animals

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Cocaine Now Wreaking Havoc on ... Eels

Study shows muscle damage that could affect migration

(Newser) - Humans aren't alone in a battle with illicit drugs, which have penetrated waterways worldwide via wastewater and other means. European eels are feeling the effects, and probably other animals, too, say researchers at Italy's University of Naples Federico II. After previously finding cocaine in eel flesh, the team... More »

Oldest Sumatran Orangutan Dies, Leaves 'Incredible Legacy'

Puan, longtime resident of Australia's Perth Zoo, had 54 descendants around the world

(Newser) - Australia knew her as the "Grand Old Lady" of Perth Zoo, and the world, via Guinness World Records , knew her as the oldest known Sumatran orangutan on Earth. Sadly, Puan had been suffering of late from age-related issues, and so she was euthanized on Monday at the age of... More »

Mammals Are Going Nocturnal to Avoid Us

Trend seen across dozens of species on 6 continents: study

(Newser) - The list of ways humans have altered the planet continues to grow: Animals are becoming more nocturnal, possibly as a means of avoiding the superpredators we've become, per a new study. The meta-anaylsis of 76 studies on 62 mammal species across six continents, published in the journal Science , found... More »

Great Ape, Extinct Lion Among Top New Species

Several endangered species among top finds over past year

(Newser) - It's understandable that a fish in the deepest spot on Earth would escape human notice for millennia. How a great ape managed the same feat is less clear, though both are now included in a list of the top 10 of 18,000 new species discovered over the past... More »

By This New Measure, Plants Rule the Earth

They outweigh all other life on the planet, by a mile

(Newser) - A first-of-its-kind study reveals that humans make up a minuscule portion of life on the planet. As in 0.01%, reports the Guardian . The flip side of that? Despite the scant figure, humans have reshaped the animal kingdom, helping wipe out about 83% of mammals and half of all plants... More »

Miami High School Chided for Caged Tiger at Prom

Christopher Columbus High School defended the move

(Newser) - One Miami high school's prom was really on theme, much to the displeasure of some students and parents. Christopher Columbus High School went with a "Welcome to the Jungle" theme for Friday night's prom, and the decorations carted into the Double Tree Hilton Miami Airport Convention Center... More »

Smithsonian Gets Shipped Aardvark Milk Each Week

The milking itself is tricky business

(Newser) - An aardvark in Cincinnati is sharing his mother's milk—with scientists in Washington. Ali the aardvark is mother to Winsol, who in late December became the zoo's first healthy aardvark newborn since 1994. Cincinnati Zoo staffers draw milk samples from the 13-year-old mom every Friday, then send them... More »

Researchers Gave Baboons a Tool. They Used It to Escape

4 baboons are quickly recovered in Texas after using a barrel to gain freedom

(Newser) - Animal researchers saw the 55-pound barrel as an "enrichment tool." Baboons, to whom it was given, apparently saw only a means for escape. Indeed, four baboons briefly escaped the Texas Biomedical Research Institute Saturday after propping a barrel against a wall of their open-air enclosure and using it... More »

Wildlife Officials Explain Why Raccoons Acting Like 'Zombies'

They probably have distemper; lots of cases seen in Ohio

(Newser) - Zombies have been seen sauntering through a northeastern Ohio town. "Zombie" raccoons, that is. Youngstown residents are speaking out about them after police received more than a dozen calls in the past few weeks regarding their strange behavior. One resident tells WKBN he was outside with his dogs last... More »

An Octopus Birth, Then a Surprise Burst of Color

Video by Virginia Aquarium viewed 2.4M times

(Newser) - It happens almost in the blink of an eye. A colorless creature pops from a bundle of eggs, turns a brownish-purple hue, and swims away. It's a rare sight now witnessed by millions, thanks to the Virginia Aquarium, which shared a video of the Caribbean reef octopus's birth... More »

London Zoo Honors Prince Harry's Fiancee

Via a baby okapi

(Newser) - London Zoo has honored Prince Harry's fiancee by naming its newborn okapi after her. The zoo said Wednesday the animal born in early December was named Meghan to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Harry and American actress Meghan Markle. The okapi (oh-COP-ee) have striped hindquarters like zebras but are... More »

TV Host Kills Cougar, Posts Pics of Cougar Stir-Fry

Canadian TV personality Steve Ecklund is taking heat for showing off hunting trip online

(Newser) - "Loser." "Creep." "Must be compensating for something, small penis probably." These are just a few of the comments—some of them from an ex-prime minister's wife—being lobbed at a Canadian television host after he posted pictures online of himself with the cougar... More »

Maria Hit. Then, a 'Horrible' Fate for Puerto Rico's Pets

Shelters are swamped in wake of Maria with both strays and abandoned pets

(Newser) - They've been tossed over fences, tied to gates, and even left with money under their collars. Abandoned animals are overwhelming Puerto Rico's shelters, which were already struggling to cope with hundreds of thousands of strays that were roaming the island before Hurricane Maria. Hundreds of dogs, cats, and... More »

Study Answers Age-Old Question: Are Dogs or Cats Smarter?

Dogs win, at least in cortical neurons, say researchers

(Newser) - It's not likely to be the last word on the subject, but researchers at Vanderbilt University have come up with an answer to the age-old question of whether dogs or cats are smarter. And it's a win for dog lovers. Study author Suzana Herculano-Houzel explains neurons in the... More »

Crab Is Seen Hunting a Bird in 'Gruesome' First

Coconut crabs were previously thought to be scavengers

(Newser) - Seabirds apparently have a surprising new predator to worry about. A researcher who worked on the Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean in 2016 says he witnessed a large coconut crab attack a sleeping seabird, which then became dinner. Mark Laidre of Dartmouth College says he first spotted a crab... More »

It Was a Wolf-Sized Otter, but With Jaws Like a Bear

Modern otters wouldn't stand a chance against Siamogale melilutra

(Newser) - Modern-day sea otters would prove no match for their 6-million-year-old, wolf-sized ancestors , who didn't need rocks to smash open mollusks. They could do that, and perhaps rip into tougher and larger prey, with a single bite from surprisingly powerful jaws, according to new research. In the latest study of... More »

Baby Dolphin Dies After People Can't Stop Touching It

It was dead by the time a rescue group arrived

(Newser) - A baby dolphin that beached itself on the shores of Mojacar in southeastern Spain was quickly surrounded by a mob of curious beachgoers, many out for a good selfie, reports Newsweek . The calf was likely sick or had become separated from its mother, and someone called the local emergency number.... More »

Fishermen Threw Away a 'One-in-a-Billion' Catch

Conjoined twin porpoises found for first time

(Newser) - In all the time humans have been exploring the ocean, there have until now been just nine recorded sightings of conjoined aquatic mammals. That's only partly why the Washington Post calls a recent catch in the North Sea "a one-in-a-billion discovery." Dutch trawlers on May 30 discovered... More »

There's a Simple Reason Blue Whales Got So Huge

They pigged out on fish: study

(Newser) - Scientists think they've figured out why the biggest whales—those of the baleen variety, including blue whales—got so big. As they explain in a study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B , the researchers found that these behemoths didn't really become behemoths until about 4.5 million... More »

Lawmaker Ruffled by Duck Ramp Told to 'Duck Off'

Rep. Mark Walker's complaint about government waste wasn't well received

(Newser) - The president of a non-profit that helps animals in Washington, DC, calls it a lifesaving measure. Rep. Mark Walker calls it a waste of government funds. Such is the debate raging over a simple duck ramp installed by government officials at the Capitol Reflecting Pool, which is drawing quite a... More »

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