Mooney, Friday July 26th 2013
Bathroom Snake In Drumcondra
During the week we got a very interesting e-mail into the office from a chap called Paul Wade, in Drumcondra in Dublin:
We were up in Donegal for the weekend, and arrived home at 7.30ish on Sunday night. At 8.30ish, I thought I would visit the throne room with my Sunday paper ... I walked into the bog, and there was a SNAKE wrapped around the taps and plug chain on the sink - I kid you not, a great big SNAKE!! It was at least 5 feet long, black with white markings.
This morning, producer Pat O’Mahony went to meet Paul at his home in Drumcondra this morning to find out all about his serpentine encounter!
Kevin Cunningham is from the National Exotic Animal Sanctuary in Ballivor in County Meath, and he came to the rescue in Paul's hour of need. This afternoon, Kevin joins us on the line from the sanctuary to tell us more about the snake rescue!
Click here to read the NEAS Guide to dealing with various exotic animals.
Older Male Burying Beetles Make Better Dads!
Mature male burying beetles make better fathers than their younger counterparts. That’s one of the findings of research by Exeter University’s Centre for Ecology and Conservation published in the journal Proceedings Of The Royal Society of London.
Nicrophorus vespilloides, one of the burying beetles studied by Dr. Megan Head
One of the big puzzles of evolutionary biology is why males care for offspring that aren’t theirs. To explain, Derek is joined from the BBC studios in London by Dr Megan Head, Doctor of Evolutionary Biology at the University of Exeter... To find out more, you can read this statement from the University of Exeter, or visit the website of Dr. Megan Head.
Ant-like lines have been weaving their way about the United States Botanic Gardens Conservatory in Washington... the lines are not ants or tropical beetles, but curious humans coming in their tens of thousands every day to see a giant phallus-like and smelly flower, the titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum).
Ari Novy is a plant scientist and Public Programmes Manager at the Botanic Gardens, and he joins Derek and the panel on the line today from Washington!
The flower is now collapsing, and entering a dormant stage; the Botanic Gardens in Washington have set up a webcam focusing on flower, and you view the webcam, and find out lots more about the titan arum, by visiting their website
Grass-Growing Gutters: A Report By Terry Flanagan
Peter Nolan from Templeogue got in touch this week, to say that he had an unusual problem. The gutters on the back of the house are full of grass and weeds - yet none of his neighbours have any.
He has a theory as to why this is so, and he asked us to come out to see his weeds, and to assess his theory.
We sent Terry Flanagan along to find out more…
Gerald Kean's Insect Bite
If you were listening yesterday, you’ll have heard Mary Kingston’s "yukky" report about parasites like Bilharzia and Tissue Myiasis, and Larvae Migraines, and other such tropical illnesses that you can pick up abroad.
Well, no sooner had we done the report than we heard that celebrity lawyer Gerald Kean was in hospital after getting an insect bite while on holidays in Portugal...
This afternoon, Gerald joins us on the line from his hospital bed in Blackrock clinic...