Patriots, is there something skwerls know that we don't? Apparently. Consider the news story below...
Red squirrel may have ESP
EDMONTON–In the eat-or-be-eaten animal kingdom, red squirrels have found a way to stay one step ahead of their food source.
Biologists have discovered that the squirrels can anticipate when evergreens will produce bumper crops of seeds, and they respond with larger than usual litters. It's no coincidence, according to an article published in the latest edition of the journal Science. Rather, it's perfectly timed behaviour.
"We usually predict that animals will just track resources and respond at a later date, so this is very surprising," lead author Stan Boutin, a University of Alberta biologist, said yesterday.
"It's quite a story in the scientific world because we haven't seen this before, and more importantly, we hadn't even thought to look."
Typically, spruce and pine trees use a boom-and-bust strategy in their seed production to counter squirrels' big appetites. In lean years, Boutin said, trees starve squirrels so that when larger seed crops are produced randomly, there are fewer squirrels around to eat up all their future seedlings (click skwerl for comment).
Monitoring red squirrels near Kluane National Park in the Yukon, however, led to surprising results.
Months before a big cone season started, squirrels went into a reproductive frenzy. The pattern repeated itself in 1993, 1998 and again in 2005.
"Lots of animals breed well ahead of the spring flush when babies are born, and they can do that each year because temperature and daylight changes are such good predictors of upcoming changes," Boutin said.
"It's a little bit tougher when things are unpredictable like seed production years, but the squirrels obviously figured out a cue."
Squirrels also take a chance, he said, because they have offspring in seasons with no resources in order to outwit the trees' swamp-and-starve mechanism.
Exactly how squirrels have become smart enough to predict future availability of seeds is not yet known. But Boutin figures they use an as-yet unseen cue.
Patriots, the very smart scientists referred to in the news brief once again focus on a rather minor point, how skwerls learned to predict the future availability of seeds rather than considering the bigger picture.
The big picture is revealed when you consider this: the bushytail horde is able to make efficient use of currently available resources and predict with reasonable accuracy the future supply of these resorces. Subsequently, the nutzys are able to exploit their environment without irreversibly damaging it.
Similarly, the human species is able to calculate the availability of resources now and in the future. We also know the consequences of mismanaging resources, but there's a problem...
Civilization has experienced an unprecedented rate of growth over the past 200 years. We won't tire you with the statistics. The problem is, we're seemingly incapable of growing and living within our environment without destroying it.
And we're not talking about losing a few trees or a species of fish the size of your little finger (click scientists for comment).
We're talking about dismantling the natural systems that supply us with air, water, food, and shelter...
Put in an everyday sort of way, the human race is destroying the things that create the environments that create the jobs that pay the wages of everyone on the planet be they poor subsistence farmers, the producers of fluffy distractions like American Idol, or the CEO of an oil company.
All this greatly amuses the slavering skwerlballs. They know they can nip at civilization's edges while we destroy ourselves from within. Then, when the human juggernaut grinds to a halt, the drooling chitterboxes will gambol triumphantly over our remains and squirrel world domination will come to pass.
Or will it?
Patriots will, of course, stand united against squirrel world domination and always do the right thing when it comes to opposing the stupid, over-agitated, lying chimps that pass for world leaders; the blindly conservative corporations that refuse to veer away from outdated and destructive methods of resource utilization; the sectarian extremists with their morally bankrupt crusades and jihads that only distract us from a truly higher calling; and the multitude of losers whose pseudo-ecology might save a really big tree but lose the forest...
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Thanx to Patriot Molly for contributing to this report