2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

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2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:08 pm UTC

Image
Title text: My pet theory is that in real life, the kid at the beginning of Jurassic Park who made fun of the 'six-foot turkey' never got a talking-to from Dr. Grant, and grew up to produce several of the movie's sequels.

This comic needs a third circle exactly in between the other two for "people who have never read SomethingAwful's 'Tales from the Zoo.'"
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Mental Mouse » Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:39 pm UTC

Q.v. Australia's Great Emu War, aka fighting a battle against the wildlife and losing.

Or just get a close look at, say, a heron or falcon.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:28 pm UTC

I feel like the authoritative category should be "people who have been attacked by ostriches, or observed them fighting as a non-participant" as I seriously doubt the judgement of anybody who tries to fight an ostrich (even ignoring how powerful their talons are); any plan that involves fighting an animal is imprudent and unnecessary.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby da Doctah » Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:40 pm UTC

Heck, I'm apprehensive about geese, and mockingbirds. They may not be as big as dinosaurs, but I don't think they realize that.

There's a bit in one of the Spider-Man movies where the Lizard says he's an unstoppable foe because reptiles have no natural enemies. Apparently this guy never took a good long look at a Mexican flag.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Lord Tacohead » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:12 pm UTC

To Whom It May Concern:

This is not a Venn diagram. It is a Euler diagram. Hopefully this comic will be withdrawn and reposted with this amateurish mistake corrected.

Sincerely,
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby hamjudo » Wed Dec 26, 2018 6:54 pm UTC

For domesticated ostriches, rather than fight them, the challenge is to get them to go somewhere they don't want to go, without hurting them. This may look like a fight, but the rules are assymetric in favor of the ostrich.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:22 pm UTC

It's really surprising at how little fear some birds demonstrate. I've read that sometimes specially trained dogs are used to chase geese away; I have trouble picturing that (and I just tried youtubing it and it still looks fake to me). I've seen geese readily face down Semis rather than walk a little out of their way.

Also, a literal six foot tall turkey is not an appealing concept to anyone who's ever met a wild turkey.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby MrT2 » Wed Dec 26, 2018 10:27 pm UTC

Yeah, don't mess with geese or swans, both are unrelenting bullies. Particularly swans, there's a lake near me which used to have a dozen or so geese and a pair of swans, until the male swan got it into his head to chase the geese away - now even after several years of no regular geese, if one tries to land, he immediately starts a takeoff run across the lake at the unsuspecting goose; the goose sees a bird the size of a large dog with a 7ft wingspan coming straight at it, and makes itself scarce.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:31 am UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I've read that sometimes specially trained dogs are used to chase geese away; I have trouble picturing that

It's definitely a thing. I used to work in an office park in New Jersey where I'd sometimes see signs saying "Border Collies at work," though I have never actually seen the dogs. There weren't many geese there, which suggests that the dogs were effective, since the park had plenty of grass and water, making it exactly the kind of place those geese like to hang out.

I don't remember ever hearing of this kind of operation back home in the Netherlands. Maybe because I lived in a more densely populated area there? There definitely were geese out and about, but I never heard of any efforts to chase them away. Maybe because they were more easygoing, being feral descendants of domesticated geese?

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Heimhenge » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:36 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:Heck, I'm apprehensive about geese, and mockingbirds. They may not be as big as dinosaurs, but I don't think they realize that.

There's a bit in one of the Spider-Man movies where the Lizard says he's an unstoppable foe because reptiles have no natural enemies. Apparently this guy never took a good long look at a Mexican flag.


I can vouch for that. Wasn't an eagle though. I had problems with woodpeckers drilling holes into my foam-insulated roof, apparently because it sounded like "hollow wood" to them. Tried all the usual methods for keeping birds away. One of those was fake rubber snakes (sold at gardening stores). I set a half dozen of those things at strategic locations around the roof. About a week later when checking for new holes I noticed two of the snakes were missing. They weren't likely to get blown off by the wind, so this was at first puzzling. About a week after that I was out in the yard and saw a red tail hawk fly off my roof with a rubber snake in its talons.

Yes, reptiles have natural predators.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:24 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:I don't remember ever hearing of this kind of operation back home in the Netherlands. Maybe because I lived in a more densely populated area there? There definitely were geese out and about, but I never heard of any efforts to chase them away. Maybe because they were more easygoing, being feral descendants of domesticated geese?
I'm pretty sure it's a different species, or at least sub-species. Do you remember if they scatter is a human walks through, or stand and fight? Also, american geese seem to go out of their way to defecate on sidewalks.

I saw on a nature documentary that french pigeons are now so blasé that they're being preyed upon by catfish. (The catfish jumps about a foot unto shore.)
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:21 pm UTC

In my time at university, I observed that the tourists who incautiously brought picnics to the river banks would get terrorised by the local geese and swans into giving up their sandwiches.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:36 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
GlassHouses wrote:I don't remember ever hearing of this kind of operation back home in the Netherlands. Maybe because I lived in a more densely populated area there? There definitely were geese out and about, but I never heard of any efforts to chase them away. Maybe because they were more easygoing, being feral descendants of domesticated geese?
I'm pretty sure it's a different species, or at least sub-species. Do you remember if they scatter is a human walks through, or stand and fight? Also, american geese seem to go out of their way to defecate on sidewalks.

Yeah, the American variety (usually "Canada Geese", though there are a few of other species) leave greasy poop everywhere. Manicured grass--well-watered and cut somewhat short--is perfect goose food. So sidewalks, and fairways and greens on golf courses, get covered in crap. Which is disgusting, at minimum, and a hip-breaking slip-and-fall hazard for the elderly.

Geese will hiss at, or run up to bite or wing-bash, anyone that gets too close to their flock or their nests. And they'll nest just about anywhere they have a bit of debris to move around; a favorite spot being the wood-chip-mulched landscaping around building entrances.

They also block traffic, since they move around in flocks of up to 50 or so geese, and they'll face down cars rather than run away. YouTube has videos of Canada Geese attacking people, and dogs, and automobiles, and bald eagles, and elephants, and...

And, according to Wikipedia, they're the second-worst bird for taking down airplanes. That US Airways flight that crash-landed in the Hudson River several years ago? It hit a flock of Canada Geese.

And, of course, they can spread "bird flu".

You can sort-of keep them away with (large enough) live dogs, or with decoys of larger or surlier birds, like swans and wild turkeys. But the lack of big predators (due to them also predating on human children, and domestic pets and livestock) means urban areas are having issues with things like geese and deer and coyotes. Places around Minneapolis have in-city hunting seasons for both deer and geese.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby GlassHouses » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:39 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:
GlassHouses wrote:I don't remember ever hearing of this kind of operation back home in the Netherlands. Maybe because I lived in a more densely populated area there? There definitely were geese out and about, but I never heard of any efforts to chase them away. Maybe because they were more easygoing, being feral descendants of domesticated geese?

I'm pretty sure it's a different species, or at least sub-species. Do you remember if they scatter is a human walks through, or stand and fight? Also, american geese seem to go out of their way to defecate on sidewalks.

They're definitely a different species. All the geese I see in NJ are Canada Geese, Branta Canadensis; the ones I see in the Netherlands are Feral Greylag Geese, Anser Anser Domesticus. When humans approach, they neither hiss nor scatter, they just move out of the way. I've never noticed lots of goose poop but then again I've never seen them in very large groups, either.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Soot Leopard » Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:09 pm UTC

You know, if you hiss back at the goose it tends to back down. At the end of the day you're still bigger and stronger than it is and no one goose has enough of a pack mentality to want to take you on if you show it in no uncertain terms that you're actually ready to fight back.
And just... don't ask me how I know this. :P
If you think of a vehicle from the goose's perspective, it can't communicate that same message the same way, although I suspect if you tried to act a little bit aggressive instead of just stopping -- like edging forward a little bit or flashing your headlights at it (if it's not too bright out) the bird would get the message.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby pogrmman » Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:31 pm UTC

Even small birds can be pretty fiesty and fearless. I’ve seen grackles steal a claw full of French fries from children sitting with their parents before.

Lots of birds are crazy smart, too. Sure, the cardinal that’s has flown into my window probably 100 times a day for the past year isn’t all that bright, but I’ve seen pretty nifty stuff from many birds. Plus, there’s also been all kinds of crazy studies that show that many birds are smart. Stuff like how crows that have stolen things from other birds hiding places will move stuff from their hiding places if the other bird saw them out it away. That makes feathered dinosaurs all the more terrifying — they were probably smart.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby da Doctah » Sat Dec 29, 2018 9:41 pm UTC

pogrmman wrote:Even small birds can be pretty fiesty and fearless".


Anyone else here ever been menaced by a hummingbird? Damn things have no fear of anything. And I don't just mean slow-moving humans taking too long to refill the feeders. I recall house spiders cowering helplessly in a corner while marauding hummingbirds swooped through and gathered up big swaths of web to use in making their own nests.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Soot Leopard » Mon Dec 31, 2018 1:13 am UTC

Mmm, here in Winnipeg (apart from the geese) we mostly get lots and lots of ravens and if you pay some attention to them it's pretty easy to see how smart they are.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Zinho » Mon Dec 31, 2018 4:17 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:
pogrmman wrote:Even small birds can be pretty fiesty and fearless".


Anyone else here ever been menaced by a hummingbird? Damn things have no fear of anything. And I don't just mean slow-moving humans taking too long to refill the feeders. I recall house spiders cowering helplessly in a corner while marauding hummingbirds swooped through and gathered up big swaths of web to use in making their own nests.


That house spider was probably in very valid fear for its life: hummingbirds are insectivores.
wildbirdsonline.com wrote:Essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, oils and fats, fiber, etc. all come from the insects they eagerly consume, not the nectar. Their preferred insects include, but are not limited to: small beetles, true bugs, weevils, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, aphids, mites, leafhoppers, flying ants, and parasitic wasps. Their favorite insect food source is the spider and harvestmen (daddy long legs). Some ornithologists estimate that spiders are between 60% and 80% of their diet.

Before anyone points out that spiders aren't insects, a) try telling the hummingbirds that, b) YOU come up with a word that neatly encompasses both 6-legged and 8-legged freaks as mealtime snacks; Araneophagy is specific to spiders.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby thunk » Tue Jan 01, 2019 6:37 pm UTC

Randall doing the good work of sticking it to the BANDits and awesomebros (who are objectively wrong). Thank you.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Sableagle » Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:10 am UTC

My favourite "clever girl" moment for the corvids was after a BBC documentary about clever crows in Japan using traffic at pedestrian crossings to open stolen nuts, flying down to put the nuts in front of the wheels of the lead vehicle while people were crossing, waiting while the lights changed twice and flying down to eat the pieces of kernel while the next group crossed.
It aired on TV in Britain. Shops had (still ahve?) TVs in the front window. That week, British crows started doing the same thing. Clever girls.

da Doctah wrote:There's a bit in one of the Spider-Man movies where the Lizard says he's an unstoppable foe because reptiles have no natural enemies. Apparently this guy never took a good long look at a Mexican flag.


He ought to watch out for any long-legged ladies with fabulous hair and black cycling shorts.

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

Also what Luis might call "snow-white bitches" with long fignernails.

https://youtu.be/s-sHY1zSA2I?t=30

Also crazy mustelid-looking fluffballs, if they're hungry.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yRowC6t8tjA
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jan 02, 2019 4:14 pm UTC

Sableagle wrote:My favourite "clever girl" moment for the corvids was after a BBC documentary about clever crows in Japan using traffic at pedestrian crossings to open stolen nuts, flying down to put the nuts in front of the wheels of the lead vehicle while people were crossing, waiting while the lights changed twice and flying down to eat the pieces of kernel while the next group crossed.
It aired on TV in Britain. Shops had (still ahve?) TVs in the front window. That week, British crows started doing the same thing. Clever girls.


Cool story. One question: did anyone check to see if British crows were already doing it before the documentary aired? What we know for sure is that British crows were reported as doing it after the documentary aired, but that could also be explained by (a much larger number of) people becoming aware of the possibility and being alert for the behaviour.

I'm not sure which is more impressive: British crows coming up with the same idea independently, or British crows being able to process the images on a TV screen (depending on how long ago this was, and how similar corvid vision is to human, the image on a TV screen could look very weird to them - I know there are raptors who would see a CRT image as a moving dot (with fading trail) lighting up lots of individual blobs rather than as a gestalt image).

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:24 pm UTC

I'd phrase it differently, which is more impressive:
  1. Japanese crows come up with the idea independently; British crows come up with the idea independently.
  2. Japanese crows come up with the idea independently; British crows learn from watching TV.
On both cases: crows have a capacity for learning independently. In one case: the crows have both the potential to learn independently or from TV.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:52 pm UTC

Quizatzhaderac wrote:I'd phrase it differently, which is more impressive:
  1. Japanese crows come up with the idea independently; British crows come up with the idea independently.
  2. Japanese crows come up with the idea independently; British crows learn from watching TV.
On both cases: crows have a capacity for learning independently. In one case: the crows have both the potential to learn independently or from TV.


If there's only ever been one crow that came up with the idea, that's less impressive for the species as a whole than if multiple crows were smart enough to come up with the idea independently.

Presumably most of the Japanese crows that do it learned it by seeing other crows do it, so the only thing the BBC added was the crows visually processing the TV images as they would if they were visiting Japan and seeing it happen live. How impressive that is depends on how different their vision is from human vision - and it would probably be even more impressive if they were interpreting cartoon instructions and definitely much more if it was written instructions...

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Mikeski » Thu Jan 03, 2019 1:40 am UTC

rmsgrey wrote:and definitely much more if it was written instructions...

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a crow.

(Though those new touchscreen things don't work at all with beaks. Old-fashioned keyboards it is. peck, peck, peck...)

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jan 03, 2019 2:13 am UTC

Mikeski wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:and definitely much more if it was written instructions...

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a crow.

(Though those new touchscreen things don't work at all with beaks. Old-fashioned keyboards it is. peck, peck, peck...)


Most types of touch-screen should be fine - only some capacitive touch-screens would need a suitable tool, though they are the most common type.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Sableagle » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:26 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:
Mikeski wrote:
rmsgrey wrote:and definitely much more if it was written instructions...

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a crow.

(Though those new touchscreen things don't work at all with beaks. Old-fashioned keyboards it is. peck, peck, peck...)


Most types of touch-screen should be fine - only some capacitive touch-screens would need a suitable tool, though they are the most common type.


A damp ear-bud should work, shouldn't it?
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Soupspoon » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:17 pm UTC

rmsgrey wrote:If there's only ever been one crow that came up with the idea, that's less impressive for the species as a whole than if multiple crows were smart enough to come up with the idea independently.

What if there's only actually one crow! (What's the anti-crow? The gull?)

Then there's morphic resonance

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:31 pm UTC

The thing about recursion problems is that they tend to contain other recursion problems.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Jan 04, 2019 4:52 pm UTC

I once freaked out an Australian friend for a moment when he made some comment about black crows, and I replied "Oh yeah, your crows are black down there, like your swans. That's weird." and for a brief shining moment his world was turned upside-down (or would that be right-side-up since he's already down under?) as he wondered if the rest of the world's crows were white and he had somehow never realized that.
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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Mikeski » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:26 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I once freaked out an Australian friend for a moment when he made some comment about black crows, and I replied "Oh yeah, your crows are black down there, like your swans. That's weird." and for a brief shining moment his world was turned upside-down (or would that be right-side-up since he's already down under?) as he wondered if the rest of the world's crows were white and he had somehow never realized that.

You made an Australian wonder if the rest of the world's wildlife was weird? That's impressive.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri Jan 04, 2019 5:42 pm UTC

Australian crows are unique amongst the world's crows in that they are not poisonous or envenomating or carry human STDs or ambush-lurk in shallow water or can disembowel a human with a poweful kick as soon as look at you… We in the rest of the world are just lucky our crows haven't yet included firearms in the list of tools they can use, which is thought to currently mostly limited to sewing machines, rasps and spirit-levels but may also include GPS receivers and solder-suckers.

*nodnod*

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby gimmespamnow » Fri Jan 04, 2019 8:38 pm UTC

Soot Leopard wrote:You know, if you hiss back at the goose it tends to back down. At the end of the day you're still bigger and stronger than it is and no one goose has enough of a pack mentality to want to take you on if you show it in no uncertain terms that you're actually ready to fight back.
And just... don't ask me how I know this. :P


I don't know about the hissing part, but I can confirm the general gist of this: my dad and I figured it would be pretty easy to just grab a goose off the side of the street and eat it for thanksgiving, but it turns out that when you come at them with a burlap sack and heavy gloves they run away... What you can do is shoot one with an arrow from all of about 3 meters away. (If you want to try this at home, do note that there are often rules about this sort of thing, (permits, trespassing, etc. For instance, you can't shoot a gun inside city limits, but an arrow is fine.))

Not that I'd recommend any of this advise with an ostrich.

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Re: 2090: "Feathered Dinosaur Venn Diagram"

Postby Archgeek » Fri Jan 04, 2019 9:26 pm UTC

Soot Leopard wrote:You know, if you hiss back at the goose it tends to back down. [...] If you think of a vehicle from the goose's perspective, it can't communicate that same message the same way, although I suspect if you tried to act a little bit aggressive instead of just stopping -- like edging forward a little bit or flashing your headlights at it (if it's not too bright out) the bird would get the message.

I guess you could use your horn and honk right back at the dinosaur? Maybe rev the engine a little to deliver the ancient "Large, Agitated, Potentially Territorial Mammal" message?
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