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Hub of the Universe, baby: Brit tourist videos one of our seagulls swallowing a rat whole

Extreme Lunch Seagull Swallows Rat in Boston

Never mind the Goat, we've got the Seagull - and a British tourist was there to record it all on Salem Street in the North End - and provide appropriately horrified commentary, because nothing like this ever happens in jolly old England.

Via Megan Johnson.

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Comments

You may have Pizza Rat but Boston has Rat Seagull! World class, baby!!

Also, the street looks more like Beacon Hill than the North End IMO. Can't ID it but there's a store's sign visible at the end of the video that may provide a clue.

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It's Salem St., just past Old North Church. Giving as many tourists as possible the authentic Boston experience!

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USA! USA!

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I'm more shocked that it could fly off after eating something 1/3 its body weight.

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Now I want to know if he managed to digest it, or if he wound up puking it back up. I guess we'll never know.

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The Wikipedia article for gulls interestingly enough talks about gulls eating mice and says that gulls have a particular behavior for swallowing mice: they eat it, travel over to some water and then regurgitate it and get it wet so it's easier to swallow. I'm skeptical enough of that to note that they don't actually have a citation on that paragraph, although it's not something that was just recently added to the article either. But what's easy to find citations for is that seagulls are relatively intelligent animals who can do various tricks to eat food you wouldn't expect a bird to be able to eat like cracking open shells by dropping them, (and of course they also can regurgitate food) so it'll probably try to find a way to swallow it.

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I was thinking something like this was its plan. It doesn't have the talons that a raptor has to grab food and carry it off, so I surmised it swallowed the thing whole to carry it off somewhere more secluded than the middle of the street, and eat it at its leisure.

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Between Hull and Charter

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The Daily Mail said this was on Salem St.

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I always have problems when I read Daily Mail articles. I see words, and they look to be in English, but their page design makes my head hurt.

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I will never think the same about seagulls again.

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That seagull digests the bones and innards like it's no big deal. Most humans would die trying this. We are so poorly adapted to live outside the modern world. That's what happens when a species cooks its food for several thousand years.

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I was going to suggest that this meal would end up regurgitated for the gull chicks, but I think it's probably the wrong time of the year for them to have nestlings.

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Just ate lunch - so didn't watch the video - but assuming the gull didn't kill the rat - just found it dead and scavenged it. If the rat had been poisoned - that gull might have met the same fate.

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Exactly. That was my first thought.

Poisoned mice and rats run outside to look for water, they know they are dying

Go to Tufts in North Grafton or New England Wildlife center in Weymouth for more information.

Many owls and other birds of prey are poisoned this way, snakes too.

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Head out along the wharves at low tide. The seagulls pick shellfish off of the pilings and drop it on the concrete. Or just walk out along Long Wharf and note the broken shells and splats.

I wonder if the guy started filming when the rat dropped from the sky.

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Yeah, we need to push back against the indiscriminate use of D-Con poison "bait stations". Poisoned rats are going to kill of the birds of prey that are supposed to keep the rat population down, and probably a few pets as well.

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I think seagulls earn the name rats of the sky because of their willingness to eat just about anything.

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N/T

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The video starts with the gull and dead rat in the middle of the street. If the gull was lucky, the rat was just roadkill, and not poisoned first.

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We wouldn't be where we are today had we not learned to cook food. It dramatically increases the nutrient gain, allowing our ancestors to spend way less time foraging.

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Way less time foraging or swallow rats whole? You snowflake.

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It's true, we are so not badass as a species.

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Not only can we cook rats, we are currently cooking the entire planet. That's pretty badass.

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CURSE YOU, PROMETHEUS!!!

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If that was shocking, then they shouldn't look in any of the restaurants nearby. They will find an awful lot of humans eating other animals.

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Just totally freaking epic!

Like raccoons, seagulls have some mad skills when the garbage runs low.

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I've never seen any human swallow anything that big in one gulp without chewing, but I guess if you're commonly seeing that you may have grown up with different table manners than I'm used to.

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That gull has nothing on my 16 year old son.

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I try not to judge my guests.

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...of what killed the rat. If it was poison that gull is toast.

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If that rat was already dead from poison, that seagull might be in trouble. Birds sometimes dies from ingesting rodenticide this way.

To the horrified tourists: would you rather have dead rats in the street? It's just nature doing its job. I hope the gull is OK.

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I am more horrified with the number of stories Daily Mail dedicates to Kardashians.

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I hear there is someone who will digitally remove the rat from the video so you don't have to watch it.

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Best snark of the night!

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There are city rats and there are T-rats. The T-rats are huge mutated and have their own movie DEADLY EYES.

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... and says “ratatouille”. If that is what he’s saying he mispronounces it.

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Someone should start a kickstarter campaign to have this digitally inserted into the end of the Departed

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