Monday, October 24, 2005

Wierd News #3 "Science Almost Loses 'Rat Race'"

Image hosted by Photobucket.comIn an attempt to discern how introduced species move and spread in a new environment, New Zealand researchers released a Norwegian Rat named "Razza" onto an otherwise "ratless" island.

Although electronically monitored so that the scientists could track the rat wherever it went Razza managed to elude recapture for 18 weeks. At one point the rat disappeared from their monitor completely only to be rediscovered on another island after apparently swimming over 400 yards across open water.

Numerous traps and baits and even sniffer dogs failed to reel in the renegade rat until a suspected area was totally "saturated" with traps. Razza finally met his fate when lured into a fatal liason with fresh penguin meat.

The results of the experiment were so unexpected that the researchers are trying it again to "make sure Razza's race wasn't a fluke."

"We want to check whether this was normal behavior," one scientist said.