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2015: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal
stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Members of an Italian sailing club were shocked when they spotted a
Labrador Retriever puppy swimming in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Naples, late last month. They were able to pull the young yellow Lab on board and warm him up — and the rescue was videotaped. Once they got him back to shore, they discovered that the puppy, Noodle, had fallen overboard from a ferry about 30 minute before they found him. The owner wanted to send out a search party but authorities thought there wasn’t enough of a chance they’d find the puppy in the ocean. The little pup was happily reunited with his family, and wasn’t harmed in the ordeal. — Watch it at
A new study finds that female Japanese macaques, in particular, are grossed out by things that might carry disease — and those feelings of disgust might help fuel their cleanliness. The monkeys wash their food in salt water and also spend much of their time grooming each other. Some other species have also been documented to wash their food in water, including chimpanzees and capuchins. “What I think is important about this study is that it shows that the tendency to avoid obviously contaminated or disgust-inducing objects is linked somehow with lower parasite levels, at least in adults," said Michael Huffman of
Kyoto University. The study was published in the journal
Biology Letters. — Read it at
At 0.7 millimeters, the
Acmella nana is now the world’s tiniest snail. The species’ name is Latin for “dwarf,” and it’s smaller than the previous record-holder, a Chinese mollusk, by a tenth of a millimeter. Researchers from
Leiden University in the Netherlands carried bags of soil from limestone hills in Borneo and brought them back to their lab to sift through and find the snails with a microscope, as they’re too small to see with the naked eye. The
Acmella nana wasn’t the only new species the scientists found — it was only one of 48. The study was published in the journal
Zookeys. — Read it at the
Christian Science Monitor
Dennis Mazur was walking his three dogs in Saskatchewan, Canada, last month when they encountered a porcupine. Although all three
dogs were pricked, Mahalo had the most severe injuries. She had extensive surgery to remove the quills, and still requires a lot of care and additional trips to the veterinarian. Now, people from around the world are chipping in to help with the cost of her medical bills. A friend of Mazur’s set up a
GoFundMe account, and more than $15,000 has been raised in about a week. “We never expected the support we have received,” wrote Mazur’s friend, Mike Gerrand, in an update on the crowdfunding site. “When we witnessed our story on National and International news sites,
dog and pet groups, we were humbled by the support and well wishes from everyone.” — Read it at
After a kitten fell from a pier at the port of Illichivsk in Ukraine into ice-cold waters, a dockworker came to its rescue. The man put on a survival suit before plunging into the water after the kitten, who’d become trapped near the rudder of a large ship. Once he gained the kitten’s trust, he was able to swim back to the pier with the
cat. He passed it up to workers on the dock, who hugged it to raise its body temperature. — Read it at the U.K.’s
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