Truth Universally Acknowledged

The title of this blog is an obvious reference to my favourite author, Jane Austen. My other great inspiration is Ella Fitzgerald. I intend this site to be general musings about things which interest me, and hopefully you as well.

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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

I'm a girl in her twenties living in New Zealand - of Irish and Scottish descent. I'm married to a wonderful guy and we live in a tiny house in the suburbs with a menagerie of soft toys and model aircraft. My main occupations at the moment are attempting to become and author and surviving my day job... wish me luck!


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Thursday, 20 October 2005

Test Rat Outsmarts Scientists



A cunning rat released on a deserted island off New Zealand outsmarted scientists and evaded traps, baits and sniffer dogs before being captured four months later on a neighbouring island, researchers said.

Scientists from the University of Auckland in New Zealand released the Norway rat on the 9.5-hectare (23.5-acre) island of Motuhoropapa to find out why rats are so difficult to eradicate.

They got more than they bargained for.

"Our findings confirm that eliminating a single invading rat is disproportionately difficult," James Russell and his colleagues said in a report in the science journal Nature.

Despite all their efforts, including fitting the rat with a radio collar, they couldn't catch the crafty creature.

After 10 weeks on the island the rodent decided it had had enough. It swam 400 metres, the longest distance recorded for a rat across open sea, to another rat-free island where it was eventually captured in a trap baited with penguin meat several weeks later.

The Norway rat, which is also called the brown or sewer rat, is a husky rodent that weighs about 11 ounces (312 gram) and has a long tail.

Invading rats on remote islands off the coast of New Zealand have been a recurring problem. Norway rats have invaded the uninhabited Noises Islands at least six times between 1981 and 2002.

"Our results may help in the design of conservation strategies to keep islands free of invasive rodents," Russell and team added.

From XtraMSN

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2 Comments:

Blogger Sharuk said...

IQ >> Smart

1:02 pm  
Blogger RyeBrye said...

The image you posted is of a normal albino lab rat - but the rat they were studying was a Norway (UGLY) rat... you know - the big, brown, ugly kind?

7:37 pm  

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