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Feb. 15, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Dogs know their own. Using computer screens, French researchers showed nine pet dogs pictures of more than 100 pairs of faces, including wild animals and humans alongside various dog breeds. The dogs were trained to choose one of the two images by putting their paw on the screen. Despite the vast differences in what different canine breeds look like, the test subjects showed a preference for other dogs, researchers said. While previous research has found that other animals are also better at identifying members of their own species than different species, scientists were interested in looking at dogs because their breeds are more variable than other mammals. The findings of the study, by France’s National Veterinary School in Lyon, were published this month in the journal Animal Cognition. — Read it at Live Science
Here’s one breed that’s standing out from the crowd: the Affenpinscher. While many Americans hadn’t heard of the German dog breed before Banana Joe’s Westminster win this week, they’ve become an overnight sensation. But if you want to bring one home, prepare to wait. According to the American Kennel Club, there are only 12 reputable breeders in the U.S., and just two of them currently have puppies. — Read it at ABC News via Yahoo
A picture of an elusive jaguar at Manu National Park in Peru marked a milestone for camera trap photos. Triggered by motion, the cameras are set up to capture images of wildlife that’s hard to track. A system called the Tropical Ecology Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network, which is managed by the environmental group Conservation International, has now taken 1 million pictures over the last five years in protected rainforest areas throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America. — See photos at NBC News
Sumatran Tiger Born at Zoo
Experienced mom Leanne gave birth to the cub on Sunday, and the two are bonding off exhibit. Sumatran tigers are a critically endangered species, with less than 400 of them estimated to be living in the wild. “Everything went beautifully,” said Tanya Peterson, president of the San Francisco Zoo, of the birth. Leanne was one of the few tigers in the world who learned to receive prenatal sonograms while she was awake — with extensive training. Dad is 6-year-old Larry, and this is the first cub he’s sired. The cub’s gender is not yet known.
Here comes the mob! At the LPGA Australian Open at the Royal Canberra Golf Club, golfer Karrie Webb had to wait for dozens of kangaroos to hop off the course before continuing play on Thursday. This wildlife encounter came just two days after fellow golfer Daniela Holmqvist was bitten by a dangerous spider on the course, and made headlines when she removed the venom herself before continuing her round. — See photo at the New York Post
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