Ancient crocodile chewed like a mammal. That’s a New Scientist news headline.
Crocodile mom: “Johnny, you’re chewing like a mammal! Stop nibbling on that piglet and swallow it whole after a few good chomps.”
Feral hogs. My coworker was in Missouri and saw a road sign that said, “Don’t feed the feral hogs.”
I did some Googling on the subject. The Conservation Commission of Missouri says, “Shoot ’em on sight.” From the Web site: “They will eat anything they can find, including deer fawns, and can grow to 450-500 pounds. They are mostly nocturnal but can sometimes be found during the day loafing in clear-cuts and brushy areas.”
That’s my call-out on “loafing.” Doesn’t the word seem awfully judgmental? Maybe a 500 pound fawn-eater can’t sleep, so it gets up and stretches it legs by hoofing around a clear-cut. Maybe it’s feeling a little stressed by the “shoot ’em on sight” thing. Not necessarily a loafer.
I learned from this Web site that sows and pigs often travel in groups called “sounders.” I had always thought our local soccer team, the Seattle Sounders, was named after Puget Sound…
Don’t read this part if you’re easily nauseated. When chopping up a dead feral hog, keep its blood out of your nose. They might be infected with swine brucellosis and leptospirosis. These bacteria are killed when cooked, but “wear rubber gloves while dressing and processing the animal in order to keep blood and body fluids away from any cuts or scratches on your hands. Also, take care that none gets into your eyes, nose, or mouth. Do not feed raw meat or internal organs to pets because they can become infected. If you field dress the animal, it is best to bury the offal.”
It’s so seldom you come across the word “offal” I thought it was worth quoting. Awful, isn’t it?