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Today’s news from the animal kingdom: the world’s most helpful animal, sexiest bird, and coolest drinker — and a monkey on a pig

November 12, 2010

Here are five fascinating articles — and one ridiculous video — that the humans (and animals) at Current Instincts are reading and watching today. Did we miss something major? Let us know below or send us an email.

1. Cats are super cool drinkers.  While humans, dogs, and other simple mammals haphazardly suck down liquids, cats use a sophisticated technique that balances gravity and inertia to drink:

This method makes cats not only one of the neatest, but also one of the fastest drinkers in the world — they swallow their liquid four times per second. Impressive, sure, however Fluffy’s archnemesis, the rat, drinks even faster  — six to seven swallows per second. We sense a drinking showdown on the horizon. (Discovery News)

2. Hippos are really, REALLY nice animals. Well, at least this specific hippo is. She saved the life of two drowning animals — a baby gnu and a baby zebra.  It’s quite rare in the animal kingdom for one species of animal to help out another so we’re really proud of this mama for ignoring the natural differences and simply helping a child in need.  (Make sure you check out the link — the pictures will warm your heart — and probably make your day.) ( To read the story in the hippo’s own words, click here.

Flamingo by Steve/Creative Commons

Damn. I am one sexy, pink bird.

3. Flamingos wear makeup to impress their mates. These pretty in pink birds aren’t natural beauties. They doll themselves up for the other sex during the mating season by daubing oil from their tails onto their feathers.  The deeper the pink, the more attractive the bird. (National Geographic)

4. Is donkey basketball abusive to animals? Seeing as donkeys are allegedly whipped, pulled, and shoved during these games, we say yes. But that’s not stopping one high school in Minnesota from using a donkey basketball game as a fundraiser. Backers of this great idea say that they are confident the donkeys will not be mistreated. Let’s hope the only asses on the court are the animals.

5. Goldfish to be used to protect humans. South Korean authorities plan to use six goldfish to ensure water purity at the Group of 20 summit. These fish are part of an elaborate security plan and will be placed in the convention’s restrooms’ water supply. PETA is, of course, pissed  because they say fish have feelings too. South Korea, on the other hand, says that this symbolizes an eco-friendly water policy. We just wonder — does either party know that fish invented sex? (AFP)

6. A baby monkey rides a pig — backwards. Just watch — and make sure your volume is up.

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