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April 29, 2014: We've scoured the Web to find the best and most compelling animal stories, videos and photos. And it's all right here.
Constance Lambert was at an event away from her Tupelo, Mississippi, home when a tornado struck on Monday night. She rushed back to search for her two dogs and cat. Here, she’s seen embracing one of her dogs after finding it alive in her destroyed home. At least eight people were killed by storms in Mississippi on Monday, and the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society says it’s desperate for foster families, crates and pet food after being overwhelmed with missing pets. A total of 29 people in six states have lost their lives in the first two days of a powerful storm system. Millions of people across a large swath of the U.S. face the threat of more severe weather today, with the Deep South again set to deal with the worst of it. — Read the latest at CNN and our story on using social media to find lost pets
A new study finds that rodents left alone in a room with a man or around a T-shirt that had been worn by a man had a spike in the stress hormone corticosterone. The rats and mice showed no response to women and were also less stressed when they were given a woman’s shirt along with a man’s. Study author Jeffrey Mogil of McGill University said that the affect was so significant that researchers should start noting their gender in the method section of their research papers because it could impact the study’s results. The findings were published in the journal Nature Methods. — Read it at The New York Times
Researchers have discovered that there are three different species of alligator snapping turtle, rather than just one. The reptile is the largest freshwater turtle found in North America. Scientists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the University of Vermont examined the genes and body shapes of both wild turtles and fossilized turtles. In addition to the original species, Macrochelys temminckii, they found two newly classified species, M. suwannensis and M. apalachicolae. The new species are named after the Suwannee River and Apalachicola River, where the turtles live. “The new divisions certainly mean that each of the new species is more vulnerable than we once believed,” said co-author Joe Roman of the University of Vermont. The study was published in the journal Zootaxa. — Read it at National Geographic
Small dogs and cats will be able to travel on board one Amtrak train route over a 6-month trial period that starts on May 5. For a $25 fee, dogs or cats who are under 20 pounds and in carriers will be allowed in passenger cabins on the Illinois Zephyr between Chicago and Quincy, which is a 4 ½-hour trip. Service animals will continue to be allowed on all trains at no charge. If the pilot program is successful, it may become available on Amtrak trains nationwide. There’s one catch, though: no stops for potty breaks along the way. — Read it at Today
The southern California zoo has seen an influx of exotic animals with the opening of its Rainforest of the Americas exhibit. The residents of the $19 million exhibit, which opened on Tuesday, include Dwarf caimans, a giant bird-eating spider, Central American tapirs and two endangered cotton-top tamarins. "Some of these species are unique in the animal kingdom, as well as in zoological facilities," said L.A. Zoo director John Lewis. "We can't wait to get visitors as excited as we are about them and in preserving their habitat in Mexico, Central and South America." — Read it from the AP via Yahoo
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