Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New species of seagull discovered in Walmart parking lot

Scientists in Oklahoma announced today the discovery of a new species of seagull found in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The now-famous gull has been hanging around the area and harassing customers at the Broken Arrow Superstore for many months, but it was not until a close encounter with Ethan Mayfair, of the Oklahoma Department of Fish and Game, that it was noticed the bird was not the same as other gulls found in the state.

“This bird swooped down on me and stole my frozen shrimp as I was leaving the store a week ago,” said Mayfair. “I got a real good look at him and I noticed that he was special. I called a professor buddy of mine over at Oklahoma State and had him come down to take a look.”

This Parking Lot Gull, as the species is being informally named, is indeed different from other gulls, especially in the feet. While most gulls have flat, broad feet, the Parking Lot Gull’s feet show distinct toes. Also, the newfound gull has furrowed eyebrows that give it a menacing and angry look.

Percy Wainwright, emeritus professor of biology at OSU who was called to investigate the gull at Mayfair’s request, explains that the gull is a prime example of Darwinistic evolutionary theories. “This new species has evolved in a way to survive in the ultra competitive world of superstore mayhem. Its toes allow it to claw grocery bag carriers into submission and with those same toes it can nab its target. Also, evolution has given the gull an angry visage and the bird is capable accomplishing its design by simply looking at you.”

Many shoppers at the Broken Arrow Wal-Mart suggest that the Parking Lot Gull can distinguish between customers carrying peanut butter and customers carrying a more coveted box of fish sticks. “I saw this thing overturn a metal trash receptacle filled to the brim with garbage,” said local shopper, Morgan Asletrin. “It was an awe-inspiring site to see this majestic bird rip through plastic containers and other debris before it started choking on a packet of ketchup.”

It is unknown how many more of the species are currently living in Oklahoma and throughout the world, but attempts to identify similar gulls are already being undertaken across the nation. Though the bird is newly discovered, the WWF is already pushing paperwork to list the species as endangered, which would give the gull federal protection.

Despite other options in town, many residents are shopping at the superstore just for a chance to catch a glimpse of the Parking Lot Gull. Lucy Phillips said that despite the nasty scratch her daughter received from the gull it is still comforting to be close to nature and see its miracle. But others in town are not so sympathetic.

“It’s a big ugly seagull just like any other big ugly seagull,” said Nathan Best. “My only care about the species is when and where I will be allowed to hunt it. Also, it stole my antennae ball.”

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