Thursday, August 27, 2009


Turkeys and chickens seem to be in the news this week.

First I hear that police in Peru were stunned to find cocaine surgically implanted in two bloated turkeys. Apparently a little bird told them to stop a bus outside the city of Tarapoto. Officers were puzzled when they found the turkeys in the crate, but they didn’t find the expected cocaine until they noticed that the two turkeys were bloated. On examining the birds they found surgical seams on the chests and after an operation a vet extracted 11 plastic capsules containing 1.9 kilograms of cocaine from one turkey plus a further 17 capsules with 2.9 kilograms from the other.

It is not clear at this time whether anybody has yet been up before the beak and is serving bird for the offence.

Meanwhile Hans Larsson of the Canada Research Chair in Macro Evolution at Montreal's McGill University believes he can develop dinosaur traits that disappeared millions of years ago in birds. He told AFP that by flipping certain genetic levers during a chicken embryo’s development, he can reproduce the dinosaur anatomy. I understand the research could eventually lead to hatching live prehistoric animals, but Larsson said there are no plans for that now, for ethical and practical reasons as a dinosaur hatchery is “too large an enterprise.”

Ah, one for the birds then.

Finally talk of chickens and turkeys reminds me of a scam that was popular in pubs in Dublin in the 1970s. In the days before Christmas a man would enter a bar with a large bundle under his arm and a turkey’s neck protruding from it. He’d then tell one and all how he’d won the office lottery with a turkey as the prize but wouldn’t you just know it he already had a festive bird at home. Once he found a punter willing to take the turkey off his hands at a good price he’d quickly leave the bar. It was only when the hapless buyer got the bird home and unwrapped it that he found that the turkey’s neck had been sown on to the body of a small chicken.

A stitch up indeed!

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