• Rose Thorne@lemm.ee
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    12 days ago

    As the local “weird possum girl”, they are very intelligent! They shouldn’t be!

    See, opossum have smooth brains. This isn’t normally linked to a high intelligence. Yet, they can remember if a food is toxic for up to two weeks after ingesting it, can learn and remember how to operate different sliding locks, and can solve simple puzzles with the right motivation(food)!

    They can also form bonds, remembering people they like and dislike. Which is kinda funny to think about, because their babies spend a period of time riding around on moms back before they’re big enough to waddle off on their own. If one falls off, she may very well trundle off, leaving the little one behind, who may hitch a ride on a totally different jill that happens to walk by.

    • Cyrus Draegur@lemm.ee
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      12 days ago

      goodness how i wish there was a weird possum girl in my locality

      i would buy her lunch

      not to eat with her as some creepy implied commitment to a date but because free food is an appropriate gift for opossum enthusiasts and I am just as happy for her to enjoy it without me if she so chooses.

      (but to be fair i would prefer if she’d join me so i can listen to her talk about opossum facts)

      • Rose Thorne@lemm.ee
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        12 days ago

        I’d recommend something besides lunch for that, or at least have a strong stomach.

        You’ll eventually hit the gross facts, and the little guys can get gross. Still absolutely adorable scavengers who play a key part in the decay cycle, but gross.

        • BubbleMonkey@slrpnk.net
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          12 days ago

          I’ve a strong stomach, and insatiable curiosity.

          What kind of gross? Like rabbits eating their own first-pass poo?

          (My RN mother used to watch graphic surgical shows during dinner so almost nothing really bothers me…. Except spelunkers getting stuck in caves. Holy fuck does that bother me and I’ll never be in a cave, so very illogical phobia)

          • Rose Thorne@lemm.ee
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            12 days ago

            It’s not just the first pass for a possum. It’s every pass, as it may still carry excess nutrients they now need. They do it from a very young age.

            They have a cloyingly sweet feces that stays on whatever fabric you’re wearing while handling poop dishes in rehabs. They prefer moving water, but any water will do. I cannot put the smell into words. It’s burned into your nostrils for hours after.

            Cannibalism isn’t uncommon amongst the species, but we have no clue why. They just randomly decide to eat each other.

            • BubbleMonkey@slrpnk.net
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              12 days ago

              So wait, they poop in water? Like specifically?

              Or am I misunderstanding, and the reason the water movement matters is that they eat shit then drink water? Or something else entirely?

              Do they often get disease from consuming their poo? Since they scavenge and all, I assume they probably have decent immune systems, but fecal-oral is a super common disease transmission path.

              • Rose Thorne@lemm.ee
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                12 days ago

                Water specifically. It helps mask the smell, and it’s a frequent spot for one of their favorite foods, frogs. They also fish whatever is left in the water, if any. A lot gets caught on their tails, which frequently dip into the water.

                Surprisingly, they’re extremely clean creatures, even with their dietary habits! They rarely carry any known passable diseases, even rabies! In fact, the biggest issue to look for is Metabolic Bone Disorder, or MBD, which is a sign of low calcium, and causes twisting of the bone structure, often leading to death. There is no cure, just slowing the spread.

            • Cyrus Draegur@lemm.ee
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              12 days ago

              No Biomass Left Behind!!! XD

              Sounds like opossums will eat anything there is (or might be) nutrition in…

    • I Cast Fist@programming.dev
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      12 days ago

      I wish having possums wasn’t illegal without a very burocratic license in my country (Brazil). My ex once found a trio of babies, after the mother was run over by a car, I wish she’d kept one. She gave them to the environmental police

  • Cyrus Draegur@lemm.ee
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    12 days ago

    Oppossoms are better than merely smart. They eat HELLA PEST INSECTS!

    now, Geese…

    Geese are fiercely protective of their families and flocks and are amazing at guarding territory; they cannot be bribed or ingratiated. In brazil, a prison has provided a habitat for geese around the facility between the inner fence and the outer wall which has been surprisingly effective at discouraged escape attempts.

    • Mouselemming@sh.itjust.works
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      12 days ago

      Can’t be bribed? What if you could get a clutch of goose eggs to imprint on you? Then you’d be part of the family and invincible with your goose army! You could go goose-stepping across the continent!

      • Cyrus Draegur@lemm.ee
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        12 days ago

        Let’s make a deal:

        You go ahead and try to get close enough to a clutch of goose eggs that you can incubate them to hatching;

        I’ll point and laugh as their parents and all the other geese in the entire flock swarm you in a solid frenzied wall of honking, hissing, biting, bludgeoning, implacable white-hot incandescent fury.

        You are proposing to fuck with a force of nature, my friend. I can’t stop you. But they can. X3

        • Mouselemming@sh.itjust.works
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          12 days ago

          Since they’re just outside your home, you make a hole in the wall and build a nest box inside it. Eggs get laid in there. When hatching day nears, you toss food over the wall to tempt mom off the nest for a minute. As soon as she steps away, you slam down a portcullis and take over childcare on your side of the wall. Later you and your goose tribe raise the portcullis and march forth together.

          Of course, it could fail disastrously.

          • BubbleMonkey@slrpnk.net
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            12 days ago

            I know you posted jokingly, but I can’t help myself.

            Geese lay their eggs in fairly open spots on the ground, typically near water (often barely out of the water in my experience), not really ever in nest boxes (I’ve never heard of them using a covered/enclosed space for nesting, and we have tons of them around here). They want a clear view of their surroundings, and ready access to water for their hatchlings. The females incubate and the males stay near to guard the nest, because they like to be exposed, and are mean as hell as a direct result of their nesting behavior.

            You’d be better off just buying fertile eggs and incubating them wholly independently, but they likely wouldn’t be accepted into the wild flock if they aren’t hatched by one of the flock, even if they are initially incubated by one. I mean I’m not super sure if geese “adopt” other goslings, as they are mostly self-sufficient within a few days, but if they do I doubt they would be fully strangers like they would be if you swipe them.

              • BubbleMonkey@slrpnk.net
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                12 days ago

                The only other really cool one I’ve got is that occasionally (like it’s only been reported a handful of times sort of thing), they will use an abandoned nest in a tree. These are really big nests, like from bald eagles, so plenty of space for both parents (bald eagle nests are large enough to hold 3-5 human toddlers fairly comfortably).

                Bald eagles typically nest along waterways as well, so overhanging nests are an interesting opportunity. I rather assume the goslings just jump out into the water, but I honestly don’t know if their tiny bodies would survive the fall onto regular ground. Probably would, they weigh almost nothing.

            • joenforcer@midwest.social
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              12 days ago

              I mean I’m not super sure if geese “adopt” other goslings

              Not sure how close duck behavior is to goose, but I watched a mama duck assault the ever-living fuck out of a duckling following her until it ran off cheeping furiously and hiding in a bush. I assume that it was part of another nearby clutch as there were a lot of ducks in the area, and she was having none of it.

        • sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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          11 days ago

          You could probably win, but it would require a 2x4 or bo staff, and at the very least, eye protection, if not basically moderate leather armor.

    • sp3tr4l@lemmy.zip
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      11 days ago

      I used to work at a MSFT facility whose parking garage was built in a reconfigured wetlands.

      The geese would just hang out in the parking garage. They would not move for cars, people, anything, and would attack you as you walk by them.

      To my knowledge, a decade later, this problem still exists.

  • supersquirrel@sopuli.xyz
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    11 days ago

    Squirrels aren’t just good climbers, squirrels are professional circus performers who are constantly putting on free shows for everybody.

    Squirrels are hilarious, they don’t get enough credit.

      • NigelFrobisher@aussie.zone
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        11 days ago

        I went to a falconry centre a while back and the guy had an owl that could fly perfectly well, but it’d just run around on its stumpy little legs instead. Nowhere near the smarts of the kestrel that pissed off for several hours instead of participating in the falconry show.

        • cordlesslamp@lemmy.today
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          11 days ago

          Let me ask you this, do you run all the time? You can do that and It’s faster, but why’d you choose to walk slowly most of the time?

          If human can fly, I doubt we would do that all the time as it’s way more energy intensive and less durable.

          I think those owls are up to something.

      • IMongoose@lemmy.world
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        11 days ago

        I’m a falconer. Basically no one uses owls for falconry because they have poor generalization intelligence. They have a really hard time transferring knowledge from one situation to another. So you get them flying to you inside and they are nailing it, then you move outside and it has no idea what to do. Every new situation needs to be trained. They are fine for shows and stuff when they are doing the same thing over and over again but constantly putting them in new situations like hunting would do is a recipe for disaster. A “lot”(maybe a dozen a year in US lol) of falconers try to use owls but very few are successful with them.

    • Drivebyhaiku@lemmy.world
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      11 days ago

      Yup. They are lovable dum dums…

      And by lovable I mean they will like exactly one person and wish death on everyone else. Just because you can have one as a pet and it will be your bestest friend doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Owls do not understand vacations or sick days.

      • cynar@lemmy.world
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        12 days ago

        You can bribe a guard dog, you won’t bribe a flock of geese. The owner will know you are there, and there WILL be blood!

    • IninewCrow@lemmy.ca
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      12 days ago

      Very tasty and when cooked properly at the right time of year are more like a roast beef than poultry.

      I’ve had it roasted whole over a fire, roasted like a turkey in the oven, boiled in stew, pan fried, split roasted over a fire, smoked, seasoned and preserved in salt, pork fat and goose fat. I grew up eating it with rice, potatoes, carrots and dumplings. I could drink the gravy like an energy drink. I used to sit with my mom every spring to roast dozens of gizzards and hearts while I helped her pluck, gut, prepare the birds for smoking and eating.

      In the wilderness I’m not afraid of geese because i see them as food. In the city I’m afraid of geese because if I killed one to eat, I’d be arrested for some kind of law and sent to be evaluated for a mental disorder.

  • Beinion1011@lemmy.world
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    11 days ago

    You got a problem with Canadian Gooses then you got a problem with me and I suggest you let that one marinate

    • edgemaster72@lemmy.world
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      12 days ago

      They’ll remember that they were slighted in this post and make the Nebraska Humane Society pay for this insult

      • Zorsith@lemmy.blahaj.zone
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        12 days ago

        I think my retirement plan is to try to train crows to be absolute menaces to society. Like, teach them to pick locks or the best kinds of rocks to break glass (to get into vending machines).

  • confusedpuppy@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    12 days ago

    I found the best way to walk through a crowd of geese is to avoid eye contact at all costs. Pretend it’s an empty field and you’ll most likely be safe.

    It’s like an extreme sport but without the price tag. Although I would not walk through a crowd of geese if babies are present, no matter how cute, fluffy and snuggly they look.