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The Thread About Interesting Facts For Interested Individuals

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    TankHammerTankHammer Atlanta Ghostbuster Atlanta, GARegistered User regular
    My ex had an African gray. He was very smart but a total asshole.

    He liked to mimic her parent's voices to call the dogs and then laugh at them when they ran in looking for their human masters.

    He also liked making phone ringing noises, door knocking noises, doorbells and water dripping to fool the family and would always do an imitation of her mother's laugh when he got someone.

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    Houk the NamebringerHouk the Namebringer Nipples The EchidnaRegistered User regular
    TankHammer wrote: »
    My ex had an African gray. He was very smart but a total asshole.

    He liked to mimic her parent's voices to call the dogs and then laugh at them when they ran in looking for their human masters.

    He also liked making phone ringing noises, door knocking noises, doorbells and water dripping to fool the family and would always do an imitation of her mother's laugh when he got someone.

    my mom's african gray would do the same thing. it would meow to tease the dog, and bark to tease the cat. it also learned the 'low battery' beeping sound my mom's old phone used to make, and would do it randomly throughout the day. it basically sounded like a fire alarm with a low battery. that shit was infuriating

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    DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    TankHammer wrote: »
    My ex had an African gray. He was very smart but a total asshole.

    He liked to mimic her parent's voices to call the dogs and then laugh at them when they ran in looking for their human masters.

    He also liked making phone ringing noises, door knocking noises, doorbells and water dripping to fool the family and would always do an imitation of her mother's laugh when he got someone.

    Or maybe the mom trained him to do that and the laugh was a clue

    3basnids3lf9.jpg




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    Al_watAl_wat Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    when i was a child my friend Tyler had a parrot. he was a pretty bad kid, always getting in shit and causing problems. you could always hear the parrot yelling "Tyler! Tyler get over here!" because of his parents yelling at him so much

    Al_wat on
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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    A (violent) history of the zoo in my hometown, written by someone I went to school with

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/march/1425128400/anna-goldsworthy/day-zoo

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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    A (violent) history of the zoo in my hometown, written by someone I went to school with

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/march/1425128400/anna-goldsworthy/day-zoo

    Jesus that is grim.

    Our zoo has some pictures up of their old habitats that have long since been replaced which show how terrible the conditions were. There are still a few empty unused concrete and wrought iron cages left which I believe used to hold big cats? I haven't heard of anyone breaking in and slaughtering any of the animals, though.

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Yeah Adelaide has some ... weird cultural currents that pop up now and again. Random gruesome violence at odd and isolated intervals seems to be a thing.

    Maybe it's the result of cabin fever induced by stultifying boredom and social stratification. Also, the summer northerlies.

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    Blake TBlake T Do you have enemies then? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.Registered User regular
    Ask her about Adelaide's banks.

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    chromdomchromdom Who? Where?Registered User regular
    Al_wat wrote: »
    when i was a child my friend Tyler had a parrot. he was a pretty bad kid, always getting in shit and causing problems. you could always hear the parrot yelling "Tyler! Tyler get over here!" because of his parents yelling at him so much

    My name's not Tyler, but yeah, this was basically me. My brother's pet cockatiel (named Perico) sat upstairs. I would go up there because there was a TV, and my mom didn't like to go up all there all that much. So she'd yell up the stairs for me, and eventually Perico started emulating.
    I don't know if Perico was playing a joke on me, but my mom did give me some strange looks when I'd just show up saying "What?"

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    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    Meet Betty the crow.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYZnsO2ZgWo

    Betty hatched on the tropical island of New Caledonia, in the Pacific Ocean northeast of Australia.

    new+caledonia+map.gif

    In July-August 2002, researchers from the Behavioural Ecology Research Group at the University of Oxford captured her and 19 other New Caledonia crows for research on cognition and tool using, as they had been recorded previously making tools in the wild. Until the 1960s (again with the dumb pre-60s), Man (because they were also sexist as well as species-ist) was considered the only Tool User, being so very Extra Special with the Big Brains and Capital Letters and all that. There were anecdotes of animal tool usage (Charles Darwin, who as always was way ahead of his time, even wrote about one - baboons rolling stones down a hill at a rival band) but they were dismissed as people telling stories - ha, people thinking their animals are smart; next they'll be telling me they hold conversations with their parrots!

    This all changed in the 1960s with Jane Goodall's observations of the chimpanzees of Gombe, as she saw them fishing for termites using blades of grass and twigs that they stripped to make fishing easier. [When something goes into the nest, termites bite it. When it's a blade of grass, they bite down on the grass, and then when the grass is pulled up they're still clinging to it, so they can be eaten.] Once the psychological barrier was broken, scientists were observing tool use all over the place. Other great apes, and primates, and dolphins, and sea otters...and fish...and wasps...and okay maybe Man humans aren't so special in the tool-using regard, but tool manufacture, changing objects for a specific use in mind, that's still the domain of the primates, which are close relatives of humans, so that's kinda still special if not Extra Special, right? Yeah, sea otters open clams with stones, but they don't alter the stones to be better at breaking open clams, and neither do other animals.

    And then there are these crows living in a tropical paradise who think, "There are grubs in these logs, and I want them, but I can't reach them and all I have are these twigs. I could bend the tips of the twigs to make it easier to grab the grubs, and then pull those grubs out!" and then proceed to do just that.

    field_stick_tools.jpg

    It may not look like much, but putting a little curve there does make it easier to fish out the yummy, protein-rich wigglers, and it's actually a very advanced process to think of modifying something. You want something, so you take something else that is, and deliberately turn it into something that it was not before, because doing so will accomplish a task. That's a lot of thinking steps. Heck, the crows then often took particularly well-made sticks with them for use later, showing that not only did they understand the purpose of it, but they knew that this scenario would occur again and so the tool would be useful again.

    The common ancestor of birds and humans was about 330 million years ago, give or take, some little reptiloid-ish thingy whose offspring went off in one direction and became dinosaurs and then birds, and other offspring went off in another direction and was small and furry and then was humans. The fuzzy and smart bits hadn't evolved yet and happened completely separately. Birds have quite dissimilar brain structures as compared to mammals, and it was thought that their behaviors were "stereotyped" - the old-timey insult 'birdbrain' shows what little respect people had for them. And yet there they are. Hence, capturing them for research, just as many other species were.


    So a little background on the opening clip. All the crows captured were given names to distinguish them. In this one test, Betty and a male crow named Abel were given a choice of two wires - a straight wire, and a wire with a hook on it already. In the bucket, juuust out of reach, is a little pail with bits of pig heart, which is their favorite food. They would need to use the hooked wire to pull up the pail by its handle to get the pig heart. Abel went first, pulled out his pail with the hooked wire, and then, recognizing what a great thing a hook is, took it with him. Betty only had the straight wire remaining to her, and also had never actually seen a wire before. Within the course of one minute, she observes a wire for the first time, pokes around with it, and then fashions a hook of her own completely spontaneously to get her treats. (And apparently after the camera was shut off Abel swooped in and took the new hook Betty had made, because he's just a cloaca like that.)

    Abel by the way did not learn how to do this - in ten successive retrials given only a straight wire, Betty make hooks nine times (using different methods of making the hook), and Abel got the food once somehow with the straight wire.

    Betty excelled at other tasks too. Here she is taking a tool to grab another tool to grab another tool which will get her some food (while ignoring two other tools that won't help her).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=41Z6Mvjd9w0

    Also in less than a minute. This is meta-tool use. Mind you, six of the seven crows they tested figured it out, and when the test was rerun but with stick positioned reversed, only one of the crows briefly attempted to use the long stick to retrieve the short stick before just using the long stick to grab the treat. All the crows are smart. Betty just seemed like the smartest.

    Speaking of being the smartest, since there were both males and females among the crows, they formed up breeding pairs, including Betty. They all attempted to build nests and lay eggs. Of the four attempted nests, only Betty's worked to brood the eggs. The researchers, as they took the eggs to brood themselves, hypothesized that the materials they gave the crows weren't sufficient to make proper nests. Betty made her nest work anyway, even with substandard materials, because she's a tool manufacturer. When life gives her lemons, she makes lemonade out of it. Her son Uek (which means 'crow' in the New Caledonian Koumac language) became part of the research group.

    BTW Uek, Son of Betty is my RPG character.

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    god I love crows, they're so great

    they're probably better at recognizing human faces than most humans are, and they're definitely better at communicating what faces look like--crows are known to scold or attack humans they've never seen before if a crow in their community has been harassed by that human

    they also play, and they meet at the end of the day to chat and relax for a bit before all going to bed together

    and they mourn their dead

    they're like little people

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    MayabirdMayabird Pecking at the keyboardRegistered User regular
    And sometimes if you're nice to them and give them presents, they give you presents back.

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    MidniteMidnite Registered User regular
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    WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    One of my neighbors in Yellowknife had the crows trained/befriended, like he would always treat the crows and ravens amazingly well, treats and just friendly and such.

    But would yell and scream at the seagulls, cause seagulls are assholes, chase them outta his garbage and such.

    After a while, he no longer had to bother with the Seagulls, because the crows and ravens would keep them away , just because they figured it out.

    Steam! Battlenet:Wisemantobes#1508
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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    seagulls definitely know that crows are not to be trifled with

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    ArangArang HUEY LEWISRegistered User regular
    edited March 2015
    Shorty wrote: »
    god I love crows, they're so great

    they're probably better at recognizing human faces than most humans are, and they're definitely better at communicating what faces look like--crows are known to scold or attack humans they've never seen before if a crow in their community has been harassed by that human

    they also play, and they meet at the end of the day to chat and relax for a bit before all going to bed together

    and they mourn their dead

    they're like little people

    I just have to say there is no God damned way this is true

    the human brain recognizes its own in everything from moon craters to toaster bagels, and there's no reason why crows should be better at it than us, excluding the theory that crows are much smarter than us and secretly rule the world

    ... wait a minute ...

    Arang on
    thenews.jpg
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    WeaverWeaver Who are you? What do you want?Registered User regular
    edited March 2015
    I don't think anyone was saying that crows are smarter than humans. There are plenty of animal species that exhibit traits like recognition, long term memory, problem solving, having empathy. Sure, they're still animals doing their own thing but they're not little mindless beasts with nothing going on in their heads.

    edit: wrong form of a word

    Weaver on
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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    Arang wrote: »
    Shorty wrote: »
    god I love crows, they're so great

    they're probably better at recognizing human faces than most humans are, and they're definitely better at communicating what faces look like--crows are known to scold or attack humans they've never seen before if a crow in their community has been harassed by that human

    they also play, and they meet at the end of the day to chat and relax for a bit before all going to bed together

    and they mourn their dead

    they're like little people

    I just have to say there is no God damned way this is true

    the human brain recognizes its own in everything from moon craters to toaster bagels, and there's no reason why crows should be better at it than us, excluding the theory that crows are much smarter than us and secretly rule the world

    ... wait a minute ...

    sorry, that was unclear

    what I mean is that if a crow sees a person, they're much better at remembering that face than we are, and they're definitely better than we are at conveying that information to other crows than we are at conveying it to other humans

    if you doubt, give it a try

    see if you can convey what someone looks like without using descriptors of height or color

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    and do it using only caws

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    ShortyShorty touching the meat Intergalactic Cool CourtRegistered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    and do it using only caws

    220px-Kawposter.jpg?

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
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    NocrenNocren Lt Futz, Back in Action North CarolinaRegistered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    And sometimes if you're nice to them and give them presents, they give you presents back.

    Ok, that bit where the mom loses a contact lens, and the crow brings it back (and washes it in the bird bath too!) was pretty awesome.
    Weaver wrote: »
    I don't think anyone was saying that crows are smarter than humans. There are plenty of animal species that exhibit traits like recognition, long term memory, problem solving, having empathy. Sure, they're still animals doing their own thing but they're not little mindless beasts with nothing going on in their heads.

    edit: wrong form of a word

    One of my favorite sad stories was in Africa where a rancher killed an elephant's mate (can't remember if it was because he was poaching or something else), and basically the elephant starts observing the man and eventually kills his entire heard of cattle in retribution.

    newSig.jpg
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    FishmanFishman Put your goddamned hand in the goddamned Box of Pain. Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    A (violent) history of the zoo in my hometown, written by someone I went to school with

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/march/1425128400/anna-goldsworthy/day-zoo

    Man, and I had such fond childhood memories of that zoo.

    X-Com LP Thread I, II, III, IV, V
    That's unbelievably cool. Your new name is cool guy. Let's have sex.
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    Centipede DamascusCentipede Damascus Registered User regular
    Mayabird wrote: »
    Have you ever heard of shrikes, aka butcherbirds?

    They're medium-sized grey, white, black, and sometimes a little brown carnivorous songbirds who range across North America, Eurasia, and Africa. Here's a picture of one:

    Lanius_excubitor_1_%28Marek_Szczepanek%29.jpg

    If you're staring at that picture and thinking, 'Holy crap did that bird impale that mouse on that thorn?' the answer is yes. This is what they are known for and where they get their nickname. Whatever they catch and don't eat immediately they impale on thorns, barbed wire, or whatever happens to be nearby and pointy. Insects, smaller birds, rodents, amphibians, lizards, whatever: if it's got meat, the shrikes will eat it after spiking it.

    sand%20crabSSC%20-%20-2573-M.jpg

    It serves multiple purposes. One, it's a larder for storing food. If they catch a goldfinch now but they're not really hungry, they can save it and have goldfinch jerky on another day when hunting isn't as good. Second, it helps break down toxins in some species. Some insects like monarch butterflies and a species of grasshopper in Africa have toxins in their bodies that make them unpalatable, but a few days of drying in the sun breaks the toxins down so they are edible, opening new food sources to shrikes. Third, it can help attract mates. Sure, this male can sing and dance (yes, the males also sing and dance for females) but so can the next guy and he has a whole snake on display, flanked by locusts and a mole.


    Here's one I helped catch and record at bird banding recently (spoiled for huge):
    20141108-shrike_zpse51aec03.jpg

    The local news did a little fluff segment on that day too. I'm in that video but not speaking.

    A lot of kids in the UK learnt about the butcher bird because of The Animals of Farthing Wood, a TV show that ran from 92 to 95. A forest is being destroyed for a housing development, and the animals put aside their predator/prey relationship to find a new home.

    A multi-episode arc involves the mouse family having babies, and the dilemma of keeping them in the group and slowing everyone down, or leaving them to an uncertain fate. Luckily, the problem is solved by the arrival of a friendly butcher bird, who adopts the babies!
    Hah, no. He kills the kids leaving the parents free to continue their odyssey. Here's what six-year-old me saw on TV one afternoon:
    tumblr_mruor1iBG31qjnh8qo1_500.png

    I just realized that plot is very similar to the plot of The Secret of NIMH, only with super-intelligent rats.

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    Crimson KingCrimson King Registered User regular
    Shorty wrote: »
    tynic wrote: »
    and do it using only caws

    220px-Kawposter.jpg?

    objects are closer and more terrifying than they appear

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    BotznoyBotznoy Registered User regular
    Shorty wrote: »
    tynic wrote: »
    and do it using only caws

    220px-Kawposter.jpg?

    objects are closer and more terrifying than they appear

    Is the sequel hard kaw?

    IZF2byN.jpg

    Want to play co-op games? Feel free to hit me up!
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    Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Nocren wrote: »
    Mayabird wrote: »
    And sometimes if you're nice to them and give them presents, they give you presents back.

    Ok, that bit where the mom loses a contact lens, and the crow brings it back (and washes it in the bird bath too!) was pretty awesome.
    Weaver wrote: »
    I don't think anyone was saying that crows are smarter than humans. There are plenty of animal species that exhibit traits like recognition, long term memory, problem solving, having empathy. Sure, they're still animals doing their own thing but they're not little mindless beasts with nothing going on in their heads.

    edit: wrong form of a word

    One of my favorite sad stories was in Africa where a rancher killed an elephant's mate (can't remember if it was because he was poaching or something else), and basically the elephant starts observing the man and eventually kills his entire heard of cattle in retribution.

    Elephants don't need Tony Jaa to protect them, but it's still an excellent idea to keep on his good side anyway.

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    DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    Two gorgeous new species of peacock spiders nicknamed "Skeletorus" and"Sparklemuffin" have been discovered in Australia, according to a new report.

    3basnids3lf9.jpg




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    DarkPrimusDarkPrimus Registered User regular
    DaMoonRulz wrote: »
    Two gorgeous new species of peacock spiders nicknamed "Skeletorus" and"Sparklemuffin" have been discovered in Australia, according to a new report.

    Uhm.... pictures?

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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    Nocren wrote: »
    Mayabird wrote: »
    And sometimes if you're nice to them and give them presents, they give you presents back.

    Ok, that bit where the mom loses a contact lens, and the crow brings it back (and washes it in the bird bath too!) was pretty awesome.
    Weaver wrote: »
    I don't think anyone was saying that crows are smarter than humans. There are plenty of animal species that exhibit traits like recognition, long term memory, problem solving, having empathy. Sure, they're still animals doing their own thing but they're not little mindless beasts with nothing going on in their heads.

    edit: wrong form of a word

    One of my favorite sad stories was in Africa where a rancher killed an elephant's mate (can't remember if it was because he was poaching or something else), and basically the elephant starts observing the man and eventually kills his entire heard of cattle in retribution.

    Elephants don't need Tony Jaa to protect them, but it's still an excellent idea to keep on his good side anyway.

    One of my favorite things about this is that if you think about it, it's possible the elephant thought he had a cattle harem.

    Insult to injury.

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    FyndirFyndir Registered User regular
    tynic wrote: »
    Nocren wrote: »
    Mayabird wrote: »
    And sometimes if you're nice to them and give them presents, they give you presents back.

    Ok, that bit where the mom loses a contact lens, and the crow brings it back (and washes it in the bird bath too!) was pretty awesome.
    Weaver wrote: »
    I don't think anyone was saying that crows are smarter than humans. There are plenty of animal species that exhibit traits like recognition, long term memory, problem solving, having empathy. Sure, they're still animals doing their own thing but they're not little mindless beasts with nothing going on in their heads.

    edit: wrong form of a word

    One of my favorite sad stories was in Africa where a rancher killed an elephant's mate (can't remember if it was because he was poaching or something else), and basically the elephant starts observing the man and eventually kills his entire heard of cattle in retribution.

    Elephants don't need Tony Jaa to protect them, but it's still an excellent idea to keep on his good side anyway.

    One of my favorite things about this is that if you think about it, it's possible the elephant thought he had a cattle harem.

    Insult to injury.

    Or damn well knew it from watching him for a while.

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    BrainleechBrainleech 機知に富んだコメントはここにあります Registered User regular
    Shorty wrote: »
    god I love crows, they're so great

    they're probably better at recognizing human faces than most humans are, and they're definitely better at communicating what faces look like--crows are known to scold or attack humans they've never seen before if a crow in their community has been harassed by that human

    they also play, and they meet at the end of the day to chat and relax for a bit before all going to bed together

    and they mourn their dead

    they're like little people

    Both the Crows and Dogs in my neighborhood and walk to and from work know who I am and just go about their day or in the case of crows say Hi or sup to me as I am going home.
    It took me a few to understand the crows treated me as part of their day.

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    DaMoonRulzDaMoonRulz Mare ImbriumRegistered User regular
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DaMoonRulz wrote: »
    Two gorgeous new species of peacock spiders nicknamed "Skeletorus" and"Sparklemuffin" have been discovered in Australia, according to a new report.

    Uhm.... pictures?

    At work so this is the best I can do

    http://news.yahoo.com/meet-2-spider-species-skeletorus-sparklemuffin-151321617.html

    3basnids3lf9.jpg




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    stimtokolosstimtokolos Registered User regular
    The 4th-6th derivatives of position are known as Snap, Crackle and Pop.

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    honoverehonovere Registered User regular
    DaMoonRulz wrote: »
    DarkPrimus wrote: »
    DaMoonRulz wrote: »
    Two gorgeous new species of peacock spiders nicknamed "Skeletorus" and"Sparklemuffin" have been discovered in Australia, according to a new report.

    Uhm.... pictures?

    At work so this is the best I can do

    http://news.yahoo.com/meet-2-spider-species-skeletorus-sparklemuffin-151321617.html

    I can't see a spider, just a fluffy pokemon.

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    ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User, Moderator mod
    So Paul Allen apparently went and found the wreck of the Japanese battleship Musashi, the Yamato's sister ship, about a kilometer down off the Philippines coast.

    He's posting about it on his Twitter, because we're in The Future now and that's what people do about major archaeological finds, complete with some pictures from the dive.

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    ZibblsnrtZibblsnrt Registered User, Moderator mod
    ..Between that and uncovering entire lost cities in Honduras, the broad field of findoldstuffology is having a pretty good winter.

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    BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    Someone recreate all of Indiana Jones' career in the form of tweets.

    Battletag BYToady#1454
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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
This discussion has been closed.