....
Paris? I leave that one to your imagination
...for clearing up that confusion. Let me see if I've got this right:
1. 95% of the worlds population calls it Paracetamol.
2. WHO recommends it be called Paracetamol.
3. US food and drug admin calls it Acetaminophen.
4. US doctors and Pharmacists call it Tylenol.
5. Tylenol comes in a host of formulations many containing paracetamol (acetaminophen).
6. Tylenol is a trade name and uses a bizarre and opaque numbering system to differentiate between the different formulations.
What could be more straight forward than that?
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