adBlockCheck

International

Vatican Putting Out Feelers For How Public Would React To Another Children’s Crusade

VATICAN CITY—Saying they had been giving some thought recently to the idea of sending legions of Christian boys and girls to retake the Holy Land and wanted to gauge the level of support, Vatican officials reportedly began putting out feelers Wednesday to determine how the public might react to another Children’s Crusade, much as was attempted in the year 1212.

John Kerry Scrambles To Stop Bunker’s Self-Destruct Sequence As Russian Oligarch Taunts Him From Bank Of Monitors

BOGDARNYA, RUSSIA—Working frantically to gain access to the system’s override settings at the computer terminal controlling the impending implosion, Secretary of State John Kerry scrambled to stop the self-destruct sequence of an underground bunker located thousands of feet below the Russian countryside Tuesday while oligarch Dmitry Granovsky taunted him from the numerous banks of monitors positioned throughout the facility, sources confirmed.

Islamic Awakening Inspires Man To Defect From ISIS

MOSUL, IRAQ—Telling reporters he had renounced his role as a militant and would soon be relocating in order to seek out an environment more conducive to fully devoting himself to his newfound religious faith, 24-year-old Huzaifa Quraishi confirmed Tuesday his recent Islamic awakening had inspired him to defect from ISIS.

CIA Orchestrates Coup D’État To Replace Entire Population Of Venezuela

Agency Installs Pro-American Populace Of 30 Million Venezuelan Citizens

CARACAS, VENEZUELA—Sources are confirming that the Central Intelligence Agency has orchestrated a coup d’état in the South American nation of Venezuela, toppling the country’s 30 million residents and replacing them with an entirely new, pro-American populace.

A Primer On North Korea

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea remains largely unknown to Americans due mainly to the secrecy and isolationism upheld by its government. The Onion provides a primer on North Korea’s people and culture

‘People Are Inherently Good,’ World Halfheartedly Mutters

NICE, FRANCE—Following yesterday’s terrorist attack in Nice, France that left over 80 people dead and scores more injured, sources reported that a dazed and utterly dejected global populace halfheartedly muttered the phrase “People are inherently good” to themselves Friday.

Louvre Curators Hurry To Display Ugly Van Gogh Donor Gave Them Before Surprise Visit

PARIS—After retrieving the eyesore from amid a clutter of unused display cases and movable stanchions in the back of the facility’s basement where it had been stowed ever since the museum received it, curators at the Louvre hurried to display an ugly Vincent van Gogh painting before the artwork’s donor made a surprise visit to the museum Friday.
End Of Section
  • More News

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