Sunday, April 15, 2018

Killers of men

The deadliest animals ain't the ones you think... not sharp toothed, sharp clawed carnivores. Look to the large domesticated animals--esp. cattle and horses. Their size and human contact with them in farming causes the most human deaths. After that come the bees--especially "africanized" honey bees in the South and Southwest. And then there is man's best friend... dogs account for 4.6 deaths per 10 million people. Of course injury by animals is another matter...with about 1% of all emergency room visits do to household pets.
(Thanks to my student Nathan Young) for point out this article.)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Nigel, the world's loneliest bird, dies next to the concrete decoy he loved


Bookmarking this sad posthuman, postmodern nature-culture tale:
"Nigel, a handsome gannet bird... lured to Mana Island three years ago by wildlife officials who, in hopes of establishing a gannet colony there, had placed concrete gannet decoys on cliffsides and broadcast the sound of the species’ calls. Nigel accepted the invitation, arriving in 2013 as the island’s first gannet in 40 years. But none of his brethren joined him."

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Hunter knocked unconscious by a dead goose that fell from the sky.



In Easton, Maryland near the Miles River goose weighing some 10-14 lbs was killed by a hunter. It being hunting season, humans would rarely regard this event; however, in this case the bird fell earthward and onto the head of another hunter (one Robert Meilhammer) who was knocked unconscious by the carcass. Meilhammer was nailed. He was taken to the University of Maryland Shock and Truama Center where he was treated for head and face injuries. The trauma of dead birds falling from the sky may linger. 

According to a free-fall calculator that the physics of objects in free fall, when the bird hit Meilhammer, it would have been traveling at more than 50 miles an hour. The Maryland Natural Resources spokesperson Candy Thomson summarized the event: "This is highly unusual." Of course, Thomson did not mean killing geese was unusual, just that the body of the animal would have its revenge. 

Monday, January 15, 2018

They came from above with fire


It has been going on since before written history but now we can record it... kites and ravens in Australia take burning wood from a forest fire and carry it abroad to start fires elsewhere. Is it intentional? Yes! Why? To scare out rodents (and perhaps slightly char them for flavor). The birds start a fire then wait for their prey to run out from cover where they are easily snatched for dinner. Tool use among animal, indeed! 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017



Indonesian monkey secures some rights to his self-portrait with 25% of future revenue going to protect him and his kin. For the original story, see my older post.

Monday, September 11, 2017

What is the Animal Revolution ... notes on revolution



Animality is not a revolution in a commonly held political sense of the term—with its markers of social contract and that which is held in common. It is not a revolution as a reasoned and enlightened consciousness of the masses. Animal resistance is through their comportment and bodily being in the world. In the long now of evolutionary time, animals are fitted to their environments. However, the speed and invasiveness of human dwelling is ill aligned to nonhuman ecological temporality. These two temporalities and ways of being jam in contention. Perhaps the word revolution is only a poor anthropomorphic metaphor and approximation for this event and rupture to human expectations and human progress of civilization by non-teleological animal activity. It is not enough to say animals resist—as if they were a minor resistance movement to the major force of humanity. Rather, great and small, microbial to megafauna, animals overturn the architecture of civilization. Such an overturning which reframes the world according to a differend and knocks down the structures and habits of human dwelling is a revolution. Incidents of such activity are rampant as we shall see. While many animals and species may die, in a much longer temporality the animals will live on beyond the human.