Nobody Tell Justice Sotomayor

New Scientist has a story today about a flightless ibis that lived in Jamaica over 10,000 years ago. What makes this bird, Xenicibis xympithecus, interesting is that it used its wing stubs as a hinged club similar to nunchucks.

Yale University research scientist Nick Longrich reported his finding in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. He has examined fossil remains of the birds. At first he thought they were just an isolated bird or two and then he found more that confirmed their use as clubs. He notes:

“We don’t know of any other species that uses its body like a flail. It’s the most specialised weaponry of any bird I’ve ever seen.”

It is speculated that this bird became extinct after humans arrived. Or as the New Scientist says, the “ninja-bird” ended “up in the pot for dinner.”

A few months prior to her confirmation as an Associate Justice, Sonia Sotomayor was part of a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals which denied the appeal of attorney James Maloney in the case of Maloney v. Rice. That case sought to overturn New York State’s ban on nunchucks even in the home as a violation of the Second Amendment. That case was remanded back to the Second Circuit for further consideration in light of McDonald v. Chicago in June of 2010. More on the case – including court documents – can be found here.


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