July 14, 2006
1:00 AM -- From The Philter's "You're Such an Animal" file, I proudly pass on this note from the great Graham Finnie:
I’m sure you all recall the worrying news I sent recently about crows laying waste to Tokyo’s expanding FTTH [fiber to the home] network.
However, it turns out that crows are only the half of it. According to Nobuo Kuwaki of NTT East’s Technical Assistance & Support Center, speaking here today, an entire menagerie of “living creatures” is waging war on NTT’s aerial fiber loops including monkeys, cicadas, rats and, most bizarrely of all, the white-cheeked giant flying squirrel. Mr Kuwaki said that NTT has developed a variety of counter-measures, including a specially designed squirrel-proof cover.
The picture below, from an article on the gliding behaviour of the white-cheeked giant flying squirrel that appeared in the Journal of Mammalogy, is the only one I could find. In the interests of accuracy, I should add that other more common types of squirrel are implicated in the Japanese attacks.
Mr Kuwaki also threw cold water on the theory propounded in the Times article to the effect that crows are eating NTT’s optical fiber as a form of “mating season stress relief”. On the contrary, Mr Kuwaki said, the fiber-pecking is a year-round affair and the crows do it because it is a “fun activity”.
It’s possible I dreamt this whole thing up and just need a good night’s sleep. I’m off for a Kirin. Or did I already have one?
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