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Dec. 1, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
You might have had a long trip home after the Thanksgiving weekend — but it’s unlikely it was as long as Bethany’s. The Pembroke Welsh Corgi was her way from Seattle to Mississippi on Saturday. But, apparently she was put on the wrong flight during a stop at American Airlines’ hub at the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport, and wound up in Hawaii. "Don't know how or why she got there, but I am glad she is safe and sound," the puppy’s owner, Paul Chen, said. He said the airline has been very helpful in getting Bethany back to him, even providing him with hourly updates at one point. “She took a little bit of a vacation to Honolulu," said American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely. "She has been well taken care of the entire time." She said Bethany has been under a veterinarian’s care, and will be reunited with her owner Tuesday. — Watch it at NBC Dallas-Fort Worth
Studies have shown dogs can help reduce the risk of allergies and asthmas in children, and a new study suggests they may lower the risk for childhood anxiety, too. Researchers surveyed the parents of 643 children between the ages of 4 and 10 at a nonprofit pediatric clinic in upstate New York. Using the Screen for Child Anxiety and Related Disorders to measure levels of anxiety, researchers found 21 percent of children without pet dogs scored above a 3, which means additional assessment was needed to diagnose anxiety. Meanwhile, only 12 percent of children with dogs had a score of 3 or higher on the survey. The researchers said dogs could reduce anxiety by stimulating conversation, easing separation anxiety and increasing oxytocin levels that reduce cortisol, the physiological responses to stress. However, they stressed that this study is a “correlational study, no cause or effect can be inferred.” The results were published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease. — Read it at UPI
It’s not only human parents who sometimes disagree over taking care of the kids. Now, researchers have video of a zebra finch couple squawking at each other about parental duties, and then coming to an agreement. “In species with bi-parental care, individuals adjust their workload to that of their partner to either compensate or match its investment. Communication within a pair might be crucial for achieving this adjustment,” wrote Ingrid Boucaud of the Université de Lyon/Saint-Etienne and her colleagues. The birds follow a routine, taking turns at the nest and foraging for food. The researchers disrupted that routine, delaying the males from returning to their nests. So, when the males did return an hour late, the females let them have it with a much more anguished and fast-paced sounding vocal exchange than usual. The males fired back with more rapid communication than usual. “These results suggest that acoustic communication may play a role in the negotiation of parental care between breeding partners,” the researchers said. The study was published in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. — Read it at Discovery News
One of the world’s rarest monkeys, a Francois’ Langur, was discovered in his mom’s arms at Australia’s Taronga Zoo on Nov. 7. Also known as Francois’ leaf monkeys, the primates are born with bright orange hair that is thought to help adults look after them. Their hair turns black when they get older. The baby was born to Meili and has been named Nangua, which is the Mandarin word for orange. “Meili has shown her calmness and experience since the birth, cradling and protecting the baby, but also allowing Noel and Elke (the other females in the group) to get close to him,” said keeper Jane Marshall. — See photos at Zooborns and see more cute baby animal pictures
Preparing 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue for the holidays is a big undertaking, and Bo and Sunny have been busy pitching in. First lady Michelle Obama shared a photo Monday on Instagram of the happy Portuguese Water Dogs supervising the decorating of the tree in the Oval Office. And that came just a day after the first pooches were spotted accompanying the first lady as she accepted the Christmas trees that were delivered to the White House. We can’t wait to see what role the dogs might play in the White House décor and holiday card this year. — See photo at People Pets
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