At every turn, it seems, living things are trying to eat us, poison us, use our bodies as their homes, or have us spread their eggs. Professor of Biology and host of Animal Planet's Monsters Inside Me, Dan Riskin, joined host Richard Syrett to share jaw-dropping examples that illuminate how brutal nature can truly be. From slothful worms that hide in your body for up to thirty years to wrathful snails with poisonous harpoons. "I think that when you take this attitude that nature is going to be kind and friendly and want to take care of you, it's not true and you miss out on the best parts," he said, noting how nature is full of despicable creatures that do terrible things.
Riskin recounted his expedition to capture bats in Belize, where he was bitten by a mosquito and came home with a botfly maggot lodged in his scalp. "Having a parasite inside your body gives you a whole different perspective from catching animals and looking at them," he said, noting the parasite was eventually removed surgically and placed in a vial. The bat community has its own creepy parasite, the vampire bat, Riskin continued. Vampire bats use nasal heat sensors to find a blood vessel close to the skin then, after shaving the area with their teeth, cut into it with their front incisors, he added. A vampire bat can drink up to 50% of its body weight in blood, some of which is in a secondary pouch where it can later trickle slowly into its system, Riskin pointed out.
Riskin touched on selfishness in nature and how it contributes to an animal's survival. He shot down a popular misconception about male emperor penguins, which contrary to popular belief do not cooperate in huddles to stay warm. From a distance it may appear they are taking turns but each one is really struggling to find a way into the center to steal the extra warmth, Riskin revealed. He spoke about animals, including zebras and lions, that routinely kill the offspring of their male competitors. A new lion will take over a pride and kill the cubs of the old lion to conserve food, provide more opportunity for its own offspring, and make the females go into heat, he said. The objective is to pass on its own DNA, he added. Riskin also spoke about forced copulation in the duck world and cannibalism among mating spiders.
Fraudulent CDC Vaccine Study
In the first hour, investigative journalist Jon Rappoport discussed the CDC whistleblower who admitted he left out vital data in a vaccine study. CDC research scientist Dr. William Thompson made anonymous phone calls to Andrew Wakefield and Brian Hooker in which he admitted he and his co-authors omitted vital data and broke the protocol of their vaccine study, Rappaport reported. Had this data been included the research would have found a connection between the MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella) Vaccine and autism, he noted. "The question is now raised, well, 'What other studies that have been done by authors of the CDC have omitted vital data and are fraudulent?'," Rappoport speculated, adding that he has reviewed a study on mercury in vaccines and its connection to autism, and found it to be completely flawed.