Posted January 27, 2014 11:36 am - Updated January 27, 2014 11:52 am

Animal news

Lots of animal-themed ugliness in the news lately.

Various maritime rodent experts say that a doomed ship being blown toward Ireland is “definitely” filled with endlessly battling clans of criminally insane cannibal rats, the largest of which “are for sure” by now “at least the size of a ponies” and “will probably constantly emit a chilling, high-pitched scream as they rush inland killing for fun.” At this point, the experts say, it is a scientific certainty that giant murderous rats will be creeping into the nightmare hearts of all mankind before the week is out. Irishmen used to have badgers to protect them from this sort of thing, but they’ve been culling them for a generation because they carry bovine TB. “Ireland’s only hope now lies with the dachshunds,” experts say.

And then the Pope’s prayers for peace in Ukraine carried aloft by white-winged doves were answered from above with a resounding “NOPE!” Yes, experts say the spirits and minds of several hundred children were damaged beyond repair at the Vatican on Sunday as the Doves of Peace were set upon and driven from the sky by a seagull — that most hateful of birds — accompanied by a crow accomplice that was, in its defense, just looking for a good time. But to really get into the choice cuts of expert opinion on this one you’ve got to skip the ornithologists ask the internets what the end-times prophesy experts think about it.

And as if all that wasn't enough:,35017/

Or maybe it’s just some dead rats on an old boat that might already be at the bottom of the north Atlantic and maybe every once in a while a seagull or crow harasses a bird without it being God’s judgment.