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A Really, Really Ex-Parrot

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the joining-the-choir-invisible dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 91

gyrogeerloose writes "According to a National Geographic News story, what may be the fossilized wing bone of an ancient parrot has been dubbed by its discoverers 'The Danish Blue' in honor of the famous Dead Parrot Sketch. If the 54 million year old bone did in fact belong to a parrot, it would be 'the oldest and most northerly remains of a parrot ever discovered.' There is some dispute among paleontologists about whether the bone was indeed that of a parrot. If it turns out to be so, however, it never had a chance to pine for the fjords — they were not carved out until an ice age millions of years after the bird lived."

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91 comments

Berift of life, it rested in peace (5, Funny)

russlar (1122455) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873035)

...until you dug it up, you insensitive clods!

Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

Born2bwire (977760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873447)

Obviously this one wasn't nailed to the perch.

Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (2, Funny)

JCSoRocks (1142053) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874717)

I just want to know if they found it under a nice patch of daises.

jewelry Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883111)

I just find it creepy. Even if I know what parrot tastes like.

http://www.klimt02.net/jewellers/index.php?item_id=5860 [klimt02.net]

Re:jewelry Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

Trellame (1003297) | more than 6 years ago | (#23886881)

Wow, the whole dead bird on your lapel look, a world of fashion I'd never even contemplated

Re:jewelry Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23887875)

I blogged it and am getting responses of appreciation for some of the artists work.

I meet the craziest peoples.

Re:jewelry Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23887913)

I went to the artists website.
http://www.discemori.com/ [discemori.com]

She has a kitten rug.

Re:jewelry Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23891577)

What does parrot taste like? I've often fantasized about cooking up our Amazon Yellowhead...

Re:jewelry Re:Berift of life, it rested in peace (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 6 years ago | (#23892093)

It tastes like chicken.

You knew that was coming.

It really tastes like pigeon. ;)

Which kind tastes like quail, the bird not the polytick.

Which reminds me I'm hungry again.

So I'm having....chicken.

At least it'll be a curry and not fried.

Re: Danish Blue (5, Informative)

DogDaySunrise (829682) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873059)

Er... Shouldn't that be the 'Norwegian Blue'? :o\

Re: Danish Blue (4, Insightful)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873097)

Misquoting Monty Python is a time-honored tradition in geekdom. After all, if they got it right what would Slashdot readers post about?

Right, that does it. (5, Funny)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873507)

I didn't want to be a Slashdotter anyway..

*tears off black t-shirt from Thinkgeek, revealing a plaid shirt underneath*

Re:Right, that does it. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23874465)

Oh so now you're a lumberjack? I guess that's ok.

Re:Right, that does it. (3, Funny)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875255)

It's all okay until he starts cross dressing and hanging out in bars. Nobody expects that kind of thing!

Re:Right, that does it. (3, Funny)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#23876215)

Nobody expects that kind of thing!
Nor the Spanish Inquisition, or so I'm told.

Re:Right, that does it. (1)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877709)

What about driving a Mitsubishi Warrior?

Nothing says, "I'm a lumberjack and I'm OK" quite like driving a shiny Mitsubishi Warrior around town. And remember those adverts on TV?

Re:Right, that does it. (1)

KillerBob (217953) | more than 6 years ago | (#23879807)

Indeed. Then he can tell us all about how he likes traffic lights.

Re:Right, that does it. (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882313)

Just watch out for the killer cars.

Re: Danish Blue (1)

wylderide (933251) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875477)

If Slashdot readers were the type of people to read the article, they'd know the people that named it Danish Blue were aware they were naming after the Norwegian Blue. But then again, there's not much call for reading the article around here.

Re: Danish Blue (1)

nlitement (1098451) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873109)

Besides, Danish Blue is a type of cheese, and Danes sure as hell don't have any fjords.

Re: Danish Blue (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23873747)

Besides, Danish Blue is a type of cheese, and Danes sure as hell don't have any fjords.

Excuse me, is this the right room for the cheese shop sketch?

Re: Danish Blue (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23874185)

No, the cheese shop is in 12a, this is abuse

...
Stupid git!

Re: Danish Blue (1)

duguk (589689) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874557)

FYI, the Danish Blue is mentioned in Monty Pythons 'Cheese Shop' sketch [youtube.com] .

Intentional or pure fluke? Python did do a lot I guess :)

Re: Danish Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23873865)

woohoo. Cheese! inter-python-sketch reference!
"What do you mean; 'not much call for it'? It's the single most popular cheese in the whole world!"

Re: Danish Blue (1)

Snuden (252397) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873943)

Besides, Danish Blue is a type of cheese, and Danes sure as hell don't have any fjords.
Actually we do, not surrounded by mountains though, but we have many fjords.

Danish fjords (1)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874223)

I thought you Danes had plenty of fjords in Greenland.

Re:Danish fjords (4, Funny)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874295)

I once rented a Fjord Fjocus.

Re:Danish fjords (4, Funny)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874595)

A møøse once bit my sister...

Re:Danish fjords (1)

cp.tar (871488) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875045)

While you all keep quoting and mis-quoting Monty Python, I found a weird Douglas Adams reference [photobucket.com] .

Re:Danish fjords (1)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23876833)

Another one is the fjords. Someone said they were carved out much later by glaciers, when we know in fact they were custom designed by Slartibartfast!

Re:Danish fjords (1)

theprophetofmephisto (1163535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882793)

I saw a flock of moosen... there are many of them, many much moosen, out in the woods, in the wood-es, in the woodsen!

Re:Danish fjords (3, Funny)

mfnickster (182520) | more than 6 years ago | (#23886021)

Mynd you, møøse bites Kan be pretti nasti...

Re:Danish fjords (1)

GLowder (622780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23891921)

which is why I prefer Mexican Whooping Llamas

Re: Danish Blue (1)

SleptThroughClass (1127287) | more than 6 years ago | (#23876473)

Maybe Denmark did have fjords when this bird was somewhat more active. Even if the Danish fjords didn't have Danes yet, thus no Danish pet shops.

Re: Danish Blue (3, Interesting)

DogDaySunrise (829682) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873111)

Article-reading for the win. Still, the blurb was misleading. Disregard, cocks etc.

Re: Danish Blue (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873939)

Norwegian, Danish, what's the difference?

Re: Danish Blue (1)

TommydCat (791543) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881319)

Maybe a Palin-tologist could tell us...

Re: Danish Blue (1)

Pseudonym (62607) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882305)

Norway, Norway, Norway, the country where I quite want to be...

Re: Danish Blue (2, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874335)

Shouldn't that be the 'Norwegian Blue'?

Nope. It was discovered in Denmark, not Norway. While the "[Scandanavian Country*] Blue" name may have inspired by Monty Python, it was not copied from Monty Python.

*Yes, Denmark is in Scandanavia, in spite of what some people think.

Re: Danish Blue (1)

jd (1658) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874633)

Actually, I'd heard they did nickname it the Norwegian Blue, even though it was found in Denmark, on the grounds that it probably existed in Denmark as well. This story has been out for several weeks now - I posted it to the queue the moment the BBC covered it, and they're not always the first on the science stuff - so there may be more information out there. Congratulatons, btw, to the submitter who made it through the queue, it's a better writeup than the one I did and the front page is better for it.

Re: Danish Blue (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874995)

Beautiful plumage.

Re: Danish Blue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23876715)

Yes, but the fossil itself was found in Denmark.

Re: Danish Blue (1)

Convector (897502) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878517)

I'm pretty sure Danish Blue is a cheese. Perhaps they confused the Dead Parrot Sketch and the Cheese Shop Sketch. Both feature Palin as an inept shopkeeper and Cleese as a disgruntled customer.

Obligatory (5, Funny)

Born2bwire (977760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873083)

It's not dead, it's resting!

Re:Obligatory (0, Redundant)

slipnslidemaster (516759) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873445)

"He's not pining, he's passed on. This parrot is no more. He has ceased to be. He's expired and gone to meet his maker. He's a stiff, bereft of life, he rests in peace. If you hadn't have nailed him to the perch he'd be pushing up the daisies. He's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. This is an ex-parrot!"

Even Better... (3, Funny)

d3ac0n (715594) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873201)

The particular fossil they found was of the "Humerus" bone.

*rimshot*

Thank you, I'll be here all week. Try the veal!

Cleese (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23874885)

That's veal substitute. It's a kind of Japo-Scandinavian imitation which we've been giving a try, and to be frank it really isn't very good.

Re:Even Better... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877785)

veal is heartless

I'm no expert (0)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873227)

But... "The fossil-a large wing bone called the humerus"... could it not be just as likely that it was simply a mutated form of a known parrot that was around at that time (of which the time is hard to define) and possibly died because of said deformaties? not exactly a new species.

Also, is it not possible that this bird was caged in some Captains quarters of a ship, and this was deformed because of that? Or even not a parrot at all?

Considering this is a solitary bone, I wouldnt be handing out any awards because someone thinks its a new species of a normally unusual habitat, its about as comedic as the skit it was named after.

Those pirates 54 million years ago (3, Funny)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873333)

...were vicious with their domesticated parrots.

Re:Those pirates 54 million years ago (1)

Vectronic (1221470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873787)

lol... whoops, I was off on a tangent thinking about ways it could have been deformed, and completely neglected the actual proposed age of the bone, just lumped "old" as in... I dunno, anything before steam locomotives apparently.

Re:Those pirates 54 million years ago (2, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874001)

Well, keep in mind that there were no navies 54 million years ago, so it stands to reason that, having the run of the seas, pirates would be quite prolific.

Re:Those pirates 54 million years ago (1)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874479)

Good point. On the other hand, the lack of fjords suggests that they may have needed greater endurance than later navies since safe harbors may have been more scarce.

Re:Those pirates 54 million years ago (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875369)

But what would they need safe harbor from? With their only natural predator not to arrive for fifty-three million, nine hundred ninety-seven thousand three hundred seventeen years?

Re:Those pirates 54 million years ago (1)

Born2bwire (977760) | more than 6 years ago | (#23877551)

And such a large number of pirates caused a reduction in the global temperatures, bringing about the Ice Age that ultimately created the fjords.

Re:Those pirates 54 million years ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23877643)

Well crap, just label me redundant.

Re:I'm no expert (3, Informative)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873535)

But... "The fossil-a large wing bone called the humerus"... could it not be just as likely that it was simply a mutated form of a known parrot that was around at that time (of which the time is hard to define) and possibly died because of said deformaties?

Exactly which part of "the oldest and most northerly remains of a parrot ever discovered" translates to you into "a known parrot that was around at that time"? No, seriously.

Also, is it not possible that this bird was caged in some Captains quarters of a ship, and this was deformed because of that?

Dude, let's put it like this:

- this thing is 54 _million_ years old

- humans, as in Homo Sapiens, are about 200,000 years old

- even Neanderthals, the only other species that ever reached sentience, isn't that horribly much older. The proto-neanderthals reached Europe some 350-500 thousand years ago, but the fully evolved Neanderthals are a mere 130,000 years old.

- the split between the ancestors of humans and chimpanzees happened some 6 million years ago. Which is to say that at that point, the most evolved form of life was something that was dumber and more primitive than the chimp. It's _not_ something that would build ships and sail the fjords.

So exactly what species would that captain be, 54 million years ago. Are we talking some time-travelling alien that took a different species of parrot from a later time, and then went back to 54 million years ago to dump its skeleton there and confuse a species that didn't even exist yet? Or what?

Heh.

Re:I'm no expert (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874173)

Golgafrinchan? Unless he wasn't spending a lot of time in the bath tub...

Re:I'm no expert (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23880109)

Thats what killed the Parrot. They had to burn down the trees to control inflation of the leaf.

Cripes they must all have been so rich with the trees gone.

Re:I'm no expert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23874951)

- the split between the ancestors of humans and chimpanzees happened some 6 million years ago. Which is to say that at that point, the most evolved form of life was something that was dumber and more primitive than the chimp.
You could say the same thing about the most evolved form of life today.

Re:I'm no expert (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875339)

Now now, I wasn't talking about Bush this time ;)

Re:I'm no expert (3, Insightful)

soliptic (665417) | more than 6 years ago | (#23880557)

the only other species that ever reached sentience

Off topic, but when you have elephants that recognise themselves in the mirror [livescience.com] , apes that can plan tool usage ahead of time [sciam.com] , parrots that grasp the concept of zero [alexfoundation.org] , and so on, I'm personally honestly no longer convinced claims like this can be made so easily.

Intelligent design response. (4, Funny)

dreemernj (859414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873237)

I discovered the only reason that it appears to be 54 million years old in the first place was that God had NAILED it there.

Re:Intelligent design response. (1)

reverseengineer (580922) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873435)

Well, of course it was nailed there! If God hadn't nailed that bird down, it would have nuzzled up to its chromosomes, bent 'em apart with its beak, and VOOM! Feeweeweewee!

And parrots would have then evolved to become the dominant species on earth.

Re:Intelligent design response. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873579)

I discovered the only reason that it appears to be 54 million years old in the first place was that God had NAILED it there.

      Except "He" only did it 6000 years ago but messed around with radioactive decay to make us think it was 54 million years ago, because everyone knows that "God" is the Ultimate Practical Joker.

Re:Intelligent design response. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23874321)

He is the Ultimate Practical Joker, think of a platypus or a appendix or a...

Re:Intelligent design response. (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23878275)

everyone knows that "God" is the Ultimate Practical Joker.
Do you mean Loki?

Re:Intelligent design response. (1)

jamesh (87723) | more than 6 years ago | (#23883597)

because everyone knows that "God" is the Ultimate Practical Joker.

I thought "God" was just a device created to prove a point about the silliness of teaching Flying Spaghetti Monsterism at schools in Kansas. Or have I gotten them back to front again?

Re:Intelligent design response. (2)

xtracto (837672) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874445)

Well after all, Peanut butter [youtube.com] disproved evolution a while ago.

Re:Intelligent design response. (1)

prichardson (603676) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874605)

Ohh! That's really good.

Props to a funny joke.

Yaaaaaaaawn (4, Funny)

BlueParrot (965239) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873351)

Man do I need to remember to set the alarm clock...

Pining for the fjords? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23873701)

Or fiords, whatever. Anyway, sure, it couldn't have been pining for the fiords of Norway, but as nice as they are Norway doesn't have a world-wide monopoly on beautiful, pining-worthy fiords. Maybe they could have been pining for the fiords of Greenland, or Iceland, or maybe even Patagonia or Antarctica?

Okay, I have to admit that ~54 million years ago in the Early Eocene there weren't many glaciers around in those areas either (the global climate was warmer), but that doesn't mean fiords were impossible to pine for at the time this ex-parrot shuffled off its mortal coil, especially if it lived in Denmark.

Python (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23873765)

it would have run up the curtain and joined the choir invisible, if it wasn't buried underground for 54 million years!

Polly is a pain to take care of (3, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23873867)

Some have speculated [wikipedia.org] that birds are descended from dinosaurs. I used to think this was a bunch of crap until I owned an African Congo Grey parrot. I don't know who is the closest direct bird descendant of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, but after my experience I'm pretty sure it must be a Congo Gray named Max.

Re:Polly is a pain to take care of (2, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874069)

My wife's parents owned two cockatoos (unfortunately, one passed away a few years back, so it is down to one now). When both birds were in the midst of a screech-fest and the phone rang, my father-in-law would answer it "Hello, Jurassic Park!"

BTW, the current theory is that the chicken is the closest living relative of the T-Rex: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2007/apr/13/uknews.taxonomy [guardian.co.uk]

Imagine the drumsticks you could have eaten back in the Cretaceous! That is, if they didn't eat you first.

So whenever a T-Rex are something new... (2, Funny)

Woundweavr (37873) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874521)

He would remark, "Tastes like me"?

Re:So whenever a T-Rex are something new... (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875189)

C'mon, Ug, everything taste like T-rex. Everyone know that. Even Ig know that, and Ig stupid as monolith.

Re:Polly is a pain to take care of (1)

gyrogeerloose (849181) | more than 6 years ago | (#23882075)

Yeah, we have an Amazon Yellowhead. Little bastard may not have the stature of a T-Rex but he has the attitude of one for sure

Re:Polly is a pain to take care of (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875167)

Yeah. African greys.

The smarts of a five year old kid, and the attitude of a three year old kid. For sixty years.

Re:Polly is a pain to take care of (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 6 years ago | (#23876369)

They wouldn't be so bad if they could learn to actually EAT food once in a while (instead of just throwing it everywhere), or learn to go at least five seconds without you in the room before they started a temper tantrum, or NOT learn to perfectly imitate every annoying sound in the house just to get your attention. They're bigger attention whores than Paris Hilton.

Re:Polly is a pain to take care of (1)

tietokone-olmi (26595) | more than 6 years ago | (#23880217)

I heard they can grow out of it though. Apparently this requires a companion of the same species and appropriate gender... so it's a coin toss really unless the birds are sexed from a blood sample or something. Screeching from absence of people sounds like a spoiled brat though.

It's weird in a way, because compared to budgies african greys seem very slow and calm, even docile. Yet the budgie doesn't throw a tantrum or act like a princess. (they do bite to get a reaction though.) Perhaps it's about ways of expressing oneself: even imitating budgies don't ask for anything via bird noises, preferring to shake things around to make noise instead.

Re:Polly is a pain to take care of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23882035)

What do you mean "some" have speculated? It is the currently accepted theory on bird evolution, and is supported by a heap of evidence.

There really is no question about it, and hasn't been for decades (as noted in the very wikipedia article you link to).

Trying to make common accepted knowledge sound speculative is a pretty poor way to get yourself modded up (even if it has worked).

54 Million years (2, Funny)

RealGrouchy (943109) | more than 6 years ago | (#23874443)

What do you mean I can't return it?? A warranty that doesn't last at least 55 million years isn't worth the paper it's written on!

- RG>

In other news ... (1)

Qbertino (265505) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875161)

... the archeoligists who discovered the parrot sceleton described its plumage as 'lovely'.

Where was Scandinavia 54 million years ago (1)

ALibby53 (1025538) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875213)

Where was Scandinavia 54 million years ago, if it was in the tropics then it is no surprise there were parrots there then. Or have the scientists forgotten about continental drift.

Airspeed? (1)

Blinded By The Light (1248724) | more than 6 years ago | (#23875233)

I wonder what the airspeed velocity of a fully laden Danish Blue parrot was?

Fjords (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 6 years ago | (#23876869)

Wouldn't there have been fjords resulting from previous glaciations? It's not as if they're unique to the last one.

I think it's safe to say.. (1)

meccaneko (844665) | more than 6 years ago | (#23881221)

... this parrot wouldn't voom if you put 4 million volts through it.

cue anti-creationist/ID/God comments in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23881787)

3,....2,....1.....

Re:cue anti-creationist/ID/God comments in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23881869)

I, for one, welcome our new anti-creationist/ID/God overlords...

Wait, did I say "welcome"? I meant "rebuke." :)

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