Ep. 36: Penis Fish, Penguins, Pigeons, and so much more.
For Meters World News headquarters in Bozeman Montana. This kells weaken review with Ryan Cow. Now here's cal back in the sixth sixth grade. Everyone in my class to write a poem about an animal to be perfectly honest. I can't remember the animal I picked or what I said but I can remember clearly and even quote word for word. A- poem that one of my classmates wrote the city as big the sea is sick and in it holds a slippery Dick. The author of that particular stanza kid named Eric was promptly sent to the principal's office after reading his poem aloud in class. which I thought was kind of out of line? See a slippery. Dick is an actual name for an actual fish and Atlantic grass to be specific which a group of US kids discovered discovered while looking through an encyclopedia fish species and it's not like volunteered to say a slippery dick in front of the whole class. The teacher made all of us read poems out loud Eric. Eric was a pre pubescent literary genius. As far as I was concerned I mean I still remember the poem. Almost thirty years later can't say the same. For most of the famous poems we read Phallic naming aside the slippery. Dick doesn't look anything like in a non actual member but the same cannot be said for a European Union sink marine spoon worm also known as the fat innkeeper worm or Chinese Penis. Fish that last name pretty well describes what they look like seven seven inch long Celinda fleshy sea worms they get the name innkeeper worms because they dig burrows and title sand and mudflats at the Pacific and are known to willingly. I share their homes with marine species like Globe's and PEA crabs. They also have an interesting method of gathering food. innkeeper worms build slime nets outside their doorsteps that trap drifting detritus when the net is full the worm consumes it whole then build another one but their life habits are not the reason that I'm covering these critters today. Koufax aside these worms are mostly obscure outside a small group of biologists or at least they were until just a little while ago when thousands of them washed up on California beaches displaced by a massive bomb cyclone. This event may national news because of the worm arm striking resemblance to male genitalia. You can imagine what piles and piles of these creatures washed up on. The sand might look like and why people may take notice of that and photos and selfies similar. Mass strandings of so-called Penis Fish happened in two thousand eleven and two thousand sixteen always following doing a major weather event tied to an El Nino year when warmer than average water temperatures contribute to large storms and heavy rainfall. Biologists don't know how these strandings affect the overall population of these creatures their reclusive underground dwelling makes them difficult to quantify. We do know that they're an extremely old species dating dating back some three hundred million years so they've probably weathered their fair share storms. Like I said this story captured the national imagination for obvious reasons. The site of thousands of peanut shaped worms washed up on beaches. Tickles the same part of the brain that allows me to retain a perfect memory of that silly poem. I started this segment with but one piece of information stuck out as I was researching this story. Google searches for Penis fish recipes skyrocketed during the week that these worms were in the news cycle. Michael now I can understand these searches if they were coming from California. I can imagine Californians thinking. Hey that's a lot of potential food washed up over there about to go to waste. Can I make it delicious. But according to data from Google trends the majority of these searches came from Colorado Minnesota South Carolina Wisconsin and Missouri. Sorry why so. Many people and parts of the country nowhere near the stranded worms were searching for penis fish. Recipes is simply beyond me if you were one of the people contributing contributing to these search numbers or just have a rational explanation for this phenomenon. Shoot me an email. As K. C. A. L. at the MEAT EATER DOT com. I'm genuinely curious. If you can sort of muscle your way past the gag reflex all kinds of food possibilities open up this week. We've got birds giant giant birds bird migrations birds wearing hats. It's bird bonanza over here but first let me tell you about my week couple of exciting things and and little steel chainsaw that like so much that have been filling with canola oil to do all manner of jobs. I had to get bigger. One sided needed some bar length to cut cut holes in the ice. Because I'm fixing to do some spearing at the drop and awaited spear through Six Foot by three foot rectangular square is that you cut out and then you just sit there real quiet under attempt her shack sometimes and wait for big Walleye and piked come underneath you. That's my program fixing a check that out steel power equipment as you know is the sponsor of cows week in review. This podcast is powered by a steel. Go check them out further. I'm head now to the Sacramento Sacramento Delta to take a look firsthand an issue that I covered way back in October of Cowes Week in review talking about the dismal salmon returns returns in the fate of the Delta Smelt friend of mine. WHO's a rice farmer down? There reached out to me. He wanted to enlighten me on a different tactic or for a change in ethos basically. There's not a lot of water getting out to the ocean and the water that is getting out to the ocean happens to not be carrying much life much food but at the water that is out in these rice field on the Delta but he's not getting channeled through the canals is picking up a ton of food food food that can grow fish. So I'm heading down to talk to these rice. Farmers see what they're talking about and hopefully shoots him ducks they tell me the California rice duck is the tastiest of all ducks and I'm looking for some big fat birds. I of course I'm going to write up what I know. And get right back to you. And we'll see how these stewards words of the land or planning on helping out the Delta smell the California salmon and their own way of life moving on penguins are cute it cuddly and loveable read their one of those almost universally liked animals. But what if I told you that they used to be as big as a full grown human. Would you still want to hug. One remains the newly described Cross Valia. Why parenthesis or Monster Penguin were found on New Zealand's South Island it's too damn hot for Pangolin? It'd be walking around here. These giant aquatic birds grew over five feet tall and weighed over. One hundred and seventy pounds. Strange is the thought of a the monster penguin may sound. New Zealand was once an epicenter for giant. Birds like the massive flightless MOA that grew over ten feet tall. The Hass Eagle which it had a wingspan. Nearly as tall as the MOA and a massive ancient parrot affectionately known as squad Zillah due to a lack of predators jam birds were able to thrive the New Zealand back then but this was also a time period when penguins in general enjoyed easy living across the southern sees the same extinction event that killed off the dinosaurs. China sors also got rid of most of the large marine reptiles that once proud those oceans allowing penguins free reign of course that will change when to Wales and pin pads started spreading but for a few million years there penguins really ruled the roost in the southern hemisphere so to speak and it seems like cross failure white parenthesis was once king of the penguins. Modern Penguin species may not grow to the same size as their predecessors but they're still vying for survival and dominance in harsh conditions and new research. Research shows that some are doing better than others. chinstrap penguins and Jen to penguins are close relatives. who both live in the Antarctic and feed primarily on Krill but over the past four decades chinstrap numbers have cratered while Jen twos have exploded? So what's going on here. Well the short answer is adaptability ability to climate change with water temperatures warming and see is disappearing Chrysler getting harder and harder to come by according to a team of researchers at Louisiana state the university who analyzed the chemistry of Penguin Feathers Gen. Two's have figured out how to diversify their diets to include fish and squid. Well Chinstrap are still stuck. Doc on vanishing Krill. I think we'd all take a lesson here about the importance of varied and flexible diet. Man cannot live on hardy's alone say Hardee's parties because his buddy of mine in college that's eight and all of a sudden the only hardy's in Missoula Montana closed down and everybody got a phone call like midnight as if the sky had fallen. Like did you hear no dude. No we did not because we are all antelope stakes at my house. Sticking with birds and climate change another recently published published study offers the first empirical evidence on how shifting weather affects seasonal migration. Three researchers with very different backgrounds collaborated to analyze analyzed twenty four years of radar data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Nocturnal Bird movements. Now I'm not really a technology guy I but this study designed strikes me as pretty damn cool. The team used artificial intelligence to help them comb through decades of radar data tasks that used to require choir actual humans to differentiate bird flocks from rainstorms. On a case by case basis new technology was able to automate that process and also allowed the team to crunch the numbers on this data set in forty eight hours a task that previously would have taken a year. At least they found that birds are migrating earlier today than they did two decades ago at least in the spring for all EU hunters out there looking for merging trans and early season waterfowl. Sorry sorry the study shows almost no chain fall migration patterns spring migrations tend to be more condensed pushed by the drive to reach breeding grounds. Find Mating partners as an start making babies I can see the sense in that fall. Migrations on the other hand are more spread out. Birds are in less of a hurry to reach winter grounds without the drive to make mate. I think we all know how that goes a couple of weeks ago. I told you about a plane ride. I shared out of South Dakota with a bunch of ranchers head down to Las Vegas for the National Channel Finals Rodeo. I'd like to think that one of them had a hand in this next story. I've personally spent a whole lot of time in Vegas and although it's got its high points all all admit that much like Florida. It acts as a kind of nucleus for strange behavior and you know good stories well right around the time of the National Finals Rodeo Rodeo Certain Vegas Pigeons got a little more stylish because someone started outfitting them tiny cowboy hats on December fifth guy by the name of Bobby Lee posted the first video video of a pigeon strutting proudly in bright red brimmed headgear. In the background you can hear him exclaim quote the birds have hats on Bro. The video went viral as the kids. Say and since then several more videos have popped up on social media showing that this pigeon isn't just a one off thing. The New York Times interviewed Charles Wolcott A- Cornell University ornithologist who specializes in common pigeons. Wolcott take on the videos. was that the pigeons. Don't seem stressed asked and are exhibiting normal pigeon behavior which is to say strutting around backing gravel and discarded food and pooping. All over the place. That avian milliner owner apparently took great care to make sure the hats were well fitted and in cover. The birds is Walcott. Did also mention to the Times that the hats might get in the way of seeing hawk. Come down from on top as you all know. I'm not a fan of messing with wildlife. anthropomorphized dressing them up or making them cute but even I have to admit met that this was pretty darn funny talk closing loop on our birds segment here. A Louisiana man who shot a critically endangered whooping crane with twenty two semiautomatic rifle last year in an attempt to quote scared away from his crawfish farm was sentenced to one hundred twenty hours of community service in two years of probation Shen in federal court. Boma lower that's a whooping crane folks in the ESPN conservation community are disappointed with this outcome as they were hoping the judge would impose a stiffer sentence on the crane shooter to set an example turns out poaching whooping cranes is quite the problem in Louisiana. Eleven birds have been shot since sends a flock was reintroduced there in two thousand eleven for some context. Only forty two cranes have been shot in the whole country since they were listed as endangered in nineteen sixty seven seven the vast majority of these birds seventy two percent have not been shot by people actively hunting seems like most folks who poach cranes do so because they considered birds a nuisance or see them as a threat to crops or livestock. As was the case of this crawfish farmer. The shooter probably didn't know he was taking out a critically endangered species he just saw big. Bird pecking away at his crawfish stock and decided to take protective measures and fortunately for him and for the population at large. This particular hewer big ass bird was kind of a big deal that crane and his mate produce the first pair of wild whooping crane eggs Louisiana since the birds were reintroduced and has been successfully doing so since two thousand fourteen. My take away from this story is not new but still important. Always make sure you know exactly actually what you're pointing your weapon and ever pointed at something you don't intend to kill that some basic hunters ad for you moving on and moving away from big birds for for all.