Barnacle Geese Rely on Being Fluffy to Survive

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Image source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Branta_Leucopsis_Juvenile.jpg

The barnacle goose is the D student of the animal world in that it tries super hard to be a part of this whole food chain thing, but kind of sucks at it. We say this because before a baby barnacle goose is even given its first meal, it first has to throw itself from the top of a cliff.

The first question that probably comes to mind after hearing this is, “why?” possibly followed by “no really, why?” and the short answer is, as we’re sure many of you are already aware, geese are assholes.

Fuck. You.
Fuck. You.

Basically, to prevent predators from stealing their delicious eggs, the barnacle goose makes it nest amongst the crags of cliffs where only they and possibly some species of flying snake we aren’t aware of can reach. When the eggs hatch though, the barnacle goose suddenly stops giving any sort of a shit about it gosling’s safety and leaves it to do its own thing. In fact, once a barnacle goose hatches, its parents won’t even bother to feed it. Instead the gosling must hurl itself hundreds of feet onto the jagged rocks below where its parents may or may not be waiting to show them where it might find some food because apparently lesson one of being a goose is: Get good.

crap crap
Shiiiiiii
Oh god, oh god, oh god, oh god.
iiiiiiiiiittttt!

In case you’re wondering, no, the goslings can’t fly when they do this, they survive only due to the sheer fuzziness of their feathers. This combined with their small size allows them to slow themselves somewhat in mid-air so that they only smash into the rocks below at a less than lethal velocity. To add insult to injury, when they land, because they can’t walk, the goslings will then almost always tumble embarrassingly down the cliff side for a few extra feet as their parents stand 3 feet away honking like assholes.

For some reason the goose will absolutely refuse to feed its young unless they do this, so the babies have a pretty simple choice, starve to death or do a front flip off a cliff to impress mummy. What’s weirder is that some geese have been seen inviting their young onto their back to guide them down that way. Which means every single barnacle goose could, if it wanted to, effortlessly guide its newborn baby to the ground but instead the vast majority of them choose to be assholes about it. Again, this probably isn’t news to a lot of people.

Scientists also aren’t really sure why the geese choose to make their babies leap from the cliff instead of helping them, but researchers from our friends at No Shit University have found that thousands of adorable fluffy baby geese end up dead or injured every year because of it. As if that wasn’t bad enough, many predators have learned to simply wait at the bottom of the cliff during hatching season so that they can just snatch the babies up as they land. Which is an image so horrifying we’re going to cut this article short and end with a picture of the fluffiest gosling we could find.

awwwwwwww
Sorry.