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Jan. 13, 2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
San Diego County Animal Control officers — and a Good Samaritan — helped a 1-year-old Siberian Husky out of a tight spot Thursday. Bella was spotted with her head and front leg sticking out of a storm drain on the side of a street. Animal control responded to a call about the dog, but when they approached, she retreated further into the drain. The officers blocked the pipe and managed to walk her through the drain until they reached a metal grate. There, the Good Samaritan helped them remove the heavy grate and lifted the dog to safety, according to San Diego’s County News Center. Bella was scanned for a microchip and reunited with her owner. It’s unclear how she wound up in the drain in the first place. — Read it at NBC San Diego
Researchers from Duke University have found that small variations in the context and repetition of a sparrow’s songs can give them very different meanings. After analyzing the recordings of more than 200 Pennsylvania swamp sparrows, the researchers found that the birds whistled in short, intermediate and long lengths. They then played the recordings for the birds and found that their reaction differed depending on the length of the whistle and where it came in the song. “Identical sounds seemed to belong to a different category depending on the context,” said Robert Lachlan, the lead author of the study who’s now with Queen Mary University of London. The study was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. — Read it at The New York Times
Scientists say dogs might have arrived in the Americas only 10,000 years ago — thousands of years after the first humans. The researchers examined 42 DNA samples from ancient dog remains. They were surprised to find that dogs didn’t arrive in the Americas earlier than 10,000 years ago. That is “about the same time as the oldest dog burial found in the Americas," said study co-author Ripan Malhi of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "This may not be a coincidence." The finding suggests that dogs came to the Americas with a second wave of human migration. The study was published in the Journal of Human Evolution. — Read it at Live Science
Sporting yellow sweatbands on their legs, three dogs acting as ball boys stole the show at a practice match between tennis stars Venus Williams and Russia’s Svetlana Kuznetsova at the ASB Classic in New Zealand. The dogs — a rescued Bull Mastiff named Oscar, Border Collie Ted and Jack Russell Terrier Super Teddy — took their jobs seriously, racing to retrieve the balls at just the right time. Everyone from the players to the umpire and the fans were delighted to watch these guys in action, but there was one drawback: They left the tennis balls a bit slobbery. — Watch it at USA Today
Cold waters off the coast of Galveston, Texas, have left sea turtles stunned and lethargic, and dozens have been rescued recently. The green sea turtles float to the surface to keep warm, but that means they’re not eating well and are vulnerable to predators and passing boats. The turtles have been brought in to a government-run turtle hospital where they warm up before recuperating in pools of water. There, they’re fed and given antibiotics with the hope that they will be able to return to the sea when the waters warm up. — Watch it at Houston’s ABC 13
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