Ornery.org
  Front Page   |   About Ornery.org   |   World Watch   |   Guest Essays   |   Contact Us

The Ornery American Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » The Exploding Toads of Hamburg

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: The Exploding Toads of Hamburg
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Have you guys heard about the Mysterious Exploding Toads of Hamburg?

The world is a strange, strange place....

Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
cperry
Member
Member # 1938

 - posted      Profile for cperry   Email cperry   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
WOw, at first I thought this was a hoax. It could be something terrible, couldn't it?
Posts: 2782 | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, it's all true.
I am intensely curious about what manner of thing is causing them to swell and pop. They're saying fungus, virus, defense mechanism gone wrong - I also wonder if it could be something like what you hear happens to birds if they eat alka-seltzer.

Or a biological weapon of diabolical creativity? [Wink]

Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Funean
Member
Member # 2345

 - posted      Profile for Funean   Email Funean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Maybe someone put bleach on them.
Posts: 5277 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Do their guts explode when you put bleach on them? How does that work?
Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Funean
Member
Member # 2345

 - posted      Profile for Funean   Email Funean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Nah, it was a weak joke referring to a mini-discussion over in Misc. A friend of mine told me years ago that frogs turn themselves inside out if you put bleach on them. (evidently this critical biological discovery was made as a result of a laundry mishap. I'm still not clear on the exact mechanics, nor do I really want to be [Smile] )
Posts: 5277 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can report that Virgin Island tree frogs are impervious to bleach (which is used everywhere in the rainy season to reduce slimey stairs, etc.). They hop right through pools of it! It will bleach out Tarantula hairs though.
Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Richard Dey
Member
Member # 1727

 - posted      Profile for Richard Dey   Email Richard Dey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, but then we've had exploding princes around for a long time. There's a wonderful passage in one of the Almanachs du Gotha about why imperial visits always had military bands to meet dignitaries at railway stations -- to drown out the bombs of the anarchists. (A little hard to do when they're bombing subway stations from the air these days!)
Posts: 7866 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Big Grin]
Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Badvok
Member
Member # 1085

 - posted      Profile for Badvok   Email Badvok   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Anyone found a video yet? [Razz]
Posts: 296 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
At last, I find a thread at Ornery whose title and content are worthy of the morning's first cuppa joe...
Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
OpsanusTau
Member
Member # 2350

 - posted      Profile for OpsanusTau   Email OpsanusTau   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You know, that was my feeling about the subject as well, Mr. Livermaile.
Posts: 3791 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Designating this thjread as Ornery's ad hoc Fortean dribble drain, I add this bottle to the bar shelves:

The Amazing Mind-Reading Machines of Dr. Nebish

And a chaser:

I'm In You, You're In Me...

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some pix of expooded toads:

Toad Go Boom

Whackamole:

Caning Toads

I'm not sure how this fits into killing for convenience or self-preservation.

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Possible Explanation

BERLIN - Why are toads puffing up and spontaneously exploding in northern Europe? It began in a posh German neighborhood and has spread across the border into Denmark. It's left onlookers baffled, but one German scientist studying the splattered amphibian remains now has a theory: Hungry crows may be pecking out their livers.

Oh Nature red in beak and claw...

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
arg sldkfjsoeiuowhgosidwo this is what i hate about non-science people writing articles about biology.

quote:
Alternatively, the toads could be committing suicide in order to protect the toad community as a whole.
there is absolutely, positively, 100% sure NO WAY that this is what's happening. there is no reason to sacrifice yourself to increse the survival of others unless they are very highly related to each other and know it (highly unlikely in this case).

altruism is an evolutionarily unstable strategy and has not been found to exist in ANY biological system of unrelated individuals. in some cases, there are "tit for tat" games and systems to identify cheaters, but that can't be going on here.

blah. i know this sound nitpicky, but PLEASE when you read stuff like this, know the author is full of crap and didn't do his homework.

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kidzmom
Member
Member # 2015

 - posted      Profile for kidzmom   Email kidzmom   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Awwww...sb...there ya go, absolutely RUINING this great mental image I was building...noble amphibians, throwing themselves into the never-ending fray,protecting all their little spawn-to-be, kissing their little toady spouses good-bye as they bravely venture forth to meet their doom [Razz]

*giggle, snort* O.k., o.k. not enough caffeine, and too little sleep this last week. Please don't hang this on "non-science people". I mean, although I had my requisite share of coursework (and did fine in it), I'm "Libby Arts" through and through [Big Grin] . Still, when I read that quote--in not one, but 3 or 4 on-line accounts--I couldn't decide whether to laugh or groan [Roll Eyes] . Truly, that line of thinking (if you can even call it thought) arises much more from an ongoing trend to anthropomorphise every little critter around, rather than actual lack of scientific knowledge. Blame it on all those Disney movies! [Wink]

Posts: 490 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
enh, potato, potahto...

i get WHY it happens, i just think it's irresponsible for someone without a basis in science to write an article and put forth a hypothesis like that without checking first.

thousands of people probably read that and now think toads of sacrificing themselves... sigh.

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
" Alternatively, the toads could be committing suicide in order to protect the toad community as a whole."

Never mind how self-sacrifice can be transmitted through genetics. Waddiwannano is: how DO toads spontaneously explode upon deciding they're an unbearable burden on society? I mean, if I ever decide to make a martyr of myself, I want to go like Toad...

..."I regret I have only one corpus to spray all over this plaza for my fellow specie members..."

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kidzmom
Member
Member # 2015

 - posted      Profile for kidzmom   Email kidzmom   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Wink] [Smile] [Big Grin] [Smile] [Cool]

*thumps sb on the shoulder* ahh, lighten up girlfriend! It's Friday afternoon, and soon you can find your way to one of Austin's many fine "cantinas" and indulge in the adult beverage of your choice! After awhile, the humorous aspects will become clearer and clearer (just be careful if everything else starts getting fuzzier & fuzzier [Razz] ).
And now for my kenmeer imitation:

Some toads of a noble persuasion
Thought to stop a corvid invasion
They'd hop and they'd pop
Vicious crows for to stop
By explosive self-evisceration.

meh, the meter's off, but it's the thought that counts, right? [Big Grin]

Posts: 490 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kidzmom
Member
Member # 2015

 - posted      Profile for kidzmom   Email kidzmom   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey, ken--there's a great thread on this topic over at GAFF:
http://www.godawful.net/forums/viewforum.php?f=19&sid=cf7266ad021597e62198b25e08ed597f

A poster mentioned doing an X-men fanfic with someone taunting Toad about this article [Big Grin] .

Posts: 490 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I know I PERSONALLY would spontaneously explode, but society as a whole? Let us check in with Mr. ED... [Wink]

[ April 29, 2005, 03:41 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike_W
Member
Member # 202

 - posted      Profile for Mike_W   Email Mike_W   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My own personal pet peeve is the commonly cited myth of lemmings periodically committing mass suicide by hurling themselves off cliff.

Another one for which to blame DIsney.

Posts: 1352 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What? They DON'T? Then why did they do that in those wonderful games? I'm so confused. Don't mess with my wordview, Mr. Mike. GEESH! Some people...

Those f*ing bastards - why haven't they been SUED for this? I'm serious here, for once today!

http://www.snopes.com/disney/films/lemmings.htm

[ April 29, 2005, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: javelin ]

Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike_W
Member
Member # 202

 - posted      Profile for Mike_W   Email Mike_W   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It is a funny story how the myth came to be so commonly held. Saw it on a documentary years ago about faked scenes in nature shows. Seems that there was a theory about lemming suicide that tried to explain why they go through such wild population swings. But, it was never supported by any evidence. However, Disney, while filming a nature documentary, decided to run with it. They built a 15 foot "cliff" in a studio, and filmed a few dozen lemmings flinging themselves off (e.g. being pushed) into the water. Then, they'd dry the lemmings off and make them take the plunge again!

Hilarious.

Posts: 1352 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Great. Now I can't describe people as Lemmings anymore. Thank you very little. [Mad]
Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike_W
Member
Member # 202

 - posted      Profile for Mike_W   Email Mike_W   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ah...beat me to it.
Posts: 1352 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike_W
Member
Member # 202

 - posted      Profile for Mike_W   Email Mike_W   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Drake. The truth hurts...but, allegedly, it will set you free :-)
Posts: 1352 | Registered: Dec 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
javelin
Member
Member # 1284

 - posted      Profile for javelin   Email javelin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, people HAVE been herded over cliffs before - just not sure it was presented as mass suicide - maybe in the Pacific, during WWII?
Posts: 8614 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
kidzmom.

i am on the way out to such a bar, but i shall not chill. i have a great, great distaste for people distributing false facts about science.

the reason for the lemming misconception is that lemmings do actually run off cliffs sometimes... what they now think is that when lemming populations get heavy, some lemmings just take off and run in a straight line til they reach a new habitat (why a straight line? cause you're guaranteed not to end up where you started). if that straight line takes them off a cliff, well, bummer.
the benefit of potentially founding a new population outweighs that of potentially running off a cliff, so they keep doing it.

any self-sacrificing behavior can only persist in a population until cheaters invade. then you're screwed.

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Funean
Member
Member # 2345

 - posted      Profile for Funean   Email Funean   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
any self-sacrificing behavior can only persist in a population until cheaters invade. then you're screwed.
There is a Grand Principle of Life in here somewhere.

[ April 29, 2005, 06:07 PM: Message edited by: Funean ]

Posts: 5277 | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jefferson101
Member
Member # 2396

 - posted      Profile for jefferson101   Email jefferson101   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by kenmeer livermaile:
Possible Explanation

BERLIN - Why are toads puffing up and spontaneously exploding in northern Europe? It began in a posh German neighborhood and has spread across the border into Denmark. It's left onlookers baffled, but one German scientist studying the splattered amphibian remains now has a theory: Hungry crows may be pecking out their livers.

Oh Nature red in beak and claw...

Bust my bubble, will you?

I figured that Halliburton had to be involved in it somewhere.

Now I'm disappointed and disillusioned.

[Big Grin]

Hey, wait a minute. They are Neocon crows who work for Halliburton, right?

[Wink] [Wink]

Posts: 262 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Drake
Member
Member # 2128

 - posted      Profile for The Drake   Email The Drake   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey, how come lemmings can run in a straight line, but humans wind up going in circles - absent orienteering or sunlight references?

Or.... Oh no.... is that also a myth?

Posts: 7707 | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Adam Lassek
Member
Member # 1514

 - posted      Profile for Adam Lassek   Email Adam Lassek   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Lemmings go through massive drops in population due to predation, not suicide:
quote:
The little rodents go through their periodic ups and downs because they make excellent food for four species of predators, one of which regularly wipes out the lemmings, while the others dine on other prey as well.

When the lemmings get scarce, so do the predators, allowing the cycle to begin anew in what study co-author Olivier Gilg, a population biologist at the University of Helsinki, and his two colleagues call a straightforward example of population dynamics at work.

Their observations confirmed that lemming numbers do multiply prodigiously in regular cycles, lasting roughly four years. Their numbers can expand up to a thousand-fold before the inevitable crash.

But it's such mundane factors as predator biology and reproduction rates, the researchers said, not some mysterious lemming response to overcrowding, that rules the process.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2003/10/31/MNGID2NG3V1.DTL
Posts: 554 | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hurray for Lotka volterra models
Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KnightEnder
unregistered


 - posted            Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
..."I regret I have only one corpus to spray all over this plaza for my fellow specie members..."
Hilarious! [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Big Grin]
IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
kenmeer livermaile
Member
Member # 2243

 - posted      Profile for kenmeer livermaile   Email kenmeer livermaile       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
"And now for my kenmeer imitation:

Some toads of a noble persuasion
Thought to stop a corvid invasion
They'd hop and they'd pop
Vicious crows for to stop
By explosive self-evisceration."

Just swap 'offset' for stop and the swing is complete. kizmam, don't you imitate ME! I ain't HALF as sexy as you. You start spoiling my fantasies and I'll be a man adrift... I know that Jesus said that to lust after a woman in one's heart is the same as to perfrom the act.... but I don't lust for you in my heart, don't you know. I lust for you with my... pinkie.

"i am on the way out to such a bar, but i shall not chill. i have a great, great distaste for people distributing false facts about science."

And she don't like it when people LIE, nuther. [Wink]

"Lotka volterra models"

Showoff...my daughter wants to go into zoology because she a) adores critters and b) hates math. I told her the latter was a false wish on her part.

Posts: 23297 | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Locus
Member
Member # 540

 - posted      Profile for Locus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by The Drake:
Hey, how come lemmings can run in a straight line, but humans wind up going in circles - absent orienteering or sunlight references?

Or.... Oh no.... is that also a myth?

No worries ..a few more years of gene hacking and you too can navigate as well as a baby turtle.

If you take off swimming for the Azores one day don't say you weren't warned.

Posts: 678 | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
simplybiological
Member
Member # 1344

 - posted      Profile for simplybiological   Email simplybiological   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
my daughter wants to go into zoology because she a) adores critters and b) hates math. I told her the latter was a false wish on her part.
weeeeell it depends which area you're in. ecology is very math heavy, as is physiology, genetics, and a lot of evolution. behavior not so much.

i really didn't encounter much math in my bio classes in undergrad (genetics and ecology being the exception), BUUUUUT a zoology major also required 4 semesters of chemistry and chem labs AND two semesters of physics AND a statistics course AND a calculus course.

your daughter should look into colleges that have wildlife majors- that tends to be less rigorous than zoology, particularly in the math/chemistry/physics area. it might be closer to what she wants to do anyway. also, weirdly, geology departments have a lot of people who do sort of observational studies on animals (who knew? i didn't. i drunkenly asked someone recently, 'you guys don't like, study maps, right?").

zoology is actually not great if you like animals... i kill far more than i ever interact with.

Posts: 1742 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Ornery.org Front Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.1