adBlockCheck

Osprey Devours Lion In Massive Food-Chain Shake-Up

Top Headlines

International

ISIS Starting To Worry New Recruit Huge Psycho

RAQQA, SYRIA—Admitting that the recently arrived jihadist’s disturbing behavior was becoming a serious cause for concern, several ISIS members told reporters Friday they were starting to worry that new recruit Said Hassad was a huge psycho.

National Security Experts: ‘ISIS Are Fucking Assholes’

WASHINGTON—Updating the public about the deadly attacks carried out in Brussels yesterday by members of the Syria-based jihadist group, national security experts held a press conference in Washington this morning to notify Americans that ISIS are fucking assholes.

World Makes Final Attempt To Try To Understand This Shit

BRUSSELS—In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Brussels that left over 30 dead and more than 100 injured, an angry and frustrated global populace collectively announced Tuesday that it would make one last attempt to try to understand this shit.

A Timeline Of U.S.–Cuba Relations

As President Obama visits Cuba in an effort to restore diplomatic ties with the U.S., The Onion looks at pivotal moments in the tension-filled history of U.S.–Cuba relations.

Vatican City Residents Rally To Save St. Peter’s Basilica From Development

VATICAN CITY—Citing its historical significance and the valuable role it plays in the community, residents of Vatican City rallied this week to save St. Peter’s Basilica from being demolished as part of a development project that would convert the site into an expansive residential and retail complex, sources reported.

Saudi Authorities Decry Wasteful 3-Hour Death-Row Appeals Process

RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA—Criticizing the amount of time and money wasted between a condemned individual’s sentencing and eventual execution, Saudi government officials expressed frustration Monday over the country’s costly three-hour appeals process for convicts facing the death penalty.
End Of Section
  • More News
Up Next

Osprey Devours Lion In Massive Food-Chain Shake-Up

The osprey (inset) with the lion, who didn't even stand a chance.
The osprey (inset) with the lion, who didn't even stand a chance.

DAR ES SALAAM—With its dramatic depiction of an osprey stalking, killing, and eating a lion, a video released Tuesday reveals what alarmed scientists have described as a massive and shocking disruption of the global food chain.

The graphic footage, caught on film by a National Geographic crew in Tanzania, shows the sea hawk descending talons-first upon an adult male lion and tearing open its throat, an attack that effectively upends all existing theories regarding predator-prey relationships.

"This profound disturbance could threaten the stability of entire ecosystems," said zoologist Rebecca Clattenburg, explaining that in the long-standing natural order of things, ospreys eat fish, which in turn eat smaller aquatic creatures, and so on down the line to algae. "It changes everything. We simply never pre­dicted a 3-pound marine bird might swoop down out of nowhere and completely rip apart a healthy, 400-pound lion on the plains of the Serengeti."

Leading biologists say the new food chain is anybody's guess, really.

"In fact, our observations up until now indicated eating lions was something ospreys did not do at all," she added.

A frame-by-frame analysis of the video verified the lion was standing poised and alert in broad daylight when, without warning, the osprey dive-bombed the great cat from twelve o'clock, repeatedly plunging its beak into the animal until, approximately 45 minutes later, it had nibbled the last of the still-warm flesh from the skeletal remains of its prey.

According to top scientists, the discovery challenges many fundamental principles of modern biology, raising new questions that are key: If an osprey kills a lion, does the osprey then rule the African savannah? If ospreys no longer eat northern pike, does the northern pike move to the top of its food chain? And if lions are wiped out, will zebra herds grow unchecked—or will the ospreys eat the zebras, too?

"It seems to be some sort of cross-species dietary free-for-all," said Clattenburg, now visibly trembling as she spoke to reporters. "I'm not even sure it makes sense to talk about food chains anymore. Anything's possible now. Big swarms of soldier ants could start taking out bears, for example—maybe even pythons. Imagine if bison suddenly became carnivorous. Or elephants, for God's sake."

Following initial attempts to revise existing food-chain diagrams by simply moving the lion down a little bit and placing the northern pike above the osprey, ecologists quickly acknowledged such linear approaches were far too simplistic.

Ospreys killings lions, they agreed, could permanently alter the earth's biosphere, and many expressed worries that even with advanced computer-modeling techniques, understanding the chaotic feeding connections between species could now be impossible.

"What caused this to happen?" evolutionary scientist Karl Duncan said. "Does it have something to do with global warming? Probably, right? I'm just a little concerned that everything is going to start eating everything else, and that's maddening, both from a scientific and a personal-safety standpoint."

"Suppose the lions and zebras and what­ever else leave the ospreys unsated," he added. "For the love of God, what happens then?"

The incident in Tanzania lends credibility to other recent reports of food-chain aberrations. In October, a suburban Milwaukee family told authorities they saw a deer grazing on a nest of squirrels, and last week, a crew of Japanese fisherman claimed to have witnessed an estimated 300 million krill ganging up on a 40-ton humpback whale, apparently devouring the enormous creature from the inside out.

In addition, several experts who have carefully analyzed the original osprey footage have noted three stills in which a lioness can be seen passing through the frame with a Scottish terrier in her mouth.

"Where do humans fit into this new order?" asked St. Petersburg, FL father of three Dan Keller, nervously scanning the skies as he spoke. "I kind of like being able to eat everything. I'm less enthusiastic about the idea of something eating me."

At press time, reporters were unable to confirm whether a giraffe at the St. Louis Zoo had consumed a zookeeper and three crocodiles.

Sign up For The Onion's Newsletter

Give your spam filter something to do.

X Close