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Exploding toads in Germany baffle scientists

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by beardo, May 5, 2005.

  1. beardo

    beardo Guest

    Exploding toads in Germany baffle scientists
    BERLIN (AP) — What's making toads puff up and explode in northern Europe? 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.

    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.

    "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."
     
  2. 26SidedCube

    26SidedCube Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 18, 2003 Messages: 6,590 Likes Received: 9
    ...now that's gangsta.
     
  3. Æ°

    Æ° Senior Member

    Joined: May 12, 2002 Messages: 1,974 Likes Received: 6
    so the toads aren't exploding
     
  4. !@#$%

    [email protected]#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 621
    i was watching NOVA the other night and they were talking about frogs
    and how they are big indicators of things that are wrong with our environment

    frogs are becoming hermaphrodites a lot these days too.
    scary shit.
    the ecosystem is fucked.
     
  5. Pistol

    Pistol Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Jul 12, 2001 Messages: 19,363 Likes Received: 299
    i saw this on the news the other day.
    alka seltzer and birds?
     
  6. sarcasm

    sarcasm Elite Member

    Joined: Oct 30, 2003 Messages: 3,352 Likes Received: 35
    ^^ that's what this reminded me of
     
  7. fatalist

    fatalist Dirty Dozen Crew

    Joined: Mar 10, 2004 Messages: 6,354 Likes Received: 25
    Sounds nasty. I've seen dead frogs turn blue by polluted water, but that ....? my money is on kids with rolaids!
     
  8. CACashRefund

    CACashRefund 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 14,171 Likes Received: 272
    Look, heres the deal ok?

    M-80s in one hand a bottle of tequila in the other, somebody tell me how else i could have reacted.
     
  9. WhiteOx

    WhiteOx Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 4, 2003 Messages: 3,691 Likes Received: 0
    That is pretty funny
     
  10. stezer kid

    stezer kid New Jack

    Joined: Feb 23, 2005 Messages: 20 Likes Received: 0
    that would be very amusing to see. some one told me if you give a sea gull an antacid it will explode in mid flight. I reckon that would be classic. :burn:
     
  11. sneak

    sneak Guest

    i thought the thread said "exploding heads".
    none the less this reminds me of being a kid and pouring a circle of salt around a slug and waiting.

    i dont know why.
     
  12. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2

    Oh yeah I heard about how some of the pollutants are causing the animal kingdom to produce more estrogen. Scary shit.
    I remember a plague of toads.
    What was it? Winter, 99/00 I think, only two weeks of snow in michigan. Very strange. Birds didn't even migrate. That summer there was so much humity in the air, clouds everywhere, a cloud followed the sun from sun up, to sun down. Then at night all that humidity would condense, and it would rain and thunder and lightning all night. This happened all summer. I guess toads loved the humidity because they were EVERYFUCKINGWHERE! I would step on about 10 on my way to and from work, not even trying to.
     
  13. 26SidedCube

    26SidedCube Veteran Member

    Joined: Mar 18, 2003 Messages: 6,590 Likes Received: 9
    Man.. I'm a farsighted asthmatic with thinning hair (I'm 22).

    I've lived right on the fringes of either Rouge, Zug Island, McClouth Steel, or Industrial Park my entire life. Every single 'industrial' area you see in Detroit I've never lived more than 5-10 miles from.

    Neither of my parents wear glasses, have lung problems, or thin hair.

    Fuck my environment.
     
  14. villain

    villain Veteran Member

    Joined: Jul 12, 2002 Messages: 5,190 Likes Received: 2
    Damn man... I hear you. I know people who can barely get the grass to grow because of the toxicity.
    But the good news is they moved a shitload of factories down to mexico.....
    Now we have a cleaner environment but no jobs.
     
  15. Dirty_habiT

    Dirty_habiT Administrator

    Joined: Mar 8, 2001 Messages: 18,107 Likes Received: 73
    I promise I will stop smashing those frogs.
     
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