Not in the clamor of the crowded street, not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, but in ourselves, are triumph and defeat.--Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

REDIRECT ALERT! (Scroll down past this mess if you're trying to read an archived post. Thanks. No, really, thanks.)

Due to my inability to control my temper and complacently accept continued silliness with not-quite-as-reliable-as-it-ought-to-be Blogger/Blogspot, your beloved Possumblog will now waddle across the Information Dirt Road and park its prehensile tail at http://possumblog.mu.nu.

This site will remain in place as a backup in case Munuvia gets hit by a bus or something, but I don't think they have as much trouble with this as some places do. ::cough::blogspot::cough:: So click here and adjust your links. I apologize for the inconvenience, but it's one of those things.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Oh, sure--everyone LOVES the cuddly otters!

In Case of the Dead Otters, Evidence Points to Opossums


Published: June 15, 2004

LOS ANGELES - Sea otters, dead and alive, have been washing up on the California coast in record numbers for two springs, and scientists say they are closer to solving the mystery.

The principal culprits, the scientists say, are toxoplasma gondii and sarcocystis neurona, parasites that can cause fatal diseases in the brains and nervous systems of otters and other animals. Toxoplasma gondii, which can affect humans too, spreads its hardy spores through cat feces, while sarcocystis neurona is spread through opossum feces. [...]


[...] Dr. [Melissa] Miller said she suspected that the otters encountered the parasite by eating shellfish that carried it. The shellfish, she said, could have picked up sarcocystis neurona from the runoffs of heavy rains in February. Runoff has been shown to transport cat feces infected with toxoplasma gondii to the ocean, where the spores are eaten by shellfish, and then by otters, she said. Her theory is that the water might have carried opossum feces in the same way.

Studies to investigate this theory are being conducted, she said.

Opossums are not native to California. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, they were probably imported from Virginia in the early 1900's so that people could hunt them. [...]

Well, now--seems like it's going to be a lot easier to hunt OTTERS nowadays, ISN'T IT! Serves 'em right, bringing all those possums out there just to hunt 'em down like the large, rodent-like, dim-witted, animals they are. Maybe those hoity-toity Californians need to do something about those filthy CATS before they start picking on POSSUMS!


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