Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Those Amazing Animals

Though it’s not clearly stated in this article about that chimp attack in Connecticut, the woman who was attacked presumably had her face eaten off, since that’s what primates do.  They’re monsters, in short — yet about the best the wretched non-human animal kingdom has to offer, so keep that in mind the next time some vegan tries to convince you that animal preferences ought to outweigh humans’.  This also should kill any residual dreams about monkey butlers’ superiority to robot butlers.  By contrast with the savage primates, we can trust the robots.  For now.

I suspect, by the way, that this was the same escape-prone Connecticut chimp named Travis (how many could there be??) mentioned in my primate-crimes article for Radar a few years ago.  I’ve been well aware for some time of what violent, untrustworthy creatures primates can be, thanks in part to the tales of chimp violence at primate study labs from my evolutionary psychology expert friend Diana Fleischman (who you’ll hear more about in an entry next week) and in part to Scott Nybakken, who warned me before my trip to India ten years ago that “Monkeys go for the face.”  (Note: I know chimps are not monkeys.)

But since I’ve said so little about non-human animals in this “Month of Evolution,” let me note a few positive things about animals to compensate for the late Travis’s shabby behavior:

•Architect Dave Whitney forwards this amazing video of a massive excavated ant colony.

•Arguably the most important website about animals notes an evolutionary development of some significance.

•Strangely, the same site featured this picture of Gersh Kuntzman (through no fault of his own) interviewing a walrus about his bucket.

•Chris Nugent notes that the Travis incident at least had the upshot of producing this swell CNN headline: “Chimp had tea, Xanax before vicious attack” (he also notes these other amusing CNN headlines yesterday: “Bristol Palin: Abstinence for teens ‘not realistic’,” “Doctors test orifices for weight-loss operations,” “Stimulus: Now for the hard part,” and on a less sexual note, “Shark takes chunk out of beloved dolphin”).

•And I notice that in Connecticut, a couple years after my parents’ dog Uber passed away, someone happens to have started an Uberdog luxury kennel, where I hope the dogs will be as happy and comfortable as Uber was throughout most of her life (her successor Jaycie seems pretty content, too, despite a little tumble down the cellar stairs when I was home over Christmas — animal life can be tough).


Todd Seavey said...

Great follow-up headline appearing now:

Conn. woman says she never gave slain chimp Xanax

Todd Seavey said...

On a somewhat animal-related note, see if you can spot the real idiot in this story of a fire caused by Tracy Morgan’s fish tank, pointed out to me by one of my ACSH co-workers:


Xine said...

Belatedly: I heard the 911 call on the radio yesterday, and the woman indeed screams, “He ripped off her face…AND ATE IT!”

Todd Seavey said...

Meanwhile, at the animal hospital, a reminder of humanity’s own most devastating combat move:

Todd Seavey said...

And on a less amusing note, chimp-victim Charla Nash reportedly lost her eyes, nose, and jaw to Travis, not only her face-flesh.

T.A.B. said...

A friend noted that this situation (an ape killing a human) is exactly how “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” got started. You’re the only other person I know who made the connection via your ape image.

E5 said...

Do you think there might be a chance you called the robot butler vs chimp butler fight a little early?:,2933,496309,00.html