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The Cruel "Art" and the "Artist"

Updated: Feb 5, 2023

Do you want to time travel back with me to the grimmer side of the medieval times? Pitchforks! Impaled heads! Lifeless bodies speared through!

Take a look at this:

Have you ever noticed a beetle speared like this? Have you guessed who might have done this to a poor beetle? Well, the artist behind this act is a bird. These birds are called as butcherbirds/Shrikes.

These birds are known for their habit of catching insects and small vertebrates, and impaling them on thorns, branches, the spikes of barbed-wire fences, or any available sharp point. This not only helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, more conveniently sized fragments, but also serves as a cache, so that the shrike can return to the uneaten portions at a later time. This same behaviour of impaling insects serves as an adaptation to eating the toxic lubber grasshopper, Romalea microptera. The bird waits 1–2 days for the toxins within the grasshopper itself to degrade it before eating it.

Documented and Photographed in Israel by Alfred Daniel J (on a field trip for the survey of widow spider with Prof. Yael Lubin (the wisest- yet the humblest), Tamar Sinai and Valaria Arabesky)

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