Feeds

US ARMY prepares force of GIGANTIC BOMB RATS

Massive war rodents 'like to lick your finger' - major

Security for virtualized datacentres

More news this week from the perhaps surprisingly active field of US military combat rodent operations, as reports have it that Pentagon boffins are considering deployment of crack units composed of highly trained, enormous bomb rats into the Wars on Stuff.

These bomb rats, we should hasten to add, would not be explosive-laden kamikaze rodent assassins in the mould of the legendary "bombdogs" made famous by The Day Today.

Rather, the rats in question - African Giant Pouched Rats, to be precise - are highly trained to sniff out explosives. They have an advantage over the sniffer dogs sometimes employed on such tasks as, typically weighing less, they aren't as prone to set off mines and booby traps as they work.

Despite being almost describable as Rodents Of Unusual Size (ROUS - an African giant pouched rat can grow to be three feet long) they are apparently shy and docile and can make "wonderful pets".

"They're relatively charming," Major John Ringquist tells DefenseNews. "They like to lick your fingertips."

Ringquist, a US Army expert on sub-Saharan Africa, first encountered the rats during a trip to Tanzania where they are used by NGOs to detect landmines. The heroic rodents are reportedly quite willing to do such dangerous work for a modest salary paid in banana paste.

Impressed by the murine bomb-disposal operatives' effectiveness, Ringquist alerted the US Army Research Laboratory. A team of Pentagon boffins was despatched at once to Mozambique, where other rat squads are employed on the search for Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs, the primary threat to Western troops in modern conflicts, as opposed to landmines or other regular munitions manufactured in established arms factories).

"They were also convinced that [the rats are] highly effective," Ringquist tells DefenseNews.

It seems that the ranks of America's war rodents may soon be swollen by contingents of highly trained bomb-disposal rats stuffed to the gills with banana paste, joining the already well-established force of zombie mouse paratroopers currently engaged in the jungles of the Pacific. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Kip Thorne explains how he created the black hole for Interstellar
Movie special effects project spawns academic papers on gravitational lensing
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.