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Blagojevich Says Trial Rules Are Unfair

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Blagojevich Says Trial Rules Are Unfair
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by : FlipBooth on Aug 17, 2010
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Blagojevich Says Trial Rules Are Unfair
Illinois Gov Rod Blagojevich says he s not being defiant in boycotting his Senate impeachment trial next week but that it s because the process is unfair Jan 23

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Blagojevich Says Trial Rules Are Unfair

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Centipede bursts out of snake, does Aliens proud

They say fiction imitates life. But surely something as gruesome as a creature exploding out of another organism’s chest - like the chestbursters from the Alien movies - can only be the stuff of science fiction, right?
A recent yet altogether surprising discovery by a group of scientists demonstrates that the real world is sometimes just as awesome, if not more so, than the movies.
On an otherwise ordinary day on May 24, 2013, Ljiljana Tomovi? and colleagues were tagging reptiles on Macedonia’s Golem Grad, or Snake Island, when they came upon a ghastly sight: a dead 20.3 cm (7.9 inch) nose-horned viper, with its abdomen split open, and the head of a 15.4 cm (6 inch) centipede sticking out of the ruptured flesh.
“All of us were astonished, as nobody has ever seen something like this,” Tomovi?, who is a herpetologist at the University of Belgrade, told Live Science.
Researcher Dragan Arsovski was the one who happened upon the dead creatures when he turned over a stone.
Oh the horror
A post-mortem analysis paints a pretty grisly picture of the events that led to the deaths of both animals. It appears the centipede, which had been swallowed by the snake, attempted to free itself by eating said snake from the inside out. After destroying its innards, the snake’s stomach eventually burst wide open, revealing the centipede’s head.
“A subsequent dissection revealed the absence of the snake’s visceral organs (i.e. we found that only the snake’s body wall remained – the entire volume of its body was occupied by the centipede), which led us to suppose that the prey caused chemical or mechanical damage to the predator’s digestive organs,” explained the study.
What this also means is that, for a period of time, the centipede was wearing what was left of the snake like a coat. Happy now, Buffalo Bill?
A diet that kills
The nose-horned viper in question was a juvenile female. According to the researchers, these snakes “feed on small mammals, lizards, other snakes, amphibians and birds.” While adults even occasionally dine on small rabbits, the diet of juveniles primarily consists of lizards and a genus of centipedes known as Scolopendra. On Snake Island, the youngsters also feed on a species of sea snails called Cerithidea cingulata.
So munching on centipedes isn’t exactly new to nose-horned vipers. It appears, however, that this particular snake met her match when she decided to consume a centipede almost as large as she was.
“Juvenile vipers from Golem Grad have been observed to consume Scolopendra sp., but in this case we assume the young snake gravely underestimated the size and strength of the centipede, which itself is known as a ferocious predator,” wrote the researchers. “Therefore, we cannot dismiss the possibility that the snake had swallowed the centipede alive, and that, paradoxically, the prey has eaten its way through the snake, almost reaching its freedom.”
Unfortunately for the centipede, it never did quite save itself: experts believe that it was the snake’s venom that ultimately killed it.

Centipedes are hardy animals
Despite their name, centipedes have a number of legs ranging from 20 to over 300. They also vary in size, with the smallest only being a few millimeters long, and the biggest reaching up to a whopping 35 cm (13 inches). That’s larger than the forearm of most Filipinos.
Centipedes are also some of the hardiest animals around.
“In general, this invertebrate is extremely tough: it is very hard to kill a full-grown Scolopendra (personal observation),” wrote the researchers.

Though centipedes have been observed to eat plant material when starved, they are predominantly carnivorous. With the ferocity and voraciousness of the Xenomorphs in the Alien movies, centipedes are generalist predators, meaning they have adapted to consume just about any poor, fleshy, souls that are available. Their list of victims include small mammals, birds, bats, reptiles and amphibians.
The study, aptly titled “Two fangs good, a hundred legs better: juvenile viper devoured by an
adult centipede it had ingested”, was recently published in the journal Ecologica Montenegrina. - TJD, GMA News

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