Quack Squad


Duck Dog

A duck is one of the most beautiful animals.
If you study a duck, you'll see certain things: the bill is a certain texture and a certain length; the head is a certain shape;
the texture of the bill is very smooth and it has quite precise detail and reminds you somewhat of the legs (the legs are a little more rubbery).
The body is big, softer, and the texture isn't so detailed.
The key to the whole duck is the eye and where it is placed.  It's like a little jewel.
It's so perfectly placed to show off a jewel - right in the middle of the head, next to this S-curve with the bill sitting out in front,
but with enough distance so that the eye is very well secluded and set out.
When you're working on a film, a lot of times you can get the bill and the legs and the body and everything,
but this eye of the duck is a certain scene, this jewel, that if it's there, it's absolutely beautiful.  It's just fantastic.

- David Lynch, film director

Source: the web

China Sets Up Quack Squad

by David Rennie

An army of 700,000 specially trained ducks and chickens has been mobilised to help fight China's biggest locust plague in 25 years.  The birds, which are taught to pursue and eat locusts at the sound of a whistle, are part of a national campaign that includes 280,000 people backed by crop-dusting planes and special locust-killing micro-organisms imported from Britain.  Swarms of locusts have destroyed more than 1.6 million hectares of crops in 11 provinces in the north and east of China, and 3.8 million hectares of grassland in the far western region of Xinjiang.  The birds are used in Xinjiang where they are raised and trained under contract to the local government.

Zhao Xinchun, deputy head of the Xinjiang Locust and Rat Control Office, says: "Farmers knew that chickens were very fond of eating locusts, so we did some tests with a few hundred birds before spreading the idea more widely."  The chickens have now been reinforced with 100,000 ducks, which can each consume up to 400 locusts a day.  "Farmers found that ducks can eat more than chickens, are tougher than chickens in bad weather and do not get eaten by eagles or weasels."  The birds associate the sound of whistles with feeding, Mr Zhilo says.

Scientists are also planning to use a special parasite, metarhiziumflavoviride, which grows inside the locusts' bodies and prevents them from absorbing nourishment.  The technique, believed to be safer than using chemical pesticides, was imported from Britain in 1996.  China is suffering from an acute water shortage and locusts are thriving on dry stretches of the Yellow River. - Daily Telegraph

Source: The Dominion Tuesday 25 July 2000

A Duck for Dinner

Vegetarian version

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Having Friends Over...

"Ma, can I invite some of the guys from school over?"

"Must you?  Your friends are all so lazy..."

Sources: ffix1975.livejournal.com, www.greenapple.com

Jennifer was very proud of her new house shoes...
Source: darkroastedblend.com

For more on birds: corvids (crows, ravens, jays); pigeons, parrot, eagle; ostrich, emu, cassowary; chickens (plain); chickens (fancy)...

For more on animals, including reptiles, crustaceans, arachnids, insects, fish, birds, pets, livestock, rodents, bears, primates, whales and Wellington's waterfront, click "Up" below to take you to the Table of Contents for this Animals section.

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