Mice are nice, mice are nice, mice are ... AAARRGHHHH!

Nature has a news report on a problem with seabirds on Gough Island in the South Atlantic. You see, invasive mice are eating albatross chicks. Reuters also has a report (via Panda's Thumb).

From Reuters:

"Gough Island hosts an astonishing community of seabirds and this catastrophe could make many extinct within decades," said Dr Geoff Hilton, a senior research biologist with Britain's Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB).
"We think there are about 700,000 mice, which have somehow learned to eat chicks alive," he said in a statement.
The island is home to 99 percent of the world's Tristan albatross and Atlantic petrel populations -- the birds most often attacked. Just 2,000 Tristan albatross pairs remain.
"The albatross chicks weigh up to 10 kg (22 lb) and ... the mice weigh just 35 grams; it is like a tabby cat attacking a hippopotamus," Hilton said.

But you have to go to Nature for the good stuff, including video. Who expected a video of mice that warns, "Viewer discretion advised"? But it's no mystery why:

The videos confirm that mice are taking on the chicks, biting them over and over until they die from loss of blood or infection. Wanless, an invasive-species biologist from the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, vividly recalls watching the first videos. "It was carnage. Chicks half alive, with massive gaping wounds and guts hanging out."

Researchers surveyed the incidence of chick attacks on different parts of the island, and inferred that the behavior is probably learned. So the transmission of this behavior may be one reason for the rapid expansion in body size of mice on the island, which are three times the size of normal mice.

Hmm.... Body size expansion? Check. Hunting? Check. Culture? Sound familiar? Yes, it's the "killer mouse" hypothesis!