They grin at me from the trees
June 4, 2003 10:42 AM   Subscribe

First Birds with teeth in 70 million years. Vicious toothed, flying microraptors once darkened the Jurassic skies. Now, scientists have learned to activate the dormant, vestigal avian "tooth gene" and so coaxed chicken embryos into growing teeth. From the grave, Alfred Hitchcock enviously quips - "a messy thing indeed when toothed birds kill a man". Meanwhile the French are appalled: “quand les poules auront des dents”, which translates to “when hens have teeth”, is analogous to the English “pigs might fly”. Coming soon: flying pigs. But there might be a baldness cure in this new research. I'll remember that as the flocks of mutant raptor-fowl move in for the kill.
posted by troutfishing (18 comments total)

 
Woo! Go mankind!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:03 AM on June 4, 2003


I, FO, WONFMO.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:04 AM on June 4, 2003


This scares the crap out of me. I don't want toothed chickens running. Chickens scare me anyway.
posted by pjgulliver at 12:07 PM on June 4, 2003


"running around"
posted by pjgulliver at 12:09 PM on June 4, 2003


dawkins compares DNA to a directory of genes like a computer directory is to sectors on a harddrive. When you erase a file, it merely removes it from the directory, but the data is still there. So in theory...and now perhaps proven by this, all you have to do is access the dormant gene by putting its location back in the directory.

very very cool. chilling. scary. awesome.

Sci-fi me.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:11 PM on June 4, 2003


oh remember me my darlin when spring is in the air
And the baldheaded birds are whisperin' everywhere
You can see them walking backward in their dirty underwear
That's the Tennessee Birdwalk! *chirp chirp*


-The Tennessee Birdwalk
posted by konolia at 12:16 PM on June 4, 2003


Imagine the possibilities... guard chickens roaming the wire at Guantanamo... frothing-at-the-mouth Cujo chickens... Tyson employees required to wear wire mesh gloves... oh, the humanity!
posted by badzen at 12:37 PM on June 4, 2003


And then there are the "Veloc-Emu-raptors". But what I really worry about is the crows. They're smart, they work together in groups and have group strategies. I sure hope they don't get teeth.

Meanwhile, it's sobering to think of the new implications of "There's nobody in here but us chickens"!
posted by troutfishing at 1:13 PM on June 4, 2003


I, FO, WONFMO.

I, FO, WONMFO, perhaps?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 1:21 PM on June 4, 2003


Oh alright with these acronyms! Our new
FANGED CHICKEN OVERLORDS will be offended.
posted by reality at 1:30 PM on June 4, 2003


yea.... I'm going to be sleeping well tonight...
posted by KnitWit at 1:53 PM on June 4, 2003


baldness research? with birds?

well ... I guess Flock of Seagulls didn't have a problem with it.
posted by the.omega.concern at 1:55 PM on June 4, 2003


There is an important question being left unanswered here. What does the U.G.B.A. think about this? Anyone interested in creating a toothed chicken and making a fortune on the cockfighting circuit, e-mail me. It could down in history as yet another story of geniuses who beat a gambling system.

(Note to self: Never again click on the link for a site called "Thai Cockfight.")
posted by son_of_minya at 2:22 PM on June 4, 2003


Hmm ... I can get a date with that gorgeous French girl who refused me so bluntly, using a now-outdated French figure of speech.

Then again, maybe not.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 2:54 PM on June 4, 2003


To hell with the toothed chickens, did someone mention a baldness cure? I don't care if the chickens grow as big as cows and tear us limb from limb if they can cure the real scourge of man the world over.
posted by dg at 3:49 PM on June 4, 2003


So I wonder why the predecessors of birds lost their teeth? Did they have a sweet tooth?
posted by dash_slot- at 4:20 PM on June 4, 2003


But there might be a baldness cure in this new research. I'll remember that as the flocks of mutant raptor-fowl move in for the kill.


At least then you won't suffer the death of Aeschylus.
posted by y2karl at 4:50 PM on June 4, 2003


y2karl- but did the lammergeier, thinking Aeschylus' head looked like a tortoise shell from above, drop a rock on him ? Or did the lammergeier instead drop a whole tortoise on Aeschylus?

Does it matter? Still, a funny black tale - and Aeschylus went out painlessly.
posted by troutfishing at 8:03 PM on June 4, 2003


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