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emad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:44 AM
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Mice gang up on endangered birds
Mice gang up on endangered birds
Emma Marris


Attacks on albatrosses seem to be a learned behaviour.

Click here to see video. Viewer discretion advised.

Alamy

On one of the Earth's most remote islands, mice have learned, and are apparently teaching each other, how to attack and kill bird chicks that are 200 times their size.

Far from exulting in the cleverness of mice, the researchers who discovered this want to eradicate the rodents from the island in order to save endangered albatrosses.

Biologists on Gough Island, a speck in the Atlantic between the southern tips of Africa and South America, first learned of the problem when they found that tristan albatrosses (Diomedea dabbenena) were losing their chicks at an extremely high rate: up to 80% were dying.

Researchers suspected that house mice, which were accidentally introduced to the island, might be the culprits. So husband-and-wife team Ross Wanless and Andrea Angel spent a year on the island videotaping birds' nests and collecting data.

http://www.nature.com/news/2005/050718/full/050718-2.ht...
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brainshrub Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-20-05 08:49 AM
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1. Today the birds, tomorrow the humans!
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