UnNews:Exciting genetics discovery, rapid evolution in cattle
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25 March 2010
HARARE, Zimbabwe -- An international team of geneticists have descended on this African nations grasslands in search of the heretofore legendary Dragon Cattle. Until October 2008, when Dr. Rhys Schmackybach of University of South Africa documented a sighting of a lone cow, the idea that "Dragon Cattle" existed at all was laughable among members of the scientific community. These bovine bogies were purported to breath fire and dismember children, according to myths of local tribesmen.
The story begins in 1993, with reports to game wardens from local huntsmen, of burned animal carcasses found in the bush. Most notable to expert tracker Ingkvik Mjaartohlekes was the fact that 92% of the charred bodies were predacious animals, lions, jackals and hyenas. "We ruled out poachers, as the only damage was from intense heat or flame. No meat was taken, no body parts missing, nothing," he said. "It was a mystery."
Rumors began to circulate the following year of wild cattle, which superficially resembled the indigenous Nguni breed, but were ferocious and deadly to predators and man. The notable increase in brush fires was explained by Bantu tribesmen as, "the wrath of the Dragon Cow".
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By 2007, however, there had been no data collected on the supposed phenomenon, a situation which Dr. Schmackybach thought unacceptable. "With what little we did know, it was apparent that something was happening. I intended to get to the root of it. When I finally got a photo of the thing, just standing there, with a five meter flame shooting out of her arse, it was a shock. Apparently, they've developed this ability as a defense against predation."
Darwins famous theory of evolution is being invoked, in an effort to solve the puzzle of how a common cattle breed could develop the ability to ignite jets of methane from its ass. A new spin on this old theory is an idea that is contrary to prevailing wisdom, which says that a species traits evolve slowly over time. "Rapid evolution" states that in some cases, traits can develop over the course of few generations, and that, perhaps, is the case with the majestic dragon cattle.
"We've still got a lot of work ahead of us," says Dr. Schmackybach. "However, I am confident that our rapid evolution model will pan out, and the rest of the world will recognize me as the genius that I am."