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Feb. 25, 2016: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Job can’t see or hear. But the rescued Lhaso Apso mix can definitely smell — and on Saturday, he sniffed out a dangerous gas leak in his Wisconsin neighborhood. The little dog’s owner, James Densmore, said Job stopped near a curb while they were out for a walk and started barking and spinning in circles. Densmore could smell gas, and other neighbors did, too. They called the gas company, WE Energies, to inspect. When WE arrived to check nearby homes, they detected a natural gas leak right where the dog was standing. “We're proud of him every day, specifically that day,” Densmore said. — Watch it at People Pets
A new study of turtle doves and reed warblers finds that these longer-migrating birds have more new neurons in regions of the brain that help them with navigation and spatial orientation. The researchers found that after being generated in one part of the brain, the new neurons then move to the regions of the brain that need them most. Those regions differed in the two species that were studied. In reed warblers, who travel alone at night, the new neurons were found mostly in a part of the brain associated with navigation, whereas in turtle doves, who travel in groups, the neurons moved to an area associated with communication skills. The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports. — Read it at Phys.org
Researchers have found that gorillas often sing and hum happy-sounding tunes while they eat. The behavior was found most often in adult males, and what they were dining on made a difference in the noises they made. “Aquatic vegetation, flowers, and seeds led to a high likelihood of call production. Insects, in particular, showed the lowest probability and rate of calling,” the authors wrote. The noises seem comparable to humans saying, “mmmm” or “yum” while eating. The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it at Discovery News
After months of waiting, Marcus is finally back in the arms of his rescuer, U.S. Air Forces Senior Airman Seray Aksoy. Aksoy befriended the cat while she was deployed in Kuwait, and was heartbroken when it was time for her to return to the U.S. and Marcus had to stay behind. “He’s super important. I mean, to create a bond with an animal there, it helps more than you would think. Being over there is tough enough. It was great to have something to actually look forward to when you went to work every night,” she said. But that wasn’t the end of their friendship. Aksoy worked with SPCA International and was able to bring Marcus home to Rochester, New York. He arrived last week, and the two are now reconnecting. “This is awesome, I’m so happy that it’s finally happening,” Aksoy said as she loaded Marcus’ crate into her car. — Watch it at NBC News
Mahe wants to be by his boy’s side, no matter what. The dog has worked for two years with 9-year-old James Isaac, a New Zealand boy with “profound autism” that makes leaving the house difficult. “He's very impulsive and he doesn't have any awareness of danger," said his mother, Michelle Isaac. But Mahe has helped to keep James “safe and calm when he’s out,” changing the family’s lives for the better, she explained. Now, photos that highlight the sweet bond between Mahe and James have gone viral. The images show Mahe comforting James during a trip to the hospital for an MRI after an unexplained series of seizures. The boy’s concerned dog was able to jump into the bed with him before the procedure, while James was under general anesthesia, and then he was there to lay by his side as he came out of the anesthesia. — See photos at Today
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