Monday, May 02, 2005

Birds May Be Behind Exploding German Toads
BERLIN -- More than 1,000 toad corpses have been found at a pond in an upscale neighborhood in Hamburg and over the border in Denmark after bloating and bursting.

One German scientist studying the splattered amphibian remains has a theory: Hungry crows are pecking out their livers. It's left onlookers baffled. The pond water in Hamburg has been tested, but its quality is no better or worse than elsewhere in the city.

The toad remains have been checked for a virus or bacterium, but none has been found.

One German scientist studying the splattered amphibian remains has a theory: Hungry crows are pecking out their livers. "The crows are clever," said Frank Mutschmann, a Berlin veterinarian who collected and tested specimens at the Hamburg pond. "They learn quickly from watching other crows how to get the livers."

Based on the wounds, Mutschmann said, it appears that a bird pecks into the toad with its beak between the amphibian's chest and abdominal cavity, and the toad puffs itself up as a natural defense mechanism. But, because the liver is missing and there's a hole in the toad's body, the blood vessels and lungs burst and the other organs ooze out, he said.

As gruesome as it sounds, it isn't actually that unusual, he said.

"It's not unique -- it's in a city area, and that makes it spectacular," Mutschmann said. "Of course, it's something very dramatic."

There have also been reports of exploded toads in a pond near Laasby in central Jutland in Denmark. Local environmental workers in Hamburg have described it as a scene out of a horror or science fiction movie, with the bloated frogs agonizing and twitching for several minutes, inflating like balloons before they suddenly burst.

"It's horrible," biologist Heidi Mayerhoefer was quoted as telling the daily Hamburger Morgenpost. As many as a thousand toads have died after their bodies swelled to bursting point and then exploded, according to reports.

"The toads burst, the entrails slide out. But the animal isn't immediately dead -- they keep struggling for several minutes."

Hamburg's Institute for Hygiene and the Environment regularly tests water quality in the city and has found no evidence the toads were diseased. The institute also ruled out a fungus brought in from South America was infecting the toads. Other theories have been that horses on a nearby track might have infected the amphibians with a virus, or even that the toads are committing suicide to save others from overpopulation.

Could hungry crows be a reasonable answer?

"We haven't seen that. It might be, it might not be," said institute spokeswoman Janne Kloepper. "It's speculation," until it's observed, she added.

In the meantime, officials in Hamburg have advised residents to stay away from the pond, which German tabloids have dubbed "the death pool."

Personally, I think it's the microwaves in the sky.

“Revelations” takes place between Episodes 3 and 4 of the Star Wars Saga. Emperor Palpatine's power has spread throughout the galaxy. Darth Vader is a feared figure. The Jedi are hunted fugitives. Anyone suspected of harboring Jedi or having any information about them is taken into Imperial custody.

Our heroine, Taryn Anwar, has broken way from Imperial control and is searching for an ancient Jedi artifact. Said to contain great power, it could be the key to destroying the Empire -- if she can locate it before Zhanna, the Emperor’s Hand, does. It’s a race between good and evil as the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.

Revelations tells it's story around it's own unique characters and worlds around the Star Wars universe in which the only original star wars characters you will see from the films are, the Emperor, Vader, stormtroopers, and various aliens that makes Star Wars. "Revelations" is very unique in it own way of look and feel, yet still within the Star Wars galaxy. We wanted to make something that was our own and not a simple retelling of Star Wars, or ideas and looks that have been explored before. We tried to make a film with the things and ideas we always wanted to see.
In the end, the script went through roughly 12 revisions by the time you watch it, and some were on the fly as we tightened and tweaked the story we wanted to tell or strengthen characters and deliveries. We think the end result is a fast pace film that takes you for quite a ride. We give a lot of looks for "Revelations" that is very exciting. It's a film we wanted to make in which we do not dummy down the exposition or story, and you really have to pay attention or you will miss things. A lot happens in 40 mins!

Check it out here!
Even better, the whole movie is legally downloadable through BitTorrent.

I can't wait for the chance to do something like this. The camera.. hmm.. gotta invest on that ...

No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails