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Wildlife Returning To Chernobyl

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the far-from-a-dead-zone dept.

Power 337

The wilderness is encroaching over abandoned towns in the Chernobyl exclusion zone. One of the elderly residents who refused to evacuate the contaminated area says packs of wolves have eaten two of her dogs, and wild boar trample through her cornfield. Scientist are divided as to whether or not the animals are flourishing in the highly radioactive environment: "Robert J. Baker of Texas Tech University says the mice and other rodents he has studied at Chernobyl since the early 1990s have shown remarkable tolerance for elevated radiation levels. But Timothy Mousseau of the University of South Carolina, a biologist who studies barn swallows at Chernobyl, says that while wild animals have settled in the area, they have struggled to build new populations."

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This is fantastic (-1, Troll)

ReidMaynard (161608) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437275)

Aren't a lot of Iraqis looking for a new home?

Re:This is fantastic (-1, Offtopic)

xENoLocO (773565) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438797)

or maybe we can use it for a cemetary for our soldiers...

Any other pro-bush commentary?

(I'll get modded down for this, no doubt, but you can't deny the fact that we have soldiers dying in iraq)

Wild animals? (5, Funny)

drgonzo59 (747139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437429)

wild animals have settled in the area, they have struggled to build new populations

It's hard to attract females when you have 2 beaks, 3 hooves and only 1 eye.

Re:Wild animals? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437469)

This is /. breasts and a skirt will do.

Re:Wild animals? (5, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437537)

And for the women of slashdot, those attributes listed in the GP would be a step up.

Re:Wild animals? (2, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437799)

2 tits, a hole and heartbeat will suffice.

Irregular heartbeat and small tits optional.

Re:Wild animals? (0)

Alter_3d (948458) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438597)

Look! a Three-Legged Monkey!!

Ob (4, Funny)

A.Chwunbee (838021) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437437)

I for on am welcomming our're new three-headed frog overloads!

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437775)

don't you mean overtoads?

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438031)

Don't you mean hypnotoad?

Re:Ob (1)

legallyillegal (889865) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438689)

Don't you mean wait whatcomply

Re:Ob (3, Funny)

Mercano (826132) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438801)

All glory to the hypnotoad.

Re:Ob (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438115)

I for on am welcomming our're new three-headed frog overloads!

In Soviet Russia, three-headed frog overlords welcome you!

Case in point (5, Funny)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437483)

Packs of wolves have eaten two of her dogs, the 73-year-old says, and wild boar trample through her cornfield. And she says fox, rabbits and snakes infest the meadows near her tumbledown cottage. ... Then we have... Others say animals may be filtering into the zone, but they appear to suffer malformations and other ills.. Inference: She saw what she thought was a pack of wolves when in fact it was a three headed wolf.

pointless blackadder quote (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437807)

Percy: "Only this morning in the courtyard I saw a horse with two heads, and two bodies"
Blackadder: "Could it have been...two horses perhaps?"

Re:Case in point (1)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437873)

She failed to mention that they had no hair, were 10 feet tall and their balls dragged 5 feet behind them.
Not only that, but the wolves ate her garage too.

Re:Case in point (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437975)

Well of course they ate her garage. How else would they have gotten to her dogs?

Re:Case in point (2, Funny)

Mockylock (1087585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438069)

Using their x-ray laser vision to cut a hole in the wall... DUH.

Re:Case in point (2, Funny)

TheBeowulf (916247) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438147)

Oh, you mean Fluffy?

--
Beats me how you ever even know about Fluffy! - Hagrid

Isn't this really, really old? (3, Insightful)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437499)

I could've sworn there was an article on this in some magazine several years ago.

The news is old... (3, Insightful)

paladinwannabe2 (889776) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437669)

But now there is an article about it on the internet, making it original, novel, and fit for Slashdot.

Dupe! (1)

luder (923306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437697)

This was already discussed [slashdot.org] one year ago. It's the 6th result when you search for "chernobyl"...

Re:Isn't this really, really old? (3, Funny)

El Yanqui (1111145) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437709)

I swear I read about this a few years ago too. I had hoped this time around that we were talking about animals with superpowers.

Re:Isn't this really, really old? (5, Funny)

doombringerltx (1109389) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437911)

FTFA:

The return of wildlife to the region near the world's worst nuclear power accident, first reported more than a decade ago, is an apparent paradox that biologists are still trying to measure and understand.
Its just checking back on it. Like those those VH1 "Where are they now?" shows. One looks at Vanilla Ice's career today, this looks at Chernobyl. Pretty similar disasters

Its not old news if you're american (0, Troll)

Viol8 (599362) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438047)

Because americans are well known for forgetting all about the rest of the world (unless they're invading it) so mentioning something nuclear in some strange (to them) country that happened 20 years ago is really exotic and cool and they naturally think they're the first people to discover it.

Re:Its not old news if you're american (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438593)

You misspelled "nucular".

Not only old... (3, Interesting)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438643)

but also misleading.

Scientist are divided as to whether or not the animals are flourishing in the highly radioactive environment
It is not highly radio-active, it has elevated levels of radiation. In fact, it might actually have a more healthy amount of radiation than non-contaminated areas, as there appears to be a positive link between health and slightly elevated levels of radiation. See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article68 5386.ece [timesonline.co.uk] and http://www.lewrockwell.com/miller/miller12.html [lewrockwell.com] for instance.

Great! (5, Funny)

spungo (729241) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437507)

Finally a town I can look normal in!

Returning only now? (4, Informative)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437509)

No: it was full of wildlife for years now.

And yes, the DNA of most animals in the area is pretty effed up, but surprisingly most of them appear healthy and reproduce normally. Only goes to show how much redundancy and resilience is built into the DNA / replicating mechanisms we use.

Truth is, even with a sufficient number of a-bombs accross the world, we'll have a very hard time wijping all of humanity and wild life. Life's a tough mother f*cker, hard to destroy.

Re:Returning only now? (2, Insightful)

Ngarrang (1023425) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437681)

No: it was full of wildlife for years now.

And yes, the DNA of most animals in the area is pretty effed up, but surprisingly most of them appear healthy and reproduce normally. Only goes to show how much redundancy and resilience is built into the DNA / replicating mechanisms we use.

Truth is, even with a sufficient number of a-bombs accross the world, we'll have a very hard time wijping all of humanity and wild life. Life's a tough mother f*cker, hard to destroy.
I believe the word "adaptation" would describe this well.

Re:Returning only now? (2, Funny)

Trigun (685027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437907)

Truth is, even with a sufficient number of a-bombs accross the world, we'll have a very hard time wijping all of humanity and wild life. Life's a tough mother f*cker, hard to destroy.

I'll take that bet, sir.

Re:Returning only now? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438617)

ahh. You must be part of the white house.

Re:Returning only now? (3, Funny)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437943)

Noooo, God reached down his noodly appendage and made them healthy!

You thought I was going to say something else, didn't you? ;)

Re:Returning only now? (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438297)

Life's a tough mother f*cker, hard to destroy.

Kinda like weeds?

And yes, this has been known since the early '90's, wildlife actually never totally disappeared and yes, one generation was screwed up with cancers and freaks but the next generations seem to have overcome that.

Re:Returning only now? (4, Funny)

mcmonkey (96054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438769)

yes, one generation was screwed up with cancers and freaks but the next generations seem to have overcome that.

Just like we overcame being children of the baby boomers. Neat.

Reproduction normal? (5, Informative)

mdsolar (1045926) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438329)

The article reports that one third of nestlings are malformed. What we have is a fairly natural cut: If the offspring is viable, it will end up being observed as behaving normally, it if is not then it won't be observed since it will be dead from, say, having the wrong shaped beak for its niche. It will be absent from counting surveys, making them biased. Most mutations are harmful so they do not survive. But, so long as less corrupted genetic material can migrate in, you'll get a superfical appearance of normalcy.

The reason for preserving wilderness is to preserve biodiversity which is essential to maintaining a strong ecosystem. This accidental wilderness has many counts against it in that context.

Re:Reproduction normal? (2, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438611)

However at the same time there is a small potential for beneficial mutation to result, and as the successful pool is smaller the chances of such a mutation to propagate are a bit higher.

Same as in Bikini (5, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437517)

The Bikini atoll was also evacuated of people and set off-limits to fishing after the nuclear weapons tests the US did there in the 1950s. Today Bikini has the most abundant wildlife in the Pacific.

Re:Same as in Bikini (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437633)

In Florida Avon Park Bombing Range is also full of wildlife as is the Savannah River site in South Carolina.
Bombing and radiation is better for wildlife than sub divisions.

Re:Same as in Bikini (2, Interesting)

jae471 (1102461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437715)

As is the Korean DMZ from what I've read.

Re:Same as in Bikini (5, Funny)

Dystopian Rebel (714995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437795)

Bombing and radiation is better for wildlife than sub divisions.
At last a solution for California that we can all accept.

Re:Same as in Bikini (1)

Bellum Aeternus (891584) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438421)

Amazing how well nature does when you remove humanity from the equation, isn't it?

Re:Same as in Bikini (2, Informative)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438497)

Most of the problems of the world can be traced to the fact that we have 6 billion humans instead of 1 billion humans. If there were only a billion of us, the world would be an abundant paradise.

Nature can adapt to sub divsions as well (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438459)

The long established sub division I live in PA is starting to see some flirtations with top predators like bears. I hear some mountain lions may also be on the prowl.

Our Delaware River that been an industrial wasteland is starting to see some interesting fish migrations again.

Eliminating the poisons and raw sewage of our industrial past is clearly part of the solution, but there is more suburban sprawl here than ever and nature seems to adapt just fine.

When subdivisions have been around as long as rain forests, I suspect we might see new levels of adaptation and speciation. Nature can adapt.

Re:Same as in Bikini (1)

dontthink (1106407) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438629)

Personally, I think the thriving animal populations in these areas have a lot to due not with the radiation, but with the lack/greatly reduced numbers of humans populating these areas. People are scared off by the radiation, but at these levels it basically increases the base genetic mutation/birth defect and cancer incidence rates at a level that doesn't really matter much to the growth of an animal population. A 5% increase in birth defects would scare the hell out of a human population though (understandably so). Point being, people leave -> animals move in unhindered.

Re:Same as in Bikini (0)

WyrdOne (96731) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438231)

It's *Bimini* not Bikini.

*Sigh* Factual grammer is so hard to find these days.

Re:Same as in Bikini (1)

DangerSteel (749051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438415)

http://www.bikiniatoll.com/ [bikiniatoll.com] "*Sigh* Factual grammer is so hard to find these days." Yes it is....and so is grammar.

Re:Same as in Bikini (1)

witte (681163) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438393)

better for wildlife, because radiation keeps all those pesky polluting humans away ?

Re:Same as in Bikini (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438825)

better for wildlife, because radiation keeps all those pesky polluting humans away ?
There's pretty good evidence to suggest that wild animals are actually doing quite well BECAUSE of pesky polluting humans. Seagulls, raccoons, deer, bears, etc. (note: scavengers, herbivore & omnivore) are living off of our agriculture & food waste, and their populations are growing. Take a ride through Michigan, and you'll see dozens of dead deer and/or raccoons on the side of the road. This is getting to be a more common site. Not good for the individual animals, but pretty good evidence of increasing populations.

Movies (4, Funny)

Lovedumplingx (245300) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437521)

If movies have taught me anything it's that this is the start of the downfall of man.

In a few years we'll be herded into wooden pens by mounted apes and then experimented on.

Oh the folly of it all!!!

Re:Movies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437753)

You maniac!

Re:Movies (1)

sherms (15634) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438143)

You know the next horror show is coming from that setting.

No mention of insects and arthropods (3, Insightful)

Danathar (267989) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437543)

It's an interesting article, but it mainly talks only about mammals and occasionally vegetation. The effect of radiation on high reproduction insects would be far more interesting.

Insect (2, Interesting)

aepervius (535155) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437979)

Aren't insect more resilient to radiation in general ? Thus the joke about the cockroach being the next master of earth in case the A,H and other 1 letter bomb start to fall ?

Photos (5, Funny)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437563)

Any photos of giant insects or ninja turtles? At least maybe a cross between a spider and a man?

Damn. Radiation in real life is BORING.

EXCLUSIVE PHOTO! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437739)

I present to you this EXCLUSIVE photo, taken at great risk to life and limb. This is truly a remarkable specimen. Behold, the wildlife at Chernobyl! [fortunecity.co.uk]

I regret that I must remain anonymous, but if anyone found out I was this deep in the exclusion zone, I could be in deep trouble.

Re:Photos (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438821)

Here [goatse.cz] is a photo of an amazing mutation. Nowhere else can be found another specimen with such a huge body part as this one.

Lesser of the two evils (5, Interesting)

Slaimus (697294) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437565)

Given the choice of sharing the environment with humans or radiation, animals would much rather have the radiation.

Re:Lesser of the two evils (2, Insightful)

Akaihiryuu (786040) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437817)

It's hard for even high radiation levels to kill *everything*. Life adapts and survives. Radiation is far less damaging to wildlife than human presence is.

Re:Lesser of the two evils (0)

Gryle (933382) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438599)

Given the choice between rooming with a cow, and rooming with a freezer full of beef, I'll take the beef thanks. Your point?

Why is this in HARDWARE? (4, Insightful)

greginnj (891863) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437593)

Are these bionic AMD-64 running mutant radioactive wildlife critters, or something?

Ah... (1)

theTrueMikeBrown (1109161) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437605)

"In explaining their starkly differing views, Baker and Mousseau criticize each other's studies as poorly designed."

Science at its best.

Counter t to Creation Museum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437607)

The fundies have their Creation Museum, Chernobyl is like the Evolution Museum: watch as the animals mutate right before your eyes!

Re:Counter t to Creation Museum? (2, Funny)

Bastard of Subhumani (827601) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437785)

In [certain parts of] Soviet Russia, eyes mutate before animals!!!!!

Animals are no stranger to radiation (2, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437619)

Correct me where I'm wrong here, but I believe animal bodies have developed some pretty good ways of dealing with radiation over the eons. I know my skin does a fair job of managing UV radiation - though I will probably be darkening it when the therapy is available.

I wonder, has the antioxidant level in the plant life been measured? How much research is there in regards to long-term, lower-dose radiation exposure not just to individual organisms, but to ecosystems. Ecosystems are like massive organisms themselves.

I would think that selective pressures are probably biting at the bit to get working on increasing tolerance in populations inhabiting these no-man-lands.

Short Lifespan (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437621)

If you only need a couple of years to become old enough to breed and do so, then you're more likely to live long enough to reproduce in pretty much any situation. Nature abhors a vacuum...

"If this is paradise... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437647)

"Dense forests have reclaimed farm fields and apartment house courtyards. Residents, visitors and some biologists report seeing wildlife - including moose and lynx - rarely sighted in the rest of Europe. Birds even nest inside the cracked concrete sarcophagus shielding the shattered remains of the reactor."

"...I wish I had a lawnmower."

For anyone interested... (5, Interesting)

Known Nutter (988758) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437673)

...or looking for an intriguing read on a Friday morning, this young lady Elena describes her motorcycle ride to and through the so called Chernobyl "dead zone" [kiddofspeed.com] , with pictures. Interesting read.

Re:For anyone interested... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19437813)

I believe that this photo journal has been posted here before. IIRC the photos are genuine, but the "riding my bike by myself" story is fantasy, she just went on the same guided tour anyone can go on.

Re:For anyone interested... (1)

thygrrr (765730) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437855)

It's ony of my favourite documentary sites on the net. The images are impressive, the concise comments touching and to the point.

Re:For anyone interested... (5, Informative)

Slim Backwater (550617) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438079)

It's a good story, but only a story; she took a guided tour like anyone else entering the area: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elena_Filatova [wikipedia.org]

Re:For anyone interested... (2, Interesting)

jshriverWVU (810740) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438209)

This was posted on /. a year or two ago. Wasn't it found out that the story was faked?

Re:For anyone interested... (3, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438263)

It was "faked" in that she lied about taking a motorcycle through the zone by herself. She just took the normal tour and had photos taken of her holding a helmet. Why? Who knows... I guess touring the zone isn't exciting enough by itself, you have to be on a motorcycle too.

Re:For anyone interested... (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438879)

It's *very* important to remember that while her pictures are real, her story isn't. While she claims to have a nuclear scientist for a father, she actually gives a lot of erroneous information that can lead the reader to incorrect conclusions about the number of deaths, sequence of events, and actions taken during the accident.

Sooo... for once read something for its pictures, not its articles. :P

Biological Magnification? (2, Insightful)

loimprevisto (910035) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437685)

Are there any scientists/historians out there who can comment on whether the radioisotopes involved are the types that would work their way up the food chain? It seems this would make a big difference in which critters thrived and which ones couldn't make it...

Hardware? (4, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437733)

O.K., we have a game story about odd moments in games filed under "Politics" instead of "Games" and an environmental story filed under "Hardware" instead of "Science". Methinks maybe some /. editors have been spending a bit too much time in Chernobyl themselves, and it's had a deleterious affect on their "1337 categorization skillz".

Re:Hardware? (1)

Idarubicin (579475) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438511)

Methinks maybe some /. editors have been spending a bit too much time in Chernobyl themselves, and it's had a deleterious affect on their "1337 categorization skillz".
Nah. The categories just mutated.

Hunting at Chernobyl (2, Interesting)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437747)

There is a fun little travel DVD called the "Vice guide to travel", put out by the folks who do Vice magazine. One of their little bits is that they go to Chernobyl and try to hunt radioactive boars with large guns. (another bit on the DVD was visiting the world's largest illegal arms market in Pakistan). It's worth renting... very fun little movie.

Darwin in Action (3, Interesting)

queenb**ch (446380) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437801)

They will either evolve to accomodate their new conditions or they will die. It will be interesting to see if we get new species evolving more rapidly there or if the existing populations just wither and die off. Frankly, I would suspect that most of the animals there have been driven out of habitat elsewhere. That's how Mother Nature works. The looser is always the one that migrates. I'm not complaining much because that's what drove apes out of the forest and on to the plains to become the first hominids.

2 cents,

QueenB.

Re:Darwin in Action (2, Insightful)

non (130182) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438435)

The looser is always the one that migrates. I'm not complaining much because that's what drove apes out of the forest and on to the plains to become the first hominids.

hmmm, are you sure you're not contradicting yourself? you're saying that are apes that migrated out of the forest, and the go on to say,

The looser is always the one that migrates.

which is a hypothesis that really doesn't have much validity. change, ie. evolution, almost never happens at the center of a population. at least not the kind of change that drives evolution. it happens at the edge, on the boundary, or wherever there is an unexploited niche, whether it be taking to the air, or returning to the see, or taking advantage of some previously unexploited resource. when it comes to the apes they left the forest because they could no longer find sufficient resources there, whether due to increased competition (unlikely), or due reduced resources.

STALKER (1)

elmCitySlim (957476) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437803)

It wasn't a three headed wolf she saw, or a pack of wild wolves. It was 3 heads of a wolf flying around in a gravity vortex.

Anyway, they will adapt soon (3, Funny)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437845)

There are already bacteria living in active zones of nuclear reactors. Animals with fast reproductive cycle will likely adapt first, both because of faster evolution - especially in the face of accelerated mutations - and because they don't have to survive as long to produce offsprings. It's only a matter of decades before we catch 5 eared rabbits with ECC in their DNA in addition to RAID1 that we currently have.

Re:Anyway, they will adapt soon (2, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438559)

There are already bacteria living in active zones of nuclear reactors. ... ECC in their DNA in addition to RAID1 that we currently have.

Those bacteria have quadruple-strand DNA. [wikipedia.org] and an extra error-correction loop.

Category check... (1)

Dancindan84 (1056246) | more than 7 years ago | (#19437859)

Um... hardware? Are the radioactive wildlife being used as PSUs in Russian computers? If so, I missed that in TFA.

Both are probably true (5, Informative)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438015)

The article seems to posit a false dichotomy between increased rates of cancer and deformity and a flourishing animal population. The usual mutation rate for most animals is pretty damn small. You could probably increase it 100 fold if not more and still maintain a large population of healthy breeding animals. Since animals, like humans, are naturally programed to prefer to breed with healthy members of their species there is no reason to think that the harmful mutations would 'take over' and cause the local animals to die out. Also just because more animals die of cancer doesn't mean they don't live long enough to successfully breed.

I mean it should be a lot like inbreeding. Sure inbreeding increases the number of seriously fucked up members of the population significantly so you wouldn't want to do it with humans but it can also be used to help establish certain useful traits fairly quickly. The animals living in the Chernobyl area might have more deformed babies, and no doubt if they had to fairly compete with non-irradiated members of their kind they would be at a disadvantage, but the long term effect might just be to increase the rate at which they evolve.

Of course you can't really decide this with a thought experiment but it is annoying that the article suggests increased deformity and cancer rates in individual animals is incompatible with overall health of the species/group.

Re:Both are probably true (1)

epine (68316) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438399)

The scientists involved failed to note that the predator and prey populations are under equal hardship within this ecosystem. A mutation that might be absolutely lethal in to an individual sheep among a flock of healthy sheep pursued by a pack of healthy wolves is not necessarily such great survival hardship when every third sheep has a spare body part, and half the wolves have cleft palate or pit nipples.

So GSC knows more than we do? (1)

auld_wyrm (634053) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438027)

The delay of STALKER was due to the difficulty of motion capturing actual mutated wolves and boars?

How long before Jack Thompson takes somebody to court because some kid went wandering into Chernobyl NPP in search of a monolith and ended up dead?

In Soviet Russia... (1, Troll)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438059)

In Soviet Russia, animals take over your living space!

oblig Stalker reference (1)

Novotny (718987) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438127)

Well, this may be true, but have you played STALKER? Have you seen the bloody wildlife? I'm staying WELL clear

Screw the affects on animals (2, Interesting)

hellfire (86129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438201)

One of the elderly residents who refused to evacuate the contaminated area says packs of wolves have eaten two of her dogs, and wild boar trample through her cornfield. Scientist are divided as to whether or not the animals are flourishing in the highly radioactive environment

Call me selfish or humanocentric, but I'd be very interested in a study on this person! That would be incredibly interesting. It's amazing to me that a person has subsisted in this area for all this time.

An interesting read. (2, Informative)

CrackerJackz (152930) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438225)

One book I picked up a couple of years ago was Robert Polidori's Zones of Exclusion: Pripyat and Chernobyl, it documents though photos how nature is taking back the buildings and towns; and also includes shots from within the control room of the reactor.

http://www.theglobalist.com/photo/Chernobyl/Polido ri.shtml [theglobalist.com]

Yeah, but have the Sword Bushes bloomed yet? (1)

Infonaut (96956) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438247)

Sorry. Someone had to put in an obscure pencil-and-paper RPG reference into this thread, or this wouldn't be Slashdot.

WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? (-1, Flamebait)

coagen (1027154) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438287)

READ THE FUCKING ARTICLE! IT DOES NOT SAY ANIMALS ARE RETURNING TO CHERYNOBYL IT SAYS THEIR SINKING INTO SOME KIND OF RADIATIED BLACK HOLE! "The work suggests, he said, that Chernobyl is a "sink" where animals migrate but rapidly die off. Mousseau suspects that relatively low-level radiation reduces the level of antioxidants in the blood, which can lead to cell damage." Jesus fucking christ, please read the fucking article.

Detroit (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438353)

A similar thing is happening in Detroit, where re-forestation is taking over the inner city. Check out www.detroitblog.org for pictures of meadows in the middle of the city, and trees growing out of the roofs of abandoned skyscrapers http://www.detroitblog.org/index.php?paged=13 [detroitblog.org]

You can also see this in satellite pictures. Look closely around Tiger Stadium and you'll see block after block of green fields with only a few scattered houses.

Also spotted... (2, Funny)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438461)

Mysterious coal deposits underneath compost piles, a crazy naked couple running around with the animals, and some doddering old man writing frantically into a journal.

Wildlife in the Zone? (2, Funny)

morari (1080535) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438505)

Us Stalkers have known this for quite some time. Just be sure to throw some nuts and bolts around in front of you!

Evolution in Action (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438705)

Many will die from radiation poisoning.

Many contaminated animals will be sterile. Most of the mutated offspring will fail to survive to birth. Most of the rest will die before becoming fertile age. Most of the rest will be sterile. Most of the rest will repeat the process, leaving mutated genetic lines to expire quickly.

But some tiny fraction might survive mutated but fit to the new environment. They will be horrible beasts unable to survive anywhere else.

Until we contaminate the rest of the planet, which their families will inherit instead of ours.

Obligatory Simpsons (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19438885)

Dr. Nick: "if it isn't my old friend Mr. McGregg - with a leg for an arm and an arm for a leg"

I guess we know where he's from.

New Chernobyl cash crop... (1)

Samurai Cat! (15315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438893)

...Tomacco! [wikipedia.org]

Seriously, with the radiation there... it just... might... work!

The return! (1)

Bromskloss (750445) | more than 7 years ago | (#19438903)

I'm wild, I'm alive and I'm back!
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