Pet Scoop: Viral Video Captures High-Flying Fish, Robot Dog Put Through Paces by Marines

Sept. 12, 2012: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.

YouTube poster Ben Sproul captured video of mullets jumping in North Carolina.
Surfer Ben Sproul took a video of mullets jumping into the air off the coast of North Carolina.

Man Catches a Chain Reaction of Leaping Fish on Video

YouTube poster Ben Sproul was standing on a sandbar about 75 yards off shore in North Carolina’s Outer Banks when he caught an incredible — and now viral — video of blues chasing mullets, which are shown jumping “two feet out of the water.” According to Sproul, it was the most amazing thing that he’d witnessed in the ocean during his 25 years as an avid surfer. — Watch it at Today

“Big Dog” Robot Aces a Series of Marine Corps Tests

The future looks bright for a robot nicknamed “Big Dog” (formally known as the Legged Squadron Support System) after it completed a series of trials for the U.S. Marine Corps. The robot, which was designed by Boston Dynamics, can carry up to 400 pounds of equipment across 20 miles without refueling, as well as travel to designated locations using GPS or use its computer vision to follow a leader. Big Dog needs two more years of refinements before it can embed with the Marines for exercises in the field. — Read it at Reuters via the Silicon Valley Mercury News

Honeybees Are Tagged With Trackers

Biologists at San Francisco State University are using tiny radio trackers to monitor the movements of bees infected with a mysterious fly parasite that causes them to abandon their hives, gather around light and move in erratic circles before dying. Researcher Christopher Quock says that it’s important to know when the bees leave the hive — and whether they come back — so that scientists can understand how and why the insects relinquish their hives. It’s still unclear whether the parasite is linked to the colony collapse disorder that has devastated honeybee colonies in the U.S. — Read it at Medical News Today

Carrie Underwood Cuddles Shelter Kittens in Oklahoma

While visiting her hometown, the singer stopped by the shelter where she'd adopted her Dachshund mix, Penny. "She got all the kittens up on her lap and loved on them," said shelter director Kate Paris. "She really cares a lot for animals." The star tweeted a photo of herself with the kitties, writing "Hanging out at the Checotah animal shelter! Anyone want a kitten? I think we have a few!!! Ha ha!" — Read it at People Pets

Horses’ Ability to Pace Tied to Genetics

In what lead researcher Leif Andersson called a “sensational finding,” scientists at Uppsala University in Sweden found that a single gene explained why some horses can trot or pace, while others can’t. The discovery of the gene, named DMRT3, could have a huge impact on the centuries-old sport of harness racing, potentially allowing an owner to test the DNA of a foal after birth to determine whether to invest in training the horse. — Read it at The New York Times

Olate Dogs Compete in America’s Got Talent Finals

Among the six acts that head into tonight’s finals on NBC’s America’s Got Talent: the agile and acrobatic Olate Dogs. A canine act won the top prize on Britain’s Got Talent earlier this year. Can these American pups do the same? Tune in to see them compete against The Untouchables, a children’s dance troupe and four other acts. The results will be revealed on Thursday night. — Find out more from NBC

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