CLEVELAND, OH—A study released Thursday by Case Western Reserve University has conclusively shown that many birds lack the regeneration genes found in phoenixes. The groundbreaking work lists dozens of commonly known avian species, including penguins, sparrows and flying squirrels, which do not spontaneously combust and arise from the ashes.
The lead author, Gerald Bermet, explains: “For years we had all assumed that if you just lit a pelican it on fire, it would be reborn. However, it took major advancements in fire technology before we’ve managed to test the theory,” and that after doing so “for some reason, none of the tested species were suddenly reborn.”
After conducting hundreds of testing experiments, the CWRU lab came under a storm of complaints from local animal rights groups who did not understand the study’s goal. “Truly, it could have improved these birds’ lives,” said Bermet. “If they had risen from the ashes as had been expected, they would have been able to live as younger, more spritely birds.”
He rolled his eyes. “Instead, I mean, yeah, maybe we made a mistake.”
When the researchers examined the avian DNA for more information, they found that the phoenix genes, which explicitly regulate when the birds suddenly burst into flame and regenerate themselves, are not conserved among most other species.
These findings come at the crest of a new wave of research that has ecologists rethinking everything they once thought was true about some of our most familiar animal acquaintances.
“After the shocking discovery that when you cut the head off of certain snakes, two do not grow back, we were flabbergasted” says local cryptozoologist, Jerry Buckley. “Then there was the finding of what we thought were Aspidochelone in the Pacific—giant turtles whose backs often develop foliage and hold wildlife—are actually just islands. Now this? I almost don’t even know what to believe anymore.”
The study did have one bright side, however. As expected, scientists are relieved to report that 90 percent of all ravens are indeed omens of impending doom.