Barron of Blog Wife, Kids, and the Pursuit of Happiness

8Apr/060

Giant Yak-Killing Hornets

You just can't get any cooler than giant hornets that can kill yaks.

The giant Asian hornet (Vespa mandarinia) has earned the nickname "yak killer" from local villagers. At nearly 2 inches long, they're the world's largest hornets. Victims describe their quarter-inch-long stingers as feeling like a hot nail. The stinger delivers a lethal venom that dissolves human tissue, and, as the name implies, can kill a yak.

This hornet was just one of several new and/or endangered species reported on by scientists from Conservation International and Disney's Animal Kingdom (yes, Disney). The joint team spent two months exploring and documenting several remote regions of Tibet.