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Nov. 19, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Now this is a litter to match the size of a Great Dane. Brandon and Aimie Terry’s Great Dane, 3-year-old Snowy, gave birth to a whopping 19 adorable puppies at their Pennsylvania home three weeks ago. They said they knew the first-time mom was expecting a large litter, but they weren’t expecting quite this many pups. All 19 puppies appear to be healthy, and their eyes have just opened. Now that they’re starting to play and explore, the couple has their hands full. “It’s starting to get crazy,” Brandon Terry said. “It was okay last week, but now this week, they’re starting to break loose … You’ve got to watch where you step.” The family plans to keep one of the pups and will sell the remaining 18. — Read it at Today and watch video at My Fox Detroit
A new study finds that acoustic tags commonly used on turtles and fish emit a high-pitched sound that humans can’t hear, but can act like a dinner bell for marine mammals. Researchers with Scotland’s University of St. Andrews Sea Mammal Research Unit presented 10 grey seals from a Scottish island with buckets containing tagged or untagged fish, or that were empty. They quickly figured out that the pinging meant a fish was present and went for those buckets. They said many marine species are at risk due to being outfitted with tags. "Any animal who can perceive sound would be expected to be capable of learning associations between sound signals and food,” said lead author Amanda Stansbury. She said she hopes new tags will be developed to eliminate sounds that a predator could hear. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Discovery News
A study by researchers from the University of Florida finds the dramatic loss of elephants is leading to the local extinction of a dominant tree species in Thailand. That’s because the elephants disperse seeds after eating vegetation. The loss of trees has a cascading effect on other life in the tropical forest. Elephants are an important spiritual symbol in Thailand but they’ve suffered grave losses from poaching. At the beginning of the 20th century there were more than 100,000 elephants in Thailand. Now those numbers have dwindled to 2,000. "The entire ecosystem is at risk," said Trevor Caughlin, a UF postdoctoral student and National Science Foundation fellow. "My hope for this study is that it will provide a boost for those trying to curb overhunting and provide incentives to stop the wildlife trade." This study was also was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. — Read it at Science Daily
It was a dog’s day in San Francisco Tuesday as Frida, a Chihuahua mix, became the city’s honorary mayor for the day. The rescue dog got the job when her owner, Dean Clark, made a “healthy donation” to help San Francisco’s Animal Care & Control shelter. Attendees at the ACC’s 25th anniversary fundraiser in September were able to bid on the mayoral prize. Frida was saluted during a meeting of the city’s Board of Supervisors before making an appearance on the steps of City Hall. She had a platform of mandatory belly rubs, and declared Tuesday Extra Pet Treats Day. Her owner is the chief executive officer of For the Love of Dog USA, which highlights rescue dogs. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times and meet other animal mayors from around the country
Benjy, a Charlerois bull, was slated to be put down when he failed to impregnate any heifers at a County Mayo farm in western Ireland. Veterinarians said he was fertile but was more attracted to the bull that replaced him than to the heifers. Last week, animal activists launched a campaign to save Benjy and send him to the Hillside Animal Sanctuary in Norfolk, England. Ireland's Animal Rights Action Network said Tuesday that Sam Simon, a co-creator of the long-running show “The Simpsons” will pay for the bull’s transportation to the animal sanctuary. Simon has been a leading animal welfare donor. He’s battling colon cancer and has been giving away much of the fortune he’s earned in his TV career. — Read it from AP via Yahoo
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