Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Forged in conflict: a new master race of squirrels

Red squirrels in Britain and Ireland have been suffering for some time, thanks to competition from grey squirrel interlopers. The grey squirrels carry a virus, to which they are immune. However, the red squirrels die within weeks if the virus is transmited to them. This biological warfare has proved disastrous for the reds, and their numbers across these islands have plummeted.

Now, though, hope is at hand. Scientists have discovered red squirrels who seem to be immune to the virus. The little fellows are displaying antibodies for it, meaning that it has infected them in the past, but they remain hale and healthy. With the viral threat increasingly under control, red squirrel sources report that the time has come to go back onto the offensive.

Would you like to know more?


very fierce red squirrel said...

All your nuts are belong to us. Rarr!

Ammonite said...

I'm intrigued to learn that the red squirrel habitat is coniferous forest, given that British and Irish canopy was not predominately coniferous until the 19th Century.

Maybe the red squirrel is really an interloper from Germany!

accentmonkey said...

shockingly, though, grey squirrels are actually much cuter.

ian said...

Grey squirrels only look cute from the side. Or if they are eating from an apple core they are holding in their little hands.