Dr. Joan Bushwell's Chimpanzee Refuge

When one thinks of a house mouse, a meek cheese-nibbling furry little critter is most often visualized Don’t be fooled. These are nasty beasts. Just ask the chicks of the stormy petrel, Tristan albatross and Atlantic petrel.

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The vast majority of avian extinctions have occurred on islands. Rats, an invasive species on many islands, are often blamed for such extinctions. Mice were thought to pose no threats to seabirds’ nests. However, once their ratty brethren were removed from the competitive scene, the mice moved in on delicious territory. The little fiends have been caught in the act on Gough Island:

Gangs of house mice have been caught attacking and killing seabirds 300 times their weight on an island in the South Atlantic Ocean. Here’s some evocative text:

House mice (Mus musculus) were thought to pose little risk to island birds, until now. Now, video footage exposes tiny house mice as they invade the nests of young chicks and proceed to gnaw through chicks’ feathers and skin before gorging on their entrails.

Mice were caught on video gnawing on and often killing live chicks of all three bird species. One video showed up to 10 mice mauling an albatross chick and eating from three open wounds on its body.

Yes, there’s a video. Watch at your own risk. The source of the lurid report? Why, LiveScience, of course! Lookee here —> Mouse Thugs

I have never been sure what species of rodents swarm over Kenny’s lifeless body (South Park), but now I am convinced that they are house mice.

Comments

  1. #1 Gork
    July 12, 2007

    I saw a nature video that showed field mice hunting, killing, and devouring large insects. Mice are by nature predators. They’ll eat seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies if they can’t get live kills.

    I once worked on a farm and found out that chickens by nature are predators. It’s instructive to see them hunt and kill animal prey, then defend it as they peck away at it.

  2. #2 The Science Pundit
    July 13, 2007

    I had to watch this on IE since for some reason, I can’t get LiveScience videos on Firefox. (GRRRR!!!!!)

    muscus omnivorus :-)

  3. #3 Luna_the_cat
    July 14, 2007

    I realised long ago that the cute lil’ whiskers and big black eyes thing is just a front for a bunch of nasty, vicious, cutthroat, and frequently cannibalistic little furry thugs. We’ve known for a couple of years up here in Scotland that we lose seabirds to mice, and anyone who has ever kept mice would be familiar with their willingness to kill.

    Makes me feel better about my own tendency towards seeing them as little furry popcorns. Mmm, crunchy…

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