Oh, great — that’s how they acquire a taste for human flesh, you know

One of those forensic research facilities in Texas — the kind where you leave human bodies out to rot to figure out the progression of decay — has discovered deer nibbling on the corpses. Every November I’ve got students skipping class for the hunting season, and now I’m going to just have to excuse them, and encourage them to get out there and slaughter the man-eating monsters…before they get us.

Man-eating deer. Or is it deer eating man?


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    As Tim Dorsey’s Serge Storms figured out several books ago, such research facilities provide the perfect site for disposing of fresh corpses you might have lying around.

  2. blf says

    Memo to deer: Look, it’s not too useful to eat a corpse. The individual is already dead, and probably isn’t one of the selected meals. You want to go to the capital building, break down the legislator’s office door, and eat him (or her; just to safe, everyone in the officecapital building).

  3. mailliw says

    It’s surprising which creatures eat meat. Last year I was sitting outside a kebab shop and inadvertently dropped a piece of meat on the ground. A sparrow flew down and ate it. Since then I have been worried about a whole flock descending on me and pecking me clean down to the bones.

  4. says

    I’ve seen horses nibble on dead rabbits. Its protein! Horses aren’t vegans because ideology; they’re vegans because that is their niche.

  5. says

    If you haven’t seen the video of the pelican eating the other bird, that’s also pretty thought-provoking. Bob the pelican makes an important innovation!

  6. A Masked Avenger says

    PZ is kidding around, of course. TFA clarifies that the deer are nibbling on old bones, and that this is something they do — they just haven’t been observed nibbling old human bones before, probably mostly because human corpses aren’t left strewn around the woods. It’s thought that they go after bones as a mineral supplement.

  7. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    They are practicing to fight back in defense of being seasonally hunted. Hooray dear. Go get’em

  8. Larry says

    Developing a taste for man-flesh is creepy but not inherently dangerous.

    When they start developing an opposable thumb, I’m gettin’ out of Dodge.

  9. Chakat Firepaw says

    @Pierce R. Butler #1

    …such research facilities provide the perfect site for disposing of fresh corpses you might have lying around.

    One CSI episode had the killer do that, the body was almost instantly found and noticed. The comment about it was along the lines of “they didn’t think we kept track of the bodies we put here?”

  10. Feline says

    One of my first biology text-books had a fish-eye picture of a cow munching down on a hare carcass, with a text about “herbivores will seek out and eat carrion to get essential nutrients” or something similar. Which was probably the first time a science text-book told me “so these strict definitions we have(like carnivore, herbivore and omnivore) are true only in a general sense.” I might also have deployed the knowledge of it against aggressively vegan teens back when I was a teen.

  11. methuseus says

    @Feline #13

    I might also have deployed the knowledge of it against aggressively vegan teens back when I was a teen.

    Ha! I need to remember that for any further debates. Though I do advocate for limiting the input of animal products. I eat vegetarian meals sometimes. I actually want to do so more, since it can be quite cost effective, too.

  12. birgerjohansson says

    I think the reindeer at Santa’s place in a Family Guy episode used to eat dead elves, as the workers in Santa’s workshop wore out and died it was an easy disposal method.

  13. wzrd1 says

    Yeah, still catching up on old mail. Busy schedule and all. :/

    I’m surprised at any who are unaware of deer occasionally nibbling upon available meat. It’s a reasonably well documented behavior.
    Few are the fully obligate herbivores, there are always opportunistic protein gathering animals.

    Personally, I’m an obligate omnivore. I graze with the best of the vegetarians, I also eat meat.
    Unlike most idiots in this country, I don’t eat a *lot* of meat, I eat as much vegetable matter as I can get and add meat to it.
    My dietary guidance for overweight soldiers, “eat as much meat as you can catch with this (pulling out a small knife. Now, add fat and oil at the same level”.
    That usually got the message of moderation across.

    Twice this week, as I’m still on swing shift, I’ve had my “breakfast” at work, which consisted of a quart of spring mix salad and fruit (honeydew melon, which, purchased at Walmart, was moldy on one end (my bad for not *fully* inspecting the damned thing when I plucked it from the produce bin), blueberries and strawberries (another quart, half filled).
    Blue cheese dressing on day one, overload caused me to select “Zesty Italian” for today. Oil, necessary for certain vitamin absorption (also coached for overweight soldiers).
    Yet, my cholesterol is extremely high, which doctor’s office just notified me of today, to which I was delighted to learn. That’s my *normal* state and my cholesterol has been extremely low, due to hyperthyroidism, which now, I’ll call successfully treated (LVH has regressed to barely measurable ECG readings, rages have ceased, blood pressure is well under control, abdominal pulsation (due to a 2.5 cm aortic dilation (3.5 cm is an aneurysm)).
    Alas, due to a network misconfiguration at work and an idiot hooking up his/her Cisco VOIP telephone to the network incorrectly as is possible, dropped our network, preventing my communicating with doctor’s office to halt an effort that would, quite literally, hospitalize me.
    I’m also one of those cursed to be the 1% of the populace who cannot tolerate statins. At all. Full blown rhabdo here. Hospital, mannitol galore, IV’s even more galore, catheter to collect the gallons of offload. Overall, a lot of not fun for someone who quite enjoys being mobile and not part of the municipal plumbing system in multiple ways.
    Oh well, I’ll contact them tomorrow and another appointment or significant communication session with doctor online (he has an electronic patient communication/billing/prescription, etc system. Works great, when it’s fully online.
    I’ll send doctor an e-mail in the “morning”.
    The message will be, “Am hypersensitive to statins, even Crestor, once per week triggered rhabdo, fortunately at that point, W/O myoglobin detection, for a change. Suggest alternative families of drugs to address issue. Ideas?”.
    I’m exceptionally good at communicating medically, at a professional level, even discussing pharmacology, advanced A&P, surgery and various other quite technical subjects.

    For those unfamiliar, rhabdo refers to one of two conditions in this context. Rhabdomyolysis, muscle breakdown, releasing myoglobin, which blocks the tubules in the kidneys (OK, I’m massively goobering it down here), resulting in kidney failure or a subclinical version, which is more as rhabdomylitis, pain, without elevated myoglobin levels. So far, it’d progress to the more severe form.
    First symptom, brown urine. Alongside that, feel like the entire planet beat the hell out of every muscle with a baseball bat.
    I’d tolerate the pain for limited periods, if I was to gain a health benefit, but, with the very real risk of kidney damage and failure, no.
    And yeah, the biochemistry is complicated, but many here should be easily able to locate the processes involved.

    For the few, rare types interested.
    Total Cholsterol 254.0 mg/dL
    HDL 52.0 mg/dL
    LDL 162.0 mg.dL
    Triglycerides 226.0 mg/dL
    Chol/HDL ration 4.9
    A bit lower than normal for me, usually, it’s tilted a bit more toward LDL and triglycerides.
    And that was fasting.
    I’m also the eldest male in my father’s grouped lineage to not be type 2 diabetic. A1c being 5.8%. Which has slightly alerted me.
    I’m more concerned with a TSH at 0.518uIU/mL, which is a bit low during treatment for hyperthyroidism.
    The only other item of concern was CO2, which is quite elevated, with excellent lung function, but reflects my smoking. I’ve tried quitting, but going into V-tach, not frigging cool. Gotta work with my cardiologist on that one.

    Dad died from vascular dementia. I have no desire to follow his footsteps or emulate a similar, chronic pathway.
    And, well, I quite enjoy preparing, cooking and eating healthy foods. Much, green. I do pay a price for not eating high fiber foods, since I am taking hydrocodone for a herniated disc. I refuse to take the “muscle relaxers” doctor prescribed. Opioids are CNS depressants, are are “muscle relaxants”, why double the effort with potentially addictive drugs?

    OK, I know some want full information. CO2 was 32.8 mEq/L.

    Interesting is, I consume 3.75 liters of whiskey per week. Deal with it, I remain functional and oddly, do not show signs of withdraw from a lack of it, when, say during the three week period of no motor vehicle, so no booze runs and walked 4 miles back and forth to and from work. The only side effect I had was a a few days of vivid dreams, which has concerned me, I’ll have to taper things down.
    That should impact liver function, which is also quite good, as in median to elevated functional levels, as is what else the liver creates, cholesterol.

    Circling back to the OT. I’ve been now, quite long considering donating my body to that very center. What is learned is important to our society.
    If a deer nibbles on me, fine, I’ve ate enough venison over the years, turnabout is fair play.