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August 6, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Late Army veteran Jake Carlberg’s widow, Glenna, and two young sons welcomed his best friend, war dog Abby, to their Indiana home Tuesday. Carlberg, who served in Afghanistan in 2013 with the bomb-sniffing yellow Labrador Retriever, searched for her for more than a year after finishing his deployment, but he tragically died in a car accident before he could locate her. It turned out that Abby was one of 12 military dogs who were left in Virginia’s Mount Hope Kennel by a private contractor for 17 months after returning to the U.S. The kennel and Mission K9 Rescue worked with Abby’s trainer to get the 6-year-old dog back to the Carlberg family. She arrived in the rain, with her tail wagging and lots of sloppy kisses for her former partner’s family. “She was his best friend, they did everything together and everybody in his company loved her,” said Glenna Carlberg. “We spent so many hours and nights looking for her that it’s all worth it now … Having her come in, I feel like we lost something so big but now we have something to make us feel complete again.” — Watch from Indiana’s 44 News via Facebook
A newly discovered Blueface peacock spider has some groovy moves when it comes to finding a mate. Luckily, spider enthusiast and biologist with Australia’s Department of Agriculture Jürgen Otto maintains a YouTube channel with videos of the spiders dancing, with their moves set to music. In order to attract a female’s attention, the male raises one set of legs over his body while running back and forth in front of her. Otto and a colleague described the Blueface spider in the open-access journal Peckhamia. — See it at Live Science
A new study finds that horses have surprisingly similar facial expressions to humans and chimps. Researchers found that, like humans, horses use muscles underlying their nostrils, lips and eyes to alter their expressions in different social situations. The study suggests that there are evolutionary parallels in different species when it comes to how the face is used to communicate. Previous research showed that cues from their faces were important for how horses communicate. “"Despite the differences in face structure between horses and humans, we were able to identify some similar expressions in relation to movements of the lips and eyes,” said study co-author Jennifer Wathan. The findings were published in the journal PLOS ONE. — Read it Science Daily
With bright blue eyes and feisty personalities, two female mountain lion kittens born recently in the Santa Monica Mountains are the latest subjects for researchers who are trying to track how they survive in the greater Los Angeles area. The 3- and 4-week-old kittens were named P-43 and P-44, and were found at opposite ends of the study area. The kittens were each born in single litters to different parents. Researchers found them using a GPS device and were able to examine and tag them. — Read it at the Los Angeles Times
Tyler Balak was surfing off Hatteras Island, North Carolina, last month, when he spotted something floating in the water a few hundred feet off shore. He paddled closer, and was shocked to discover it was a fawn struggling to stay afloat. He picked the limp baby deer up and brought it to the shore, where his friend wrapped it in a towel. They brought the shaking animal to nearby Hatteras Island Wildlife Rehabilitation for help. Once the fawn recovered from its shock and the president of the non-profit determined it was healthy, they released him back into the wild, near where it was found. "So glad we could give this little guy another chance," Balak wrote in a Facebook post. — Read it at People Pets
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